Hydra: The Greek island that banned wheels


Hydra is a Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. It is part of the Saronic Islands group and is located near the coast of Attica, about a 90-minute ferry ride from the port of Piraeus.

The island is known for its rocky landscape, beautiful beaches, and traditional architecture. No cars are allowed on the island, so the primary mode of transportation is by donkey or foot.

Hydra's archaic reliance on donkeys for transport stems from a 1950s presidential decree intended to maintain the Greek island's architecture and character. It includes a rule that wheeled vehicles – cars, motorbikes and even bicycles – cannot be used there. Since the town is built on steep, amphitheatre-like hills rising from its horseshoe-shaped harbour, donkeys are the only form of transport that can climb the steep steps and narrow alleyways up to many residents' homes.

Hydra the Island with No Automobiles

There are several charming villages and towns on Hydra, each with a unique character and history. The island's economy is primarily based on tourism, and it is a popular destination for visitors worldwide.

Hydra is also home to several cultural and historical sites, including the Hydra Museum, the Historical Archives Museum, and the Agricultural Museum. The island has a rich history, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the prehistoric period.

In modern times, Hydra has been a popular retreat for artists, writers, and intellectuals and has played host to several famous figures.

Hydra in Greek Mythology

The Hydra was a giant serpent or dragon with many heads in Greek mythology. It lived in the swamps of Lerna in Argolis and was said to be almost invincible because whenever one of its heads was cut off, two more would grow in its place. The Hydra was finally defeated by the hero Heracles (also known as Hercules), who burned the stumps of the heads as soon as he cut them off, preventing new ones from growing.

The story of the Hydra is often used as a metaphor for a complex problem. After all, it keeps growing or multiplying or for something challenging to defeat because it has many different aspects or parts.

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