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Listed 14 sub titles with search on: Sights for destination: "SERRES Town MAKEDONIA CENTRAL".


Sights (14)

Castles, fortresses & fortifications

Byzantine Acropolis of Serres

Tel: +30 23210 56205, Fax: +30 23210 56205

  The ancient and Byzantine acropolis lies on a hill called Koulas, north of the city of Serres. Several parts of the fortification are preserved and the outline of the wall can be restored. The SE and the NW tower (the so-called "Orestes' tower") are preserved in very good condition. The enclosure wall of the acropolis dates to the 13th-14th centuries.
  The architectural phases of the whole structure have not been distinguished since the acropolis has not been excavated, with the exception of the foundations of the "Orestes' tower".
  Restoration work has been carried out at the wall masonry of the SE tower and the outer "mantle" of the fortification wall, with parallel repairing of the joints wherever necessary. Moreover, small walls were constructed to support sections of the southern wall.

  The most important monuments of the site are:

Ruins of the acropolis of Serres. They are of the utmost importance since they are the only preserved parts of the fortification of Serres and include one of the most remarkable defensive constructions to be seen in Northern Greece, the "Orestes' tower". The acropolis is oval in plan, with the long axis in E-W direction. The gates are not preserved, but they must have existed on the east and west sides, next to the preserved towers. The northern side of the acropolis was particularly strengthened with bastions (three of them preserved today) due to the morphology of the terrain.

"Orestes' tower". It is the NW tower of the acropolis and the most outstanding construction of the ancient city's fortification. Its importance lies both in its overall form and in the clay inscriptions built in its west wall. According to these, the tower was built in 1370 by Orestes, the castle-guard of Serres, after an order of Stephen Dusan.

Church of St Nicholas. It is located at the NE end of the castle, very close to the fortification wall. It is a triconch, single-aisled domed church with a subterranean crypt and dates to the first half of the 14th century.


The Acropolis of Serres

  The powerful Acropolis, in the towers of which still lives the Byzantine spirit, stands epically on the imposing pine-hill which dominates the modern city of Serres. The Byzantine Acropolis was built on the site of an ancient fort which defended the city in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. In the Byzantine period, it is referred to in many golden bulls (imperial decrees) of various Byzantine emperors as the "Castle". With time, the word castle ended to mean the whole city. Until the beginning of our century, the inhabitants of Serres were known by the neighbouring villages as the "Kastrinoi" (inhabitants of the castle). After the Franks conquest, the Acropolis was known as the "Castelli" a name that it preserved until the Tourkokratia (Turkish Dominion). The Turks gave it the name of "Bas Koule" (= top tower), probably after the large tower of the west wing. Its current name "Koulas" (tower) originates from the Turkish one. In Byzantine times, the Acropolis was enclosed by a spindle shape strong wall, extending from West to East. It encloses various Byzantine buildings, i.e. the houses of the administrators and other officers of the State. The Acropolis also housed the appointed by the Byzantine authorities, commander known as the "guardian of the castle". Leon Ajanetes was a well-known guardian of the castle and he endorses golden bulls of the first half of the 14th century. According to the traveller Evliya Celebi, the Acropolis wall had two gates, one to its east and one to its west end, very close to the respective towers. Traces of the second gate can still be seen today near the large tower of the west side. Tall and strong towers reinforced the defence of the wall, out of which only the strong and stately tower of the west side "The Tower of the King" still stands only destroyed at the top. This huge tower of presumably almost 20 meters had a double mission: it protected the city on one part and on the other part, it constituted the last defence post in the case where the enemy captured the remaining parts of the Acropolis. An interesting inscription on the right end of the "Tower of the King" reads, to the prevailing opinions: "ΠΥΡΓΟΣ ΑΝΔΡΟΝΙΚΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΟΝ ΕΚΤΙΣΕΝ ΟΡΕΣΤΗΣ" (= The Tower of Andronikos built by Orestes). The foundation of the Byzantine Acropolis dates from the 9th century AD. It is then that for the first time, historical sources mention that Emperor Nicephoros Phocas reinforced the city of Serres. The irresistible Acropolis escaped the catastrophe. Nevertheless, the definitive capture of Serres by the Turks, in 1383 AD brings along the desertion and progressive demolition of the Acropolis as the Turks were systematically destroying the castles, so that they do not become breeding grounds of the resistance, in the event of a revolutionary movement of the unredeemed Greeks.
This text (extract) is cited September 2003 from the Prefecture of Serres tourist pamphlet.


