Serres (regional unit)
Serres is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Region of Central Macedonia, its capital is the town of Serres. The total population reaches just over 175,000; the mountains are Orvelos to the north, Menoikio to the east, Pangaio to the southeast, Kerdylio to the southwest, Vertiskos to the west, parts of Krousi to the west and portions of the Kerkini lies to the northwest. The regional unit borders on Thessaloniki to the southwest, Kilkis to the west, the Republic of Macedonia with the Novo Selo Municipality to the northwest, the Blagoevgrad Province of Bulgaria to the north, Drama to the northeast and Kavala to the east; the Strymonian Gulf lies to the south along with the Strymonas delta. Lake Kerkini was a lake located in the southern portion, now drained. 41% of the regional unit are arable and most of the lands are near the Strymonas river which flows from Bulgaria and empties into the Strymonian Gulf. Another river is the Angitis in the eastern part of the regional unit, with the ravine and caves near Alistrati.
The regional unit has many archaeological and historical features including Serres, several monasteries, Metaxa near the border with Bulgaria. The regional unit is a tourist attraction including Lailia, rich in forests, a skiing resort in the central portion, lake Kerkini, a reservoir supplying water to the farmlands. Fishing is common within Ano Poroia during the summer months and famous Alistrati's caves and the nearby Aggitis ravine; the southern part around the Strymonas valley has a Mediterranean climate, the rest is predominantly continental with cold winters in higher elevations. In modern times, like the rest of Macedonia was contested territory between Greece, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. After its liberation from the Turks by the Bulgarians in the First Balkan War, Serres became a part of Greece at the end of the Second Balkan War. During the National Schism, it was occupied by Bulgaria again only to form part of Greece at the end of the war. During the Second World War Bulgaria launched a campaign of Bulgarisation.
It was liberated in 1944. A substantial portion of the population of the regional unit are descendants of refugees which came from Eastern Thrace, now Northwestern Turkey, Asia Minor and from Pontus during the Greco-Turkish War; the regional unit Serres is subdivided into 7 municipalities. These are: Amfipoli Emmanouil Pappas Irakleia Nea Zichni Serres Sintiki Visaltia As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the Serres regional unit was created out of the former Serres Prefecture; the prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Before the abolishment of the provinces of Greece in 2006, the Serres prefecture was subdivided into the following provinces: Fyllida - Nea Zichni Serres Province - Serres Sintiki - Sidirokastro Visaltia - Nigrita The main roads of Serres regional unit are: Motorway 2 Motorway 25 Greek National Road 2 Greek National Road 12 Greek National Road 59 Greek National Road 63 Greek National Road 65 The Thessaloniki–Alexandroupoli railway passes through Serres and Sidirokastro.
Constantine Karamanlis, a former Greek prime minister and president Emmanouel Pappas, hero of the Greek Independence Struggle Glykeria, famous Greek singer Ioannis Melissanidis, a Greek gymnast athlete Nansy Stergiopoulou, of the all girl band Hi-5, family from Serres. The Panserraikos F. C. association football club, based in Serres, plays in the Football League 2. List of settlements in the Serres regional unit Serres Prefecture Official Website Serres General Hospital Official Website Alistrati's cave An up-to-date portal with information regarding the Serres Prefecture
Thessaloniki (regional unit)
Thessaloniki is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Region of Central Macedonia and its capital is the city of Thessaloniki; the regional unit stretches from the Thermaic Gulf in the southwest to the Strymonic Gulf in the east. Two bodies of water are located in the north, Lake Koroneia in the heart of the regional unit and Lake Volvi in the east. There are farmlands throughout the west and southwest, with fewer in the northeast and along the Axios River valley. Mountainous areas include the Chortiatis in the west-central part, the Vertiskos in the north and parts of the Kerdylio mountains in the northeast; the regional unit borders on the Imathia regional unit to the southwest, Pella to the west, Kilkis to the north, Serres to the east and Chalkidiki to the south. Its climate includes hot Mediterranean summers and cool to mild winters in low-lying areas and plains. Winter weather is common in areas 500m above sea level and into the mountains; the area, to become the Thessaloniki regional unit was annexed by Greece in 1912, during the First Balkan War.
