• ACTIVITIES

    Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 12.30.59 PM

     

    Mix together your favorite hobby with your vacations. West Macedonia uses her landform gifts to provide you, through modern facilities and organized trips, with the ability to accomplish the activity of your choice. Even if you are fan of x-treme sports or a peaceful trekking walk is the ideal for you, either you are an amateur or experienced, find easily what activity each count of West Macedonia has to offer and which season. 

  • NATURE

     

    The biggest river in Greece Aliakmonas, the second tallest mountain Smolikas and one of the biggest lakes Vegoritida are included in West Macedonia. Also, is the hostess of two natural parks, the one of Valia Calda and the park of Prespes, and the famous Dragon Cave. Imagine how many natural sights there are for viewing. Take a walk over a canyon, visit an underground cave or take a boating ride to a lake so you can make your connection with nature. Learn more about the natural sights of West Macedonia and choose your trip.

  • CULTURE

     

    Visiting other places you can see and learn from a closer view about their culture and history. West Macedonia has a lot to display in this area too,even from the prehistoric era. Get to know each count from a visit to a museum or sight, attending a local custom event and tasting a traditional cooking recipe.Find useful informations about the cultural proceedures, the sights location and the dates of the custom events.

  • TOURISM

     

    The only sure thing is that you 're not gonna regret choosing West Macedonia as your destination place for your vacations whatever the type of tourist you are. West Macedonia provides you with a variety of accommodations regardless of you staying to a far tiny village or a big city. Easily, find hotels based your needs across the four countys.

  • INFORMATION

     

    Find useful informations, telephone numbers and driving ordes through the interactive map. Also, take a taste of West Macedonia from our photo albums and the videos we present for you.

Historical monuments

Monuments

Today with the term monument is attributed generally anything surviving building from antiquity to the present, including all the intermediate historical periods, namely all kinds of art and literary works that considered as masterpieces. In the modern concept of search, saving and conservation of these cultural assets as strongly developed the meaning of protection and maintenance of these, regardless of their utilitarian value. For the last one seems to have begun their protection concept barely in the 19th century when the destruction of old monuments had begun to serve other reasons mainly villages areas after the intense urbanization that observed as a consequence of the industrial revolution.

Regional Unit Grevena 

Church St. Nicholas - Diporo 

The church of St Nicholas in Diporo is a single-nave cemetery church. The walls are made of rubble and covered with a pitched wooden roof. The church, recorded in the interior, adorned with frescoes of the 16th century, which are over painted the 19th century. It Preserved the wooden iconostasis of the sanctuary which is also constructed in the 19th century.

 

 

Church St. Stephan -Sarakina 

The church of St. Nicholas in Sarakina constitute a remarkable post-Byzantine monument, recorded with well-preserved frescoes from the second half of the 19th century. As we get informed by the stone-carved inscription on the Infared of the southern door, it erected on May 10, 1858.
It is a three domed basilica with a vestibule-matroneum on the first floor and “chagiati” on the south and west sides, that consistute of a raised stone mantel, which was based on a low, also stone arched-portico. The church is built with semi-carved rectangulars,sometimes 

slab stones, with smaller stones and mortar as a binder material. Especially elaborated is the fake-isodomic masonry arch, the corners of the walls and candles openings with hewn rectangular stones of large size. The apse exterior has six pilasters in two zones, that creates shallow niches. The closer upper zone is decorated in the intermediate gaps with stone analglyphs. Above of this, in the temple’ masonry is opened a circular decorative skylight, that recorded in a rectangular stone frame. Inside the matroneum in the central aisle with vertical narrow sides of the U-shaped. The central aisle of the church was covered with stone arch that reinforced from time to time with stone 


form on the south side. The west side of chagiati was demolished to be replaced by closed compartment in the northwestern part of the church, that adjoining to the cement columns of the modernist bell tower, which was erected on the axis of the entrance. The monument was damaged by the devastating earthquake on May 13, 1995 and the mounting-restoration was conducted by the 11th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.
rollbars.
Today, the “chagiati” on the south and west sides of the church has been restored to its original form, based on the existing remains of the masonry and old photographs. Previously he had accepted modernist interventions with modern materials, which altered its original 

 

 

 

Church St. Friday - Palaiochori 

The church of St.Paraskevi in Paleochori is a three aisled basilica from the second half of the 19th century, that decorated with remarkable frescoes of that period inside and outside. According to the stone-anaglyphs inscriptions that preserved in the apse of the sanctuary, built in 1873.

The church has a modernist matroneum and chagiati on the south side, while the Northeast has been added an independent castellated bell tower, which dates back to 1897. It is built with semi-carved, rectangular, sometimes with slab stones, with smaller stones and mortar as a binder material. Particularly elaborate is the arch, the corners of the walls and candles openings with hewn rectangular stones of larger size. The semicircular sacred  has six pilasters with shallow rectangular niches and stone-anaglyphs in the upper zone. Just above it , it has masonry openings with decorated skylights in concave-convex shape bilateral circular. Inside the church, the side aisles are roofed with wooden plank ceiling, while the central is decorated with anaglyph  and  with rosettes. The church has a wooden templon of 1875 with painted floral decoration.

In the decades from 1960 to 1970 they were reconstructed with neoteristic, modern materials the original matroneum and the old chagiati of the south side, which was extended occupying and the western side. The church was damaged by the devastating earthquake on May 13, 1995 and the work of mounting-restoration was conducted by the 11th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in the years 1997 to 2001, when deposed and  the recent construction.

