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A few words about Larisa:

Larisa

Larissa (ΛΑΡΙΣΑ in Greek) or Larisa is the capital city of the Thessaly periphery of Greece, and capital of the Larissa prefecture. It is a main agricultural centre and a transportation hub, linked by rail with the port of Volos and with Thessaloniki (Salonika) and Athens.


Geography

It is the second largest prefecture in area in Greece, exceeded only by Aitoloacarnania. Larissa or Larisa prefecture features the Tempe Valley, and the NE part of the Peneus River. It is the largest prefecture in Thessaly covering about one-third of the region. It also contains the tallest mountain in Greece, Mount Olympus with an elevation of 2,917 m. The climate is more continental than any other part of Greece. It has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild to cool winters, except in the mountain areas which get warm summers and cold winters. The highest temperature ever recorded was 45.2C and the coldest was -21.6C or 66.8 K. In the summer, Larissa is often the warmest area in Greece and often the coldest in winter.

It is bounded by Kozani to the northwest, Pieria to the northeast (both in Macedonia), the Aegean Sea to the east, Magnesia to the southeast, Fthiotis to the south (in Central Greece/Mainland Greece), Karditsa to the southwest and Trikala to the east. It is not the only prefecture that borders the most other prefectures. The other prefecture is Kozani.

The elevation of Larissa Airport is 73 m.

The skiing resort of Pilio is to the east and is the closest resort which is 59 km E.

The southern part, the northern part, and the northwesternpart are heavily covered with forests while the central, the southwestern, the western and the southeastern part are covered with fertile land that is called the Thessalian Plain. The barren rocks are to the east and the northeast within the Aegean Sea and in the Olympus area. Lake Voivi is situated in the southeast and is a lagoon dividing the Thessalian Plain and the Pelion ranges, and with the prefecture of Magnesia.


History

Traces of Paleolithic human settlement have been recovered from the area, but it was peripheral to areas of advanced culture. The area around Larissa was extremely fruitful - it was agriculturally important and in antiquity was known for its horses. The city finally moved closer to the rest of Greece.

The name Larissa, which pre-dates Indo-European languages, was common to many Pelasgian towns. Thus in Greek mythology, Larissa or Larisa was vaguely personified as a daughter of Pelasgus, though no specific myth was connected with her.

Larissa, written Larisa on ancient coins and inscriptions, is near the site of the Homeric Argissa. It appears in early times, when Thessaly was mainly governed by a few aristocratic families, as an important city under the rule of the Aleuadae, whose authority extended over the whole district of Pelasgiotis. This powerful family possessed for many generations before 369 BC the privilege of furnishing the Tagus, or generalissimo, of the combined Thessalian forces. The principal-rivals of the Aleuadae were the Scopadac of Crannon, the remains of which (called by the Turks Old Larissa) are about 14 miles south west. The inhabitants sided with Athens during the Peloponnesian War, and during the Roman invasion their city was of considerable importance. Since the 5th century it has been the scat of an archbishop. Larissa was the headquarters of Ali Pasha during the Greek War of Independence, and of the crown prince Constantine during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897. The flight of the Greek army from this place to Pharsala took place on the 23 April 1897.

Unitl 1881 it was the seat of a pasha in the wilaya of Iannina. In Turkish, it was known as Veal Shehr (New Town). Its long subjection to Ottoman rule has left little trace of antiquity. It was formerly a Turkish military centre and most of the people were of Turkish origin. In the 19th century, there was a small village in outskirts of the town inhabited by Africans from the Sudan, a curious remnant of the forces collected by Ali Pasha. In the 19th century, the town produced leather, cotton, silk and tobacco. Fevers and agues were prevalent owing to bad drainage and the overflowing of the river; and the death-rate was higher than the birth rate. It was also renouned for its minarets of its mosques (four of which were still in use in the early part of the 20th century) and the Muslim burial grounds. A considerable portion of the Turkish population emigrated in 1881. During the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, Turkish troops entered the city once again. After a treaty for peace was signed, they withdrew and Larissa remained permanently in Greece. This was followed by a further exodus of Turks in 1898.

 

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