History MAKEDONIA WEST (Region) GREECE - GTP - Greek Travel Pages
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Listed 23 sub titles with search on: History for destination: "MAKEDONIA WEST Region GREECE".

History (23)



Historic years

  The wider geographic area is identified with the area of ancient Orestida, where the Orestes - "Macednoi", as Herodotus calls them - lived. Form there the Macedonian Kings started uniting the other states to form the great Macedonian State. During the Roman Empire period the region was dominated by the Romans in 197 BC, who allow the formation of a particular local independence.
This text (extract) is cited June 2003 from the Prefecture of Kastoria tourist pamphlet.


7th May 1906

One of the most important battles against the Bulgarian that took place during the Macedonian Struggle.

The battle of Siatista

, , 4/11/1912

Vigla & Fardykambos battles

, , 4/5/1943 - 6/5/1943

Byzantine period (324-1453 AD)

Byzantine era

  In 395 AC, when the Roman Empire was divided, the region was a part of the East Roman State, which was developed in the Greek Byzantine. The natural beauty of the region attracted the Byzantine emperors, while the strategic position of the region constituted the base of operations against the attempts of Bulgarians, the Petsenegoi, the Norman, the crusaders, the Serbs, and for a very little period the Albanians, and finally, in 1385, the Turks.
This text (extract) is cited June 2003 from the Prefecture of Kastoria tourist pamphlet.


  Built in an advantageous position at the foot of Mount Siniatsiko, Eratyra lies on the road between Siatista and Kozani. The town was founded in the 16th century by people from the plains of western Macedonia seeking a safer home in the mountains. Also known as Selitsa, the town was populated solely by Greeks and enjoyed relative autonomy and certain privileges.
  From 1804 to 1820 it was one of Ali Pasha's chiftliks, whereupon it was declared a royal estate, but later (1846) obtained its independence within the context of the Tanzimat reforms. Its prosperity made it prey to the raids of Turkish Albanian irregulars from the 17th to the 19th century.
  The residents of Selitsa worked at farming, stock breeding, craft industries (especially tanning), vine cultivation and trade with Constantinople, the northern Balkans and central Europe. Many of them, organized into guilds of builders, worked all over the Ottoman Empire.
  In later years, the business activity and emigration (both seasonal and permanent) of its inhabitants contributed to the cultural development of the town, which boasted a school as early as the 17th century. The commercialization of the economy beginning in the 18th century created a new class of urban merchants who erected mansions up until the early 20th century in order to display their wealth.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.

  Built on a lush plateau, the border town of Florina is split in two by the picturesque Sakoulevas river. It has been inhabited continuously since prehistoric times, as archaeological finds show, though its present name is perhaps related to the Byzantine settlement, Chloro.
  Throughout the Ottoman occupation a large number of Muslims lived in the town, but by the early 18th century the Greek element had begun to increase and develop, thanks to trade and crafts, principally that of the silversmith.
  The linking of Florina by rail with Thessaloniki and Monastir in 1894 gave a new boost to the town's economy; Florina evolved into an urban center with an active cultural and educational life, helped by the remittances of prosperous emigrants.
  From 1878 the activity of its guerrilla bands was on the increase, while its strategic location made it a key center in the Macedonian Struggle and a base for Greek operations in the Balkan Wars (1912-1913).
  A major factor in the development of the contemporary town was the settlement of many residents from Monastir (now Bitola) after 1912, who made a great contribution to the intellectual and cultural renewal of the district.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.

  The name Grevena has existed since the 10th century, although the administrative district that bears it was not created until 1964. This well-forested region attracted inhabitants from the surrounding lowlands after the Ottoman conquest. On the slopes of the verdant Pindos mountains, thriving hamlets sprouted, which over the centuries welcomed new settlers, mainly Vlachs.
  The terrain dictated the citizens' occupations (stock breeders and muleteers cum merchants) and made the area a junction for communications between Macedonia, north-west Thessaly and Epirus, as can be seen from the stone bridges and traces of roads that have survived.
  As early as the late 16th century, the area was involved in revolutionary activity; in 1537 the first reference is made to the armatoliki of Grevena, where the legendary Kapetan Vergos was based. (An armatoliki was a settlement given special privileges by the Turks, including the right to bear arms.)
  The region was subjected to mass conversions to Islam in the late 18th century, when formerly Christian villages are mentioned as having a purely Muslim population. Despite the actions of the armatoles (e.g. Yero-Ziakas) and the initiation of many of them into the 'Philiki Etaireia', the area was not in a position to prepare itself for the revolution of 1822.
  Cut off from their own armatolikia, many warriors joined other revolutionary bands, while Theodoros Ziakas played a leading role in the uprising of 1854. A place of conflict between guerrilla bands as early as 1897, as well as during the Macedonian Struggle, the region of Grevena was liberated during the First Balkan War.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.

