History PIERIA (Prefecture) GREECE - GTP + Greek Travel Pages

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Listed 3 sub titles with search on: History for destination: "PIERIA Prefecture GREECE".

History (3)


Early-Christian & Byzantine Middle Years (50-1430)

  The historic process of Pieria during our period is permanently and closely linked to that of Thessaloniki.
  a. Cultural life. The first on European ground Christian communities were founded by Apostle Paul in Macedonia (Phillipus, Thessaloniki, Veria). From there, Apostle Paul traveled to Athens via the Pierian coasts, the present port of Methoni, where a temple to the honor of Apostle Paul is located.
  Dioceses are commemorated during the Christian-Byzantine period in the entire province of Pieria, namely in Dion, Pydna, Kitro, Kolindros, Petra, Platamon. The existence of so many Dioceses in Pieria shows that the area here was very sacred. Dion was the epicentre and the sacred city of the Macedonians, of Phillip-Alexander the Great.
  These Dioceses during the Byzantine years and later on until 1924 A.D. pertain to the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Thessaloniki. Since the 11th century and afterwards the bishop of Kitros held the first throne (Πρωτόθρονος), namely he was the first in rank after the bishop of Thessaloniki.
  Many dependencies of monasteries of Thessaloniki and Mount Athos were on the Pierian land. Some of those continue to operate until today. Present remnants of the cultural life of the Christian-Byzantine Pieria are the churches and the sacred corpses. Some of these are the two Early Christian Basilicas in ancient Dion, the Byzantine churches in Kountouriotissa, Petra, Platamon, Aeginion, Kolindros, Litochoro and elsewhere in Pieria. Martyrdom of the bishop of Pydna Alexander, a symbolic synonym of Alexander the Great is a typical characteristic of the ideological conflict between Christianity and idololatry in Pieria in the beginning of the 4th century A.D. His skull is donated by the Byzantine Emperor Nikiforos Fokas to the Monastery of Lavra to Mount Athos.
  b. Political - Administrative Life. In its political-administrative life, Pieria constitutes a permanent division of the Province of the Macedonia Prima.
  The strategic role of Pieria in relation to Thessaloniki is increased since the beginning of the 9th century A.D. and afterwards.
  The castle-cities of Pieria in Kolindros, Kitros-Pydna, Petra and Platamon strategically reinforced the thematic administrative essence of Thessaloniki. In this way, the linkage of Pieria with the co-regent emperor of Byzantine Empire, Vassilios the Macedonian, visits the region in 1003 A.D. At that time, the castle of Kolindros is surrendered to Bulgarian invader and district governor Dimitrios Teichonas.
  The importance of the Byzantine Castles of Pieria increases during the 13th and 14th century. The Franc King of Thessaloniki Vonifatios Momferatikos cedes the castle of Kitros as feud to Lombard Wierich von Daun and the castle of Platamon to Rolando Piscia. These two castles are reoccupied by the King of Epirus, Theodore A Komninos Duke. The latter liberates the city from the Francs and he is crowned King (1218-1224) of Thessaloniki.
  In the beginning of the century, in 1308 A.D., Catalans and Ottomans invade Pieria and loot it. However, its castles, especially that of Platamon, constitute mainly the exile destinations of those defeated in Thessaloniki. The civil war between Palaiologoi and Kantakouzinoi (1341-1346) and the 1345 zealot movement in the city provoked the wave of exiles to the castles of Pieria.
  The allies of the conflicted parties benefit primarily form these dynasty disputes, such as the Ottomans of Omar, Aidinio and the Serbs of Stephan Dusan. The Ottomans especially are the ones to take advantage of the situation, who by then control Pieria and the inner region of Thessaloniki.
This text (extract) is cited October 2003 from the Prefecture of Pieria tourist pamphlet.

Ottoman period (1453-1821)