Beautiful locations

Valley of Agii Anargyri

St. Anargiri Valley, on the road that leads to the Acropolis, is a real "lung" for the city of Serres. It is a fascinating place. What makes this rural position so fascinating is the overgrowth, the greenery, the trees, plus the shadow from the leafy broad-leafed, old plane trees around the water that continually flows into the valley. The natural beauty of the site, has been developed even more after the construction of the artificial lake, swimming pool, indoor gymnasium, outdoor basketball and tennis courts and also countless other entertainment centers which have to offer "unforgettable" moments.


  Situated only 2Km east of the city, the landscape is drowned in vegetation small waterfalls an streams.


Mosques

Mosque of Achmet Passa "Agia Sofia"

The temple of Ahmet Pasa, close to the torrent of Saints Anargyros, was built, according to a sign on the monmument, in 1492 by Mehmet Bey, son of Selim I. This temple, because of its elegancy and measured similarity to the christian churches, was named "Saint Sofia" by the people of Serres. The beautiful Mausoleums of the conquerors are positioned next to the temple. The grave of Ismail Bey's family is in these Mausoleums. Ismail Bey was one of Serres' governors.


Tzintzirli Mosque

Zintizirli Tzami (Mosque) is a place of great interest because it is obviously influenced by Byzatine architecture. A beautiful Pulpit of fine marble which shows great analogies and similarities to the old christianic pulpits of the byzantine churches, is preserved there.


Religious monuments

Monastery of St. George Kryoneritis

Tel: +30 23210 71189

  The picturesque monastery of Saint George the Kryonerites is situated on the eastern part of the city, on the way to St. John. The name "Kryonerites" derives from the cold water spring that used to be close to this area. The monastery was founded before 1298 and became a monastery dependency of the monastery of St. John the Baptist in 1344, when Ypomoni, the wife of Sakellarios Mourmouras, Sovereign of Serres, donated it to the monastery of St. John the Baptist.
  The monastery was destroyed by the Turks in 1572. Its elegant dome collapsed and was replaced later by a hemispherical roof which was internally covered by a pyramidal roof. Most probably this roofing was constructed during the construction in 1864. This is confirmed by a stone engravement located on the western outer side of the monument.
  Of great importance are the two icons decorating the temple as it is today. One of them depicts the Virgin Mary holding the Jesus under the name "Pantanoussa" (1694) and the other one depicts Christ Pantocrator under the sign "Δέησις του δούλου του Θεού Ακακύου μοναχού.
This page is maintained by Ipirotis Panayotis


Buildings

Bezesteni

Bezesteni, a building from the 16th-17th century is in the central square of the city and operates as an Archeological Museum, where all the archeological wealth of the Prefecture has been housed. BEZESTENI Bezesteni, was built according to the model of byzantine markets and probably by a Greek architect. Its name means "fabric market". Those indoor markets (Bezestenis), were very popular and typical of Muslim towns. Their example was followed by the conquered byzantine cities. A Turkish sightseer of the 17th century wrote in his book that "there is a wonderful stone-built building, covered in lead and this is Bezesteni". Today in Greece there are only two Bezestenis that are still preserved: one in Thessaloniki and the other one in Serres.


Nassiouzik


The building of the Prefecture

On Merarchias street a neo-classical building is the seat of the Prefecture of Serres. Built at the end of the 19th century by the architect Xenofon Paeonidis, it is a typical landmark of the city of Serres


Houses

Zaparas' house

A house that gives us a clear picture of folk architecture is Zaparas' house, which reminds us of the well-known type of Macedonian architecture. In this type of architecture the ground plan of the house is in a "Π" shape. The exterior formation of the building is characterized by gravity and abstinence, while this was always the case with all the mansions during the Turkish domination. The particular attention as far as the spans, doors and ceilings are concerned shows the great wealth of the owner. This mansion is a cross-section of the development which is noticeable in Macedonian architecture in the middle of the 19th century and continues until the beginning of the 20th century.


Squares & gardens

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