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EDESSA

Is the capital of this prefecture, built in the foothills of Mt. Vermion, with a view over the plain, lush greenery, flower-filled gardens and plenty of water. Edessa's celebrated waterfalls are to be found to the northeast of town, in a thickly wooded area with a stunning view. Under the largest cataract there is a small cave with a chapel dedicated to the Ascension (Analipsi). Five kilometers from here is the village of Agras, which took its name from the Macedonian freedom fighter Tellos Agras. One of Greece's biggest hydroelectric plants is located here. The lake that feeds the plant, which covers an area of 10,000 acres, has become a habitat for wild ducks and swans.

A town famed for its fruit and red peppers is Aridea, while Skidra is considered among the largest fruit-producing centers of Greece. Another town with an abundance of water is Arnissa, built on the lower slopes of Kaimaktsalan, in front of Lake Vegoritis. Finally, we have Giannitsa, the biggest city in the prefecture and an important agricultural and animal breeding center. The villages of Palia & Nea Pella lie just 4 kilometers away, with the ruins of ancient Pella spead out between them. It was here that during the reign of Archelaos (413-399 BC) that Pela became he capital of the Macedonian kingdom. He built a new palace and invited Zeuxis, the greatest painter of the day, to decorate it. Both Philip II and Alexander the Great spent some time here. By the 4th century BC, the new capital had become the most important political, economic and administrative center in the Macedonian kingdom. Excavations here have unearthed parts of the walls, the palace, the sanctuaries of Aphrodite, Demeter and Cybele, the agora, cemetery and several houses. In two of these houses, which date to the late 4th century BC, mosaic floors of exceptional quality have been found; they are perhaps the finest examples of the art yet discovered (on display in the museum).

USEFUL INFORMATION

  • Archaeological Site and Museum: tel.: (23820) 31160, 32752.
  • Mountain climbing: On Mt. Paiko, where there is a small refuge. Information: (23820) 23121.
  • Ski center: At Kaimaktsalan, refuge. Information: (23810) 23101.
  • Swimming: In Lake Vegoritis.
  • Specialties: Fresh peaches, apricots.

 

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