The inhabitants 16000, active, lively and hospitable. Most spongers, fishermen but also brilliant scientists known all over the world.
Kalymnos maintains the island's traditional color without skipping the development. The port is modern and bustling. Lots of shops, restaurants, bars, but also the Banks, the Administration, the modern organized Hospital. It combines summer holidays at the sea but also the possibilities of climbing its mountains.
But also on the journeys of the moppers, the tsabouna is played, a reminder of the island that is far away. To this day, it is not missing from the life of Kalymnia.
A Black Dressed Dance The dance of the mechanic, although danced exclusively by men, excites in local festivals, but also worldwide, where it is performed, by the Kalymnians of the diaspora. A dance that, with its steps, records the tragedy that befell the sponge fishermen, immediately after the "discovery" of the diving suit, in 1860.
With the diving suit, sponge fishing became much more commercial. The diver could stay at the bottom for a long time and collect much more sponges than before. But, on the one hand, the ignorance of the use of the new system and on the other, the exploitation of the shipowners for the fishermen staying longer and longer on the seabed, slowly began to dress entire islands in black. By 1895, Kalymnos had been decimated!
The anarchic and unsightly structure of the 1960s-1980s compromised the special island architectural and town-planning character of Kalymnos to the point where one can hardly speak of pure traditional settlements. Despite this, both in Pothia and Chora. several traditional buildings are preserved.
Pothia: The capital of the island displays perhaps the largest concentration of neoclassical houses per sq km in Greece. Large, two-storied, mostly with tiled roofs, with excellent architectural and decorative art, they belonged mainly to wealthy captains and merchants, and many are still inhabited. In the popular neighborhoods of Ag. Trinity, of St. Mom, of St. Nikolaou and Chora, one comes across the traditional arched house. The flamboyant coloring and the particular zoning of the Marasias (folk districts on either side of Pothia) reveal wisdom and economy.
The main festivals and events of the island are: Saint Savvas in Kalymnos (5/12), Saints Constantine and Helen (Telendos, 21/5), Saint Panteleimon in Panormos (26 & 27/7) which gathers believers from all over Greece and participate in the traditional vigil, the festival of Panagia Kyras Psili (15/8), Panagia in Arginotas (15/8) with food, drink and traditional music, of Panagia in Telendo (15/8) and in Christ Square in Pothia (Easter day) with a representation of traditional sponging customs, mainly the farewell of the sponger from his family.
Folk Art
Traditional carnagio (Pothia-Vavy road, next to the PPC factory): One of the few remaining traditional carnaios in Greece, where experienced ship carpenters, who pass down their art from father to son. they manufacture with technical perfection and aesthetics traditional types of fishing boats, small trawlers, up to large trawlers, with techniques that basically go back to the Homeric years!
To a lesser extent, home crafts and micro-crafts (weaving) tseberia handkerchiefs, shepherd's glitzes, stevania, musical instruments - tsambounes, miniatures of ships, etc.) are developed.

Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou