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(ΤΟPΩΝΗ ΣΙΤΗΟΝΙΑ ΧΑΛΚΙΔΙΚΗ)toroni-castle-ruins-sithonia-halkidiki-greece-widelogo

Toroni (Greek Τορώνη) is a small village on the south-west coast of Sithonia in the area of the historic city of Toroni. The name based on the Greek mythology. Toroni was the name of the wife of the maritime-god Proteus, son of Poseidon.

The holiday-resort Toroni has an impressive coastal area with wide sandy beaches. Not far from Toroni is the idyllic natural harbor Port Koufo with many small coves and secluded beaches.

Tourists can admire the mosaics of the early Christian basilica of St. Athanasius. The basilica has fallen prey to a fire in the 6th century.
In the course of time parts of the ancient city Toroni including its port facility sunk under the sea surface and can be seen by diving.

One of the local annual celebrations of Toroni is the 'Festival of Traditions'. This culture event is taking place on Whitsun, presenting various music- and dance performances and theater plays. The observance of the Assumption Day is celebrated on a two-day lasting cultural event. The Assumption Day is on 15th August is one of the most important holidays in Greece.

The ancient Toroni was one of the most relevant and wealthiest polis in Chalkidiki. The city was divided into 3 districts:
- The Acropolis, located between the fortress and Porto Koufo
- The historic center of the city was located in the southwest of the Acropolis until the coast, and included the fortress
- The suburbs of the town (Greek: Προάστειον Proastion) located on the whilom much wider isthmus between the fortress and the city.

Kalamitsi-bay-Sithonia-halkidiki-greecelogoAlthough most of the historic buildings were destroyed at the behest of the Ottoman Empire in order to obtain building material. However, stones and fragments of the ruins still provide an idea about the former dimensions of this antique settlement. Also the area is still laced with shards of ancient pottery and roof-tiles. Historic landmark of Toroni are the ruins of the fortification Lecythus. This fortress was built during the Peloponnesian war and restored in the byzantine era.
A significant archaeological find nearby Toroni was the discovery of an ancient burial site of the Iron Age. The excavations unearthed burials and urn-graves which were constructed from the 2nd century to the 9th century.

In consequence of the Greek administrative reform in 1997 the villages Toroni, Sarti and Sykia were united in one municipality (Greek δήμος, Dimos). Although Toroni is the smallest settlement in this municipality, its historic relevance was a decisive factor for titling this community. In a administrative reform in 2010 the various areas in Sithonia were unified into one single community.

Toroni was probably founded in the 8th century BC by settlers of the southwest region Chalkis. Benefiting from its strategic location and access to plenty natural resources the city, Toroni developed rapidly into one of the most important and wealthiest cities in Chalkidiki. In ancient times a part of Toroni separated into the independent city Sarte. During the Greco-Persian war, led by Xerxes I, Toroni allied with the Persian Invaders and was rewarded with the leadership of the town Olynthos in return. Like most of the coastal cities in Sithonia, also Toroni was member of the Delian League in 479 BC. During the Peloponnesian War Athens built a fortress in Toroni to protect the area from the attack of Spartan troops. However, the city was conquered by a surprising Spartan attack but recaptured again by the Athens forces under the leadership of Nicias. After the war Toroni joined the Chalkidian League, led by the town Olynthos. On a decree of the king Peridiccas, many inhabitants from all over Sithonia moved to the ever-growing metropolis of Olynthos. Thereafter Olynthos was conquered and destroyed by the Macedonian King Phillip II. As a result, Sithonia along with Toroni were integrated into the Macedonian Kingdom. After the invasion of Roman troops 168 BC and the subsequent Roman period, the city declined but still existed and was inhabited also during the Byzantine era. Further on the area was administrated by the Autonomous Monastic State of Mount Athos. In the 15th century the coastal village Toroni was target of pirate raids, whereupon the inhabitants evacuated in the inland located settlement Sykia. Later in time the residents returned to the coast. In the 17th century the population of Toroni built a new settlement bit further north the historic place. New Toroni was founded. The historic buildings of ancient Toroni were demolished at the behest of the Ottoman occupying power in the early 20th century in order to use the stones as material to build a road from Thessaloniki to Constantinople.