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Stratoniki

Stratoniki is one of the mountainous villages within the Municipality, with a panoramic view towards the gulf of Ierissos and the peninsula of Athos. It is one of the mademohoria and the locals – mainly during the old days – had as main occupation mining. It is believed that the village was built by the king of Macedonia Perdikas,in honour of his brother Stratonikis.

Stratoniki’s big acne began in 1530 during the reign of the sultan Souleiman the 1st. He reorganized the mines of the Ottoman empire, that were known in the region since the Byzantine period such as Sidirokafsia and Siderokava. During that time apart from Greeks,workers of many other nationalities (Bulgarians, Serbs,Turks, Albanians, Jews, and even German as technicians) came to the area in search of work.

The acne of the mines turned Stratoniki into a big and flourishing centre, as there were more than 6.000 workers, in the 500-600 furnaces, scattered in the mountains. All this constituted a small Babel, as many languages were spoken by the the workers of various origins. Greek, Spanish-Jewishand a lot of Balkan languages.

The Jews practised mainly the money-changing profession and it seems that there were many of them because they dominated the market. The Jewish money-changers and Turkish tenants of the mines bought from the miners silver at state prices. It is not therefore by no means strange if Spanish was imposed as the common language of agreement. In any case, Greek and Serbian were spoken by the villagers in the market where they came to in order to sell their products. Thus, when the Jews kept their shops closed, the market would die down so consequently the days off in Sidirokafsia were two, Saturdays for the Jews and Sundays for the Christians.

It has been determined that by the mid 16th century, the sultan took from the mines, minerals valued about 20.000-30.000 golden coins. In Sidirokafsia it is believed that a mint functioned since the period of Murat the 2nd ! (1421-1451).

Source: Official Site of Municipality

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