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The Map of the Region

 

 

 


 

 

This project was co-funded by the Public Investment Program and the E.U. - 3rd CSF Operational Program - Information Society.
The content is from the site's 2007 archived pages and gives just a small glimpse of what the site offered visitors.

Considering the advances in web design, if you compare help desk features that were available on this site in 2007 to the Help Desk software that is available today you can appreciate the advances. Nevertheless visitors to ditikimakedonia-region.com were able to navigate the site quite well. Links were available to Administrative Structure, Prefectural Government,Municipalities, Members of the Parliament, Region Tour, Citizen Guide, Public Services, Infrastructure - Bodies, Civic Protection, Weather Forecasts, Culture, Assistance Programs, Announcements, Opinion Polls, FAQ, and even a Newsletter. However todays helps desks are uniquely positioned to supply an incredible trove of useful data and many of the Desk software tools have API capability as well as plugin options that allow connections of other software to the help center.
Please view the information on this page as an historical reference, since it is not longer being updated.

 

The prefecture of Florina

Situated in the north of Western Macedonia, it is the gateway to FYROM and Albania. The prefecture's economy benefits from agriculture, cattle farming and abundant mineral resources. The population of the area, according to the 1991 census, appears to be 53 147 inhabitants. In antiquity, the Florina's prefecture coincided with the regions of Lygkistida, of Eordaia and Orestida. Since the 5th century BC, the city-slate, though small, played an important role in the so called Peloponnesian War in the northern part of Greece. The mother of Philip II and wife to Amyntas III, Eurydice, is said to have come from Lygkistida.

The region was the scene of many historical facts during the 10th century, when Samuel created the new Bulgarian state ruling from Prespa at first and then fromAchrida. In the early years of the Turkish occupation, monasticism was flourishing in the lake Prespa; the ascetic caves and monasteries of Porfyra, Eleousa, Analipsi and Metamorfossi bear witness to this. During the Turkish occupation and due to anarchy,many Christians fled to the north of Greece in order to be saved. As a result, many newsettlements were founded such as the Vlach villages of Nympfeo (or Neveska) and Pisoderi, and the villages of Flambouro (or Megovani) ,Lechovo, Drosopigi (orBelkameni) inhabited by people from Epirus, most of them being builders.

The region played an important role in the numerous uprisings against the Turks.

In 1865 "the Society of Friends" (Filiki Heteria) was founded by Anastassios Pycheon, Nik. Filippidis, Thomas Paschidis, loannis Argyropoulos, and the brothers Michail and Anastassios Nik. Tsirlis from Nympfeo. For twenty years, this under­ground movement had fought against the con­querors under their very nose and initiated teachers, priests, tradesmen and simple peasants to the organisation before the Turks even realised its existence. During the difficult years of the Macedonian War, it was fighters from this area who lead the struggle against the Bulgarians and helped the villages of Korestia breathe more easily once again.

Florina

Being the capital of the prefecture, Florina is an administrative centre and has all the charasteristics of a modem provincial city, whose economy is based on both agriculture and tourism. The rich tradition and the good taste of the inhabitants endowed the city with beautiful buildings of neoclassical and Macedonian architecture.

Generally speaking, the city centre is dense and it is here, where there are the most, important, commercial and business enterprises. Walks in this painters city will reveal the hidden beauties of this Macedonian earth. On the picturesque Sakouleva river -bank, where buildings of Macedonian architecture are constructed next to neo-classical ones, you may visit the Museum of Modern Art.The museum was set up and run by the "House of Friends of Art in Florina" ("StegiFilotechnon Florinas"). More than 30 painters and sculptors living in Florina are graduates of the School of Fine Arts. Their paintings are displayed in the Art Gallery, founded by the "House of Friends of Art" and housed in the listed building of OSE (Organization of Greek Railways).

The Archaeological Museum makes the visitor aware the past. There, the ancient cities of Fiorina and Petron as well as the prehistoric settlement of Armenochori and other regions are displayed. No less interesting is the collection of Byzantine wall paintings and icons, especially those found in the Prespa region. Leave Fiorina southward and after passing through the villages of Skopia, Tropeouchos and Ydroussa you will encounter the village ofDrosopigi (15 km) built into the dense forested slopes of Vitsio mountain and in at an altitude of 1020 m. It has been a renowned village of craftsmen, with a noble tradition ofhagiographers since the period of

Turkish domination. Worth visiting are the folk art collection of the village and the old water-mill of Styllos.

