Serres

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Serres
Σέρρες
View of the modern city of Serres from the Acropolis.
View of the modern city of Serres from the Acropolis.
Seal of Serres
Location
Serres is located in Greece
Serres
Serres
Coordinates 41°5′N 23°33′E / 41.083°N 23.550°E / 41.083; 23.550Coordinates: 41°5′N 23°33′E / 41.083°N 23.550°E / 41.083; 23.550
Government
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Central Macedonia
Regional unit: Serres
Mayor: Petros Aggelidis
Population statistics (as of 2011)[1]
Municipality
 - Population: 76,817
 - Area: 601.5 km2 (232 sq mi)
 - Density: 128 /km2 (331 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 61,025
 - Area: 253.0 km2 (98 sq mi)
 - Density: 241 /km2 (625 /sq mi)
Community
 - Population: 59,376
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (center): 50 m (164 ft)
Postal code: 621 xx
Telephone: 2321
Auto: ΕΡx-xxxx
Website
www.serres.gr

Sérres (Greek: Σέρρες, older form: Σέρραι, Sérrai) is a city in Macedonia, Greece. It is situated in a fertile plain at an elevation of about 70 metres (230 feet), some 24 kilometres (15 miles) northeast of the Strymon river and 69 km (43 mi) north-east of the Macedonian capital, Thessaloniki. The Vrontous and Menoikio mountains rise to the north and east of the city, respectively. The city is the capital of the regional unit of Serres and is situated at the eastern edge of Central Macedonia. Its municipal population was 76,817 in 2011.

Names[edit]

The Greek historian Herodotus mentions the city as Siris (Σίρις) in the 5th century BC. Theopompus refers to the city as Sirra (Σίρρα). Later, it is mentioned as Sirae, in the plural, by the Roman historian Livy. Since then the name of the city has remained plural and by the 5th century AD it was already in the contemporary form as Serrae (Σέρραι). It is known as Ser in both Macedonian Slavic and Serbian, while in Bulgarian it is known as Syar (Сяр) or Ser (Сер), which can be deduced from the spelling before 1947 as 'Сѣръ', thus capturing both the 'ya' and 'e' sounds. The Katharevousa form for the name of the city was Sérrai (Σέρραι). It was known as Serez or Siroz in Turkish. In the local Greek dialect, the city is known as "Ta Serras" (Tα Σέρρας), which is actually a corruption of the plural Accusative "Tas Serras" (Τάς Σέρρας) of the archaic form "Ai Serrai" (Αι Σέρραι).[2] Τhe oldest mention of this form is attested in a document of the Monastery of Docheiarion in Mount Athos from 1383, while there are many other such references in documents from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

History[edit]

Antiquity[edit]

According to tradition, the city was founded before the Trojan War[3] but is mentioned for the first time by Herodotus. After the Roman occupation it became an important city in the province of Macedonia and seat of a confederation of five cities ("Pentapolis").[4] During this period several inhabitants received the Roman citizenship and occupied higher provincial dignities.[5] The first attested bishop of the city is recorded as participating in the Second Council of Ephesus in 449.[6]

Middle Ages[edit]

In the early Middle Ages, Serres became the site of a major fortress built by the Byzantine Empire[7] to guard the empire's northern frontier and the strategic Rupel Pass.

View of the Agioi Theodoroi, Old Metropolis.

The city's history is obscure during the early medieval period until the 10th century, when it played a role in the wars between Byzantium and the Bulgarians.[6] In 1185, the environs of the city were pillaged by a Norman invasion, and in the Battle of Serres in 1195/6 the Byzantines were defeated by the Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Asen I.[6] After the Fourth Crusade, Boniface of Montferrat took over the city, but shortly after the Bulgarian Emperor Kaloyan defeated the Crusaders and incorporated the town in the Bulgarian Empire.[6] According to George Akropolites, Kaloyan almost destroyed the city, reducing it from a sizeable city to a small settlement, centred around the fortified citadel, while the lower town was protected by a weak stone wall.[6]