 

Zardova Monastery 

In Kallistrato mountain , next to Aliakmonas River, is the historic monastery of Zavorda. Founded by Thessaloniki Blessed Nicanor in the early 16th century. It is organized around an inner courtyard, along the archetype of the monasteries of Mount Athos. In the center of the courtyard stands the catholic , triconch temple Othonic type.
The interior is full of frescoes of the 16th and 19th century. On the south side of the church is the tomb of the founder.

 

Assumption of Holy Virgin - Noumpenitsa 

The church of the Assumption is located in the south of the abandoned settlement of Noumpenitsas or Loumpenitsas, on the southeast edge of EE Grevena. It is a single-nave cemetery church of rubble and wooden roof. Adorned with frescoes of 1790. The monument was badly damaged by the earthquake that struck in 1995 the region of Western Macedonia.

 

 

Stone bridges 

In 1995, on the initiative of the Regional Unity Grevena, 11th Byzantine Monuments of Veria declared bridges of EE , as Listed monuments. Their technique is generally the same.
Exception constitutes is only the bridge under the mountain Nidrouzi, between the villages Alatopetra and Prosvoro. This bridge had a special size of stones with perfect carving and placement. Important for the size of the arc (the largest in Macedonia) is the bridge of Aziz-Aga, which was built in 1727 and has a length of 70m. and a height of 15m.

For more detailed information click here.

Mill Bousiou

To the west of the city, where it is said that there was the old settlement Aylais today is the settlement of working housing, there  is the Bousiou Mill. A Built of the last century, constitute the only industrial testimony  building in the region and is an example of rare architecture. It is an advanced technology for its time flour mill,  that operated nonstop for about a century and the activity exceeded the limits of Turkish territory (Marseille, Bursa, Mumbai, London). The Basic motivational  power was water, which was abundant in winter while In the summer was used the steam machine that was Western European origin. It current situation was reminiscent very little of the past glories, however once was a driving force of the local economy. The flour mill of Bousiou operated for about 100 years, winter with the power of water and the rest of the time with a steam machine. Just next to it is currently today  the Secretariat of TEI Grevena, while unsightly scaffolding "embracing" what remains today of this.

end faq

Regional Unit Kastoria

Petrified forest in Nostimo 

The age reaches 20 million years and there are findings of  old-vegetable  and old-animal kingdom. There are also rare species of plant fossils, like trunks, roots, branches, and fossilized marine organisms, such as oysters, sea urchins, starfish, etc.. Among the findings is the fossilized tooth of a prehistoric huge herbivorous animal and the tooth of a shark that estimated had a length of 20 to 25 meters. It is good for visitors to call first, to learn about the working hours of the museum, in which the findings are kept. According to Professor. Velitzelos the forest located within deltaics alluviums of prehistoric sea waves of which sprinkled the region of Kastoria. The Petrified Forest Nostimo constitute one of the most remarkable findings of the European area. There are a large number of logs, length of 5-10 meters and with a diameter of 40-80 cm. Under favorable conditions and fossilized and the vegetable matter became stone, aged about 15-20 million years..

 

Byzantine castle 

The city of Kastoria, throughout the duration of the very turbulent history, except from the natural fortification that it offered perimetrical by the lake, it was surrounded by strong walls, which provided an extra security. A narrow strip of land offered the only entrance by land. Since the days of Justinian stood on the neck of the peninsula powerful walls, which were built on the steep slope reinforced with round and square towers. It was surrounded by strong walls and the Byzantine city on the peninsula. The Byzantines lived also outside of the walled city, where there were important churches, large and small monasteries and cemeteries. The Justinian walls of Kastoria renovated in Middle Byzantine and Late Byzantine years, to strengthen the city's fortifications and ensure important from a strategic point of view position of Kastoria. The "rough" and "strongholds" of Kastoria highlight both the Byzantine writers, and foreign travelers who visited the city. In the early years of Ottoman rule, the interventions to the city's Byzantine walls were minimal and mainly aimed at their conservation. In the late 19th century, destroyed parts of the wall in the neck of the peninsula, to reconstruct buildings of the already declining Turkish administration.

Byzantine churches 

Dominant role in the monuments of Kastoria occupy the 61 surviving Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches. They declared  monuments from 1924 to 1991 with at times either with  presidential orders or ministerial decisions. Today stands upright reminding the city image  in the Byzantine and the Turkish-occupation era stating in with the most unequivocal way the rich religious and the cultural background of Kastoria. agios-gewrgios

Kastoria with the 72 churches is the only city in Greece who saves in a large extent uninterrupted the Byzantine and post-Byzantine memory. With an Exception the  Mount Athos only in Kastoria are  icons of the Cretan School and even early date. Churches, frescoes, icons and mansions are witness of economic prosperity and civilization nearly 10 centuries about. The erection of churches in Kastoria, such as St. George 1085 by the Emperor of Byzantium Alexios Komninos continued by a multitude of the individual age-old local aristocracy as owners, eg of St. Anargyroi and Nicholas Kasnitzis. The Mavriotissa Monastery of the 11th century frescoed and in the outside side, as get used to in the Northern Greece and the Balkans. In the frescoes of the church, in the Ottoman Empire had removed the eyes from all the displayed faces.


panagia-kourmpelidiki


Some of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches that preserved until today in Kastoria are:

Panagia(Holy virgine) Kastriotissa known as “Koumbelidiki”, in the early of the 11th century. (1020-1025) at the prevailing opinion (Krautheiemer, Wharto-Epstein) that based on the historical event of business termination in (1019) for the expulsion of the Bulgarians by the Byzantine Emperor Basil II the Bulgar slayer. It is the only church of Kastoria with a dome and the unique depiction of the Holy Trinity.

