Chalcis or Chalkida the chief town of the island of Euboea
Euboea is the second largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete. The narrow Euripus Strait separates it from Boeotia in mainland Greece. In general outline it is a long and narrow, seahorse-shaped island; it is about long, and varies in breadth from to...

 in Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, is situated on the strait of the Evripos
Euripus Strait
The Euripus Strait , is a narrow channel of water separating the Greek island of Euboea in the Aegean Sea from Boeotia in mainland Greece. The strait's principal port is Chalcis on Euboea, located at the strait's narrowest point....

 at its narrowest point. The name is preserved from antiquity and is derived from the Greek χαλκός (copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

), though there is no trace of any mines in the area. In the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, it was known as Negropont , a name that was applied to the entire island of Euboea as well.

Ancient Greece

The earliest recorded mention of Chalcis is in the Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

(2.537), where it is mentioned in the same line as its rival Eretria
Erétria was a polis in Ancient Greece, located on the western coast of the island of Euboea, south of Chalcis, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow Euboean Gulf. Eretria was an important Greek polis in the 6th/5th century BC. However, it lost its importance already in antiquity...

. It is also documented that the ships set for the Trojan War gathered at Avlis, the south bank of the strait nearby the city. Chamber tombs at Trypa and Vromousa dated to the Mycenaean period were excavated by Papvasileion in 1910. In the 8th
8th century BC
The 8th century BC started the first day of 800 BC and ended the last day of 701 BC.-Overview:The 8th century BC was a period of great changes in civilizations. In Egypt, the 23rd and 24th dynasties led to rule from Nubia in the 25th Dynasty...

 and 7th
7th century BC
The 7th century BC started the first day of 700 BC and ended the last day of 601 BC.The Assyrian Empire continued to dominate the Near East during this century, exercising formidable power over neighbors like Babylon and Egypt. In the last two decades of the century, however, the empire began to...

 centuries BC, colonists from Chalcis founded thirty townships on the peninsula of Chalcidice
Chalkidiki, also Halkidiki, Chalcidice or Chalkidike , is a peninsula in northern Greece, and one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Macedonia. The autonomous Mount Athos region is part of the peninsula, but not of the regional unit...

, and several important cities in Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. Its mineral produce, metal-work, purple
Purple is a range of hues of color occurring between red and blue, and is classified as a secondary color as the colors are required to create the shade....

 and pottery not only found markets among these settlements, but were distributed over the Mediterranean in the ships of Corinth
Corinth is a city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit...

 and Samos
Samos Island
Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea, south of Chios, north of Patmos and the Dodecanese, and off the coast of Asia Minor, from which it is separated by the -wide Mycale Strait. It is also a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and the only municipality of the regional...


With the help of these allies, Chalcis engaged the rival league of its neighbour Eretria in the so-called Lelantine War
Lelantine War
The Lelantine War was a long-remembered military conflict between the two ancient Greek city states Chalkis and Eretria in Euboea which took place in the early Archaic period, at some time between ca 710 and 650 BC. The reason for war was, according to tradition, the struggle for the fertile...

, by which it acquired the best agricultural district of Euboea and became the chief city of the island. Early in the 6th century BC
6th century BC
The 6th century BC started the first day of 600 BC and ended the last day of 501 BC.Pāṇini, in India, composed a grammar for Sanskrit, in this century or slightly later...

, its prosperity was broken by a disastrous war with the Athenians
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, who expelled the ruling aristocracy and settled a cleruchy
A cleruchy in Hellenic Greece, was a specialized type of colony established by Athens. The term comes from the Greek word , klērouchos, literally "lot-holder"....

 on the site. Chalcis subsequently became a member of both the Delian League
Delian League
The Delian League, founded in circa 477 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, members numbering between 150 to 173, under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Greco–Persian Wars...

Aristotle, the great philosopher, also lived in the city.

In the Hellenistic period, it gained importance as a fortress by which the Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

ian rulers controlled central Greece. It was used by kings Antiochus III of Syria
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great Seleucid Greek king who became the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire as a youth of about eighteen in 223 BC. Antiochus was an ambitious ruler who ruled over Greater Syria and western Asia towards the end of the 3rd century BC...

 (192 BC
192 BC
Year 192 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Flamininus and Ahenobarbus...

) and Mithradates VI of Pontus (88 BC
88 BC
Year 88 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Sulla and Rufus...

) as a base for invading Greece.

Roman rule and later

Under Roman rule, Chalcis retained a measure of commercial prosperity; since the 6th century it again served as a fortress for the protection of central Greece against northern invaders. From 1209, it stood under Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 control as the capital of the Lordship of Negroponte
Lordship of Negroponte
The Lordship of Negroponte was a crusader state established on the island of Euboea after the partition of the Byzantine Empire following the Fourth Crusade. Partitioned into three baronies run by a few interrelated Lombard families, the island soon fell under the influence of the Republic of...

