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Listed 10 sub titles with search on: History for wider area of: "SERRES Prefecture GREECE" .

History (10)


The historical note

  The Holy Monastery of the Virgin Icosifinissa is built 753m above sea level and lies in the thick north forest of Mount Pangeo, on the road from Serres to Kavala, just after the village Kormista. It is one of the 2 Holy areas in Eastern Macedonia which continue to attract many believers, who came here to worship the "Icon of Our Lady which is not made by hands" and to rest in the serene surroundings.
  The origin of the Monastery’s name, according to one of the three versions, is due to the miraculous intervention of the Virgin, which resulted in making the icon splendidly dark red colored.
  During the period of Turkish rule, the Monastery was a shelter for Orthodoxy and a center of the preservation and revitalization of Greek Nationalism in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, resulting in the fury of the Turks, which was to be succeeded by the fury of the Bulgarians. The Monastery has repeatedly faced destructive attacks and produced numerous martyrs.
  According to some sources, the Bisthop of Filippi, "Sozon", who took part at the 4th Ecumenical Synod (Chalkidona, 451), built a temple and a monastic settlement at a place called "Vigla", 50 m east from the existing Monastery and were the extant ruins of a tower provide evidence of the former presence of an ancient fortress. The temple and the monastic settlement were abandoned afterwards with the arrival of the first proprietor of the Monastery, St. Germanos (518 A.C.), who while very young started to lead an ascetic life at the Monastery of St. John, near the River Jordan in the Holy Land. Since then and for many centuries, the history of the Monastery of Virgin Mary Idosifinissa has been completely unknown. Archaeological findings lead to the conclusion that during the 11th century the main church (katholikon) was rebuilt. During the same period, the Monastery became STAVROPIGIAKI, that means responsible to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
  In 1472 the Ecumenical Patriarch St. Dionysios resigned from his throne and came to the Monastery. The presence of this second proprietor lent great prestige to the Holy Monastery. During his long stay at the Monastery he erected many new buildings and repaired the old ones, giving the Monastery a new glamour. According to written evidence of the 16th century, in 1507 24 holly monks lived in the Monastery. These monks were traveling in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace reinforcing the faith of Christians and dissuading islamizations. These actions enraged the Turks, who on 25.08.1507 massacred all the 172 monks. They did not destroy the church and the buildings, but the Monastery remained desert and uninhabited for 13 years.
  After the tragic occurrence of the slaughter, the Ecumenical Patriarchate managed in 1510 (or in 1520 according to other sources) to obtain the permission of the Sultan to reorganize the Monastery. Thus, with the help of ten monks from the Holy Mount, just ten years afterwards, 50 monks joined the Monastery but also deacons and holy monks that undertook the leadership of the Monastery.
  During the following years the Monastery became the cultural and national center of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. It was in this Monastery that Emmanouil Papas put his men under oath and declared the Revolution.
  In former days the Monastery hosted a famous Hellenic School and the library of the Monastery was a significant one. Before being looted by the Bulgarians in 1917, the library housed some 1,300 printed books and priceless manuscripts. During those centuries of growth many of the buildings of the Monastery were repaired and new ones were built. During the second half of the 19th century the Monastery faced significant difficulties: in 1845 a conflagration burned to ashes the west wing and a part of the north one while in 1864 a cholera epidemic decimated the monks. The Monastery was rebuilt thanks to the glorious Metropolitan Bishop of Drama, Chrysostomos (1902-1910). The attacks of the Turks were succeeded by those of the Bulgarians, who in 1917 despoiled the priceless treasures of the Monastery. During the Second World War the Bulgarians, again completed the devastation, burning the buildings of the Monastery in 1943. The rebuilding of the Monastery started in 1965 and in a fifteen-year period achieved its present appearance. Today (1997) the Monastery houses 25 Nuns. The feast days of the Monastery are on 15 August to commemorate the Rood and on 21 November to commemorate the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple.
This text (extract) is cited September 2003 from the Prefecture of Serres tourist pamphlet.

Byzantine period (324-1453 AD)

  The famed city of Serrhai was destroyed when the Bulgarians set it on fire as they began their retreat in 1913. Its Byzantine monuments were consumed by the flames, with the sole exception of the three-aisled 11th century basilica of Ayioi Theodoroi, now reconstructed, which hints at the former wealth and culture of the second most important city of Macedonia after Thessalonike.
  The sturdy, solid walls of the acropolis still bear witness to the size of medieval Serrhai. The town has a significant place in the history of the 12th and later centuries. It attained its greatest importance in the 14th century during the conflict between Byzantium and the Serbian state; in 1345 Serrhai was captured by the Serb ruler Stefan Dusan.
  In 1371 the then ruler of the city, the Serb John Ugliesa, was defeated in the battle of Maritsa (Evros River) in his attempt to uphold the rights of the entire Orthodox world against the Turks.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains images.

Catastrophes of the place

GALIPSOS (Ancient city) SERRES

By Philippus

Of the civil war


Battles of Beles

During the civil war there were vehement attacks to the mountain.

