Nea Roda village



Nea Roda

It is considered, by many, to be the largest settlement of refuges coming to North Halkidiki after the Asia Minor disaster. The name indicates the residents’ origin: Roda of Propontida. In the summer of 1923, almost 40 families decided to settle in the “Provlakas” position (which means before furrow, ie before the Canal of Xerxes), after wandering around. In the first few years, residents of Nea Roda, the narrowest place of Athos peninsula, were mainly occupied in agriculture and fishing. Nowadays, the area has a lot of tourists thanks to the beautiful beaches. More than 1.200 people live here all year and this number is multiplied during the summer. The small distance from Ierissos (6km) helps in the faster development of Nea Roda and the tourist infrastructure is perfect.


It is a coastal village in the southwestern beach of Kyzikini peninsula, 12km northwest of Artakis and 28 km west of Michaniona. The Greek name of the settlement was Roda (registered in the book of the metropolis) and the Turkish (presented in official ottoman documents) was Rutya. It is currently named Narli. In early 20th century, the village had almost 200 houses, 150 of which were christian and 50 of which were muslim. The village’s ottomans knew the Greek language but on the contrary, the only ones knowing the Turkish language were those occupied in shipping.


Narrations show the village and the wider area as a paradise with rich in fish sea and fertile land. They produced silkworm cocoons, granite blocks, fruits, olives, grapes, irrigated onions and many more. Products and fish were forwarded to Constantinople by boat. It had three churches (St. Dimitris was the largerst one) and a school offering high level education. They lived happily until 1912. It was when the Turks arrived. Every Greek village in Asia Minor lived under the fear of slaughter and exile, with the black August of 1922 as the conclusion. Residents of Rodia fled by two boats to Mytilene, while most went to the adjacent island of Aloni and from there to the island of Marmaras. After 20 days, the ship “Propontis” took them to Karabournaki of Thessaloniki and they ended up in St. Varvara of Touba where most scattered in small groups.


The Mytilene group arrived in 1923 for exploration. It rejected the position where Ouranoupoli currently is located, as uncomfortable and small, and it temporarily settled in Ierissos. It suggested the slope where the port of Ierissos is currently located as the position for the new village, but the Ierissos residents were afraid of the possibility of future union of both villages and it finally chose the “Provlakas” position. It is easy to understand that the village was named Nea Roda. The village started attracting more refuges. A large number arrived by private boats from Skopia (or Skoupia) of the Aloni island, located on the opposite side near Roda.

Residents were mostly seamen and merchants. Being religious, the first thing they took with them was the picture of Virgin Mary, who is currently the patroness of Nea Roda. Families from East Thrace, Charaki and Gonia of Kyzikou also arrived. In the mean time, most Rodians living elsewhere responded to the call and came to Nea Roda. An exchange of population began on 14th June of 1924. The last Greeks of Asia Minor entered Greece searching for a new home. In 1926, a large group of Cappadocians arrived in Nea Roda and the settlement took its final form. Antaval (or Antavalis, or Antivalon) of Nigdi district was the motherland of this group. It was a Greek but Turkish speaking village with approximately 1.800 residents. The church of St. Constantine was built in 500 A.D. and its remains are preserved until present day. The name probably derives from the verb “antivallo” (oppose), due to the constant controversy with the Turks.

Men periodically worked in Constantinople, because the area was rocky, poor, infertile with limited production. Especially in 1913-1923, they suffered from Turkish raids and lived under the fear of losing their lives. When the order to leave their houses was given, they traveled by carts led by their priest Agathangelos, to Nigdi-Oulouglousa and Mersina. After a 1-2 months journey, they reached St. George of Piraeus and then Thessaloniki. From there, most went to Pyrgadikia, Ouranoupoli and Orfani, but malaria and suffering brought them back to the area. They lived in the nearby dependencies for almost 5 years, and with some state assistance, they settled here giving the village its current form.