Volos, the city of the “Austrians”. The main port of Thessaly.
The city was firstly mentioned under this name after the settlements of slavic people in the region. The greek state will try to convince you that the name comes from ancient greek. But ancient greeks called it Iolkos, Byzantines called it Dimitrias and the name Volos appears for the first time at around 14th century. It probably comes from the word vol = bullock. It is known that in the region there were lots of cows and you can still find surnames related to it (eg Kravaritis, coming from krava = cow). There also lots of slavic (croatian) toponyms in the region.
But why do they call in Greece the people from Volos “Austrians”? Where did this nickname come from?
Nobody can give a clear answer. The nickname seems to be many centuries old and it has been mentioned that during greek-turkish wars of 1897 the citizens of Volos had put austrian flags at their houses. Some others say the Austrian Consulate had helped the citizens in occasions of attacks by the Ottomans. But again, why did they want to help them?
Note that during this period of time Croatia was part of Austrian empire.
Right after Volos, there is a small mountain still called Goritsa. Goritsa does not mean anything in greek, but it means “small mountain” in croatian (gorica).
The view of Volos from Goritsa (Gorica):