Official pages


The Prehistoric period
  The area of the estuary of the Strymon River, with its natural wealth, offered favourable conditions of life and establishment since prehistoric times. Findings from the settlement of the hill 133, form the cemetery of the settlement on the neighbouring Hill of Kasta and other nearby sites, evidence the strong presence of man from the Middle Neolithic period to the Early Iron Age (5000 BC-750 BC).

The Early historical times
  From the middle of the 7th century BC, with the establishment of the Greek cities by the estuary of the Stymon River, begins the progressive penetration of the Greeks in Thrace, as evidenced by the Attic and Corinthian vases found in tombs of the Archaic period. The first signs of colonization in the area of Amphipolis (= Nine Roads) date back to the first half of the 5th century BC.

The Classical and Hellenistic periods
  The foundation of Amphipolis in 437 BC, under Pericles Age, represented a great success for the Athenians who were trying for years, to gain a lodgement in the wealthy inland. However, a few years later (422 BC), the city gains its independence and it preserves it until it is integrated by Philip II 357 BC) in the Kingdom of Macedonia. Within the Macedonian Kingdom, Amphipolis continues its important trade and cultural activities. Special importance was also granted to the sanctuaries. Its economy was based on its agricultural population which cultivated the "fertile valley of the Strymon". Among the inhabitants of the city, many were merchants, artisans and slaves. The active commercial life of the city reflects in the rich collection of coins as well as in the establishment of a royal mint during the Macedonian period. The prosperity of the city is supported by the production of local pottery, sculptures and small artifacts which echo the daily life of the city. Very important inscriptions, including an "ephebic law" on a stele, date from that period and furnishes precious information on the "education of the youth".

The Roman period
  After the conquest of Macedonia by the Romans (168 BC), Amphipolis was made capital of the first administrative-economic unit (merida) of Macedonia. The Roman period is for Amphipolis a period of prosperity under Roman sovereignty. As a stop along the Via Engatia route and enjoying the support of roman emperors, such as Augustus and Hadrian, the city prospers economically as evidenced by the monuments with mosaic floors, the sculpture works, the pottery and other findings brought to light by the excavations.

The Early Christian period
  By the end of the Ancient age (4th century AD), the city expanse is reduced. However, the transfer of the capital of the Roman state to Constantinople and the consecration of Christianity as official religion, favours the dynamic course of life of Amphipolis during the Early Christian centuries, as evidenced by the Early Christian basilicas, the artistic mosaic and the remarkable architectural adornment. The plague of the 6th century AD and the movements of Slav populations afterwards, lead to a new shrinkage of Amphipolis which disintegrates as urban centre.

The Byzantine period
  After the 9th century AD, building activity shifts to the estuary of the Strymon river where an important city-harbour develops, known as Chrysoupolis. A small settlement, Marmarion, develops over the ruins of Amphipolis, on the north-west fringes of the hills, to serve the needs of the travelers crossing the Strymon River at "Marmario Ford".

The Post Byzantine period
  The last reference to Marmario is made in 1547 AD by the traveler P. Belon. Since the 18th century, a new village, the village of Neohorion is mentioned to be located on the site of Marmario. In the beginning of the Ottoman period, Chrysoupolis remained the basic urban and commercial centre of the area, later on followed by the smaller in size ottoman fortress of Orfanio, 6 km to the east and 3 km from the coast. The commercial and industrial activity continued in the delta and the mouth of the Strymon River throughout the Tourkokratia (Turkish dominion).
This text (extract) is cited August 2003 from the Prefecture of Serres tourist pamphlet.

Population movements

FAGRIS (Ancient city) SERRES

Pieria - Phagres

This was effected by the expulsion from Pieria of the Pierians, who afterwards inhabited Phagres and other places under Mount Pangaeus, beyond the Strymon lpar;indeed the country between Pangaeus and the sea is still called the Pierian gulf.

GALIPSOS (Ancient city) SERRES

Remarkable selections


The Peace of Nicias

Cleon, the most prominent and influential leader at Athens after the Athenian victory at Pylos in 425, was dispatched to northern Greece in 422 to try to stop Brasidas. As it happened, both he and Brasidas were killed before Amphipolis in 422 B.C. in a battle won by the Spartan army. Their deaths deprived each side of its most energetic military commander and opened the way to negotiations. Peace came in 421 B.C. when both sides agreed to resurrect the balance of forces just as it had been in 431 B.C. The agreement made in that year is known as the Peace of Nicias after the name of the Athenian general Nicias, who was instrumental in convincing the Athenian assembly to agree to a peace treaty. The Spartan agreement to the peace revealed a fracture in the coaltion of Greek states allied with Sparta against Athens and its allies because the Corinthians and the Boetians refused to join the Spartans in signing the treaty.

This text is from: Thomas Martin's An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander, Yale University Press. Cited Oct 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

The place was conquered by:

GALIPSOS (Ancient city) SERRES

Lakedaimonians under Brasidas, 424 BC

Atheninas under Cleon, 422 BC

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