; in 1470, after a long siege, it passed to the Ottomans, who made it the seat of a pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

. In 1688, it was successfully held against a strong Venetian attack.

The modern town

The modern town received an impetus in its export trade from the establishment of railway connection with Athens and Peiraeus in 1904. In the early 20th century it was composed of two parts—the old walled town towards the Euripus, called the Castro (i.e. the Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

), where the Jewish and Turkish
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 families dwelt; and the more modern suburb that lies outside it, which is chiefly occupied by the Greeks. A part of the walls of the Castro and many of the houses within it were shaken down by the earthquake of 1894; part has been demolished in the widening of the Euripus. The most interesting object is the church of Saint Paraskevi
Saint Paraskevi
Saint Paraskevi , literally "Preparation" as the day of preparation for Sabbath, "Friday") can refer to several saints ....

, which was once the chief church of the Venetians; it dates from the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 period, though many of its architectural features are Western. In 1899, Chalcis became the prefectural capital of Euboea.

At the start of the 21st century, Chalcis had about 100,000 inhabitants. The old walls, near the Castro of Kara-Baba (Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, "Black Father") near the sea no longer stand. The sizable Jewish community was reduced after the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


The bridges

The town is now connected to the mainland Greece by two bridges, the "Sliding Bridge" in the west at the narrowest point of the Euripus Strait
Euripus Strait
The Euripus Strait , is a narrow channel of water separating the Greek island of Euboea in the Aegean Sea from Boeotia in mainland Greece. The strait's principal port is Chalcis on Euboea, located at the strait's narrowest point....

 and a suspension bridge.

The Euripus Strait
Euripus Strait
The Euripus Strait , is a narrow channel of water separating the Greek island of Euboea in the Aegean Sea from Boeotia in mainland Greece. The strait's principal port is Chalcis on Euboea, located at the strait's narrowest point....

 which separates the city and the island from the mainland was bridged in 411 BC with a wooden bridge. In the time of Justinian the fixed bridge was replaced with a movable structure. The Turks (sometime after 1453) replaced this once again with a fixed bridge. In 1856, a wooden swing bridge was built; in 1896, an iron swing bridge, and in 1962, the existing "sliding bridge". The cable stay suspension bridge which joins Chalcis to the mainland to the south was opened in 1993.

A unique phenomenon takes place at the straits of Euripus. The waters of the gulf can be seen 'racing' parallel to the coast, creating a unique spectacle for people who travel over the bridge.


The municipality Chalcis was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
  • Anthidona
    Anthidona is a former municipality in Euboea regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Chalcis, of which it is a municipal unit. The population was 6,104 inhabitants at the 2001 census, and the land area is 137.266 km². The seat of the...

  • Avlida
    Avlida or Aulis is a former municipality in Euboea regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Chalcis, of which it is a municipal unit. The population was 8,300 inhabitants at the 2001 census, and the land area is 122.235 km². The seat of the...

  • Chalcis
  • Lilantia
    Lilantia is a former municipality in Euboea, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Chalcis, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 15,568 . The seat of the municipality was in Vasiliko....

  • Nea Artaki
    Nea Artaki
    Nea Artaki is a town and a former municipality on the island Euboea, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Chalcis, of which it is a municipal unit. Nea Artaki is located north of Chalcis. The Greek National Road 77 links it with Chalcis and northern Euboea...


  • GR-44
    Greek National Road 44
    Greek National Road 44 is a highway linking the cities of Thiva, Chalkida and Karystos. The total length is nearly 200 km. The highway passes in the prefectures of Viotia and Euboea. Much of the highway has curvy roads....

  • GR-77
    Greek National Road 77
    Greek National Road 77 is a national highway of Greece. It connects Halkida with Istiaia....

  • GR-1
    Greek National Road 1
    The Greek Motorway 1 is a motorway, partly under construction, and the 2nd longest in Greece. It is the principal north-south road connection in Greece, connecting the country's capital Athens with the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia, as well as the country's second largest city,...

    European route E75
    European route E 75 is part of the International E-road network, which is a series of main roads in Europe.The E 75 starts from Vardø, Norway in the Barents Sea and runs south through Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Republic of Macedonia to Sitia, Greece on...

     is south and west about 10 km from Chalcis in Boeotia
    Boeotia, also spelled Beotia and Bœotia , is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece. It was also a region of ancient Greece. Its capital is Livadeia, the second largest city being Thebes.-Geography:...


In 2003, a bypass of Chalcis was opened from the southern part of the bridge to connect with GR-77, also with access to GR-44.