  • Monastery Mavriotissa (the end of the 11th c.) That existed before the “Koubelidiki” as a monastery complex.

Built in 1082 by Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komninos, this Byzantine treasure is located four kilometers from the center of Kastoria, near the lake. The catholic belongs to the category , of wooden-roof basilica. To the east of the temple is a semicircular apse, while in the west is formed a spacious narthex. The frescoes that
stand on the east wall of the catholic monastery placed in the first half of the 12th century and the presentation of the Second Coming in 

Μονή Παναγίας Μαυριώτισσας

the eastern and southern wall of the narthex, at the end of monastery . The external frescoes depicting emperors and Saints Demetrius and George, placed around 1260. Over the centuries there have been several repairs to the building with a result to be destroyed big part


 
 of the hagiography. Recently returned to the monastery a rare engraved plate-printing matrix that represent the Assumption. With this plate monks printed engravings. Build in 1749 in Vienna, on behalf of the monastery, at the expense of Kastorian Manuel Tsiatlampasi. In the place of monastery there are other later buildings, the museum and a chapel in the memory of St. John the Theologian.

  • Saint Stephen (11th c.) Is the only one old church with matroneum.
    agios-stefanos

  • Taxiarchis Metropolis (11th century).
  • The Saints Anargyroi (12th cent.) Is the only one  church in Kastoria that  has marble decoration,ionic rhythm columns, Imposts and doorframes with various anaglyphs  in all gates.
    agioi-anargiroi
  • Saint Nikolaos Kasnitzi (second half of 12th cent.). It was named by the founder magister Nicephorus Kasnitsi, to distinguish it from other 11 temples are dedicated to the same saint.

  • Saint Athanasios Mouzaki close to the cathedral, the small one-room wooden-roof church with ktitor inscription of Theodore Mouzaki.Erected  and renovated at pedestal with trouble and exertion this holy church …..(1392)
  • Church of Three Saints (14th century).
  • Church of St.. Nicholas Magaleiou (16th century).

 

Holy Virgin Koumbelidiki

 

The small church, that located  in the erst while Byzantine Acropolis , is the jewel of the city of Kastoria. The name "Koumbelidiki" dates back to the Ottoman times and has relationship with the characteristic high dome of the church, which in Turkish means “Koumpes”. The name "Skoutariotissa" is the initial of the  Byzantine times and shown at the bottom of the drum of the dome: "... YPERAGEIA THEOTOKOY EPONOMAZOMENIS SKOUTARIOTISSAS ... EKENOURGITHI O THEIOS KAI PANSEPTOS NAOS THS KAI AKATAMAXHTOU DIA SUNDROMHS KOPOU KAI EXODOU TOU PANEYGESTATOU AND ASSISTANCE THROUGH irresistible effort and expense for a most noble .. . ". The name of “Akatamaxhtou”(irresistible) is related to the walls of the Acropolis and their protection.


The type of monument belongs to the triconch temple with the dome. The central square area of the church is covered by a dome, which rests on four arches that rise to the four sides of the square and intercede between the main square space and the semicircular niches. 

The raised arcs form in the restructured a cross, on which sits the circular base of the dome. On the west side of the central area continues a narrow narthex, covered by a semicircular arch.In the Westside , the second stent continues (outside narthex), which is a later addition of the late 15th century. Great impression causes the brickwork decoration of the dome, which gives a different feel. 


  
The harmony in the arrangement of tumors and the special diligence in the decoration of the facades testify the creativity and the inspiration of the architect.

The building, according to older scholars (Millet, Orlandos Pelekanidis, Megan, Krautheimer) belongs in the chronicle of 10th-11th century, compared with temples Mesivrias and Epirus. Internally, the painting of frescoes (nave, narthex, outside narthex) covers a chronicle period from the 13th until the 17th century. In the main nave, the oldest frescoes, that preserved in a poor condition (due to the known problems of the bombardment of the monument in 1940), belong to the chronicle in the mid of the 13th century. The scenes that are distinct from the overall iconographic program which we can appreciate the value of the painting,  is the Dormition of the holy virgin on the west wall and the Holy Trinity in the semicircular vault of the inner narthex. In terms of artistic style, in the compositions is dominated by the austere spirit and the architectural depth and the landscapes used correctly. In the colors the shades is green, while the plasma is made with ocher. The painting of the 14th and 15th century, which we meet internally and externally to the narthex survives in a good condition, as well as that of the 17th century. Characteristic rare scene in the external frescoes, is the dance of Salome (1496), while below this is distinguished the deesis, which is the oldest layer of the late 14th century.

Saint Stephan

The temple is located on the east side of the city at the foot of St. Athanasius mountain. It is three-aisled domed basilica with narthex. The aisles are covered by semi-cylindrical domes of which the middle is significantly elevated. Inside, the walls of the aisles is pierced by arched openings. In the narthex, which is formed and the floor, the coverage is made with a dome of the fourth cycleshape. The first floor is called the "hermitage", which is dedicated to St. Anne. On the east side, kept in the sacred the throne, a sign that emphasizes the importance of the monument, like the archaic character. Externally, the faces are decorated in the known manner of rotation of various shapes of greyish irregular limestone and ceramic plates. Additional decorative elements shown here the engraved ceramic bricks in X shape, creating a frieze above the windows from all sides of the raised rectangular skylight. The east side of the central aisle has two suns formed by visala (ceramic plates).