  After the Ottoman conquest in 1386, many of the Christians living in Kastoria took refuge in the nearby mountains, while those who remained in the city were confined to the eastern saddle of the peninsula. The Turks settled inside the Byzantine walls to the west, while later the Jews settled between the Muslim and Christian neighborhoods to the south.
  Kastoria, a 'zeamet' (feudal fief) in 1519 and a 'hass' (estate belonging to the Sultan) after 1526/28, was the seat of a deputy official and in 1875 became the headquarters of a 'kaza' (administrative district). The principal factor in the economic development of the Greek population was the processing and trading of fur, with companies founded as early as the 17th century in Constantinople and such European cities as Vienna and Odessa.
  The opening of a school in 1614, the visits of missionaries (Osios Dionysios, Kosmas Aitolos), and contacts with Europe through emigrants contributed greatly to the town's intellectual growth. One indication of its former prosperity is the luxurious mansions erected between the late 17th century and the 19th century.
  Kastoria was prevented from taking part in the revolution of 1822 by the presence of Ottoman troops, but in the early 20th century it became a breeding ground for fighters yearning to liberate Macedonia.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.

  Founded by Christian settlers who after the Ottoman conquest withdrew from the plains of Macedonia into the mountains, Kozani occupies the site of an ancient town as archaeological finds in the area testify. Its safe position soon attracted other Christians expelled from Epirus. With the 17th century came economic development and urbanization.
  Around the middle of the same century, Kozani was pillaged by Turks from the vicinity, but two large waves of immigrants from Epirus about the same time changed the face of the town. Kozani's growth and prosperity are linked with Harisis Trantas (the son of Ioannis Trantas who had led one of the groups from Epirus), "a good mason and builder who came to build stately homes of two storeys," as one old document states, having secured privileges by placing the town under the protection of the Sultan's mother.
  In 1664 the foundations were laid for the magnificent church of Ayios Nikolaos and the market, which housed the workshops of local craftsmen and the shops of the guilds and Greek merchants from central Europe. The commercial development of the 18th and 19th century also contributed to the growth of education and the arts.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.

  According to tradition, the Vlach village of Nymfaio (Neveska), which was one of the headquarters in the Macedonian Struggle, was founded in the 14th century. Its merchants and silversmiths had brought considerable wealth to the village as early as the 17th century. The famous travelling jewelers ('chrysikoi') from Neveska plied their wares all over the Balkans.
  From the 19th century the wealthy residents of Nymfaio were involved in trading cotton from Egypt and tobacco from eastern Macedonia and Thrace. These prosperous emigrants (e.g. Tsirlis, Sossidis) financed public buildings in their birthplace (churches, schools).
  They built their grand mansions around the end of the 19th and in early 20th century according to the neoclassical style in fashion (a porch in front of the house crowned with a pediment and closed with a glass-in entrance).
  Painters from Kleisoura and Drosopigi embellished the interiors. Ancient gods and goddesses (Athena, Ares, Demeter), Alexander the Great, philosophers, and landscapes reminiscent of the owners' places of work (e.g. the Pyramids of Egypt), allegorical representations of the four seasons, copies of Renaissance works (e.g. the Dance of the Muses by Giulio Romano) formed the impressive interior decoration together with lavishly ornamented frames and ceilings.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains images.

  Samarina was founded in 15th century on the wooded slopes of Mount Smolikas, west of Grevena. This market town in the Pindos mountains with its Vlach population enjoyed three successive centuries of exceptional economic growth and cultural development. On a map from 1560, it is shown under the name Santa Maria de Praetoria.
  Its inhabitants tended sheep and goats and wove a woolen fabric called 'velentza', which they sold at the region's trade fairs. The people of Samarina were also involved in trade, and as muleteers they headed the long caravans that traveled all over the Balkans. The level of culture reached by this town (it had both schools and a library) is evident in the excellence of its religious painting.
  Artists from Samarina, organized into family teams, covered not only local needs but also branched out into other regions, as far away as the Peloponnese. After the liberation of 1913, the residents of Samarina and other mountain villages began to move down to the urban centers of the plains; many of them also emigrated abroad.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains images.

  Siatista is built on the west slope of Mount Velia, which is a continuation of the Siniatsiko range. The original settlement must have sprung up at the start of the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest and the subsequent withdrawal of the Christians to the mountains of the region.
  As early as 1600 Siatista had grown into a sizable town with a considerable manufacturing industry. The residents worked at the trades of the weaver, furrier, wine-maker and stock breeder, while many of their compatriots piled goods on their mules and peddled them well into central Europe (Budapest, Vienna), not to mention Venice and Russia.
  In 1697, the town became the seat of the metropolitan of Prespes and Ochrid. In the 18th and 19th centuries, its wealth made it the target of frequent raids by Turkish Albanians, but its economic prosperity was shaken by the bankruptcy of many businesses after the crisis in Austria (circa 1800), a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars.
  Beginning in the 18th century, Siatistan merchants living abroad sent donations towards the upkeep of schools and the formation of libraries in their homeland, which was the birthplace of many noteworthy men of letters, as well as freedom fighters in the 19th and 20th century.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.

