Edessa – Pella – Prespa lakes – Kastoria

Edessa, the capital town of the district of Pella, is situated on the foothills of Mount Vermio ( Mountain range in Greece ). It is known for its beautiful waterfalls and lies in a sea of green orchards.

According to one legend, the first capital of the ancient Macedonian kings lay in the district of Edessa, at Aegis. Then in the 5th century B.C., King Archelaos transferred his capital to Pella, whose ruins have been discovered at a distance of 10 km outside the picturesque town of Yannitsa.

In the archaeological area of Pella, where systematic excavations have been going on in recent years, a few interesting buildings stand out: The most important is that which contains the wonderful mosaic depicting a lion hunt. That and another mosaic representing a deer are remarkable for the wealth of detail.

Two lakes, the Megali ( Great ) and the Mikri ( Small ) Prespa, near Fiorina, form part of the borders between Greece, Albania, and former Yugoslavia. Its landscape is beautiful. On the small islet of Aghios Achilleios is a very old Byzantine church. Nearby have been discovered remains of an ancient Macedonian settlement.

Kastoria is famous for its fur industry. At one time in its past, it was a prominent Byzantine center and has now several beautiful churches dating from the 11th to the 18th century to show for it. The most interesting are the churches of Panaghia Koumbelidiki, Aghioi Anargyroi, and Taxiarchai ( all of them of the 11th century ). Kastoria also has beautiful old mansions ( “Archontika” ).
The town is built beside the charming Lake Orestias ( or Lake of Kastoria ).

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