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SERRES

Here tradition is very much alive in every village and many folk customs are still celebrated: Gynaikocratia (women's rule) at Monokklisia, Anastenaria (fire-walking) at Agia Eleni and Dionysiac dances at Gazoro.

Serres, the prefectural capital, is a modem, bustling city, with broad streets and open squares. The new town blends pleasantly with the old. In its northern sector, on the pine-wooded hill of Koula, the ruins of the ancient acropolis and the Byzantine castle bear witness to a history spanning many centuries. There is also a 14th century church here, dedicated to St. Nicholas with beautiful mosaics. 12 km. away, in a gorge, stands the monastery of Timios Prodromes (St John the Baptist 1270 AD) with frescoes of various periods. More antiquities are to be found at Amphipolis, 62 km. from Serres, once an Athenian colony, founded in 437 BC. Outside the village, near the bridge over the Strimon river, the famous Lion of Amphipolis was discovered, a 4th c. BC funerary sculpture. The pieces were reassembled and now the Lion guards the bridge. Sidirokastro, near the Bulgarian border, is a pretty town built on the banks of the Kroussovitis River. The town and the surrounding area are almost overwhelmed by greenery and richly endowed with streams, waterfalls, bridges, churches and monasteries.

USEFUL INFORMATION

  • Serres Museum: tel. (23210) 22257
  • Sidirokastro Folk Art Museum: Tel. (23230) 22307
  • Spas: At Therma, near Nigrita and Loutra near Sidirokastro.
  • Caves: Alistrati near Serres, one of the biggest and most spectacular in Greece.
  • Lai-Lia Ski Center: near Serres, tel. (23210) 62400 It is 27 km from Serres, with parking, one ski lift (800 m.), serving 700 people per hour, one baby lift (200 m.), refuge, ski rental, restaurant open on weekends, highest altitude 1850 m., lowest 1600 m. One slope of moderate difficulty.
  • Mountain Climbing at Vrontos, 10 minutes from the Lai-Lia forest, 1500 m. alt, refuge sleeping 60. Information: EOS (Alpine Society) Serres, tel.: (23210) 23724.
  • Fishing: In the Strimon and Kroussovitis rivers, in Lake Kerkini.
  • Specialties: the famous loukoumia (Turkish delight).

 

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