View of the city of Florina towards the NE
|Administrative region||West Macedonia|
|• Mayor||Ioannis Voskopoulos|
|• Municipality||819.7 km2 (316.5 sq mi)|
|• Municipal unit||150.6 km2 (58.1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||687 m (2,254 ft)|
|• Municipality density||40/km2 (100/sq mi)|
|• Municipal unit||19,985|
|• Municipal unit density||130/km2 (340/sq mi)|
|• Population||17,907 (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Florina (Greek : Φλώρινα, Flórina; known also by some alternative names) is a town and municipality in the mountainous northwestern Macedonia, Greece. Its motto is, 'Where Greece begins'.
The town of Florina is the capital of the Florina regional unit and also the seat of the eponymous municipality. It belongs to the administrative region of West Macedonia. The town's population is 17,686 people (2011 census). It is in a wooded valley about 13 km (8 mi) south of the international border of Greece with the Republic of North Macedonia.
Florina is the gateway to the Prespa Lakes and, until the modernisation of the road system, of the old town of Kastoria. It is located west of Edessa, northwest of Kozani, and northeast of Ioannina and Kastoria cities. Outside the Greek borders it is in proximity to Korçë in Albania and Bitola in North Macedonia. The nearest airports are situated to the east and the south (in Kozani). The mountains of Verno lie to the southwest and Varnous to the northwest.
Winters bring heavy snow and long periods of temperature below freezing point. Furthermore, the town and the surrounding valley is usually covered in thick fog during the winter months that may last even for weeks under specific conditions. During the summer months it becomes a busy market town with an economy boosted by summer and, mostly, winter tourism due to the heavy snowfalls and the nearby ski resorts.
Even though Florina was the site of the first rail line built in the southern Ottoman provinces in the late 19th century, its rail system remains undeveloped. Today, Florina is linked by a single track standard gauge line to Thessaloniki and Bitola, and to Kozani (meter gauge) where it was intended to continue south and link up with the terminal in Kalambaka, in Thessaly but this did not proceed due to the 1930s financial crisis.
Florina is passed by GR-2 (Lake Prespa - Edessa) and GR-3/E65 (Kozani - Florina - Niki - Bitola). The new Motorway 27 (A27) will run east of Florina with its Florina-Niki segment already operational since 2015. The historic Via Egnatia is situated to the east.
Florina is one of the coldest towns in Greece, because of its elevation and geographic position. Heavy snowfalls, thick fog and below-freezing temperatures are common during the winter months, while the summers are mild. Under the Köppen climate classification, Florina has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with strong hot-summer continental climate (Dfa) influences.
On 18 January 2012, a temperature of -25.1 °C was recorded by the HNMS's station with several reports, however, in the local press for temperatures in villages of the municipality that reached -32 °C, but there was no official record of such temperature. The National Observatory of Athens's station reported a temperature of -22.2 °C a day earlier in Florina, while the same station continuously recorded minimum temperatures below -20 °C from 16 January 2012 until 19 January 2012, with the average maximum temperature for January just -0.6 °C, and the prevalence for 13 consecutive days of temperatures below 0 °C 24 hours a day. The above situation resulted in the Greek General Secretariat of Civil Protection to declare the municipality of Florina in a state of emergency on 16/1/12, at the request of the mayor of Florina, due to the polar temperatures and the intense snowfall that prevailed for days.
|Climate data for Florina (1961–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||18.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−29.0|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||56.8|
|Average precipitation days||12.0||12.0||12.3||11.3||11.2||7.4||6.1||5.8||6.1||8.4||10.8||12.9||116.3|
|Average snowy days||7.5||6.3||4.5||0.8||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.3||1.8||5.9||27.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82.1||78.1||70.9||64.0||63.4||59.8||57.4||58.3||63.9||72.1||78.7||81.8||69.2|
|Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service|
The city's original Byzantine name, Χλέρινον (Chlérinon, "full of green vegetation"), derives from the Greek word χλωρός (chlōrós, "fresh" or "green vegetation"). The name was sometimes Latinized as Florinon (from the Latin flora, "vegetation") in the later Byzantine period, and in early Ottoman documents the forms Chlerina and Florina are both used, with the latter becoming standard after the 17th century. The form with [f] (φλωρός) is a local dialect form of χλωρός in Greek. The local Slavic name for the city is Lerin (Лерин), which is a borrowing of the Byzantine Greek name, but with the loss of the initial [x] characteristic of the local dialect. The Albanian name for the city is Follorinë.
