Istiaia is the seat of the municipality of Evia, while prior to 1998 was the capital of the homonymous province of Evia prefecture. Geographically located in the northern part of the island, in the center and green fertile valley, far from the sea 5 km. From the 15th century to the 19th as stated Xirochori. Istiaia has 4.957 inhabitants
The history of Istiaia begins long before the time of Homer. Findings of 2,000 BC, in the area between Istiea and Oreos, indicate a Middle Helladic settlements.
The prevailing version of the origin of the name connects Istiea the sea, wanting the city name comes from the words sail (sail) or tissue (mast). [Pending referral] The mythological version wants the city to be named after the nymph Istiea, daughter Hyriea (son of Poseidon and of Alcyone) and sister of Oreos.
The Trojan War in Homer, Istiea belonged to his country Chalkodontiadi Elephenor, King of Havana and took part with the greatest Evian cities, as was the Halkida, Eretria, the Kirinthos etc. 5th BC century Histiaios founded in Eastern Rumelia Stenimahos the colony, and after the Battle of Artemisium the Istiea suffered major damage from the armies of Xerxes, who occupied the city and camped there for a short time, such as Herodotus testifies (H23). In the following years after the end of the Persian Wars, the area of Istiaia spent a relatively peaceful period, under the influence of Athens, the Delian League.
In the early summer of 446 BC, Thucydides tells us, the B. Evia defected from the Athenian League. The defection was due rather to the pursuit of oligarchic Sparta friends to overthrow democratic friends of Athens, on the occasion of the economic oppression caused by the Athenian Alliance. This follows from the privileges given to Euboeans Athenians. The most important of the perks was that of intermarriage, namely the right to enter into marriage with Athenians Athenians as equal citizens with those of Athens. [Citation pending]
The apostasy that was tragic for the town of Istiaia, he became the main beneficiary of Pericles rage that without difficulty marched and occupied Euboea imposing unheard punishments. The residents of Istiaia expelled everyone in Thessaly and Macedonia, their estates were divided into 1,000 or 2,000 Athenian settlers and colonists, the city was renamed in Orei.
After the Peloponnesian War, the city was in Sparta, the Athenian settlers were expelled, and their lots are seized and the city received the previous name. Then many descendants of persecuted by Pericles returned in the home territory.
The ancient town of Istiaia mentioned by Homer as “polystafylos” ( “i polystafylon Histiaios” raps Iliad. II, f. 537) from its many vineyards, not at the point that is built modern, but two kilometers west, toward the Oreos and Commander, on the slopes of Mount Tilethriou despite Kallanta River (Xeria), in place called Forest on rocky hill.
The new city as it appears today, began to be created shortly before the Turks in Evia (1470), named “Xirochori” initially in the census of 1474 and much later poems browser monk Daponte in the 17th century . Shortly before the Revolution North Euboea joined the scope of the territories controlled and commanded by Ali Pasha. The Istieas province remained under the jurisdiction of Ali Pasha until the day of the murder of the last (January 1822).
Istiaia has been the scene of some of the first conflicts between Greeks and Turks during the War of 1821. The May 8, 1821 is the day of the uprising of Greeks in the region. The definitive inclusion of the city in the new Greek state took place in March 1833, along with the entire island of Evia. Since then Istiea was the most important city of North. Gujarat. During the Macedonian Struggle dozens Histiaios voluntarily took part, while some of them fell in the battlefields.
In today Istiea operates an interesting Natural History Museum, created and maintained by the Hunting Association of the city.