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Hotels of Kastoria

A hotel in Kastoria is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Kastoria hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Kastoria are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Kastoria hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Kastoria hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Kastoria have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Kastoria
An upscale full service hotel facility in Kastoria that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Kastoria hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Kastoria
Full service Kastoria hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Kastoria
Boutique hotels of Kastoria are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Kastoria boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Kastoria may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Kastoria
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Kastoria travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Kastoria focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Kastoria
Small to medium-sized Kastoria hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Kastoria traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Kastoria hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Kastoria
A bed and breakfast in Kastoria is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Kastoria bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Kastoria B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Kastoria
Kastoria hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Kastoria hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Kastoria
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Kastoria hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Kastoria lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Kastoria
Kastoria timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Kastoria often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Kastoria on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Kastoria
A Kastoria motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Kastoria for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Kastoria motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Kastoria

Kastoria and Lake Orestiada.
Kastoria and Lake Orestiada.
Kastoria is located in Greece
Coordinates:  / 40.517; 21.267  / 40.517; 21.267
Country Greece
Administrative region West Macedonia
Regional unit Kastoria
• Municipality 763.3 km (294.7 sq mi)
• Municipal unit 57.3 km (22.1 sq mi)
Elevation 700 m (2,300 ft)
Population (2011)
• Municipality 35,874
• Municipality density 47/km (120/sq mi)
• Municipal unit 16,958
• Municipal unit density 300/km (770/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 521 00
Area code(s) 24670
Vehicle registration KT
Kastoria municipality map

Kastoria (Greek: Καστοριά, Kastoriá [kastoˈrʝa]) is a city in northern Greece in the region of West Macedonia. It is the capital of Kastoria regional unit. It is situated on a promontory on the western shore of Lake Orestiada, in a valley surrounded by limestone mountains. The town is known for its many Byzantine churches, Byzantine and Ottoman-era domestic architecture, fur clothing industry, and trout.

Kastoria: Name

The name "Kastoria" first appears in 550 AD, mentioned by Procopius as follows: "There was a certain city in Thessaly, Diocletianopolis by name, which had been prosperous in ancient times, but with the passage of time and the assaults of the barbarians it had been destroyed, and for a very long time it had been destitute of inhabitants; and a certain lake chances to be close by which was named Castoria. There is an island in the middle of the lake, for the most part surrounded by water; but there remains a single narrow approach to this island through the lake, not more than fifteen feet wide. And a very lofty mountain stands above the island, one half being covered by the lake while the remainder rests upon it." (Procopius "Περί κτισμάτων" /On buildings, book IV,1.3) Although Procopius refers to it as "a city of Thessaly", the description is undoubtedly that of Kastoria, a city on a promontory in a lake.

There are several theories about the origin of the name Kastoria. The dominant of these is that the name derives from the Greek word κάστορας (kástoras, meaning "beaver"). Trade in the animal's fur, sourced from nearby Lake Orestiada, has traditionally been an important element of the city's economy. Other theories propose that the name derives from the Greek word κάστρο (kástro, meaning "castle"; from the Latin word castra) or from the mythical hero Κάστωρ (Kástōr), who may have been honoured in the area. The word is sometimes written with a C, Castoria, especially in older works. From Greek, the name was borrowed into Turkish as Kesriye. The Serbian, Bulgarian and Slavic name of the city is Kostur (Cyrillic: Костур).

Kastoria: Municipality

The municipality Kastoria was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 9 former municipalities, that became municipal units:

  • Agia Triada
  • Agioi Anargyroi
  • Kastoria
  • Kastraki
  • Kleisoura
  • Korestia
  • Makednoi
  • Mesopotamia
  • Vitsi

The municipality has an area of 763.330 km, the municipal unit 57.318 km.

Kastoria: History

The church of St. Stephanos (10th c.).
For Orthodox and Latin ecclesiastical history, see Metropolis of Kastoria

Kastoria: Antiquity

Kastoria is believed to have ancient origins. Livy (XXXI, XL) mentions a town near a lake in Orestis, called Celetrum, whose inhabitants surrendered to Sulpitius during the Roman war against Philip V of Macedon (200 BC). The ancient town was possibly located on a hill above the town's current location.

The Roman Emperor Diocletian (ruled 284–305 AD) founded the town of Diocletianopolis in the vicinity. Procopius (De aedificiis, 4.3.1-4) relates that, after Diocletianopolis was destroyed by barbarians, Emperor Justinian relocated it on a promontory projecting into Lake Orestiada, the town's current location, and "gave it an appropriate name", perhaps indicating that he renamed it Justinianopolis. Th. L. Fr. Tafel, in his study on the Via Egnatia (De via militari Romanorum Egnatia, 1832), suggested that Celetrum, Diocletianopolis and Kastoria are three successive names of the same place.

