"First country and for its size and for its privilege that has to be first in Vakoufia, is Makrinitsa"

Daniel Philippidis - Grigorios Kostantas, Modern Geography, about Greece.



Archaeological research has not revealed remains of ancient settlements in the mountainous parts of Pelion. From this it is concluded that in antiquity only occasionally Pelion was inhabited.


The scene changes when in the 10th and 11th AD centuries welfare and the strong religious sentiment lead to the establishment of monastic communities, even on the highest peaks of the mountains. Pelion, which has a corresponding natural environment to Mount Athos, acquires then many monasteries and churches, which in the later centuries constitute the nuclei of development of its present villages, many of which acquire corresponding names. From 1204 onwards, Thessaly submits to the Francs. The ruler, Konstantinos Melissenos, or Maliasinos, takes possession of Demetrias.


By the House of Melissenos two very important monasteries were founded, which revitalized the area and became the original nuclei of Makrinitsa's residential development. Year after year, the settlement evolved into a village, which took its name from the Monastery of Panagia Makrinitissa.


During the period of Turkish domination, Makrinitsa evolved into one of the most dynamic villages in Pelion, with strong social, economic and cultural life.


Its population continuously increased by residents of Evia and the nearby islands, who found refuge there, escaping both Turkish and pirate raids on the coast.


The Turkish conquerors did not oppress Makrinitsa, thus the village was self-governed. The result of self-government is an increased sense of freedom that leads to an increase in its population.


In 1615 the villages of Pelion are divided into Vakoufia (Vakiflar) and Hassia (this administrative distinction was finally abolished in 1840). Among the Vakoufia, Makrinitsa becomes the first and becomes seat from 1790.


Vakoufia constitute property of the Crown, having direct reliance on Istanbul and the Sultan's mother, Walide Sultan, who grants them great liberties, forbidding the permanent settlement of Turks.


Within this framework of relative freedom, Makrinitsa is governed by its provosts, while Churches are freely built. As a result, this area has the potential for a distinct development of community life, which will lead to its economic and intellectual development, paving the way for the 1821 Revolution.


The village develops economic activities in the Balkans, Odessa, Europe and Egypt's Alexandria, thanks to silkworm cultivation and leather processing. It reaches such a development that in the late 19th century numbers about 7,000 inhabitants, including its settlements.


The settlement, starting from the Koukourava district and from the altitude of 300 meters, ending up to the altitude of 850 meters and the Holy Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, has plenty of Mansions, Churches, squares and fountains. Internal communication is facilitated through well-designed and spacious cobbled streets.


In 1878 Makrinitsa led the revolution against the Turks, during which local Margarita Basdeki is distinguished. After liberation from the Turkish yoke, Makrinitsa became a municipality, of the prefecture's largest in size, population and activities.


Its economic weakness, which had been particularly felt since the first decades of the 20th century, as well as the civil war and devastating earthquakes of 1955, became the reason for many people to leave their homes and migrate or settle in one of the developing at that time urban conurbations, and especially the new city of Volos.


Nowadays, the rural character of Makrinitsa has been permanently changed, while tourism opens up new horizons for its inhabitants.