The current municipality of Florina was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 4 former municipalities, that since 2011 became municipal units:
The municipality has an area of 819.698 km2, and the municipal unit 150.634 km2.
The municipal unit of Florina is further divided into the following communities:
Within the boundaries of the present-day city lie the remains of a Hellenistic settlement on the hill of Agios Panteleimon.Archaeologists excavated on the site in 1930-1934, but a hotel was later built over the ruins. Excavations began again in the 1980s and the total excavated area is now around 8,000 metres square. The buildings uncovered are mostly residential blocks, and the range of finds suggests that the site was continuously inhabited from the 4th century BC until its destruction by fire in the 1st century BC. Many of these finds are now on display in the Archaeological Museum of Florina.
The town is first mentioned in 1334, when the Serbian king Stefan Dušan established a certain Sphrantzes Palaeologus as commander of the fortress of Chlerenon. [ citation needed ]By 1385, the place had fallen to the Ottomans. An Ottoman defter (cadastral tax census) for the year 1481 records a settlement of 243 households.
Florina and its inhabitants greatly contributed to the Macedonian Struggle. Prominent leaders included Nikolaos Pyrzas,and Petros Chatzitasis.
In the late Ottoman period the area surrounding Florina supported the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) who fought against the Ottomans. [ citation needed ]During the Macedonian Struggle the Greek makedonomachoi gained significant advantage towards the Bulgarian Exarchists within 10 months in 1905 and extended their zone of control in various regions of western Macedonia including the plains north and south of Florina. In 1912 came under the control of the Greek forces as a result of the Ottoman defeat in the First Balkan War. Muslim Albanians from Florina and the wider region during the population exchange (1923) based on religious criteria were sent to Turkey, and mainly resettled in Bursa. The town was again in the firing line during World War I, during which it was occupied by Bulgaria, and during the Axis Occupation in World War II, when the town became a centre of Slavic separatism.
For part of the Greek Civil War (1946–1949) the mountains of the Florina area were under communist control. The Slavic-Macedonian National Liberation Front, later simply the National Liberation Front or NOF, had a significant presence in the area:by 1946, seven Slav Macedonian partisan units were operating in the Florina area, and NOF had a regional committee based in Florina. When the NOF merged with the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), many Slav Macedonians in the region enlisted as volunteers in the DSE. When the Communists were defeated on February 12, 1949 by the Greek army thousands of communists and Slav Macedonians were evacuated or fled to Yugoslavia and the Eastern Bloc.
The city is served by Florina station on the Thessaloniki–Bitola line, with local trains to Thessaloniki.
Florina is a market town with an economy dominated by agriculture, forestry, summer and winter tourism, cross-border trading and the sale of local produce such as grain, grapes, and vegetables including Florina peppers. It also has textile mills and is known for locally manufactured leather handicrafts.
The most notable industrial activity is the very large Ptolemaia-Florina lignite mine.
Its university changed in 2002 from being a branch of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, to a part of the University of Western Macedonia. After 2004, four departments that previously belonged to the Aristotle University, reinforced its potential.
Florina has 8 radio stations,2 daily political newspapers, 4 weekly ones, one women's press and two newspapers on sports.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the area lost much of its population to emigration, both to Athens and Thessaloniki as well as US, Canada, Australia and Germany. Following Greece's EU membership and the economic upturn, many from Germany returned.
