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For other uses of Veria and Beroea see Veria (disambiguation).
Veria / Veroia
Panoramic view
Panoramic view
Seal of Veria / Veroia
Veria / Veroia is located in Greece
Veria / Veroia
Veria / Veroia
Coordinates 40°31′N 22°12′E / 40.517°N 22.200°E / 40.517; 22.200Coordinates: 40°31′N 22°12′E / 40.517°N 22.200°E / 40.517; 22.200
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Central Macedonia
Regional unit: Imathia
Mayor: Konstantinos Vorgiazidis
Population statistics (as of 2011)[1]
 - Population: 66,547
 - Area: 791.4 km2 (306 sq mi)
 - Density: 84 /km2 (218 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 48,306
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (center): 128 m (420 ft)
Postal code: 591 00
Telephone: 2331
Auto: ΗΜ

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.[2] 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.


Classical Veria[edit]

Further information: Berea (Bible)
The Jewish synagogue. Veria had a significant Romaniote community from ancient times until World War II
Resurrection of Christ Byzantine church

The city is reputed to have been named by its mythical creator Beres (also spelled Pheres) or from the daughter of the king of Berroia who was thought to be the son of Macedon. Veria enjoyed great prosperity under the kings of the Argead Dynasty (whose most famous member was Alexander the Great) who made it their second most important city after Pella; the city reached the height of its glory and influence in the Hellenistic period, during the reign of the Antigonid Dynasty. During this time, Veria became the seat of the Macedonian Assembly (Greek: Κοινόν των Μακεδόνων), minted its own coinage and held sports games named Alexandreia, in honor of Alexander the Great, with athletes from all over Greece competing in them.[3] Veria surrendered to Rome in 168 AD. 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,[2] after leaving Thessalonica, and his companion Silas preached to the Jewish and Greek communities of the city in AD 50/51 or 54/55:

As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 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. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 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. The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 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.

Acts 17:10-15

Byzantine museum

Byzantine Veria[edit]

Under the Byzantine Empire Berrhoea continued to grow and prosper, developing a large and well-educated commercial class (Greek and Jewish) and becoming a center of medieval Greek learning; signs of this prosperity are reflected in the many Byzantine churches that were built at this time, during which it was a Christian bishopric. The names of five of its bishops appear in extant contemporary documents: Gerontius took part in the Council of Sardica (c. 344), Lucas in the Robber Council of Ephesus (449), Sebastian in the Council of Chalcedon (451), Timothy in the synod convoked by Patriarch Menas of Constantinople in 536, and Joseph in the Council of Constantinople (869) that condemned Photius.[4][5] Berrhoea is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[6]

The city was pillaged and briefly held, on two separate occasions, by the Slavs and Avars in the 7th century, and by the Bulgarians in the late 9th century. The Greek bishop Theophylact of Ohrid wrote that during the brief period of Bulgarian dominance, 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".[7] Veria 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 without a fight.[8]

During the Crusades, it was briefly held by the Normans (1185) and the Franks (1204). In the middle of the 14th century, it was captured 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.

Ottoman Veria[edit]

Orta Cami, Veria

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 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, 16 Muslim quarters, 15 Christian quarters, and two Jewish congregations. Karaferye was a center of rice production.[9]

Later returning under Byzantine Greek control,[dubious ] in 1436 it was besieged and captured again by the Ottoman Empire and remained in their control until 1912. Under Ottoman rule, Veria continued to be a regional center of Greek commerce and learning, and counted many important Greek scholars as its natives (e.g. Ioannis Kottounios)

Veria in the Greek War of Independence[edit]

The presence of a large, prosperous and educated bourgeoisie made Veria one of the centers of Greek nationalism in the region of Macedonia, and the city's inhabitants had an active part in the Greek War of Independence; important military leaders during the uprising included Athanasios Syropoulos, Georgios Syropoulos, Dimitrios Kolemis and Georgios Kolemis, among others;[10] however, as was the case with the rest of Northern Greece, eventually the uprising was defeated, and Veria only became part of modern Greece in 1912 during the Balkan Wars, when it was taken by the Hellenic Army in October 16, 1912 (October 16 is an official holiday in Veria, commemorating the city's incorporation to Greece), and was officially annexed to Greece following the signing of the Treaty of Athens in November 1913.[9]

World War II: Veria in the Resistance[edit]

During World War II, Veria was under Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944. An important resistance movement developed in the city, with the left-wing EAM gaining the sympathy of the inhabitants; the people of Veria took part in resistance activities, such as sabotaging the railway, assassinating SS members, and burning Nazi war materiel. The Nazis appointed Prokopis Kambitoglou, a notorious local fascist and anti-Semite as the Mayor of Veria during the occupation, who helped the occupation authorities in their efforts to suppress resistance


River across the city


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
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
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
 % humidity 76.4 73.0 73.2 68.3 64.2 57.9 57.5 62.8 66.8 73.1 77.1 78.2 69.04
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


View across Roloi (Clock) Square

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[edit]

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. In 2010, it won the Access to Learning Award (ATLA) prize nominated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the amount of $1.000.000. Since then, the library became a role model for other libraries in Greece. [11]

The Department of Spatial Planning and Development Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was located in Veria since 2004, but in 2013 it was relocated to Thessaloniki.[12]


UNESCO World Heritage Site
Archaeological Site of Aegae / Aigai (Greek: Αἰγαί; modern name Vergina)
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Grobowiec Filipa II Macedonskiego.jpg
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii
Reference 780
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1996 (20th Session)

Museums in Veria include the Archaeological Museum of Veroia, the Byzantine Museum of Veroia, the Folklore 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.

The Archaeological Site of Aegae / Aigai (Greek Αἰγαί; modern name Vergina), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies 12 km (7 mi) south-east of the city centre of Veria.

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[edit]

The municipality Veria was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[13]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

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 Superleague Greece (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.

Notable people[edit]

Ioannes Kottounios, Renaissance humanist and professor of Philosophy at various Italian universities, was born in Veria in 1577.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Detailed census results 2011" (xls 2,7 MB). National Statistical Service of Greece.  (Greek)
  2. ^ a b Veria:Its history (greek) accessed June 1, 2008.
  3. ^ Λούκιος ή Όνος 34.15-17
  4. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 69-74
  5. ^ Raymond Janin, v. 1. Berrhée in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. VIII, 1935, coll. 885-887
  6. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 838
  7. ^ Migne, Jacques Paul. Patrologia Graeca, t. 126, col. 529.
  8. ^ John Skylitzes: A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057: Translation and Notes John Wortley, Cambridge 2010, p. 326
  9. ^ a b V.L. Ménage, "Karaferye", Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, s.v.
  10. ^ Ανέκδοτα έγγραφα και άγνωστα στοιχεία για κλεφταρματολούς και για την επανάσταση (1821–1822) στη Μακεδονία και ιδιαίτερα στον Όλυμπο, Γεώργιος Χ. Χιονίδης, Βέροια 1979
  11. ^ "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Access to Learning Award (ATLA)". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
  12. ^ Athena plan
  13. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  14. ^ a b "Twinnings". Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  15. ^ 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) 

External links[edit]