Chalcis is also served by OSE, the Greek railway network.

Historical population

Year Town population Municipality population
1981 44,847 -
1991 51,646 60,646
2001 53,584 92.909

Notable residents

  • Sotiria Bellou
    Sotiria Bellou
    Sotiria Bellou was a famous Greek singer and performer of the Greek rebetiko style of music. She was one of the most famous rebetisas of all, mentioned in many music guides, and a contributor to the 1984 British Documentary entitled Music of the Outsiders...

     (1921–1997) singer
  • Dimitris Theocharis
    Dimitris Theocharis
    Dimitris Theocharis was born on October 15, 1977 in San Jose, California to Greek parents. He is a photographer and video director who works in the fields of fashion, advertising, and fine art photography, and is noted for his surreal, unique and often colourful style.-Early life and...

     (1977–present) photographer
  • Yannis Anastasopoulos (1931–present) author
  • Aristotle
    Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

     (384-322 BC) ancient philosopher, lived in Chalcis the last year of his life (323-322 BC)
  • Angelos Basinas
    Angelos Basinas
    Angelos Basinas is a Greek international footballer and the former captain of his country's national team. He played as a defensive midfielder for Arles-Avignon in the Ligue 1 until 22 October 2010.-Panathinaikos:...

     (1976–present) professional footballer
  • Mordehai Frizis
    Mordehai Frizis
    Colonel Mordehai Frizis was a Romaniote Jew, officer of the Greek Army who reached the rank of Colonel and was killed during the Greco-Italian War on 5 December 1940, fighting against the Julia Division. He was one of the first senior officers of the Hellenic Army to be killed in action during the...

     (1893–1940) military officer
  • Konstantinos Kallias
    Konstantinos Kallias
    Konstantinos Kallias was a Greek politician.He was born in Chalkis. He co-founded with Panagiotis Kanellopoulos the National Unionist Party. He served in many ministerial positions, including Minister for Justice and vice-president of New Democracy under Konstantinos Karamanlis . He was elected...

     (1901–2004) politician
  • Orestis Makris
    Orestis Makris
    Orestis Makris was a Greek actor and tenor.He graduated from the Greek Odeum of Athens and first entered the scene as a tenor in the troupe of Rosalia Nika in 1925. He later joined the Papaioannou troupe, before moving to more humoristic roles. Makris excelled in the portrayal of folk characters,...

     (1898–1975) actor and tenor
  • Georgios Papanikolaou
    Georgios Papanikolaou
    Georgios Nicholas Papanikolaou was a Greek pioneer in cytology and early cancer detection, and inventor of the "Pap smear".-Life:...

     (1883–1962) physician, Pap smear
    Pap smear
    The Papanicolaou test is a screening test used in to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous processes in the endocervical canal of the female reproductive system. Changes can be treated, thus preventing cervical cancer...

     test founder
  • Nikolaos Skalkottas
    Nikolaos Skalkottas
    Nikos Skalkottas was one of the most important Greek composers of 20th-century music. A member of the Second Viennese School, he drew his influences from both the classical repertoire and the Greek tradition....

     (1901–1949) composer
  • Giannis Skarimpas
    Giannis Skarimpas
    Giannis Skarimpas, Giannis Skarimbas or Yiannis Skarimbas was a Greek writer, dramatist, and poet.-Biography:...

     (Agia Efthymia
    Agia Efthymia
    Agia Efthymia is a village in the regional unit of Phocis, Greece, located on the foothill of Mount Giona, in the district of Parnassida in Central Greece...

    , 1893–1984) author

Sports teams

Chalcis also has a water polo team named NC Chalkida, a football team named Chalkida FC, as well as a junior football team named Evoikos Chalkida.

The Chalkida football team merged with Lilas Vasilikou for a period of two years (2004–2006). The team was finally dissolved because of financial difficulties. Although there was a team created with the same name (AOX) it does not represent the glorious team of the past.

Chalcis also has a basketball team (AGEX
Chalkida BC
AGE Chalkidas BC, or AGE Chalkida BC , is a Greek professional basketball team that is located in Halkida, Greece. The team was founded in the year 1976...

) which plays in the Greek A2 Basketball League
A2 Ethniki
The HEBA A2 or commonly called, the Greek A2 League, is the second division of the highest professional basketball competition among pro clubs in Greece. It is operated by the Hellenic Basketball Clubs Association . The league has 16 teams...

 with success since 2002, touching many times the promotion to the A1 Greek League
A1 Ethniki
The Greek Basket League , commonly referred to as the Greek Basketball League or Greek Basketball Championship, is the highest professional basketball league in Greece. It is run by HEBA...

  • Khalkis-Lilas - third division

External links

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