Stratoniki is one of the mountainous villages within the Municipality,
with a panoramic view towards the gulf of Ierissos
and the peninsula of Athos.
It is one of the mademohoria and the locals - mainly during the old days - had
as main occupation mining. It is believed that the village was built by the king
of Macedonia Perdikas,in honour of his brother Stratonikis.
Stratoniki's big acne began in 1530 during the reign of the sultan
Souleiman the 1st. He reorganized the mines of the Ottoman empire, that were known
in the region since the Byzantine period such as Sidirokafsia and Siderokava.
During that time apart from Greeks, workers of many other nationalities (Bulgarians,
Serbs,Turks, Albanians, Jews, and even German as technicians) came to the area
in search of work. The acne of the mines turned Stratoniki into a big and flourishing
centre, as there were more than 6.000 workers, in the 500-600 furnaces, scattered
in the mountains. All this constituted a small Babel, as many languages were spoken
by the the workers of various origins. Greek, Spanish-Jewishand a lot of Balkan
The Jews practised mainly the money-changing profession and it seems
that there were many of them because they dominated the market. The Jewish money-changers
and Turkish tenants of the mines bought from the miners silver at state prices.
It is not therefore by no means strange if Spanish was imposed as the common language
of agreement. In any case, Greek and Serbian were spoken by the villagers in the
market where they came to in order to sell their products. Thus, when the Jews
kept their shops closed, the market would die down so consequently the days off
in Sidirokafsia were two, Saturdays for the Jews and Sundays for the Christians.
It has been determined that by the mid 16th century, the sultan took
from the mines, minerals valued about 20.000-30.000 golden coins. In Sidirokafsia
it is believed that a mint functioned since the period of Murat the 2nd ! (1421-1451).