Kastoria is one of the most important cities of West
Macedonia, with a long History which cannot fade with the passing of time.
Proof of this, are the rich prehistorical and archaeological finds
(signs of habitations near the lake at Dispilio,
Armenohori e.t.c.). It was named after the mythological Macedonian hero Kastoria,
Geographically the area has connections with the ancient Macedonian
state of 'Orestias' where the ancient Orestes used to live, having Argos
Orestikon, as their capital.
From this area the Macedonian kings started to join the rest of the
small states, which constituted the big Macedonian state having as its capital
and later Pella.
Initially, Philippos and later Alexander the Great joined this state
with the rest of the Greeks.
In Roman period Kastoria shared the same destiny as the rest of Macedonian,
however, it gained glory in the Byzantine years.
This is the city of the Byzantine 'Titoularios', the city of the Byzantine
It developed and flourished to become an excellent religious, commercial,
artistic and military centre.
According to the famous Belgian specialist in Byzantine art Gregoire:
the city can write the History of the Byzantine art itself.
The castles which were built by Justinianos and Vassilios Voulgaroctonos
are examples of the interest which the Byzantine Emperors showed because of Kastoria
In the past Byzantine years, Kastoria had many benefactors and teachers
of Greek Culture, who were really outstanding.
It took an active part in the preparations for the Revolution of 1821
where it participated with a special group of fighters. The 19th century it took
part in Revolutionary movements in order to defeat the Turkish tyranny.
Kastoria played an important role in the Macedonian fight against
the Turks and Bulgarians. In 1912, it is joined with freed Greece.
The 75 Byzantine and others churches are samples of a higher civilization and
sociability of the city.
One can meet the architectural style of 'Basilica' as they are the
churches of Saint Stefanos,
Saints Anargyri, Saints Taxiarches, 'Monoclites' as Saint Nicola Kasnitzi church,
the Holy Virgin of
Mariotissa Monastery and the Holy
Virgin (Panagia) Koumbelidiki. All of them are perfectly built with excellent
structure with local materials, in a rich alternation of shapes and colors which
pour out from the same material and the good taste of the maker. The outer walls
are varied with perfect ceramics. The inners wallpaintings have great expressive
strength, which explains the metaphysics of Christianity and the Greek-Christian
This text (extract) is cited June 2003 from the Municipality
of Kastoria tourist pamphlet.