Παρασκευή, 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Kastoria


Time passes by, days pass by, months come and go. And our spirit seeks ways to escape, it wants to go away, to run to places where the shadow of daily routine will not cover it with her greyness. Let's us all close our eyes and imagine that even for a few minutes we are somewhere else far away.

By Aliki Koutoura
Traslation: Artemis Touli

Read this article in greek 


This month I will take you to one of the most beautiful cities of Greece. Let that I have visited all of them, but I am sure that this one will be held in a very special place in your heart from the moment you arrive there. There are many stories about the source of her name. Some say it is because of the beavers that used to live there for a long time (beaver = kastoras in greek). Others think it is from the latin word castruum (castle). Finally a third myth connects the name of the city with Castora, Poludeukis' brother who built it as they say at 840 BC, after he had received the omen form the oracle in Delfi.

At any case Kastoria is a place that you must visit at some point, because over there town and countryside are harmonically combined composing one of the most beautiful landscapes of our country whereas at the same time a lot of history is hidden inside dating the town centures back in time. Witnesses of that are ofcourse the 72 churches that remain till today as to give us the bysantium and pre-bysantium element along with the overwhelming mansions and the stone bridges that give away the economical and cultural growth the territory had witnessed in the past. Special in beauty are the Agios Stefanos church, the basilica of Agioi Anarguroi, but also the church of Panagia Kastriotisa, also known as Koumpelidiki which took her name for her famous dome that its turkish name is koubes.
A lot of museums are scattered all over the city, characteristic of the cultural growth. Those who like history will surely find particulary interesting the Byzantium museum where the visitor has the possibility to study the way of Byzantium's art through time with the help of various sculptures, paintings, mosaics, clerics' items etc.

Apart the monuments and the fur industry which with no doubt has helped the economical growth of the city noone cannot say a word about the crystal lake Oresteiada the proud place of Kastoria. It's a vital place not only for the local nature, not only for Greece but also for the whole european community. And that is not only because is the only lake in Greece with acres of hydrophilic trees but also because it is a friendly place for many endangered species of birds. The way the lake is made allows many activities to locals and tourists like boating, fishing, rowing but also cycling, running or just strolling along the lakeside.
Even if you do not have much time to spend, two are the main things you must do no matter what when you visit Kastoria: make a ride around the lake to admire the wonderfull natural enviroment that is deployed around her and a tour at Dragon's Cave. According to the myth deep inside the cave there was a goldmine that was guarded day and night by a dragon. When the people finally managed to make the dragon go away, there was a voice saying: “He who take a fist full of mud from where he stands he will regret it, if he does not he will regret it again”. He who dared to took some mud when he got outside he was surpised to see that he was holding liquid golddust.


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