The area was struck by an earthquake in 1978, by flooding due to rainfall in October 2006. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, was born in Salonica, the name for the city of Thessaloniki when it was part of the Ottoman Empire; the Thessaloniki regional unit is subdivided into 14 municipalities. These are: Ampelokipoi-Menemeni Chalkidona Delta Kalamaria Kordelio-Evosmos Lagkadas Neapoli-Sykies Oraiokastro Pavlos Melas Pylaia-Chortiatis Thermaikos Thermi Thessaloniki Volvi The Thessaloniki Prefecture was created when the area was annexed by Greece during the First Balkan War in 1913. At that time, its area was the largest prefecture in the country, covering about 7% of the total land. The prefectures of Pella and Kilkis were split off in 1930 and 1937 and after World War II in 1947, Imathia and Pieria were additionally created from land belonging to the Thessaloniki Prefecture; as a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was transformed into a regional unit within the Central Macedonia region, without any change in boundaries.
At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Province of Thessaloniki Province of LagkadasNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece; the regional unit of Thessaloniki is connected with the following highways. Motorways: A1/E75 A2/E90 A25/Ε79 A25 National Roads: ΕΟ2/Ε86 W ΕΟ12/Ε79 Ν ΕΟ16, SW ΕΟ65, Ν Until the A1/E75 motorway and the A2/E90 motorway were constructed, GR-1 and GR-2 were the main road links connecting the regional unit of Thessaloniki with other parts of the country. Furthermore, parts of GR-67 linking Chalkidiki, GR-65 linking Kilkis, were converted into motorways during the 2000s. Public transport services are provided by the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization Thessaloniki Metro Most of the stations are in the city. Here are list of stations outside the city: Thermi TV - Thermi Iraklis Aris PAOK Apollon Kalamarias Agrotikos Asteras List of settlements in the Thessaloniki regional unit Macedonia
The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas i.e. between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, the Aegean is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosphorus; the Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The sea was traditionally known as the Archipelago, but in English the meaning of Archipelago has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and to any island group. In ancient times, there were various explanations for the name Aegean, it was said to have been named after the Greek town of Aegae. A possible etymology is a derivation from the Greek word αἶγες – aiges = "waves", hence "wavy sea", cf. αἰγιαλός, hence meaning "sea-shore". The Venetians, who ruled many Greek islands in the High and Late Middle Ages, popularized the name Archipelago, a name that held on in many European countries until the early modern period.
In some South Slavic languages the Aegean is called White Sea. The Aegean Sea covers about 214,000 square kilometres in area, measures about 610 kilometres longitudinally and 300 kilometres latitudinally; the sea's maximum depth is 3,543 metres, east of Crete. The Aegean Islands are found within its waters, with the following islands delimiting the sea on the south: Kythera, Crete, Kasos and Rhodes; the Aegean Islands, which all belong to Greece, can be divided into seven groups: Northeastern Aegean Islands East Aegean Islands Northern Sporades Cyclades Saronic Islands Dodecanese CreteThe word archipelago was applied to the Aegean Sea and its islands. Many of the Aegean Islands, or chains of islands, are extensions of the mountains on the mainland. One chain extends across the sea to Chios, another extends across Euboea to Samos, a third extends across the Peloponnese and Crete to Rhodes, dividing the Aegean from the Mediterranean; the bays and gulfs of the Aegean beginning at the South and moving clockwise include on Crete, the Mirabello, Almyros and Chania bays or gulfs, on the mainland the Myrtoan Sea to the west with the Argolic Gulf, the Saronic Gulf northwestward, the Petalies Gulf which connects with the South Euboic Sea, the Pagasetic Gulf which connects with the North Euboic Sea, the Thermian Gulf northwestward, the Chalkidiki Peninsula including the Cassandra and the Singitic Gulfs, northward the Strymonian Gulf and the Gulf of Kavala and the rest are in Turkey.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Aegean Sea as follows: On the South. A line running from Cape Aspro in Asia Minor, to Cum Burnù the Northeast extreme of the Island of Rhodes, through the island to Cape Prasonisi, the Southwest point thereof, on to Vrontos Point in Skarpanto, through this island to Castello Point, the South extreme thereof, across to Cape Plaka, through Crete to Agria Grabusa, the Northwest extreme thereof, thence to Cape Apolitares in Antikithera Island, through the island to Psira Rock and across to Cape Trakhili in Kithera Island, through Kithera to the Northwest point and thence to Cape Santa Maria in the Morea. In the Dardanelles. A line joining Kum Kale and Cape Helles. Aegean surface water circulates in a counterclockwise gyre, with hypersaline Mediterranean water moving northward along the west coast of Turkey, before being displaced by less dense Black Sea outflow; the dense Mediterranean water sinks below the Black Sea inflow to a depth of 23–30 metres flows through the Dardanelles Strait and into the Sea of Marmara at velocities of 5–15 cm/s.
