What to See in Greece

Kastoria (Greece)

According to Healthvv, Kastoria is located in the northwest of Greece. It is located on a peninsula on Lake Orestia. Kastoria is one of the oldest cities in Western Macedonia, it was founded in 840 BC. The medieval version of the name of the city is associated with the habitation of a large number of beavers in the lake. Translated from the ancient Greek language, “castor” is a beaver. It was here that fur production was born, which brought the city worldwide fame. Furrier craftsmanship, passed down from generation to generation, has reached true art over the years. Today the city hosts Europe’s largest exhibition and sale of fur products “Edika”. In Kastoria, the so-called. fur coats.

But apart from furs in Kastoria there is something to see. The unique flavor of the city gives its traditional architectural style. The walls erected by Justinian and many monuments of the Byzantine era have been preserved here. There are about 70 churches of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods in the city. Each of the temples has its own characteristics.

The church of Agia Anargyri contains a richly decorated marble iconostasis, as well as frescoes from the 11th and 12th centuries. There are also ancient frescoes in the church of Taxiarchis Mitropoulos. Church of Panagia Mavriotisa is located on the territory of an ancient monastery, from which only small buildings remain. The church was painted by six icon painters, each of whom stood out with his individual technique. There are also wall decorations made of bricks. One of the oldest churches in Kastoria – the church of Panagia Kumbelidiki or Kastriotisa (IX century) – has become a symbol of the city. Its walls are decorated with stone ornaments that have made it an architectural gem of Kastoria.

The panorama of the city is complemented by old mansions that have been preserved since the time of Turkish rule. The houses are impressive in size and have rich interior decoration.

On top of the hill, where the Acropolis used to be, is now located Byzantine Museum. The museum houses a unique collection of Byzantine icons of the 12th-17th centuries. It consists of about 450 icons, of which 38 are exhibited, and the rest are stored in storerooms.

The estate of Nerandzi Ayvazi is located in the village of Doltso in the Old Town, which today houses the Ethnographic Museum. Its exposition presents household items, clothing, tools and other items that were used in old estates.

Paros, island of Paros (Greece)

Paros, like most of the Greek islands, has a rich history. It was inhabited during the Neolithic period. About 3 thousand years ago, Paros became one of the centers of the Cycladic civilization, as evidenced by the remains of ancient settlements and burials. Due to the abundance of convenient bays, the island was used by the Cretans as the main harbor, from where they traded with the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians and the inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula. The importance of the island was reflected in its name – in those days it was called Minoa. In the first millennium, fugitives from Arcadia settled on the island. Their leader was Paros by whose name it was later named. Thanks to the experience of the arrived Arcadians and local Ionians, agriculture and trade begin to develop rapidly on the island. Mostly the inhabitants of the island traded in marble. Over time, Paros acquired great power, he had colonies far beyond his borders. Art is also flourishing. In the 7th century BC. here lived one of the greatest poets of antiquity, Archilochus, who is considered the main inspirer of all subsequent satirical poets. In the VI century BC. Paros begins to decline, and during the Persian wars it was conquered by Athens. During the Greek era, the life of the island revolved around the extraction and sale of marble. Bright white, transmitting light several centimeters deep and beautifully polished, Parian marble was one of the most popular materials at that time. It was used in the creation of the temples of Apollo in Delos, Hermes in Olympia, sculptures of Venus de Milo in the Louvre, parts of the Temple of Solomon.

In the 2nd century, Christianity began to spread on the island, as evidenced by the monuments and burials of that time. During the Byzantine period, the church of Ekatontapiliani was built. According to legend, the construction was carried out under the leadership of St. Helena and Constantine the Great. In the 10th century, Paros was empty due to frequent raids by pirates, which almost completely ruined it. In 1207, the Venetian era begins in the history of the island, which lasted until 1537. It became the possession of the Venetian merchant Marco Sanudo. On the ruins of ancient temples, castles were built on his orders. In 1560, Paros was captured by the Turks and gained independence only in 1821 after the Greek War of Independence.

In the last decade, Paros has become a major tourist destination. Endless sandy beaches with the purest blue water, numerous churches and monasteries made of Parian marble, snow-white villages leave an unforgettable impression.

Among the main attractions of the island, the Ekatontapiliani Church, the Church of St. Constantine with a unique wooden iconostasis, the Archaeological Museum, which stores archaeological finds from the Neolithic to the Roman era, the Byzantine Museum, Venetian fortresses, the ruins of the Temple of Demeter, the Tapsana Monastery, the Temple of Christ, should be noted. You can also visit numerous villages and just wander around them. Their whitewashed two- or three-story houses with blue shutters seem to have descended from the pages of fairy-tale books. Perhaps the most interesting of them is the village of Lefkes, which is located on the highest point of the island. Built in the form of an amphitheater, it fits well into the surrounding landscape. The houses and churches in this village were built in the 15th-17th centuries.

Beach lovers should definitely visit Kolymbifres (“Kupeli”) beach, bordered by high cliffs of unusual shape, Chrisi Akti and Tserdakia, which have been awarded the Blue Flag. Paros is also popular with surfers.

Paros, island of Paros (Greece)