All windows of Saint Stephen is lobed and different from each other, without disturbing the balance to the openings. Differ the size and the openness of the arches. The decoration of windows made with dentil tapes .One special feature of the church in relation to other major monuments of the city, is the semi-hexagonal apse of the sanctum. Internally the church is decorated with frescoes from different eras. From the 9th century until the 15th century.The frescoes of the first phase are distinguished (late 9th century), mainly for the valuable information they carry on the art of the after-iconoslam period.

 

Saints Anargyroi 


One of the oldest monuments of Kastoria, has been built on the steep slopes of the northern side of the city. It is three-aisled basilica with narthex. The middle aisle has exalted enough to seem like a "rectangular" dome. The narthex communicates with the temple through three entrances, of which the south has been scrapped by the Byzantines the old times. The exterior decoration of the facades is quite an unusual and remarkable and is not limited to the switching ceramic bricks shapes and irregular stones, but also has a marble decor, ionic order columns, imposts and doorframes. The interior decoration of the temple consists from two layers. The first layer of painting, which is divided into some parts the walls of the narthex, is estimated that belongs in the early 11th century. The second layer, transports the most beautiful painting of Kastoria from the last decades of the 12th century. It is the reign of the Komnenos and sponsors of te church decoration, the  Limnioton family exhibit their cultural level through this project. The painting was created by  artists with special gifts.

Saint George of the mountain

Monument of the 14th century, located in the district of Barlaam, called it "the mountain" because it is built on the foothills  of St. Athanasius mountain. It is a small single asle basilica with a narthex on both sides, west and south. The entrance is on the south side. It is a simple construction, stone-builted, with binder material the  mud, as used to  in the  most monuments of Kastoria the second half of the 14th century.


The church interior is full of frescoes of the second half of the 14th century. Unfortunately, while they created a position above the entrance to the temple for the inscription, inexplicably not written. The narthex of the monument is also full of frescoes of the 17th century. But here there is an inscription.

 

Saint Three

A Roomed aisled basilica with later additions in the north and south side in the form of open porch. When these additions were repaired and the west side of the church. The church interior was recorded. But the frescoes were covered with amiant, maybe after the liberation from the Turks. Attempts were made for revelation of the frescoes by conservators, as a result to be displayed apart from some Saints figures and the ktitorian inscription. 


Creating time of the frescoes is 1401. The wall painting is contemporary with the construction of the temple. The repair of the west side and the modern construction of the open portico bearing 19th century features. During this intervention situations was partially repair the roof of the temple. The painting is of good quality and offers great information on the art of Kastoria in the early 15th century.

Brink of Korestia 

The Korestia reminds a cinematic scene - was selected by Theo Angelopoulos to film scenes from "The Suspended Step of the Stork" and of Pantelis Voulgaris for the "Soul Deep". The old settlement has been abandoned many years ago. Sinking in absolute silence, we hear the creaks of the collapsing walls of empty houses that cannot lift the weight of the snow mass. Abandonment and loneliness, a numb landscape. Within this deafening silence you realize the "other" Greece, which has not touched by the stick of wassail tourism. The houses, dating from the beginning of last century, is built with bricks, clay and mud.

Only in the foundation used stone, wherein the bricks supported to become rigid in structure. The bricks that used in the building it is uncoated, uncooked, raw. They consist of mud and straw that were poured in a simple mold, which is dried in the sun. The roofs covered with wood, reeds and tiles. Made of mud and clay, simultaneously humble and impressive, they have a typical red color and pops up behind the walnuts. All the buildings look in one direction, the beneficial south side. There is no opening on the north back. As shown, the bioclimatic architecture supports its foundations in the  folk architecture. The houses of the "mud" built until 1940; after the Civil War the area was devastated. The people scattered to  Australia, Canada and America.

 

Hagiographies - illustrations 

toixografiaThe Metropolis Taxiarch (there is also the Taxiarch of the Old Gymnasium) after St. Stefanos is the second church in Kastoria that maintains to a significant extent frescoes of the 13th c., among them  which stands the mother of the donor Michael Asen A Irene Comnena, the Lamentation and the praying Virgin.


The stylistic similarity of the frescoes of the 11th century in the churches of St. Stephen and the Taxiarch Metropolis indicates the contact of city laboratories with other artistic centers such as Cappadocia and certainly Constantinople. The majority of 12th century works characterized by the expressiveness of persons the imposingness and the dynamic of the forms. The Saints Anargyroi and and St. Nikolaos Kasnitzi (Omonia Square) are temples with characteristic examples of high art that was developed in the 12th century.

The Thriving school of wall painting and Hagiography developed in Kastoria during  the 12th century, mainly anti classic style, while 

toixografia-mavriwtissas

 important examples of projects that are in the city's churches testify the presence of laboratories from important artistic centers of the time. The first half of the 14th century, successively military campaigns contributed to the decline of the artistic life of the city. During the second half of the century however created a new period of prosperity, in which an extensive program of frescoes completed, probably by local workshops or by artists hailing from Kastoria. The intellectual and artistic life of the city continued to be aware of prosperity during the 15th century with the connivance of the Ottoman authorities. The style that inspires the works of this period is distinguished,  for it’s anticlassic elements and simultaneously from the  renewal of the  Byzantine art, introducing innovative artistic currents of the West.

