|Veria / Veroia
|Administrative region:||Central Macedonia|
|Population statistics (as of 2011)|
|- Area:||791.4 km2 (306 sq mi)|
|- Density:||84 /km2 (218 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation (center):||128 m (420 ft)|
|Postal code:||591 00|
Veria (officially transliterated as Veroia, Greek: Βέροια or Βέρροια), historically also spelled Berea, is a city in northern Greece, located 511 kilometres (318 miles) north-northwest of the capital Athens and 73 km (45 mi) west-southwest of Thessalonica.
Even by the standards of Greece, Veria is an old city; first mentioned in the writings of Thucydides in 432 BC, there is evidence that it was populated as early as 1000 BC. Veria was an important possession for Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) and later for the Romans. Apostle Paul famously preached in the city, and its inhabitants were among the first Christians in the Empire. Later, under the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Veria was a center of Greek culture and learning. Today Veria is a commercial center of Central Macedonia, the capital of the regional unit of Imathia and the seat of a metropolitan bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece.
The city is reputed to have been named by its mythical creator Beres - Pheres or from the daughter of the king of Berroia who is the thought to be the son of Macedon. The Ancient Macedonians made it their second most important city after Pella. Part of the Kingdom of Macedon, it surrendered to Rome in 168. During the Roman empire, Veria became a place of worship for the Romans. Diocletian made the large and populous city one of two capitals of the Roman Province of Macedonia. Within the city there was a Jewish settlement where the Apostle Paul, after leaving Thessalonica, and his companion Silas preached to the Jewish and Greek communities of the city in AD 50/51 or 54/55 (Acts 17:10-15):
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 13 When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
Under the Byzantine Empire the city continued to grow and prosper until it was pillaged and briefly held in the late 9th century by the First Bulgarian Empire. The Greek bishop Theophylact of Ohrid wrote that Bulgarian ruler Boris I built in Veria one of the seven cathedral churches built by him and defines the church as "one of the beautiful Bulgarian churches". The town again briefly fell to the Bulgarian tsar Samuel at the end of the 10th century, but the Byzantine emperor Basil II quickly regained it in 1002 since the military governor Dobromir decided to join the emperor's ranks and surrendered the city.
During the Crusades, it was briefly held by the Normans (1185) and the Franks (1204). In the middle of the 14th century, it was ruled by the Serbian Empire under Stephen Dusan, who drove out the Angelos family, and then by Radoslav Hlapen. In Bulgarian and Serbian it is called Бер, Ber.
After raids in the early 14th century, the city was captured by the Ottoman Empire sometime between 1374 and 1387, perhaps by Lala Şahin Pasha. It was named Karaferye (lit. 'black Veria'), perhaps to distinguish it from Beroe. There is a tradition claiming that the children of the Seljuk sultan Kaykaus II had earlier settled in Veria, and that one of their descendants converted to Christianity, explaining the presence of Gagauz Turks in Veria. Under Ottoman rule, Veria was the seat of a kaza within the Sanjak of Salonica; by 1885, the kaza included 46 villages and chiftliks. Evliya Çelebi (17th century) reports that the city was unwalled and ungarrisoned, with 4000 houses in 16 Muslim quarter and 15 Christian quarters, and two Jewish congregations. Karaferye was a center of rice production.
Veria is located at 40º31' North, 22º12' East, at the eastern foot of the Vermio Mountains. It lies on a plateau at the western edge of the Central Macedonia plain, north of the Haliacmon River. The town straddles the Tripotamos (river), a Haliacmon tributary that provides hydroelectric power to the national electric power transmission network and irrigation water to agricultural customers of the Veria plain.