Don't forget to sample the delicious "greens" pie and the cultured buttermilk.

The route Drosopigi - Kastoria, which leads to the ski resort of Vitsi and the villages, Oxia and Vyssinia, is impressive. The vast forests of beech and oak trees and the flowing waterscomplete a unique and beautiful image.

Nympheo

Overlooking Amyntaio's plain, in a plateau (1360 m) on Vitsi and protected by humans and strong north winds of Macedonia, lies the rich village of Nympheo, formerly Neveska. The visitor is stunned by the houses made of stone with rooms full of ornaments and folk paintings by painters from Western Macedonia and the fine railbars in windows and on balconies. In the past the village was rich and prosperous due to the ingenious and daring Neveskiotes (inhabitants of Neveska) tradesmen and renowned silver and gold smithers. However, it fell into decline after the great crash of 1929 and became deserted after World War II and the civil war. If you visit Nympheo, you will enjoy wandering around the cobbled streets, sneaking into the forests of beeches on horseback, visiting the forest station; Arktouros and learning about the history of the village through the splendid collection in the Folk ArtMuseum and absorbing the view towards the valley and Zazari and Chimaditis lakes.

Amyntaio

36 km southeast of Fiorina lies Amyntaio, a town famous for its wines. It is enclosed by four lakes: Vegoritida (the deepest lake of Greece), Petron, Chimaditis, Zazariand by the mountains of Verno, Vora and Vermio. Groves and vineyards cultivated on the lake shores of Petron, surround the town, while in the south Amyntaio faces the lignite mines of the steam and electric station. If you want to understand the area, you have to discover the waters of the lakes, to follow the narrow alleys of SaintPanteleimonas with the old wind­mill, to listen to the fishermen with their legends about Vegoritida lake, to drink the sour water, to admire the wild beauty of the rocky desertof Keli and to climb to the picturesque Lechovo. The important craftsmen village whose past is displayed in the Folk Art Museum, is worth a visit.

Arktouros

In the region of Amyntaio, there is the Centre for the Protection of Bears founded by Arktouros in 1993. It consists of a Veterinary Clinic in Aeto, which give shelter to the bears for a certain period of time and provides the necessary medical treatment. A Forest Park is located near Nympheo, where the bears live in their natural environment in an area of 50 000 square metres, especially fenced.

Vigla – Pisoderi

Driving up the magnificent mountain of Varnounda, passing through stunning scenery, you reach the col of Vigla (20 Km.) In this locale, there is the ski resort 'Vigla-Pisoderi" reaching international standards of excellence. The route continues towards Pisoderi, a well known village of Vlachs, surrounded by immense forests, rich valleys andcold water. The School of Modestia (1903), which today has been turned into a hospice and the church of Saint Paraskevi, where Pavlos Melas head was interred. The road goesdown to Korestia and passes through the village of Adartiko. Once, it was one of the most important com­mercial centre- The peculiar archi­tecture of the houses, picturesquecafes and taverns serving local food trickle the feel of the traveller. The visitor in Korestia encounters the impressive architecture of the stone-built houses. Those still standing remind us of the historical facts of recent Greek history.

Prespas

In 1974, the area was declared National Park and "Land of a Particular Natural Beauty". Thus, rare flora and fauna species are currently protected. 260 out of 380 species of birds existing in Greece, live in the area : pelicans, herons, greylag geese, cormorant, mallards etc. There are also 17 different species of fish, eight of them being endemic (carp, rud, chub, eel) and the "babel" unique to Greece. There are 45 species of mammals like bear, otter, wild boar, wolves, roe deer and wild cats. The preserved dwarf-cow, as tall as 1,10m lives in Psarades.