 

Dragon Cave 

The cave is on northern side of the city in the 2nd km of the lakeside road Sougaridi and just before the Monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa.The entrance is about 20 meters from the lake shore and 14 meters from the road.

Inside there are large terrestrialand lacustrine sections with impressive stalagmatic decoration as it includes 7 underground lakes , 10 rooms and 5 lanes -tunnels.The biggest cave hall has dimensions 45x17 meters with the central part elevated and sides reaching in the lakes.The big lake of the cave , which is the deepest lying west .The temperature inside the cave is stable all year to 16-18c whilethe humidity reaches 90%  


Inside the cave of the Dragon cave found paleontological remains , the main bones of an arctos bear or cave bear (Ursus Speleaus) .This species lived in Europe during the Pleistocene and became extinct about 10,000 years ago .Its name comes from the fact that the fossilized remains almost remains exclusively located in caves , where apparently he was staying for longer , unlike the brown bear which used only the caves during hibernation .It is estimated that the weight of maleswas reaching 400-500kg and 200-250 kg for females.It was basically vegeterian and occasional carnivore.

It is important that it have been received all necessary measures for the safety of visitors and the interventions inside made with a way so nothing can change the physical condition of the cave.

For information regarding the visitable hours or prices of the tickets etc  http://www.spilaiodrakoukast.gr/

The existence of the cave does not seem to be known until modern times.In written testimonies of the Turkish rule era there is no mention for the cave  , nor in the oldest historical testimonials.It is speculated that the entrance of the cave until some era was not visible due to sedimentation , but also because the lakeside trail was rough and accessible only by the lake.Amateur explorers from Kastoria  , people with envirnomental sensitivites in the decade of 40 , the era that was drilled and the lakeside road by General Soungaridi were the first who discovered and described the great beauty of the cave and threw threw the first idea of the exploitation.This is the time that is recorded the myth about the "Dragon"from whom the cave took it's name.

The Historic of Explotation 


Kastoria owes much to our fellow Nick Pistikos , Kostas Frasia , Anastasios Basakymo , Th Morfidi and many others and later in 1954to the swedish explorer Linberg , who wandered inside the cave and informed the local community for the incomparable beauty stone decoration.In 1963 Kastorians scouts in cooperation with the Greek Speleological Society gave us the first rough mapping and the first photographs of the interior , while later the cave was recorded in the official Bulletin of the annual Greek Speleological Compan


spilaiodrakou1


The first serious attempt was made in 1963 by Jonny Zervoudaki and G.S.S(Greek Speleogical Society) to complete the data collection and to train new speleologists.It was repeated in 1964 and 1965.The investigation and mapping of the Dragon cave escalated in 1966 and completed in 1969 by a team of G.S.S. led by K.Palikaropoulo , who alongside drew up a premeditation of turist use for the cave.

Followed and other explorations which always strengthened the view of the suitability of the cave for use.

Slowly it starts to mature in the local community's view the need to exploit the cave and with constant press reports starts a pressure in this direction.

In 1995 , authorized officials from the Ephorate of Speleology of the culture ministry invited by the municipality , to carry out a research in the cave entrance and based on a earlier preliminary study of tourism by the civil enginer enginer Mr Palikaropoulos amateur speleologist in collaboration with the Association "Friends of the Envirnoment" , submitted a formal conclusion on the appropriateness and the exploitation potientiality.

Subsequenlty the Municipality of Kastoria focused on searching funds  for the drafting of the  final study. The funds were secured by the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace and  the drafting of the study assigned to Kastorian scholars and supervisors of the technical service of Municipality.The study included all the necessary sub-categories of  studies , topographical , architectural ,static , electromechanical ,study of special fixatives operations , hydraulik ,envirnomental and management.Then the project "Exploiting Dragon Cave of Kastoria" Joined the R.O.P (Regional Operational Program) of est Macedonia.

At 1998 approved by the Ministry of Culture the tourist premeditation and the operations finally began in 2007.The project undertaken by the consurtium "Teligioridis -Felekidis"with co-supervision of the Ephorate of Paleoanthropology -Speleology of northen Greece. spilaiodrakou2

All the prediceted operations , so that the cave can be visited as well the landscaping and buildings that serve the en tire operation of the cave , implemented by mild methods of intervention especially within the order not to distort the rich stalactite decoration , while the external interference have architectural character that respects the local architectural traditions using local materials on the facades , stone wood and decrative ceramics.The Dragon cave opened its doors to the public on December 13 2009 and inagurated on December 29 2009 by the minister of Culture and Turism .Geroulanos and the president of the house Mr Petsalnikos.

The Myth


"Many centuries ago that great cave that is before the monastery of Mavriotissa was a goldmine and have been guarding by a dragon that breathed and was gouged from his mouth flames and poisoned vapors."

