Kalymnos was inhabited in ancient times by the Carians. It is quoted in the catalogue of ships of Homer’s Iliad, under the name “Calydne Islands”, in the second song (676-680). Bringing with KOS, NISIROS, KASOS and KARPATHOS, thirty ships under the command of Phidippe and 1ntiphos to the army of Argives led by Agamemnon and Achilles.

Independent at the time ARCHAIC

  and at the beginning of the classical period, it came under the rule of the Persians. Then joined the League of Delos in the 5th century BC. During the  HELLENISTIC period,Kalymnos passed under the control of Ptolemy.

The cave of nymphs was a place of worship in antiquity. The island was one of the first at the beginning of the 2nd century to convert to Christianity due to the proximity of  PATMOS where John the Evangelist stayed.

After the BYZANTINE PERIOD, it was used as a naval base by the Venetians in the thirteenth century. In 1310, she became the owner of the KNIGHTS OF SAINT-JEAN OF JERUSALEM. They’re building an important castle. Then was often attacked by the OTTOMANS  (especially in 1457 and 1460) before being conquered by them in 1522. Unlike what happened in RODOS and KOS, there was no TURKISH colonization of the island. It remained essentially a Greek population, but under Ottoman rule for four centuries, until the beginning of the 20th century.

Modern times

On May 12, 1912, during the Italian-Turkish War, Kalymnos was occupied by the sailors of the Regia Marina.
ITALY took control of the island and DODEKANISOS until 1943. This period of Italian colonization marked KALYMNOS. In a way throughout the Dodekanisos, by the road of the roads that remain today as well as by the appropriation of certain culinary customs.

The fall of Mussolini’s Italy in 1943 prompted the Germans to embark on the Dodecanese campaign in October 1943; Victorious at the Battle of KOS, they occupied the entire Dodecanese until the armistice of May 1945. On this date, Kalymnos spent two years under british protectorate. Then it joined Greece in 1947, at the same time as the rest of dodekanisos


A serious incident in 1996 almost provoked a military confrontation between THE GREECE AND THE TURKEY. About a tiny rocky islet and desert, named IMIA, legally attached to Kalymnos, but which the Turks, who claimed it, tried to take possession militarily. The disagreement was settled the following year in accordance with the Montego Bay Convention, establishing Greek sovereignty. The old anti-Turkish resentment Kalymnian is still strong. Despite the rapprochement between the two countries since 2000, following the devastating earthquake in Turkey on 19 August 1999, which killed 17,000 people.

Kalymnos in the world, the Kalymnian diaspora

Kalymnos is an island that has been relatively poor for a long time, leading to a strong emigration of its population during the twentieth century. The families of Kalymnians’ descendants left for France, in Camargue (in Salins-de-Giraud and Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône).

And in the United States and Australia, including Tarpon Springs in Florida and Darwin in the northern territory of Australia.