The city returned to Byzantine rule in 1246, when it was captured by the Nicaean Empire. By the 14th century, the city had regained its former size and prosperity, so that Nikephoros Gregoras called it a "large and marvelous" city.[6] Taking advantage of the Byzantine civil war of 1341–47, the Serbs besieged and took the city on 25 September 1345.[6] It became the capital of Stefan Dušan's Serbian Empire, but after Dušan's death in 1355 his realm fell into feudal anarchy, and Serres became a separate principality, initially under Dušan's Empress-dowager Helena and after 1365 by the Despot Jovan Uglješa.[6] Jovan Uglješa maintained close political and cultural ties to the Byzantine court in Constantinople, and the Greek element rose again to prominence: local Greeks played a major role in his administration, which was carried out in Greek. After the 1371 Battle of Maritsa, the Byzantines under Manuel II Palaiologos (then governor of Thessalonica) retook Serres.[6]

Ottoman period[edit]

Serres fell to the Ottoman Empire on 19 September 1383—although the Ottoman sources give several earlier and contrsdictory dates, the date is securely established by multiple Greek sources.[8] The city (Siroz in Turkish) and the surrounding region became a fief of Evrenos Beg, who brought in Yörük settlers from Sarukhan. Althougn never rising to particular prominence within the Ottoman Empire, Serres became also the site of a mint from 1413/14 on.[8] The rebel Sheikh Bedreddin was executed in the city.[8]

In the early 16th century, Serres was visited by the French traveller Pierre Belon, who reported that the town was mainly inhabited by Greeks alongside German and Sephardi communities, while the people in the surrounding country spoke Greek and Bulgarian.[8] In the aftermath of the Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Turkish reprisals were directed at the Greek population, who had shown sympathy with the Western success and had sporadically risen up across Greece. The metropolitan cathedral of Serres was looted along with seven other churches, while land and land titles owned by the Monastery of St John the Baptist were confiscated.[9]

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Serres was an autonomous beylik under a succession of derebeys, within the Sanjak of Salonica.[8][10] At the end of the 18th century, Serres was a cotton producing area, exporting 50,000 balls of cotton to Germany, France, Venice and Livorno.[11] The metropolitan (Greek Orthodox bishop) Gabriel founded in 1735 the Greek School of Serres which he directed until 1745. The school was maintained by donations from wealthy Greek merchants, among them Ioannes Constas from Vienna with 10,800 florins and the banker and tragic leader of the Greek revolution in Macedonia Emmanuel Pappas, who donated 1,000 Turkish silver coins. Minas Minoides taught Philosophy and Grammar in 1815-19. The school operated also in the period of the Greek revolution under Argyrios Paparizou from Siatista.[12]

Serres became a regular province ca. 1846 as the Sanjak of Siroz of the Salonica Eyalet (later Salonica Vilayet).[10]

Modern period[edit]

In the early 20th century, the city became a focus of anti-Ottoman unrest, which resulted in the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising of 1903. A Bulgarian army, which was commanded by Georgi Todorov captured Serres during the First Balkan War on November 6, 1912 but was forced to withdraw by Greek forces commanded by Constantine I during the Second Balkan War. The first to enter Serres was colonel Napoleon Sotilis head of the 7th Infantry Regiment on July 11, 1913. It was reoccupied by Bulgaria in both the First World War and Second World War. In 1943, under German occupation its Jewish population was deported to the Treblinka death camp and exterminated.

Municipality[edit]

The building of the Serres Prefecture

The present Serres municipality was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 6 former municipalities, that became municipal units of the new municipality:[13]

Economy[edit]

Serres is the capital of a primarily agricultural district and is an important trade centre for tobacco, grain, and livestock. Following the development of a government-sponsored manufacturing area in the late 20th century, it has also become a centre for the production of textiles and other manufactured items.

Landmarks[edit]

Church of Agios Georgios Kryoneritis.
The statue of Emmanouil Pappas.

Cuisine[edit]

Probably the most well-known food from Serres is Bougatsa. Additionally, gyros and souvlaki are standard forms of Greek cuisine served in many restaurants and taverns. One delicacy that is truly unique to the region is akanes, which is a type of gourmet candy delight prepared according to a secret recipe since the beginning of the 20th century by the Roumbos family. Allegedly, Aristeidis Roumbos, the confectioner who invented this candy, disclosed the recipe to one of his loyal trainees, who then proceeded to establish a rival akanes business. Nevertheless, the Roumbos family, to this day, continues to produce this delight in their quaint workshop, which is reminiscent of life in the 1950s.

