Paleochori is a village in the Prefecture of Chalkidiki and administratively belongs to the extended Municipality of Aristotle. It is located between Arnea and Neochori. It is one of the most beautiful villages of the Municipality of Aristotle and an important transport hub. The residential web still preserves its traditional features and spreads around the square with its century-old plane tree, while shops and cafes surround the image of the center of a lively village.
Built at 550 meters and with inhabitants over 1500, Paleochori seeks its roots in the depths of the centuries. It is not by chance that the Neposi Castle is nearby, while coins, vases, shells have been discovered from time to time and ruins of graves and graves have been found in the wider region.
The exact date of the establishment of Paleochori is unknown. In Nepolis Castle was found a slab indicating that the settlement existed about 1000 years ago. According to some indications, Paleochori was one of the 32 cities of the Olynthia Federation that was destroyed in 348 BC. by Philip II. The famous “Kasteli” is also mentioned. It is supposed to be the biggest castle in Halkidiki, which should be destroyed, for the first time by the Huns in 540 AD. His position, after two centuries, took “a big village”.
Its inhabitants, based on the data of the Ottoman tax registers from 1478 to 1568, are recorded as blacksmiths of the iron-ore mines. For their service they were exempt from extraordinary taxes. A part of the inhabitants of the village were old-timers. Raliga, later Arnaia, is classified as arable land of Paleohori and has no inhabitants.
In the Revolution of 1821 Palaeochori was completely destroyed by the Turks. An important fighter of the Revolution of 1821 was Adamantios Nikolaou and Paradisis Nikolaou, who took part in many battles in southern Greece. Participation in the Macedonian Struggle was universal. In October 1912, it was liberated by the Turks. In the Civil War, Paleochori was completely destroyed by the Democratic Army of Greece on August 14, 1948.
In Palaiohori of particular historical and religious importance is the temple of the Pammegiston Taxiarches with its frescoes and the statue of Ecumenical Patriarch Ioakim III of the Magnificent in the courtyard. There is also, according to tradition, a miraculous icon of Taxiarchis Michael (16th century, Cretan-Macedonian art) and the icon of Virgin Mary of Gorgoepikos (the only faithful copy of the miraculous icon that is built in the Monastery of Dochiarios on Mount Athos).
Following the road leading to Megali Panagia, you will find on your left one of the most beautiful monasteries in the courtyard of which is the temple of St. Athanasius of Athonite. The temple celebrates on July 5th.
In one version, George Zorbas (1867-1942) lived in Paleochori for a time, the person from whom Nikos Kazantzakis inspired for his book. At the age of 22 he settled down and abandoned it around 44. The claim that Zorbas, a hero of the famous novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, lived in Paleochori, draws on the evidence presented by the writer Yiannis Anpiliotis and the narratives from Zorba’s daughter, Andronikis Kechaev.