In 1821 the Greeks were about 80 families. [ verification needed ] Austrian diplomat Johann Georg von Hahn visited the city in 1861 and wrote about it in his travel log From Belgrade to Salonica. In it he writes that "[a]bout the houses in Florina, we should indicate that there are at most 3000, with half of the population Albanian and Turkish Muslims and the other half Christian Bulgarians." According to an 1878 French ethnographic book Florina was a town of 1500 households, inhabited by 2800 Muslims and 1800 Bulgarians. In 1896 French diplomat and traveller Victor Bérard visited Florina. The settlement is as described as "consisting of 1500 houses of Albanians and “converted Slavs,” with perhaps a hundred “Turkish” families and 500 Christian families." [ clarification needed ]Bérard noted that “These Slavs nonetheless call themselves Greek and speak Greek—with us at least”.< In 1901/1902 school year statistics, Greek students were clearly much more than the Bulgarian ones.
Greeks from Florina participated in the Greek Revolution of 1821 with the most important fighter being Aggelinas who also fought in Crete while others also fought in Mesologgi.Members of Filiki Eteria were the brothers Loukas Nedelkos and Nikolaos Nedelkos, who were born in the Florina region. The demographic composition of the area the 19th and early 20th centuries is unclear as many factors contributed to the ethnic orientation of the people; out of these religion was particularly important thus giving rise to a proselytism struggle between the Greek Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Bulgarian Exarchate (established in 1870). The actual Greek-speaking element in this area was concentrated in urban centres where it participated in the religious, administrative, social, and educational sectors of life.
Movies of the Greek cinema, filmed in the area by Theodoros Angelopoulos include:
Florina is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Western Macedonia, in the geographic region of Macedonia, Greece. Its capital is the town of Florina with a population of around 49.500 (2019)
Kastoria is a city in northern Greece in the region of Western Macedonia. It is the capital of Kastoria regional unit, in the geographic region of Macedonia. It is situated on a promontory on the western shore of Lake Orestiada, in a valley surrounded by limestone mountains. The town is known for its many Byzantine churches, Byzantine and Ottoman-era domestic architecture, its lake and its fur clothing industry.
Kozani is a city in northern Greece, capital of Kozani regional unit and of West Macedonia region. It is located in the western part of Macedonia, in the northern part of the Aliakmonas river valley. The city lies 710 metres above sea level, 15 kilometres northwest of the artificial lake Polyfytos, 120 km south-west of Thessaloniki, between the mountains Pieria, Vermio, Vourinos and Askio. The population of the Kozani municipality is over 70,000 people. The climate of the area is continental with cold and dry winters, and hot summers.
Western Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the western part of Greek Macedonia. Located in north-western Greece, it is divided into the regional units of Florina, Grevena, Kastoria, and Kozani. With a population of approximately 280,000 people, as of 2017, the region had one of the highest unemployment rates in the European Union.
The region of Macedonia is known to have been inhabited since Paleolithic times.
The Macedonian Struggle was a series of social, political, cultural and military conflicts that were mainly fought between Greek and Bulgarian subjects who lived in Ottoman Macedonia between 1893 and 1908. The conflict was part of a wider rebel war in which revolutionary organizations of Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs all fought over Macedonia. Gradually the Greek and Bulgarian bands gained the upper hand, but the conflict was ended by the Young Turk Revolution in 1908.
Ptolemaida, is a town and a former municipality in Kozani regional unit, Western Macedonia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Eordaia, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is known for its coal (lignite) mines and its power stations.
Vevi is a village located in the municipal unit of Meliti in Florina regional unit, Macedonia, Greece. The village is passed by two national roads which lead to Thessaloniki, Florina, Amyntaio, and Kozani. Additionally, it has a railway station on the line between Florina and Thessaloniki.
Kozani is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Western Macedonia, in the geographic region of Macedonia. Its capital is the city of Kozani.
Macedonia is a geographic and administrative region of Greece, in the southern Balkans. Macedonia is the largest and second-most-populous Greek region, with a population of 2.38 million in 2017. The region is highly mountainous, with most major urban centres such as Thessaloniki and Kavala being concentrated on its southern coastline. Together with Thrace, and sometimes also Thessaly and Epirus, it is part of Northern Greece. Greek Macedonia encompasses entirely the southern part of the region of Macedonia, making up 51% of the total area of the region. It also contains Mount Athos, an autonomous monastic region of Greece. Macedonia forms part of Greece's national frontier with three countries: Bulgaria to the northeast, North Macedonia to the north, and Albania to the northwest.