Kastoria: Middle Ages

The church of Panagia (Koumpelidiki) (9th or 10th c.).
The church of Three Saints (15th c.).
The church of St Nicholas Kasnitzes (12th c.).

Kastoria itself does not appear, however, until the Byzantine–Bulgarian wars of the late 10th/early 11th century (the mention of Diocletianopolis in Constantine Porphyrogennetos' De Thematibus is anachronistic, drawing from the 6th-century Synecdemus). The town was in Bulgarian hands until 1018, when it was conquered by Basil II.

Fresco by Onufri at the Holy Apostles church

Kastoria was occupied by the Normans under Bohemond I in 1082/83, but was soon recovered by Alexios I Komnenos. The town had a significant Jewish presence, most notably the 11th-century scholar Tobiah ben Eliezer.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, the town became contested between several powers and changed hands often. The Second Bulgarian Empire held the city under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II, until it was recovered by the Despotate of Epirus. The Nicaean Empire captured it in ca. 1252, but lost it again to Epirus in ca. 1257, only for the Nicaeans to recapture it following the Battle of Pelagonia (1259).

In the early 14th century, Kastoria was part of the domain of John II Doukas, "doux of Great Vlachia and Kastoria". After his death, the town became part of the semi-autonomous domain of Stephen Gabrielopoulos. After the latter's death in 1332/3, the Byzantine emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos took over the town, but in the very next year (1334) it was surrendered briefly to the Serbs by the renegade Syrgiannes Palaiologos.

The Serbian ruler Stephen Dushan finally captured Kastoria in 1342/3, taking advantage of the ongoing Byzantine civil war, and made it part of his Serbian Empire. After Dushan's death, Kastoria became the seat of Symeon Uroš.

The town came later under the Epirote ruler Thomas Preljubović, and finally under the Albanian Muzaka family, until it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the mid-1380s.

Kastoria: Ottoman Era

The Ottoman Turks conquered Kastoria around 1385, but it is unclear whether by force or by an agreement with its Albanian rulers. During the Ottoman period Kastoria acquired a sizeable Muslim population and several mosques and tekkes could be found in the city.

The city would remain under Ottoman rule (as part of Manastir Vilayet in the late 19th and early 20th century) until the First Balkan War (1912), when Greece took it. The 1913 treaties of London and Bucharest incorporated Kastoria into the Greek state. Following the end of the First World War the bulk of the Muslim element of Kastoria's population was transferred to Mustafapaşa, Turkey during the Greek-Turkish population exchange.

Kastoria: Dolcho and Apozari

Mansion of Anastasios Picheon, now Museum of the Macedonian Struggle (Kastoria)
Traditional mansion (18th c.), currently housing the Costume Museum.

During the Ottoman times, Kastoria attracted a multitude of people from across the Balkans and beyond, resulting in a diverse, multi-ethnic community. As a result, the city plan was radically transformed. The different ethnic communities, Bulgarian, Turkish, Greek and Jewish, became centred around separate neighbourhoods or ‘quarters’. Two old Greek lakeside quarters, the “Dolcho” and “Apozari” neighbourhoods, are among the best-preserved and last remaining traditional quarters of the city.

These neighbourhoods are characterised by the rich stock of old houses preserved in the shape of autonomous historic buildings, such as the important private mansions or the more humble folk dwellings (‘accessory’ buildings) built between the 17th and 19th centuries. During this time, the processing and exporting of animal furs to Europe created wealth, and city mansions, of particular architectural and decorative value, were built. This interconnected nexus of churches and private houses constitutes a rare example of a Byzantine and post-Byzantine township, and remains inhabited to this day.

The traditional buildings and manor houses of the “Dolcho” and “Apozari” neighbourhoods are threatened by modern development in the city, as well as structural degradation from poor levels of conservation. These sites were included on the 7 Most Endangered list of Europe’s most at-risk monuments and sites in 2014.

Kastoria: World War II

During both World War II and the Greek Civil War, the town was repeatedly fought over and heavily damaged in the process. It was nearly captured by the Communist Democratic Army of Greece in 1948, and the final battles of the civil war took place on the nearby Mount Gramos in 1949.

