History PRESPES (Municipality) FLORINA - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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History (1)

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PRESPES (Municipality) FLORINA
  So far, the earliest archaeological findings in Prespa date from the Bronze and Iron Ages. However, since Neolithic pile houses have been found in the neighboring countries, it is very likely that the Geek part of the area has also had permanent settlements from the Neolithic or over before. In the sixth century B. C nomadic groups lived in the area, and it seems that Illyrian tribes inhabited the lands at the western part of this region.
  From about 500 to 200 B. C, Prespa belonged to the Macedonian kings, being ruled by the successors of Alexander the Great until the end of their empire.
  Buildings at Agios Achillios and graves located between Lemos and Miliona are remains of the early Christian and Roman periods. A funerary altar at Pyli is dated to the early Byzantine era, when Prespa belonged to the province of Illyrian. From the end of the ninth century many parts of Macedonia, including Prespa, became part of the Bulgarian kingdom ruled by Simeon. Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire dominated the area intermittently until the end of the tenth century, when the region fell under Samuel, Czar of the Bulgarians. Prespa and later Ochrid were then used as the centers of his kingdom and base for the attacks against Byzantium. It is known that Samuel erected at Prespa a palace and a Basilica, to where he brought the remains of Agios Achillios. After constant wars, Samuel was defeated by Basil II. The new conqueror retook all the territory captured by Samuel, and later built two forts, Vasilidha and Konstantio, whose locations are still being investigated. Until about the middle of the fourteenth century, the Prespa region was under the intermitted occupations of Pechenegs, Bulgarians, Normans, Alamans, Franks, Serbs and Byzantines. When the Byzantine Empire began to collapse, the Ottoman Turks ruled the regions west of the city of Veria. Due to its remoteness, the Prespa region was not so severely influenced by the Ottoman domination, what allowed it to continue to be controlled by the local leaders and also attracted, during the subsequent five centuries, Christian believers that left their mark in the form of many churches, monasteries, chapels, monastic communities and hermits' cells.
  From the middle of the nineteenth century onwards both Bulgarians and Greeks demanded freedom from the Ottoman Empire at the same time they were disputing other Macedonian grounds. Important leaders in the Greek nationalistic struggle against the Ottoman domination were N. and S. Dalipis, from the mountain village of Sfika, Captain Kotas, from the valley of Korestia, and S. Paraskevaidis from Lemos, as well as many other combatants from Prespa. Being very close to the one of the main centers of the Macedonia Struggle, Prespa suffered the consequence of its position. During these times many Prespiots emigrated to Romania, America and Canada.
  The Balkan Wars followed the Macedonia Struggle, and the Greek frontiers, including the Greek part of Prespa, were finally secured with the Treaty of Bucharest, signed in 1913.
  During 1914-18, French troops were at Prespa as a bridgehead against the possibility of penetration by Bulgarian - German forces. In 1924, the Prespian villages of Lefkonas, Lemos, Agios Germanos and Pyli received refugee families from the Black See. Many of them emigrated once more to America and Australia, drawing along many of the locals. As they started sending money to their families, many houses were built and Prespa was reconstructed.
  In the second World War occupation, Prespa was under jurisdiction of the Italian troops. In the beginning of the fifties very few people remaining in the area.

This text is cited September 2004 from the Municipality of Prespes URL below


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