The Black Sea outflow moves westward along the northern Aegean Sea flows southwards along the east coast of Greece. The physical oceanography of the Aegean Sea is controlled by the regional climate, the fresh water discharge from major rivers draining southeastern Europe, the seasonal variations in the Black Sea surface water outflow through the Dardanelles Strait. Analysis of the Aegean during 1991 and 1992 revealed three distinct water masses: Aegean Sea Surface Water – 40–50 metres thick veneer, with summer temperatures of 21–26 °C and winter temperatures ranging from 10 °C in the north to 16 °C in the south. Aegean Sea Intermediate Water – Aegean Sea Intermediate Water extends from 40–50 m to 200–300 metres with temperatures ranging from 11–18 °C. Aegean Sea Bottom Water – occurring at depths below 500–1000 m with a uniform temperature and salinity; the current coastline dates back to about 4000 BC. Before that time, at the peak of the last ice age sea levels everywhere were 130 metres lower, there were large well-watered
The Struma or Strymónas is a river in Bulgaria and Greece. Its ancient name was Strymṓn, its drainage area is 17,330 km2, of which 10,797 km2 in Bulgaria, 6,295 km2 in Greece and the rest in north Macedonia. It takes its source from the Vitosha Mountain in Bulgaria, runs first westward southward, forming a number of gorges, enters Greek territory at the Kula village. In Greece it is the main waterway feeding and exiting from Lake Kerkini, a significant centre for migratory wildfowl; the river flows near Amphipolis in the Serres regional unit. The river's length is 415 kilometres. Parts of the river valley belong to a Bulgarian coal-producing area, more significant in the past than nowadays; the Greek portion is a valley, dominant in agriculture, being Greece's fourth-biggest valley. The tributaries include the Konska River, the Dragovishtitsa, the Rilska River, the Blagoevgradska Bistritsa, the Sandanska Bistritsa, the Strumitsa and the Angitis; the river's name comes from Thracian Strymón, derived from Proto-Indo-European *srew- "stream", akin to English stream, Old Irish sruaimm "river", Polish strumień "stream", Lithuanian straumuoe "fast stream", Greek ῥεῦμα "stream", Albanian rrymë "water flow", shri "rain".
The name Strymón, was a hydronym in ancient Greek mythology, referring to a mythical Thracian king, drowned in the river. Strymón was used as a personal name in various regions of Ancient Greece during the 3rd century BC. In 437 BC, the ancient Greek city of Amphipolis was founded near the river's entrance to the Aegean, at the site known as Ennea Hodoi; when Xerxes I of Persia crossed the river during his invasion in 480 BC he buried alive nine young boys and nine maidens as a sacrifice to the river god. The forces of Alexander I of Macedon defeated the remnants of Xerxes' army near Ennea Hodoi in 479 BC. In 424 BC the Spartan general Brasidas after crossing the entire Greek peninsula sieged and conquered Amphipolis. According to the ancient sources, the river was navigable from its mouth up to the ancient Cercinitis lake, which favored the navigation; the decisive Battle of Kleidion was fought close the river in 1014 between the Bulgarians under Emperor Samuel and the Byzantines under Emperor Basil II and determined the fall of the First Bulgarian Empire four years later.