After the building of Kastoria (7th or 9th century) the first king Castor , wanting to entertain his guest brother Polideukis and his father in law Kelly priest of the God , releaved this huge cave.However , the presence of the dragon prevented their approach to the cave.

spilaiodrakou3

Then the king promised great gifts to him who kill the dragon.A young man showed.A fierce fight with the dragon started .Hitting it with a pole that trembled surrounding rocks and shaked the lake waters.The monster beaten and floated dead upon the water of the lake.They celebrated


Thats how describes the Folklorist D.Giannousis (Akropolis 7.11.54) the tradition about the Dragon cave
 the fact and thanks was given to Pan.And then with lit torches they went to the cave with stoopingly heads so they dont strike them to stalactites.The depth extended in kilometers and the atmosphere was suffocating from the shortage of oxygen.In a place where the tunnel narrows extinguised the torches and thick darkness hugged them all.Then they heard an eerie voice say :He that will crouch to get a handful of mud thats steps he will regret it. The most brave one bended down and took mud and filled their bosom.The others who scared didint dared to do this.When they came out in sunlight the ones who kept the mud were surprised that they were holding liquid gold dust.. 

end faq

Regional Unit Kozani

Macedonian Tomb

The Macedonian tomb at Eordea Cave is located three kilometers from the homonym village.
It is bicameral system chamber , with a monumental facade Doric rhythm and free pediment that hides the arch. Four Doric pilasters constitutes the virtual supports of the entablature, and among them there are embossed shields with written floral decoration.
The Macedonian tomb Cave was discovered in 1987. o This tomb, which was located close to the other two funerary monuments founded unplundered , one of the few undisturbed that have been found throughout Macedonia, and included offerings such as pottery and figurines and a few metal objects.

 

Mansions in Siatista 

In Siatista there are more and richer monumental wall-painted mansions of Macedonia. The mansions are creations and remains of urban lifestyle who accepted the Siatista cosmopolitans hawker and merchants to their establishment sites and the culture that  experienced in contacts with municipal and cultural centers of Central Europe. Alongside  the mansions are masterpieces of the Macedonian folk architecture and "exhibitions” of the  ideological objectives that were reflected in the artistic decoration of the order giver owners.     


The most important and representative surviving mansions dating between 1740 and 1780 (Poulkos, Manousi, Neratzopoulou, Kanatsouli), although there are notable examples from the 19th century (Dolgkira). The paintings has Recurring themes and stylistic variety. Views of cities or national myth (Constantinople, Temple of Olympian Zeus) portraits, mythological scenes, decorative motifs. The anthropomorphic depictions refered to persons and issues of national interest. The Maliogka mansion, among other forms depicts and the portrait of Rhegas Pheraos. The mansion Kanatsouli, the mythological scenes in the mezzanine based on the Greek mythology manual of Charisi Megdani from Kozani, a prominent scholar of the Enlightenment.

 

Prophet Elias 

Remarkable is the church of  Prophet Elijah in the homonym  hill, built in 1701, renovated in 1740 and decorated in the years 1740-1744 by hagiographer Anastasios Ioannis Kaloudis and his brothers from kapesovo of Ioannina. There is here too the performance of Jesse root with  ancient Greek philosophers. In the church of the Prophet Elijah Siatista is the only place in the Greek representation of seven number saints (Methodius, Clement, Naum, Sava, and Angelarios Gorasdon). The church of Prophet Elijah is the only one that is not open due to the  static problems.

Saint Minas 

In the middle of Siatista, opposite the Town Hall stands the church of Saint Mina, a single-aisled basilica built in 1702 and wall-painted in 1728. In the oldest temples of the city also included the church of St. John the Baptist (1700), the Twelve Apostles (1744), the Holy Archangels (1798), St. George, with impressive ambulatory, and Saint Christopher (late 18th century) and others younger

 

 

Ancient settlement from the iron Age

In a former elevated riverside headland , that now has been  flooded by the waters of  the artificial lake Polyfytos, the ephorate identified habitations of the Neolithic Age (around 5500 BC), the Early Iron Age that estimated around 1100 to 1000 BC , of Roman and Byzantine age (in the last period, the site was used as a cemetery). From the excavation unearthed one clay creation of the Neolithic era, three large storage areas with jars of the Early Iron Age, a two-room stone building probably of the same period with an apse to the southwest and preserved length of 11.6 meters, pits (probably for rubbish) of the Roman times and the burial of the Byzantine Era.

Settlement in Lava of Servia 

Significant were the findings of the excavations of the Ephoriate in the location of Kasiani Lava in the municipality of Servia, which found the only asserted settlement of the Early Neolithic period from 6500 to 6000 BC at such high altitude (950 meters). This settlement was located on the only natural passage that unites timeless Thessaly and Western Macedonia.

Basilica of catehumens, Servia 

The basilica of catechumens is located on the northwest corner of the lower town of the castle of Servia and constitute the episcopal of the church. Dated around 1000, but accepted modifications in various phases from the 12th to the 16th century. At the site where the church was built, there was an earlier devotional building of the early Christian period (4th to 6th century). Its existence can be seen from the remains of wall paintings, the fragments of frescoes, pottery, coins, fragments of mosaic floor and the crowd chip, as well as parts of the masonry that have survived the side aisles and the outer south side of the south aisle basilica.

