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Brief overview of the prefecture of Serres

The lion of Amphipolis

Geographic - Demographic Stats

The prefecture of Serres is one of the 13 prefectures of Macedonia, the largest province of Greece in size and wealth. The prefecture stretches from Strymonikos bay in the south, to the Greek-Bulgarian border to the north. It borders with the Prefectures of Drama and Kavala in the east and the prefectures of Thessaloniki and Kilkis in the west. It is one of the flattest Prefectures in Greece, considering that 48% of its total stretching is described as semi-flat mountainous, and is surrounded by the mountains of Kerkini- Vertiskos- Kerdylia in the West and Orvilos- Menikio- Paggeo in the the east. The Strymon river, starting in Bulgaria and ending into the Strymonikos bay (Orphanos bay as it was called in the past), flows north- south through the prefecture. Its main tributary is Aggitis, in the Eastern part of the Prefecture. The total population of the prefecture, according to the 1981 census, was 196,247 people, 2% of the population of Greece.

County of: Capital
SerresSerres
PhyllidaNea Zihni
VisaltiaNigrita
SintikiSidirokastro
Administratively the prefecture is divided into 4 counties, which can be seen at the next table. Its inhabitants are native Greeks, or of Eastern Thrace, Asia Minor and Pontos origin.There are five municipalities and 157 villages in the prefecture.

The population is divided into urban(23.6%), semi-urban(19,4%) and agricultural(57%). The total size of the prefecture comes up to 3,790 square Km, which is 3% of the country's total size. 41% of the prefecture's total size is agricultural, something that determines the main occupation of the prefecture's inhabitants.

Archeological and Historical places

There are several interesting Archaeological and Historical sites people can visit. Such sites include the city of Serres, the area of Amphipolis, the nunnery of St. John the Baptist and the monastery of Icosifinisa with rare hagiographies. Also, the Metaxas' stronghold along the Greek-Bulgarian border on mount Beles (commonly known as the "Roupel stronghold"). Here is the location "Kleidi" where Vasilios Voulgaroktonos, the Byzantine emperor, obliterated the Bulgarian army in 1014.

Tourism

The lake of the resort of St. John Visitors may also have enjoyable moments at St. John, a suburb of the municipality of Serres; in the valley of St. Anargiri, where you can find anything in order to have a good time; in the forest and ski centre of Lailias; at Lake Kerkini with its irrigation dam, the hydrobiosphere and plenty of fresh fish; in Ano Poroia with cool mountainous climate during the summer and fresh trout; in Alistrati where you can admire the beautiful cave, one of the best in Europe.

Culture

The prefecture is profuse in cultural activities because of its many cultural clubs. Some of the best-known customs are the "Anastenaria" in St. Eleni and "Gynaeocracy" in Monoklissia, Nea Petra and Ano Kamila. There is also the kite flying festival on the day after the last day of Carnival, which takes place in Mesorrahi, a village near Nea Zihni. Last but not least, there is the Gerakina's celebration every year during Easter in Nigrita. Gerakina who is well-known all over Greece originates from Nigrita and her song is a panhellenic anthem of the Muse.

Agriculture - Cattle breeding

615 Km2 out of 1,630 Km2 are irrigated. There has been a land-redistribution in 310 Km2 with the use of modern irrigation methods. The prefecture is mainly agricultural including cultivations of wheat, barley, corn, tobacco, cotton, sugar-beets, industrial tomato, rice, trees and vegetables in large areas. The prefecture is one of the top cattle breeding areas in the country. It produces large quantities of beef, pork, lamb and chicken, eggs and dairy products of excellent quality.

Industry - Small industry

There is a milk pasteurisation industry, sugar industry, five tomato-puree and tomato product industries as well. Cheese industries, distilleries, halvah industries, cotton gins, wood, sweets and cattle feed processing plants. There are also factories producing boilers, exhaust pipes, clothes located in the industrial area, west of Serres.


This page is maintained by Panagiotis G. Ipeirotis (panos@stern.nyu.edu) .

Copyleft 2006