Modern history events

Macedonian War - Modern History

  The region of Kastoria constituted the centre of preparation and action of the armed liberating Macedonian War. In that region the resistance against the Bulgarians is organised and important historic personalities appear, such as Pavlos Melas, Germanos Karavagelis and Ion Dragoumis, who, with their robust attitude, led the War to the liberation of the region in 11 November 1912.

  During the Balkan Wars (1912-13), the World War I (1914-18) and the World War II (1940-45) the contribution of the region's people to the war against the Italian, the Slavs and the German conquerors. During the civil war (1946-49) - this black page of the Greek history - the area of Kastoria constituted the theatre of progress of the armed bloodshed and the affective social consequences that followed.
This text (extract) is cited June 2003 from the Prefecture of Kastoria tourist pamphlet.

Official pages

(Following URL information in Greek only).

PRESPES (Municipality) FLORINA
  So far, the earliest archaeological findings in Prespa date from the Bronze and Iron Ages. However, since Neolithic pile houses have been found in the neighboring countries, it is very likely that the Geek part of the area has also had permanent settlements from the Neolithic or over before. In the sixth century B. C nomadic groups lived in the area, and it seems that Illyrian tribes inhabited the lands at the western part of this region.
  From about 500 to 200 B. C, Prespa belonged to the Macedonian kings, being ruled by the successors of Alexander the Great until the end of their empire.
  Buildings at Agios Achillios and graves located between Lemos and Miliona are remains of the early Christian and Roman periods. A funerary altar at Pyli is dated to the early Byzantine era, when Prespa belonged to the province of Illyrian. From the end of the ninth century many parts of Macedonia, including Prespa, became part of the Bulgarian kingdom ruled by Simeon. Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire dominated the area intermittently until the end of the tenth century, when the region fell under Samuel, Czar of the Bulgarians. Prespa and later Ochrid were then used as the centers of his kingdom and base for the attacks against Byzantium. It is known that Samuel erected at Prespa a palace and a Basilica, to where he brought the remains of Agios Achillios. After constant wars, Samuel was defeated by Basil II. The new conqueror retook all the territory captured by Samuel, and later built two forts, Vasilidha and Konstantio, whose locations are still being investigated. Until about the middle of the fourteenth century, the Prespa region was under the intermitted occupations of Pechenegs, Bulgarians, Normans, Alamans, Franks, Serbs and Byzantines. When the Byzantine Empire began to collapse, the Ottoman Turks ruled the regions west of the city of Veria. Due to its remoteness, the Prespa region was not so severely influenced by the Ottoman domination, what allowed it to continue to be controlled by the local leaders and also attracted, during the subsequent five centuries, Christian believers that left their mark in the form of many churches, monasteries, chapels, monastic communities and hermits' cells.
  From the middle of the nineteenth century onwards both Bulgarians and Greeks demanded freedom from the Ottoman Empire at the same time they were disputing other Macedonian grounds. Important leaders in the Greek nationalistic struggle against the Ottoman domination were N. and S. Dalipis, from the mountain village of Sfika, Captain Kotas, from the valley of Korestia, and S. Paraskevaidis from Lemos, as well as many other combatants from Prespa. Being very close to the one of the main centers of the Macedonia Struggle, Prespa suffered the consequence of its position. During these times many Prespiots emigrated to Romania, America and Canada.
  The Balkan Wars followed the Macedonia Struggle, and the Greek frontiers, including the Greek part of Prespa, were finally secured with the Treaty of Bucharest, signed in 1913.
  During 1914-18, French troops were at Prespa as a bridgehead against the possibility of penetration by Bulgarian - German forces. In 1924, the Prespian villages of Lefkonas, Lemos, Agios Germanos and Pyli received refugee families from the Black See. Many of them emigrated once more to America and Australia, drawing along many of the locals. As they started sending money to their families, many houses were built and Prespa was reconstructed.
  In the second World War occupation, Prespa was under jurisdiction of the Italian troops. In the beginning of the fifties very few people remaining in the area.

This text is cited September 2004 from the Municipality of Prespes URL below



(Following URL information in Greek only).


(Following URL information in Greek only).

Ottoman period (1453-1821)

Post-byzantine era

  During the Turkish domination the of Kastoria was turned into a center of Hellenism by keeping unharmed the nation's conscience, the language, the religion, the morals and customs. In this hard period of the Greek Nation, the role of the Church was very significant in keeping the Greek element. During this period that region developed a treat economic and commercial activity and has known a real prosperity in art and letters. This development rendered the region the centre of material and moral support of the pre-Revolutionary movements that leaded to the Greek revolution of 1821 and to the liberating movements of the 19th century.
This text (extract) is cited June 2003 from the Prefecture of Kastoria tourist pamphlet.

Roman period (31 BC-324 AD)

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