Veria has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) that borders on a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). Since the city lies in a transitional climatic zone, its climate displays characteristics of continental, semi-arid and subtropical/Mediterranean climates. Summers (from April to October) are hot (often exceptionally hot) and dry (or mildly humid, with rainfalls that occur during thunderstorms), and winters (from mid-October to March) are wet and cool, but temperatures remain above or well above freezing (meteorological phenomenon of Alkyonides). Snow typically falls once or twice a season. Major temperature swings between day and night are seldom.
|Climate data for Veria|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.0
|Average high °C (°F)||9.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.6
|Average low °C (°F)||0.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−12.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||44.5
|Avg. precipitation days||8.2||9.1||9.5||8.6||8.6||5.1||3.9||3.5||3.6||7.5||9.9||9.2||86.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||117.1||120.4||143.8||190.4||234.9||295.3||309.6||290.6||224.9||162.1||118.3||109.1||2,316.5|
|Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service, National Observatory of Athens|
The modern town has cotton and woolen mills and trades in wheat, fruit, and vegetables. Lignite mines operate in the area. The largest wind farm in Greece is to be constructed in the Vermio Mountains by Acciona, S.A.. It will consist of 174 wind turbines, which will be connected to the national electric power transmission network, generating 614 MW.
Infrastructure - transport
Veria is linked to Thessaloniki by the Thessaloniki-Edessa railway, with connections to Athens and Alexandroupoli. Veria is connected to the motorway system of Greece and Europe through Egnatia Odos, the Greek part of the European route E90. It is also connected to more than 500 local and national destinations via the national coach network (KTEL). Thessaloniki International Airport "Macedonia" is the closest international airport, located 88 km (55 mi) east-northeast of Veria.
Veria has one of the largest public libraries in Greece. Originally a small single-room library with limited funds and material, it expanded into a four-story building offering multimedia, and special and rare editions. Veria's public library collaborates with many international organizations and hosts several cultural events.
|Archaeological Site of Aegae / Aigai (Greek: Αἰγαί; modern name Vergina)|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1996 (20th Session)|
Museums in Veria include the Archaeological Museum of Veroia, the Byzantine Museum of Veroia, a museum of modern Greek history and a laographical museum. There are also 48 Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, four Ottoman mosques, and a 19th-century Jewish synagogue in the protected Jewish neighbourhood.
Every summer (August 15 to September 15) the "Imathiotika" festivities take place with a rich cultural program deriving mainly from Veria's tradition. The site of Elia offers great natural beauty and with an amazing view of the Imathia plain. Neighboring Seli is a well-known ski resort and a few kilometers outside the city is the Aliakmonas river dam.
Local government – municipality
The municipality Veria was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
Twin towns — sister cities
Veria is twinned with:
Veria is home to many sports clubs. Most prominent is the handball team of Filippos Veria, competing in the first national division and which has won many championships (both national and international) over the last 40 years. The most famous is Veria FC which competes in Alpha Ethniki (Greece's 1st division). Veria also has two basketball teams, AOK Veria and Filippos Veria, which compete in the local and third national division respectively.
- Demetrius Vikelas, Greek writer; the first president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- Konstantinos Raktivan, liberal politician, lawyer, Greek Council of State's first president, member of the Academy of Athens, speaker of the Hellenic Parliament
- Ioannes Kottounios, Renaissance humanist and philosopher
- Konstantinos Kallokratos, teacher and poet
- Sopater, kinsman of Paul
- Patriarch Metrophanes of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria
- Patriarch Nephon I of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch (Constantinople)
- Sonia Theodoridou, Greek soprano
- Efthymios Warlamis, Greek architect, sculptor and painter
- Sedat Alp, Turkish archaeologist
- Michalis Chrisochoidis, Greek politician
- Mimis Papaioannou, Greek football player
- Kostas Tsartsaris, Greek professional basketball player
- Yiannis Arabatzis, footballer
- Pantelis Kafes, footballer
- Panagiotis Tsalouchidis, former football player
- Pavlos Kontogiannidis, actor, singer
- Dimitris Mavropoulos, actor and theatrical director
- Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
- veria.gr Veria:Its history (greek) accessed June 1, 2008.
- Migne, Jacques Paul. Patrologia Graeca, t. 126, col. 529.
- John Skylitzes: A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057: Translation and Notes John Wortley, Cambridge 2010, p. 326
- V.L. Ménage, "Karaferye", Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, s.v.
- Athena plan News247.gr
- Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
- "Twinnings". Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Merry, Bruce (2004). Encyclopedia of modern Greek literature. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 239. ISBN 0-313-30813-6. "KOTTOUNIOS, IOANNES (1577-1658) Born at Beroia (Macedonia)"
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