For the genus of crambid moths, see Psara (moth).

Psara (Ψαρά) is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It lies northwest of Khios as well as 22 km (about 13 nmi) from the northwestern point of the island of Khios and 150 km (about 75 nmi) eastnortheast of Athens. The length and width is about 7 x 8 km and the area of the island is 43 km².


It has been inhabited since the Mycenaean period, and its inhabitants have always relied on the sea to make a living. Homer first referred to the island as Psyra. The municipality includes the small island of Antipsara and is one of the two in the prefecture that only have one community and one of the few in Greece that only contain one settlement, located almost directly to the west. Psara also has a small port linking to the island of Chios and other parts of Greece.

Psara joined the Greek War of Independence on April 10, 1821. A noted native naval leader of the time was future Prime Minister of Greece Constantine Kanaris. The island was invaded on June 21, 1824 by Egyptian forces under the command of Ibrahim Pasha.

A part of the population managed to flee the island, but those who didn't were either sold into slavery or slaughtered. More than 15,000 Greeks were massacred. The island was deserted and surviving islanders were scattered through what is now Southern Greece. Theophilos Kairis, a priest and scholar, took on many of the orphaned children and developed the famous school the Orphanotropio of Theophilos Kairis.

Modern Psara is inhabited by 422 people, all of which inhabit the single small village on the island, also called Psara as well as its municipality.

Historical population

Year Municipal population Change
1981 460 -
1991 438 -22/-4.78%
2001 422 -16/-3.65%

Notable people

  • Constantine Kanaris (1793/1795-1877) admiral, freedom fighter and politician, Prime Minister of Greece

See also


External links

  • (also in German and Greek)

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