In 1913, the Greek Army was nearly surrounded in the Kresna Gorge of the Struma by the Bulgarian Army during the Second Balkan War, the Greeks were forced to ask for armistice. The river valley was part of the Macedonian front in World War I; the ship Struma, which took Jewish refugees out of Romania in World War II and was torpedoed and sunk in the Black Sea, causing nearly 800 deaths, was named after the river. Struma Glacier on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Struma River. Media related to Struma River at Wikimedia Commons Livius.org: Strymon
Amphipolis is a municipality in the Serres regional unit of Greece. The seat of the municipality is Rodolivos, it was an ancient Greek polis, a Roman city, whose large remains can still be seen. Amphipolis, an Athenian colony, was the seat of the battle between the Spartans and Athenians in 422 BC, the place where Alexander the Great prepared for campaigns leading to his invasion of Asia. Alexander's three finest admirals, Nearchus and Laomedon, resided in Amphipolis, the place where, after Alexander's death, his wife Roxana and their small son Alexander IV were exiled and murdered. Excavations in and around the city have revealed ancient walls and tombs; the finds are displayed at the archaeological museum of Amphipolis. At the nearby vast Kasta burial mound, an ancient Macedonian tomb has been revealed; the Lion of Amphipolis monument nearby is a popular destination for visitors. It was located within the region of Edonis. Throughout the 5th century BC, Athens sought to consolidate its control over Thrace, strategically important because of its primary materials, the sea routes vital for Athens' supply of grain from Scythia.
After a first unsuccessful attempt at colonisation in 497 BC by the Milesian Tyrant Histiaeus, the Athenians founded a first colony at Ennea-Hodoi in 465 BC, but these first ten thousand colonists were massacred by the Thracians. A second attempt took place in 437 BC on the same site under the guidance of Hagnon, son of Nicias, successful; the city and its first walls date from this time. The new settlement took the name of Amphipolis, a name, the subject of much debate about its etymology. Thucydides claims the name comes from the fact that the Strymon River flows "around the city" on two sides. However, a more probable explanation is the one given by Julius Pollux: that the name indicates the vicinity of an isthmus. Amphipolis became the main power base of the Athenians in Thrace and a target of choice for their Spartan adversaries; the Athenian population remained much in the minority in the city. For this reason Amphipolis remained an independent city and an ally of the Athenians, rather than a colony or member of the Athens-led Delian League.
However, in 424 BC the Spartan general Brasidas took control of the city. A rescue expedition led by the Athenian general, historian, Thucydides had to settle for securing Eion and could not retake Amphipolis, a failure for which Thucydides was sentenced to exile. A new Athenian force under the command of Cleon failed once more in 422 BC during the Battle of Amphipolis at which both Cleon and Brasidas lost their lives. Brasidas survived long enough to hear of the defeat of the Athenians and was buried at Amphipolis with impressive pomp. From on he was regarded as the founder of the city and honoured with yearly games and sacrifices; the city itself kept its independence until the reign of king Philip II despite several Athenian attacks, notably because of the government of Callistratus of Aphidnae. In 357 BC, Philip succeeded where the Athenians had failed and conquered the city, thereby removing the obstacle which Amphipolis presented to Macedonian control over Thrace. According to the historian Theopompus, this conquest came to be the object of a secret accord between Athens and Philip II, who would return the city in exchange for the fortified town of Pydna, but the Macedonian king betrayed the accord, refusing to cede Amphipolis and laying siege to Pydna as well.
The city was not incorporated into the Macedonian kingdom, for some time preserved its institutions and a certain degree of autonomy. The border of Macedonia was not moved further east. Nomenclature, the calendar and the currency were all replaced by Macedonian equivalents. In the reign of Alexander the Great, Amphipolis was an important naval base, the birthplace of three of the most famous Macedonian admirals: Nearchus and Laomedon, whose burial place is most marked by the famous lion of Amphipolis; the importance of the city in this period is shown by Alexander the Great's decision that it was one of the six cities at which large luxurious temples costing 1,500 talents were built. Alexander prepared for campaigns here against Thrace in 335 BC and his army and fleet assembled near the port before the invasion of Asia; the port was used as naval base during his campaigns in Asia. After Alexander's death, his wife Roxana and their young son Alexander IV were exiled by Cassander and murdered here.