Neighborhoods[edit]

  • Katakonozi is one of the most prosperous neighborhoods of the city, and it is currently experiencing a real estate boom.[citation needed]

Population[edit]

Year Municipal unit Municipality
1981 46,317 -
1991 49,830 -
2001 56,145 -
2011 61,025 76,240

Notable residents[edit]

Higher education[edit]

In the city of Serres there is the Technological Educational Institution (TEI) of Serres. It has more than 14.000 bachelor and master students, three faculties and even more departments. In autumn 2012 there operated (for first time) two master programmes in English (MBA, MSc) and in 2013 a third one was added (MSc). Website

There is also a Department of Physical Education and Sport Science of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki that operates in the city of Serres. Website (in Greek)

In addition, in the Vocational Training Institute (Greek: Ι.Ε.Κ.) of Serres, various specialisations are being taught in programmes that last for up to two years of study. Website

Sporting teams[edit]

Panserraikos emblem.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Serres is twinned with:

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Sérrai." Encyclopædia Britannica, 2006.
  • "Sérrai, Siris, or Serres." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004.
  1. ^ Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2] Dimitrios C. Samsaris , Ιστορία των Σερρών κατά την αρχαία και ρωμαϊκή εποχή, Thessaloniki 1999, pp.27-28 (Site of Municipality of Serres)
  4. ^ [3] Dimitrios C. Samsaris , Ιστορία των Σερρών κατά την αρχαία και ρωμαϊκή εποχή, Thessaloniki 1999, pp.113-116 (Site of Municipality of Serres)
  5. ^ [4] Dimitrios C. Samsaris, Ατομικές χορηγήσεις της Ρωμαϊκής πολιτείας (civitas Romana) και η διάδοσή της στη ρωμαϊκή επαρχία Μακεδονία. ΙΙΙ. Το ανατολικό τμήμα της επαρχίας, Μακεδονικά 28 (1992)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gregory, Timothy E.; Ševčenko, Nancy Patterson (1991). "Serres". In Kazhdan, Alexander. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford University Press. pp. 1881–1882. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6. 
  7. ^ Dimitrios C. Samsaris , Το κάστρον των Σερρών, Serres 1968
  8. ^ a b c d e Houtsma, Martijn Theodoor, ed. (1987). "Serres". E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, Volume VII: S–Ṭaiba. Leiden: BRILL. p. 234. ISBN 90-04-08265-4. 
  9. ^ Vakalopoulos, Constantinos A. (1996). Ιστορία του Βορείου Ελληνισμού -Μακεδονία. Εκδοτικός Οίκος Αδελφών Κυριακίδη. p. 80. ISBN 960343017Χ Check |isbn= value (help). "The metropolis of Serres was looted along with seven other churches, the Monastery of St John the Baptist, while land owned by the monastery was confiscated." 
  10. ^ a b Birken, Andreas (1976). Die Provinzen des Osmanischen Reiches. Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients (in German) 13. Reichert. p. 77. ISBN 9783920153568. 
  11. ^ Vakalopoulos, Constantinos A. (1996). Ιστορία του Βορείου Ελληνισμού -Μακεδονία. Εκδοτικός Οίκος Αδελφών Κυριακίδη. p. 130. ISBN 960343017Χ Check |isbn= value (help). "At the end of the 18th C, Serres was cotton producing area, exporting 50,000 balls of cotton to Germany, France, Venice and Livorno ." 
  12. ^ Vakalopoulos, Constantinos A. (1996). Ιστορία του Βορείου Ελληνισμού -Μακεδονία. Εκδοτικός Οίκος Αδελφών Κυριακίδη. pp. 131–2. ISBN 960343017Χ Check |isbn= value (help). "The metropolitan (Greek Orthodox bishop) Gabriel founded in 1735 the Greek School of Serres which he directed until 1745. The school was maintained by donations from wealthy Greek merchants, among them Ioannes Constas from Wien with 10,800 florins and the banker and tragic leader of the Greek revolution in Macedonia Emmanuel Papas, who donated 1,000 Turkish silver coins. Minas Minoides taught Philosophy and Grammar in 1815-19. The school operated also in the period of the Greek revolution under Argyrios Paparizou from Siatista" 
  13. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  14. ^ "Twinnings". Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 

External links[edit]