It is located between Arnaia and Neochori. It is one of the prettiest villages in the Municipality of Aristotle, and an important transport hub. The village proper still retains its traditional features and extends around the square with the centuries-old plane tree, while the surrounding coffee shops and retailers make up the center of a vibrant village.
Built at an altitude of 550 m., with over 1,500 inhabitants, the roots of Palaiochori [meaning old village] can be traced back across the centuries. It is no accident that the Neposi castle stands nearby, and over the years coins, vessels and shells, as well as ruins from fortifications and tombs, have been found in the surrounding area.
The exact date when Palaiochori was established is not known. A plaque was found at Neposi castle indicating that the settlement existed approximately 1,000 years ago. In fact, according to some indications, Palaiochori was one of 3 towns from the Olynthian or Chalcidian League that were destroyed in 348 BCE by King Phillip II of Macedonia. Also cited is the renowned “Kastelli”. It is surmised that it was the largest castle in Halkidiki, which must have been destroyed first by the Huns in 540 CE. In its place, two centuries later, “a large village” was established.
Of special historical and religious significance in Palaiochori is the church of Pammegiston Taxiarchon with the splendid frescoes and the statue of Ecumenical Patriarch Ioakeim III the Magnificent in the courtyard. There is also the miraculous – according to the lore – holy icon of Taxiarhis [Archangel] Michael (16th century, Cretan-Macedonian art) and the holy icon of Panagia Gorgoepikoos (unique exact reproduction of the miraculous icon that is built into a wall of Docheiariou monastery in Agion Oros).
Following the road to Megali Panagia, on the left you will come across one of the loveliest monastic “archontarikia”, of Panagia “joy of the sorrowful”. In its courtyard stands the church of Agios Athanasios Athonitis, whose feast is celebrated on 5 July.
According to scholar and researcher Yiannis Anapliotis, Alexis Zorbas, the hero of the famous novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, lived in Palaiochori between the ages of 22 and 44. We must also note that the women of the village are traditional weavers, passing their craft on from generation to generation; there is also an effort to preserve the local linguistic idiom with significant influences from the era of Ottoman rule and roots in Ancient Greek and Latin.
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