Throughout Macedonian sovereignty Amphipolis was a strong fortress of great strategic and economic importance, as shown by inscriptions. Amphipolis became one of the main stops on the Macedonian royal road, on the Via Egnatia, the principal Roman road which crossed the southern Balkans. Apart from the ramparts of the lower town, the gymnasium and a set of well-preserved frescoes from a wealthy villa are the only artifacts from this peri
Eion, ancient Chrysopolis, was an ancient Greek Eretrian colony in Thracian Macedonia in the region of Edonis. It sat at the mouth of the Strymon River, it is referred to in Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War as a place of considerable strategic importance to the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War. Athenians for the first time attempted to capture Eion in 497 BC during the Ionian Revolt, unsuccessful as the revolt ended with Persians re-establishing control over the Thrace, including Eion, a Persian fortress meant for permanent stay was built there in 492 BC. Eion functioned as one of the main Achaemenid cities in Thrace where food was stored for the Persian king Xerxes I his great armies. Herodotus and Diodorus speak of Persian garrisons, of which the one at Eion was amongst them, which meant that its senior commander was ethnically Persian. Xerxes had recalled most of the Persian troops from the area in the winter of 480/479 BC, it was captured by the Delian League in 475 BC under the leadership of the Athenian general Cimon, the son of Miltiades the Younger, who started a siege on the city.
Refusing Cimon's offer of an honorable withdrawal, the Persian commander Boges destroyed the treasure, killed his family, committed suicide as the food ran out. Cimon turned the course of the River Strymon so that it flowed against the city walls, causing the mud brick fortifications to melt; the inhabitants were enslaved. The capture of Eion was the beginning of a military campaign undertaken by the newly formed Delian League, whose objective was to clear the Aegean Sea of Persian fleets and pirates in order to facilitate Athenian access to the Hellespont; the nearby Athenian colony of Amphipolis was founded in 437 BC three miles up the Strymon River. The settlers, led by Hagnon, used Eion as their initial base of operations. In 424 BC, during the Peloponnesian War, Eion was the site where the Athenian commander Aristides intercepted a Persian messenger named Artaphernes; the message, on its way to Sparta, was a letter from the Persian king addressing previous requests made to him by the Spartans.
In the war, in the winter of 424/423 BC, the Spartan general Brasidas captured Amphipolis with his Thracian allies. When he moved against Eion, however, he was unable to overcome the Athenian defenders, who were led by Thucydides, who had come from Thasos with his squadron in time to save it. Although he held Eion, Thucydides was subsequently ostracized by the Athenians for his failure to defend the more pivotal city of Amphipolis. Eion was known in the early 19th century as Rendina, hence the earlier name Gulf of Rendina for the Strymonian Gulf. Whether its site was that of Byzantine Chrysopolis is disputed; the location has been recovered since at least the 19th century, as William Martin Leake reported finding there extensive ruins of thick walls, constructed of small stones and mortar, among which appear many squared blocks in the Hellenic style, on the left bank of the Strymon. However, those ruins belong to the Byzantine period, have been attributed to a town of the Lower Empire, which the Italians converted into Contessa, siting on the site of Eion.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Eion". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray
Chalkidiki spelt Chalkidike, Khalkidhiki or Halkidike, is a peninsula and regional unit of Greece, part of the Region of Central Macedonia in Northern Greece. The autonomous Mount Athos region constitutes the easternmost part of the peninsula, but not of the regional unit; the capital of Chalkidiki is the main town of Polygyros, located in the centre of the peninsula. Chalkidiki is a popular summer tourist destination; the Cholomontas mountains lie in the north-central part of Chalkidiki. Chalkidiki consists of a large peninsula in the northwestern Aegean Sea, resembling a hand with three "fingers" – Pallene and Agion Oros, which contains Mount Athos and its monasteries. Chalkidiki borders on the regional unit of Thessaloniki to the north, its largest towns are Nea Kallikrateia and the capital town of Polygyros. There are several summer resorts on the beaches of all three fingers where other minor towns and villages are located, such as at Yerakini, Neos Marmaras, Nikiti, Psakoudia and more. Chalcidice, Chalkidiki, or Chalkidike, is the name given to this peninsula by a group of people native to this region, the Chalcideans, since ancient times.