  The Turks seized Constantinople in 1453. But they never succeeded in ruling the Greek mind. Moreover they failed in conquering Olympus, which since Roman times remained under semi-independence conditions.
  It is known that since 1599 Klefts run down from Olympus in order to arrest the Venetian ambassador, who was on his way to Constantinople. Their deed proves that the Turkish domination in Pieria was not consolidated.
  A famous mountain captain named Salamuras, fights around Platamon, while Armatoliki of Olympus becomes very glorious by having as a leader Lazos the offspring of the heroic family Lazeoi, who offered over 400 members as victims for the Greek independence. Another offspring of the same family was our national hero Georgakis Olympios, who, after many brave fights in Olympus and the rest of Macedonia, planned a revolution in Balkan Peninsula, against the ottoman oppression. Finally he sacrificed himself n the monastery of Sekou in the Karpathian Mountains.
  This armatoliki of Olympus is very famous for the brave men, who offered their lives during the pre-Revolutionary period but all well as through the period of the national Greek Revolution in 1821 until the complete liberation of Macedonia and its unification with Greece.
  Lazos brothers and his children Tolios, Liolios, Kostas, together with Georgakis Olympios, Diamantis Nikolaou, Goulas Draskos, Nikotsaras, Siros, Binos, Liakopoulos and many others participated in the revolutionary movements in Olympus, Chalkidiki, Serres and Veria.
  After their unsuccessful efforts and the ruin of the troops in Naousa, Chalkidiki and Milia in Pieria they bravely kept on holding the flag of Revolution.
  Having ar tremendous moral they went down to South Greece in order to participate, along with the rest of the Greek forces, in many battlefields such as Psara Island, Skiathos Island, Messolongi.
  The Klefts and the Armatoli of Olympus never compromised with the idea of having their beloved Macedonia enslaved. In 1835 the brave Karamitsios attacks the castle of Platamon and liberates Leptokaria in Pieria. Unfortunately numerous Turkish forces regain the territory and kill Karamitsios and his men.
  In March of 1854 Armatoli run down anew from Olympus and liberate Vrontou, but the foreign intervention prevents their dreams from becoming reality.
  Again in February 1878, while the Turkish-Russian war was taking place, representatives from all the villages of Olympus gather in Litochoro to proclaim a new Revolution.
  A revolutionary government was elected under the leadership of Evangelos Korovangos with the participation of the bishop of Kitros Nikolaos Lousis, Athanasios Asteriou, Zahariades and father Nikiforos. These people inform the foreign embassies that the Macedonians took the arms in order to gain their freedom.
  During this Revolution Katerini was liberated. But once more they were unlucky. The Turkish army burnt the villages and killed the people.
This text (extract) is cited October 2003 from the Prefecture of Pieria tourist pamphlet.

Modern history events

From the Macedonian Struggle up to Modern Times

  The main characteristic during the Macedonian struggle was the people’s resistance.
  Sotirios Papageorgiou under the pseudonym "Parohtios" was responsible for the preparation of the struggle. At times he would sent the captain Mihalis Anagnostakos (Matapas) to Pieria as well as the lieutenants Nikolaos Rokas (Kolios) and Georgios Fragakos (Maleas).
  After the arrival of the inspired bishop of Kitros Parthenios Vardakas on 25th of March 1904, things start looking better. The bishop, while being constantly in touch with Mihalis Anagnostakos creates National Committees in Katerini, Litohoro, Kolindros and the rest of the villages. These committees secure the secret crossing of the frontiers for several guerrilla groups coming from abroad, and the hide of weapons. Fifteen Bulgarians, who were pretending being coal-workers were killed at that time in the area of Pieria.
  After the victorious advance of the Greek Army through the Sarantaporos straits the 7th military Division under the orders of the General Kleomenis Kleomenous liberates Katerini on October 1912. At the entrance of the town the colonel Demetrios Svoronos is killed by a Turk soldier.
  Two fishermen from Litohoro Mihalis Kofos and Nikolaos Vlahopoulos while being in the small port of Eleftherohori with their boats in order to help in the unloading of weapons, confirm the captain Nikolaos Votsis that they can lead the Greek torpedo-boat secretly and safely into the port of Thessaloniki to sink the Turkish battleship.
  The mission was completed on the night of 17th of October 1912.
  The captain Nikolaos Votsis sent a telegram to Athens announcing the success.
  During the Greco-Italian war in 1940 the soldiers from Pieria participate in many fronts. Germans occupy Pieria. Olympus and Pieria Mountain once again become the hiding place for guerrilla forces. These groups under difficult conditions add new page of heroic deeds in the history of the Greek Resistance: A train’s destruction at Tempi, a battle in Tahnista (24-4-1942). Germans in revenge bomb and destroy the monastery of Saint Dionysios in Olympus.
  An event of great importance was that in August 2nd, 1913. Hristos Kakalos, a mountain climber, leads the Swiss climbers Frederic Boissonas and Daniel Bood-Bovy to Mytikas the highest peak of Olympus (2.917 m). This was the first time for someone to climb up the highest point of the famous mountain. The event gains worldwide publicity. In the next years, well-known artists and intellectuals, such as the painter Vassilios Ithakisios, chose Olympus to become their residence and place for inspiration.
  The surrounding are little by little becomes financially and culturally prosperous.
  Remarkable excavations and the artistic event of the Olympus Festival add importance to Pieria, which continues to develop as the modern poet said:
"O Pieria prosperous
You, the chosen one by the Gods".
This text (extract) is cited October 2003 from the Prefecture of Pieria tourist pamphlet.

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