Archive for the ‘Sightseeing’ Category

Thessaloniki – co-Capital in the North

Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, [θesaloˈniki]), Thessalonica, or Salonica is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally "co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or "co-reigning" city of the Byzantine Empire, alongside Constantinople. According to the 2001 census, the municipality of Thessaloniki had a population of 363,987. The entire Thessaloniki Urban Area had a population of 763,468. Thessaloniki is Greece's second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and its southeast European hinterland. The city hosts an annual International Trade Fair, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora. Thessaloniki is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessalonika, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures. Read the rest of this entry »

Vergina

Vergina (Greek: Βεργίνα) is a small town in northern Greece, located in the prefecture of Imathia, Central Macedonia. The town became internationally famous in 1977, when the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos unearthed what he claimed was the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. The finds established the site as the ancient Aigai. The modern town of Vergina is about 13 km south-east of the district centre of Veroia and about 80 km south-west of Thessaloniki, the capital of Greek Macedonia. The town has a population of about two thousand people and stands on the foothills of Mount Pieria, at an elevation of 120m (360 ft) above sea level. Read the rest of this entry »

Dion – Pieria

Dion (Greek, Modern: Δίο Dio, Ancient/Katharevousa Δίον Dion) is a municipality and village in the Prefecture of Pieria, Macedonia, Greece, best known for its archaeological site and archaeological museum. Zeus was honored at the ancient city of Dion located at the foot of Mount Olympus. It is located 15 km. SW of Katerini, 425 km to the north of Athens and 65 km to the north of Larissa. Read the rest of this entry »

Mount Athos

Mount Athos (Greek: Όρος Άθως, Oros Athos) is a mountain on the peninsula of the same name in Macedonia, of northern Greece, called in Greek Agion Oros (Άγιον Όρος, transliterated often as Hagion Oros), or in English, "Holy Mountain". In Classical times, the peninsula was called Aktí (Ακτή) (sometimes Acte or Akte). Politically it is known in Greece as the Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain. This World Heritage Site is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The peninsula, the easternmost "leg" of the larger Halkidiki peninsula, protrudes into the Aegean Sea for some 60 kilometres (37 mi) at a width between 7 to 12 km and covers an area of 335.637 square kilometres (129.59 sq mi), with the actual Mount Athos and its steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 metres (6,670 ft). The seas around the end of the peninsula can be dangerous. Though land-linked, it is accessible only by boat. The number of visitors is restricted and all are required to get a special entrance permit before entering Mount Athos. Only males are allowed entrance into Mount Athos, which is called "Garden of the Virgin" by monks, and Orthodox Christians take precedence in the permit issuance procedure. Only males over the age of 18 who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church are allowed to live on Athos. There are religious guards, who are not monks, that assist the monks, and any other people not monks are required to live in the peninsula's capital, Karyes. The 2001 Greek national census counted a population of 2,262 inhabitants. Read the rest of this entry »

Meteora Monasteries

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "suspended rocks", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pinios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tembi Valley

The Valley of Tembi (modern Greek: Témpi), celebrated by Greek poets as a favorite haunt of Apollo and the Muses, is the ancient name of a gorge in northern Thessaly, Greece, located between Olympus to the north and Ossa to the south. The valley is 10 kilometers long and as narrow as 25 meters in places, with cliffs nearly 500 meters high, and through it flows the Pineios River on its way to the Aegean Sea. On the right bank of the Pineios sat a temple to Apollo, near which the laurels used to crown the victorious in the Pythian Games were gathered. The Valley of Tembi also was home for a time to Aristaeus, son of Apollo and Cyrene, and it was here that he chased Eurydice, wife of Orpheus, who, in her flight, was bitten by a serpent and died. In the thirteenth century AD a church dedicated to Aghia (Saint) Paraskevi was erected in the valley. Read the rest of this entry »