The city of Volos was formed in the first half of the nineteenth century – the time when urbanisation began in Greece. From early on, it was a commercial city, since the main reason for settling there was the existence of the natural harbour that served the commercial interests of the early settlers. Completed in 1886, the rail link to the financial hubs of the plain of Thessaly gave Volos an edge, with great potential in terms of its economic role in the region. Moreover, its position as the northernmost port of Greece, until 1912, was an advantage that contributed to commercial growth. Naturally, the city’s thrumming commercial life did not come out of nowhere: There was a notable entrepreneurial tradition in the Mount Pelion region , nourished by shipping and exporting local cottage industry products to the European and Balkan markets.
This tradition contributed to the shift of local entrepreneurs towards manufacturing, from the 1880s onwards, when the role of Volos as a transit centre began to decline.
In the interwar period, also characterised by the increase of labour union demands, the domination of industry over trade was complete. It was at that time when the city’s unique identity took shape, which set it apart within the Greek and European context. Volos transformed into one of the largest industrial cities in Greece, a position that it maintains to this day, despite the issues and disruptions that arise in the long run.