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Macedonia
Kastoria
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History

You can lodge in one of the city hotels, which offer you a pleasant stay and also unique hospitality. After a short rest, you can walk through the narrow picturesque streets of the city. An acquaintance with the history which goes back into the centuries: Rich prehistoric and archeological findings (Limneos settlement, Dispilio, Armenohore). But, let's start from the very beginning.

Kastoria acquired its name front the Macedonian hero of' Mythology, Kastor, son of Zeus. The geographical area of Kastoria is identified as the small ancient Macedonian state of Orestiada, whose inhabitants were called Orestes and the capital Argos Orestikon. From that point, according to history, the Macedonian kings started to merge the rest small states which formed the big Macedonian state whose capital was Eges (Vergina) and later, Pella. During the Roman times, the city of Kastoria had the fate of the rest of Macedonia. Fame and glamour followed in the Byzantine era. In many places of the city one can clearly see traces of the fortification dated from the days of loustinianus protecting the city from barbarian invasions.

Ruins of the Byzantine Wall make us conclude that the lake was at those days, as high as where the modern city is now built. Acropolis was situated on the highest place where now there is the guest - room and the reservoir of the city. It is obvious that during the Bvzantine period many of the inhabitants lived outside the Wall, at the hill where many churches are saved up to now.

In the past Byzantine period, Kastoria has raised many Benefactors and Teachers of the Nation, while it took part in the 1821 Revolution with a corps of its own people. During the 19th century, Kastoria participated in the Revolution against the Turkish and played an important role during the Macedonian struggle against both Turks and Bulgarians, In 1912, Kastoria became a part of Greece. Today, Kastoria is a city of 35.000 inhabitants, a city bursting of life and progress, while it has a strong connection with its history and mythical past.

It is a challenge to the visitors seeing the 40 or more Byzantine churches (Temples) and the numerous - around 250 - Macedonian neo-classical houses. One can see churches appearing at every crossroad and yard. Inscriptions give us the information that the churches were built by Kastorians who had lived most of their lives abroad, or lords in exile, or people of a whole neighborhood and finally from members of a Trade union. Only the old ones are clearly shown, the others - built much later - are placed in the backyards where it is difficult to be seen. On Omonia Square, the visitors make the first acquaintance of Kastoria's Byzantine Art. A little further we can visit Saint Nikolaos Kasnitzi, Taxiarches and Panagia Koumpelidiki. From the Omonia Square we advise you to visit Agios Minas Square from Valala street. There, you could find the Agios Stefanos and Agii Anargiri churches.


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