The basilica is a three-aisled with narthex and raised central nave with skylight. The aisles are separated with walls that riddled by four arched openings. In the first building phase, the central nave was covered with a wooden gable roof and sides with pitched, while the central aisle communicated with the side through tribelon. The monument preserves wall paintings in three layers. The first is contemporary with the first phase of the temple, the second dates to the 13th century, under Bishop Michael, while the third, fragments of which were discovered in recent excavations, can be placed in the 15th to 16th century. Of particular interest presents among others, the fresco fragments that were found in the south aisle, which during the early post-Byzantine period was functioned as a chapel. This is the form of the enthroned Christ Pantocrator, the praying hands and part of the shape of Saint Demetrios, probably constituting a performance of praying. These frescoes, along with other elements such as floor sections at the two side aisles and the third layer of frescoes preserved in the north and south aisle certify the operation of the basilica, at least the side aisles until the 16th to 17th century. During the excavations revealed an extensive cemetery and the late Byzantine period, which occupied three aisles and the space of the holy step .These tombs mainly are pits with a frequent use of coffins, and with cist with numerous disposings. The variety in the construction of the last and the materials with which protects the head of the dead,in combination with the accompanying objects or jewelery, that carrying the dead, they lead us to interesting conclusions about the burial customs of the period.
The church now survives in a ruined form.In the part of the restoration study in the years 1995-2000 performed fixatives work, rescue maintenance of the frescoes and also excavations that brought to the light valuable information about the history of the monument.

 

Bridge Morfis or Petrogefyro

In the area Baltonikos - Lakos, at an altitude of 800 m., 2 km. East of the town of Morpis, in the Province Voio E.E Kozani there is the three-arched stone bridge that allows the passing to Pramoritsa, a tributary of Aliakmonas. The bridge is a listed monument by Ministerial Decision in 1995. The construction, according to morphological and structural elements, placed in the late 18th, and early 19th century

The hard widegrey limestone used to build the allegedly that  broke away from the adjacent rock. It consitute of two continuous arcs of equal size and a smaller to the south. This construction gives to the crossing, which has length of 26 m  and a width of 2.50 m, to the slope an upward from south to north. The bridge is grounded on the southern edge on a hard ground and in the north on the rock that rises abruptly at this point leaving a narrow path to the north. For the smooth continuity of motion, the longitudinal axis of the bridge in the north is curved turning east and creates an obtuse angle. Intermediate the bows based on two pillars, which rise into the riverbed. The pedestal have water cutters from rectangular blocks on both sides. Over a pedestal between the two larger arches, there is a relief opening. The structuring of the arches is done in two successive rows with large rectangular stones. The bottom row of stones inverted to 3.5m. To the interior the construction is not very elaborate because  smaller stones have been used. The stone construction of the northern side of the bridge is upstream to the river more careful with stones hewned almost in rectangular shape, arranged in horizontal rows, in using few smaller as wedges. In contrast to the south face used slow stones with several smaller wedges. As a binder is used a  plaster. The crossing is paved with rectangular stones that  placed in rows across. Among the upper arch stones are placed in  distances strongly elongated stones (arcades), that protruding and delimiting  the crossing giving the impression of a low parapet.

end faq

Regional Unit Florina 

Windmill St. Panteimonas Ανεμόμυλος 

This is one of the oldest surviving buildings of the Municipality, dating to the mid 18th century during the Ottoman period and has been declared a protected monument by the 4th Ephorate of Modern Monuments. The pinpointing to the central into an elevated position of the settlement  also and  the  particular architectural features makes the windmill a benchmark for the entire region.

The windmill and the nearby small traditional grocery store made as an  Information Centre for Vegoritida Petrwn lakes, where the visitor is informed about the region through texts, digital images, educational game and movie.

Hermitages

Further away from the fishermen settlement, in the Prespa coast,  preserved relics and other small monastic institutions such as the hermitage of Metamorphosis of the 13th century, from which survived the small roomed vaulted church and some traces of the monks' cells, and the hermitage of Short Ascension, a small single-aisled vaulted church built in a recess of the rock, which kept painting of the late 14th century. The monument was recently restored by the Archaeological Service. Finally, in the hermitage of the Virgin Eleousa, which is the largest, from the sprawling complex cells and the other auxiliary spaces in the huge cave preserved until today only the single-aisled vaulted church with rich painting imitation ceramic decoration on the face. It was built by the monk Sava and monks Iakovos and Varlaam in 1410, according to the relevant Ktitoric  inscription, while in the frescoes, that recommend one of the major painting works of the early Ottoman rule in Western Macedonia, painted by monk Ioannikios.

Byzantine - Post-Byzantine monuments of Prespa 

Despite the geographical isolation and low population density of the Prespa, the Byzantine and post-Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture of the region presents a particular interest. Except the Basilica of Saint Achilles on the south side of the homonymous island, have saved the ruins of the temple of the Holy Apostles (11th-12th c.), A small three-aisled basilica with narthex. The remains of the fortifications around the church, and a Hellenistic building, a Roman Early Christian inscription and two easly-christian columns show the continued use of the site from the Hellenistic antiquity (here placed the ancient city Lyka) until the Byzantine years. Still, the cemetery church of St. George (15th c.) stands out for its frescoes which represent a typical example of ecclesiastical folklore art of the region.

One of the oldest (early 11th c.) and important monuments of church architecture of the region is located in St Germanos. This is a small cruciform church with a dome and a narthex, which was dedicated to the patriarch of Constantinople Germanos. Besides the architectural interest, visitors have the opportunity to watch a brief synoptic panorama of Byzantine and post-Byzantine hagiography, since in the church's interior survived successive layers of frescoes, which cover chronologically seven centuries (11os - 18th). Could anyone continue for a long the  tour to the monuments of Prespa, observing the particular architecture and the rich ceramic decoration of triconch church of St. Nicholas in Pylh (14th c.) Admiring the colorful and dramatic scenes in the frescoes of St. Nicholas Plati (1591). Nevertheless, one of the most interesting and unique features of the area are the rock paintings and hermitages on the steep shores of Prespa, marks of the strong presence of small monastic communities and hermits. The HolyVirgin Eleousa (1373 AD) and Holy Virgin Blachernitissa (1455/6) constitute the most typical examples of rock paintings, which can be seen through the boat in the small bay of Fishermen. 


