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.
RODA OF ASIA MINOR
HISTORICAL DATA – NARRATIONS
THE FIRST SETTLEMENT
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.