The Vilayet of Manastir was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire, created in 1874, dissolved in 1877 and re-established in 1879. The vilayet was occupied during the First Balkan War in 1912 and divided between the Kingdom of Greece and the Kingdom of Serbia, with some parts later becoming part of the newly established Principality of Albania.
Edessa, until 1923 Vodena, is a city in northern Greece and the capital of the Pella regional unit, in the Central Macedonia region of Greece. It was also the capital of the defunct province of the same name.
Kato Kleines is a village and a former municipality in Florina regional unit, West Macedonia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Florina, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 188.564 km2. It is 7 km north of the city of Florina. The population was 2,735 in 2011.
Nymfaio and in Ancient Greece: Νυμφαῖον or Νύμφαιον, is a predominantly Aromanian (Vlach) village and a former community in Florina regional unit, West Macedonia, Greece. After the 2011 local government reform it became a member of the municipality Amyntaio. The municipal unit has an area of 28.209 km2. As of 2011 the village had a population of 132 residents. The village is protected by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in order to preserve its architectural integrity.
The Music of Macedonia is the music of the Greek geographic and historic region of Macedonia. It forms part of the broader musical tradition of mainland Greece and of the southern Balkans. Compared to other regions of Greece, the music of Macedonia is characterized by a high degree of diversity, due to the numerous influences it has received over the years from neighboring countries and particularly from refugees arriving in the early 20th century. In general terms, Macedonian music can be thought of as the connecting chain between the Western musical tradition of Epirus and Thessaly and the Eastern musical tradition of Thrace and Constantinople.
Slavic speakers are a linguistic minority population in the northern Greek region of Macedonia, who are mostly concentrated in certain parts of the peripheries of West and Central Macedonia, adjacent to the territory of the state of North Macedonia. The language called "Slavic" in the context of Greece is generally called "Macedonian" or "Macedonian Slavic" otherwise. Some members have formed their own emigrant communities in neighbouring countries, as well as further abroad.
The railway from Thessaloniki to Bitola is a 219 kilometres (136 mi) long railway line, that connects the port city Thessaloniki in Greece with Bitola in the Republic of North Macedonia, via Veroia, Edessa, Amyntaio and Florina. The line was opened in 1894 under the name "Société du Chemin de Fer ottoman Salonique-Monastir", when the area was part of the Ottoman Empire. The section between the international border and Bitola is not used anymore, and as of 2013 passenger services are restricted to the section between Thessaloniki and Florina. The easternmost section of the line, Platy–Thessaloniki, is part of the important connection towards Athens and Northern Greece.
Nižepole is a village in the municipality of Bitola, North Macedonia and is an alpine settlement 7.85 kilometers from Bitola.
Lazaros or Lazos Tsamis, was a Greek merchant of Vlach origin, who participated in the Macedonian Struggle and later as volunteer leader in the struggle for Northern Epirus.
The 1896–1897 Greek Macedonian rebellion was a revolution of the Macedonians in 1896, a guerrilla movement that took place in Macedonia in order to preserve the conscience and ready-mindedness of the Greek populations, to create a rivalous awe against the Bulgarians the demarcation of the Greek territorial claims in the Ottoman area and the creation of a distraction for the events of Crete. The movement was of Macedonian character, as the regiments invading Macedonia from Thessaly consisted primarily of Macedonian chieftains and fighters, most of whom were from Northwestern Macedonia. The initial impetus was given by the Ethniki Etaireia (Greek National Company), but then several Macedonian chieftains spontaneously and without coordination were involved in the events, while in some regions of Macedonia the events took the form of massive uprisings. The main rebels of the Macedonian Revolution of 1896 were the areas of Sanjak of Monastir (Florina, Pelagonia), Sanjak of Korytsa (Kastoria), Sanjak of Servia, Sanjak of Salonica (Pieria, Imathia, Pella, Tikveš) and Sanjak of Serres (Nevrokop).
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