Serres - Macedonia (Greece)
Serres. Prefecture Serres is located in Northern Greece, in the district of Macedonia. To the northwest it borders the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to the north Bulgaria, to northeast the Greek prefecture Dram. Southeast of Serres is the prefecture Kavala, and Thessaloniki and Kilkis in the southwest and the west. Serres has a population of about 200,000 people.
Serres town, the capital of the prefecture Serres, is a modern city with wide and spacious squares, traditional and neoclassical buildings. The town of Serres is located 580 kilometers (360 mi) from Athens and 79 kilometers (49 mi) from Thessaloniki.
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General information about Serres
At a distance of 62 kilometers (39 mi) from the capital lies the village Amfipoli, the ancient colony of Athenians founded in 437 BC. Outside the village, close to the bridge of the river Strimonas, stands the famous Lion of Amfipoli, a tomb from the 4th century BC. The sculpture was restored in its original location.
Interesting is Sidirokastro, built on the banks of the river Krousovitis, near the Bulgarian border. It got its name from the strong fortress that protects the town. The ancient ruins of Sidirokastro are located on top of the huge rock at a height of 155 meters (508 ft). The surrounding area is very green, with many streams, waterfalls, bridges and monasteries.
Sights of the Prefecture Serres
- The Museum of Serres on the town square
- Ethnological museum of Sidirokastro
- Healing springs, Therma Nigritas and Loutra Sidirokastro
- The impressive caves of Alistratis in Serres
- Ski center Lailias in Serres
- Mountaineering in Vrontos, 10 minutes from the forest Lailias
- The Kerkini lake, one of the most important places of natural interest where the Dalmatian Pelican lives and the water buffalo
- The Vironia aquarium: It is the only aquarium in Northern Greece and has 30 species of fish from the lake
Average temperature Serres
Festivals and cultural tradition in Serres
- The Gynaeocracy: At Monoklisia, on the 8th of January, the women take control and reverse roles with men. Visitors watch the new "Amazons" receiving the key of the village for one day. They take over the manly jobs and relax in coffee-houses while men take over the housework.
- Gerakina: The legend of Gerakina is celebrated every year during Easter in the town of Nigtita. The very well-known traditional song "Gerakina" describes the story of a village woman who falls in the well when fetching water.
- Kalogeros in Agia Eleni: Kalogeros (the Monk) During this celebration, a villager playing a king is drawn along in a chariot. He goes from house to house, offering wine to the householders and is preceded by the kalogeros, who is dressed in “a rough sack... down to his knees, a belt... hung with bells... a mask made from a pumpkin and shaped like the muzzle of a beast with holes for the eyes and mouth.”
- The Anastenaria, the well-known fire-walking ritual, also known as the "Dinysian dances.” This festival begins on May 21st (the name day of the Saints Constantine and Helen) in Agia Eleni. The ceremony starts on May the 20th – the eve before the feast day of Sts. Constantine and Eleni - with animal sacrifices “Kourbani” and transfer of the icons of the two saints from the village’s church to “Konaki” (lodging) where sleeplessness and general preparation of the devotees for the inspiration take place. In the morning of May 21st, the Anastenarides bring the icons to Agiasma, a holy place in the small wood. In the afternoon of May the 21st the first fire walking takes place.
Text: Yorgos and Wendy Nikolidakis - Revised by Katrina Butzer
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