The area was a colony of the ancient Greek city-state of Chalkis. The first Greek settlers in this area came from Chalcis and Eretria, cities in Euboea, around the 8th century BC who founded cities such as Mende and Scione a second wave came from Andros in the 6th century BC who founded cities such as Akanthos; the ancient city of Stageira was the birthplace of the great philosopher Aristotle. Chalkidiki was an important theatre of war during the Peloponnesian War between Sparta; the Greek colonies of the peninsula were conquered by Philip II of Macedon and Chalkidiki became part of Macedonia. After the end of the wars between the Macedonians and the Romans, the region became part of the Roman Empire, along with the rest of Greece. At the end of the Roman Republic a Roman colony was settled in Cassandreia, resettled by Augustus. During the following centuries, Chalkidiki was part of the Byzantine Empire. On a chrysobull of Emperor Basil I, dated 885, the Holy Mountain was proclaimed a place of monks, no laymen or farmers or cattle-breeders were allowed to be settled there.
With the support of Nikephoros II Phokas, the Great Lavra monastery was founded soon afterwards. Today, over 2,000 monks from Greece and many other Eastern Orthodox countries, such as Romania, Georgia, Bulgaria and Russia, live an ascetic life in Athos, isolated from the rest of the world. Athos with its monasteries has been self-governing since. After a short period of domination by the Latin Kingdom of Thessalonica, the area became again Byzantine until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1430. During the Ottoman period, the peninsula was important for its gold mining. In 1821, the Greek War of Independence started and the Greeks of Chalkidiki revolted under the command of Emmanouel Pappas, a member of Filiki Eteria, other local fighters; the revolt was progressing and unsystematically. The insurrection was confined to the peninsulas of Mount Kassandra. One of the main goals was to restrain and detain the coming of the Ottoman army from Istanbul, until the revolution in the south became stable; the revolt resulted in a decisive Ottoman victory at Kassandra.
The survivors, among them Papas, were rescued by the Psarian fleet, which took them to Skiathos and Skyros. The Ottomans proceeded in retaliation and many villages were burnt; the peninsula was incorporated into the Greek Kingdom in 1912 after the Balkan Wars. In June 2003, at the holiday resort of Porto Carras located in Neos Marmaras, leaders of the European Union presented the first draft of the European Constitution. Acanthus Acrothoi Aege Alapta Aphytis Apollonia Charadrus Cleonae Galepsus Mekyberna Mende Neapolis, Chalcidice Olophyxus Olynthus Palaiochori "Neposi" castle Polichne Potidaea Scione Scolus Sermylia Stageira Spartolus Thyssus Torone Treasury of the Acanthians Xerxes Canal The peninsula is notable for its olive oil and olive production. Various types of wine are produced. Chalkidiki has been a popular summer tourist destination since the late 1950s when people from Thessaloniki started spending their summer holidays in the coastal villages. In the beginning tourists rented rooms in the houses of locals.
By the 1960s, tourists from Austria and Germany started to visit Chalkidiki more frequently. Since the start of the big tourist boom in the 1970s, the whole region has been captured by tourism. In the region there is a golf course, with plans for four others in the future. Gold was mined in the region during antiquity by Philip II of the next rulers. Since 2013, a revival of mining for gold and other minerals was underway with a number of concessions having been granted to Eldorado Gold of Canada. However, critics claim that mining would adversely affect the environment; the regional unit Chalkidiki is subdivided into five municipalities. These are: Aristotelis Kassandra Nea Propontida Polygyros Sithonia As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Chalkidiki was created out of the former prefecture Chalk