Even more impressive are the three best preserved hermitages in the steep rock that rises above the lake shore. The first of the two that meets the visitor in the tour by boat is the hermitage of Metamorphosis (13os c.), From which survived the small roomed vaulted church and some traces of the monks' cells. Then one can see the ruins of hermitages of Asia Ascension (15th c.), From which are preserved some traces of frescoes of sanctuary niche.

The better preserved is the hermitage of the Virgin Eleousa (early 15th c.), Located in a cave with a relatively large opening. The small single-nave church with a semi-hexagonal niche is Bejewel with frescoes, with this characteristic of the Holy Virgin Vrefokratousa (infant keeper) in the arch over the entrance. The inscription above the little door informs us about monk - founders of the church, the Lord of Voulkasino area and the exact date of construction (1409-1410).

Holy Apostles 

Apart from the Basilica of St. Achilles on the south side of the homonymous island, the ruins of the Holy Apostles temple (11th-12th c.)have preserved, is a small three-aisled basilica with narthex. The remains of the fortifications around the church, and a Hellenistic building, a Roman Early Christian inscription and two early Christian columns show the continued use of the site from the Hellenistic antiquity, here is placed the ancient city Lyka until the Byzantine years.

Crimson Holy Virgin

One of  the most important monument on the island and in the region is the church of Panagia Porphyra(Crimson Holy Virgin), single-aisled church with narthex, that constituted the Catholic monastery is deserted today. In the interior has preserved wall paintings in two phases: in 1524 are dated the frescoes of the west wall of the main nave, while in 1741 was decorated the additional vestibule space by the brothers Constantine and Athanasios painters from Korca.

Churches 

The 19th century. represented by many fairly well preserved ecclesiastical monuments, which are divided into two categories: single-aisled churches and three-aisled basilica. In the area of Prespa remarkable monuments of the first category is St. Athanasios in Kallithea, St. Athanasios in Oxia, St. Athanasios in St. Germanos (1816), Saint Friday(1868) and St. Athanasios in Mikrolimni (1908), while in the second category, except the second church of St. Germain in the homonymous settlement, we mention the Holy Friday in Lemos (1896), the Assumption at Psarades (1893), St. Friday in Pixo (1899) etc. Noteworthy features of the three-aisled basilica of the region is the absence of external open arcade, the fitted-wall stone anaglyphon in the outer walls and the construction of wattle and daub,in a shape of semi-cylindrical arch, in the roof of the central aisle.

Some more notable temples of the 19th century by E.E is the Saint Nikolaos in Amyntaio (basilica of 1821), Saint Nikolaos in Trigwno  (three isled basilica of 1866), Saint Nikolaos in Agia Paraskevi (basilica of 1856), Agios Athanasios in Antartiko (three-aisled basilica of 1864 or 1882), the St. George in Drosopigi (single-aisled church of the first quarter of the 19th c.), the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Kato Kleines (single-aisled church of 1838) etc.

 

For more detailed information of temples - see monuments  here.

end faq

Εκτός από τη βασιλική του Αγίου Αχιλλείου στη νότια πλευρά του ομώνυμου νησιού σώζονται τα ερείπια του ναού των Αγίων Αποστόλων (11ος – 12ος αι.), μιας μικρής τρίκλιτης βασιλικής με νάρθηκα. Τα λείψανα οχύρωσης γύρω από το ναό, καθώς και ένα ελληνιστικό κτίσμα, μια ρωμαϊκή επιγραφή και δύο παλαιοχριστιανικοί κίονες φανερώνουν τη συνεχή χρήση του χώρου από την ελληνιστική αρχαιότητα (στο σημείο αυτό τοποθετείται η αρχαία πόλη Λύκα) μέχρι τα βυζαντινά χρόνια. - See more at: http://www.florina.gr/%CE%A0%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%84%CE%B9%CF%83%CE%BC%CF%8C%CF%82/%CE%9C%CE%BD%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%B5%CE%AF%CE%B1#sthash.e2gT9hEO.dpuf
Εκτός από τη βασιλική του Αγίου Αχιλλείου στη νότια πλευρά του ομώνυμου νησιού σώζονται τα ερείπια του ναού των Αγίων Αποστόλων (11ος – 12ος αι.), μιας μικρής τρίκλιτης βασιλικής με νάρθηκα. Τα λείψανα οχύρωσης γύρω από το ναό, καθώς και ένα ελληνιστικό κτίσμα, μια ρωμαϊκή επιγραφή και δύο παλαιοχριστιανικοί κίονες φανερώνουν τη συνεχή χρήση του χώρου από την ελληνιστική αρχαιότητα (στο σημείο αυτό τοποθετείται η αρχαία πόλη Λύκα) μέχρι τα βυζαντινά χρόνια. - See more at: http://www.florina.gr/%CE%A0%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%84%CE%B9%CF%83%CE%BC%CF%8C%CF%82/%CE%9C%CE%BD%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%B5%CE%AF%CE%B1#sthash.e2gT9hEO.dpuf