The two lakes, Large Prespa (Megali Prespa) and Small Prespa (Mikri Prespa)lie 50 km from Fiorina and 54 km from Kastoria. This area is ideal for an enjoyable walk. Starting from the natural terraces of Prevali and Kale, you may visit the settlements of Oxia, Kallithea, Platy and Miliona. The two floor houses and many of the Byzantine monuments found in these villages, still retain some of the typicalcharacteristics of traditional archi­tecture. The historical settlement of Saint Germanos is so beautiful that one can not imagine it, if one has never been there. The lofty stone houses with their loggias and projected details on the walls and the picturesque narrow alleyways seem to have a rejuvenating effect in the area. Don't forget to visit the churches of Saint Athanassios (1816) and of Saint Germanos (11th century) which, according to tradition, is dedicated to Saint Germanos. Patriarch of Constantinople. His image is portrayed on the Apse. The Society of the Prespa Lakes Protection was founded in 1991 aiming at the preservation of nature and culture of the area. It is housed in a traditional building in Saint Germanos along with the Visitors Information Centre.

Saint Achillios

The islet of Saint Achiilios is in the Small Prespa. The lake is about 13 km long and about 6 km in its widest part whereas its greatest depth is 7.8 m. Following the narrow causeway which separates the two lakes and links them at Koula, the 2m. wide channel, you may head either towards the village of Psarades or the islet of Saint Achillios.

The islet is 800m. from the pier. You can visit the islet whenever you want, making a simple phone call to the boatmen who will come to take you there. The beauty of SaintGermanos is unbelievable. According to local legend the small houses of the village must not exceed the number 11 because the 12th will fall down. The visitor stunned by the unexpected natural beauty, experiences the tranquility of a deserted land, away from the noise of everyday life. Near the settlement, you will encounter the remnants of the three aisle basilica of Saint Achillios. This magnificent monument was built at the end of the10th century by Samuel, ruler of Bulgaria, in order to house the relic of Saint Achillios, bishop of Larissa. One of the most important objects found in the basilica tombs is a piece of golden cloth, displayed today in the White Tower in Thessaloniki. Following the trail among apple trees and shrubs, you will arrive at the southern edge of the islet, where the ruins of the monastery of Panaghia Porfyra lie. Only the small church of the monastery stands there. It is decorated with remarkable wall paintings dating back to 1524 and 1743.

The Large Prespa - Psarades

The lake has an area of about 280,000 acres. It is 26 km long, 20 km in its widest part and with a depth of 55 m. Psarades is built on a natural bay. Its beautiful houses stillretaining their traditional characte­ristics, the picturesque square surrounded by small shops, the people's innocence and charm and the kingfishers' cry complete an image of pastoral calm. You will be thrilled with your visit by boat to the ascetic caves of the Large Prespa. The rocks and caves on the southern shore are full of Byzantine paintings and inscriptions. Floating past the vertical walls of the cape, you will come across the first ascetic cave which is dedicated to the Metamorfossi tou Sotiros dating back to the 13th century. Wooden steps will lead you to a tiny church sur­rounded by monks cells. Like an eagle's nest in a small nook, there is the ascetic cave of Mikri Analipsi The cave has few wall paintings in the inner sanctum which date back to the 15th century. The most stunning ascetic cave is very close to the Albanian border. Within the heart of an enormous crevice on wild rock lie the biggest ascetic cave. The majority of the monks lived in that cave which was dedicated to Panaghia Eleoussa.

Saint Achillios

The islet of Saint Achiilios is in the Small Prespa. The lake is about 13 km long and about 6 km in its widest part whereas its greatest depth is 7.8 m. Following the narrow causeway which separates the two lakes and links them at Koula, the 2m. wide channel, you may head either towards the village of Psarades or the islet of Saint Achillios.

The islet is 800m. from the pier. You can visit the islet whenever you want, making a simple phone call to the boatmen who will come to take you there. The beauty of Saint Germanos is unbelievable. According to local legend the small houses of the village must not exceed the number 11 because the 12th will fall down. The visitor stunned by the unexpected natural beauty, experiences the tranquility of a deserted land, away from the noise of everyday life. Near the settlement, you will encounter the remnants of the three aisle basilica of Saint Achillios. This magnificent monument was built at the end of the 10th century by Samuel, ruler of Bulgaria, in order to house the relic of Saint Achillios, bishop of Larissa. One of the most important objects found in the basilica tombs is a piece of golden cloth, displayed today in the White Tower in Thessaloniki. Following the trail among apple trees and shrubs, you will arrive at the southern edge ofthe islet, where the ruins of the monastery of Panaghia Porfyra lie. Only the small church of the monastery stands there. It is decorated with remarkable wall paintings dating back to 1524 and 1743.

 

 

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