The first Jewish community was a community of Romaniote Jews. One of them was Tobiah ben Eliezer. In 1940 the Jewish population in Kastoria numbered 900, composed predominantly of Ladino-speaking Sephardic Jews. Many family names were of Italian origin as a result of emigrations (originally from Spain) via Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In late March 1944, under Nazi German occupation during World War II, 763 Kastorian Jews were taken prisoner by Nazi troops and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, as part of a program of deliberate extermination of Jews during the Holocaust. Kastoria was liberated by the guerrillas of the Greek People's Liberation Army less than 4 months after the Jewish citizens were forced to the concentration camps. By the end of the war in 1945, only 35 of the original population had survived, the vast majority of the community having been killed in concentration camps.

In 2016, a special documentary titled "Trezoros: The Lost Jews of Kastoria" was released with never before seen footage has been created by executive producer and director Lawrence Russo (based on his parents story) and co-director and producer Larry Confino.

Kastoria: Economy

Old era furriers
Panorama of the city and the lake.
Panoramic view.

Kastoria is an international centre of fur trade, which dominates the local economy. Indeed, (as mentioned above) the town was possibly named after one of the former staples of the trade – the European beaver (kastóri in Greek), now extinct in the area. Trading in mink fur now predominates and every year an international showcase of fur takes place in the city. Fur trade is the biggest factor of Kastoria economy and it started back to the 14th century, now there are more than 300 small and big fabrics of fur in the city. Other industries include the sale and distribution of locally grown produce, particularly wheat, apples, wine and fish. Recently a large shopping center has been built in the city of Kastoria. Kastoria has 16 local radio stations, 2 TV stations, 5 daily newspapers and 7 weekly ones. The town's airport is named Aristotelis Airport.

Kastoria: Landmarks

The promenade.

Kastoria: Religious Sites

Kastoria is an important religious centre for the Greek Orthodox Church and is the seat of a metropolitan bishop. It originally had 72 Byzantine and medieval churches, of which 54 have survived, including St Athanasius of Mouzaki. Some of these have been restored and provide useful insight into trends in Late Byzantine styles of architecture and fresco painting.

Kastoria: Museums

The Museum of Byzantine History located on Dexamenis Square houses many examples of Byzantine iconography. The Costume Museum and the Monuments Museum are also located in the city. In the village of Kastanofyto lies the Folklore Museum (Kastanofyto), which preserves folk traditions from the local area.

Kastoria is filled with old manors dating to the Ottoman period, while parts of the old Byzantine walls also stand.

Kastoria: Bridges

Stone bridges are an important part of the traditional architecture of Kastoria. The best known is the bridge of Zouzouli, the bridge of Koromilia, the Koutsoumpli bridge and the bridge in Beriki.

The Bridge of Zouzouli, located in a remote area on the southern tip of the prefecture of Kastoria, is built over the waters of the stream of Zouzouli and connects mt. Smolikas with mt. Voios. It is arched, has a length of 25 meters and a height of 7 meters. Constructed in 1880 by artisans coming from Konitsa. The construction was financed from either a man, in memory of his brother who drowned in the river, or from a ruler who, moved by the drowning of a little girl, wanted to build the bridge.

The bridge of Koutsoumpli is located between the mountains of Voio and Smolikas, over the river of Zouzouli and it previously connected the villages of Eptachori and Zouzouli. Its arch is 14 meters wide, 8 meters high and it has a total length of 33 meters and a width of 2.40 meters.

The bridge in Beriki has a very thin arch and a great height. It was manufactured by master builder Sdrolios, who came from the village of Ntempeni (now Dendrochori), probably in 1866. Next to the bridge there was possibly a watermill and an inn. Probably, this is where the name of the region came from (inn Beriki).

The bridge of Koromilia is built over the Ladopotamos river and it used to connected the village of Koromilia with the one of Dendrochori. It is arched and has a length of 26 meters, a width of 2.80 meters, a height of 7 meters and an arch opening of 16 meters. It was built in 1865 and consists of limestone and schist slate.

Kastoria: Cuisine

Local specialities include:

  • Giouvetsi
  • Grivadi soup
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Onion Pie
  • Milk Pie (dessert)
  • Saliaroi (dessert)

Kastoria: Sports

Kastoria F.C. crest

Kastoria FC is the town's football team. It was established in 1963 when three local sides joined to form one stronger team representing the town. The team's most successful years to date were 1974 when it was promoted to the Greek first division and competed there for a year, and then 1980 when it won the Greek Cup after an impressive 5-2 victory over Iraklis FC in the final. The team are hoping to return to the first division this year as they are currently competing for the second division (Beta Ethniki) title.

Kastoria: Population

Year Town Municipal unit Municipality
1981 20,660 - -
1991 14,775 - -
2001 14,813 16,218 -
2011 13,387 16,958 35,874

Kastoria: Location

Bilisht Florina Amyntaio - Edessa
Korçë Brosen windrose.svg Ptolemaida - Veria
Ioannina Neapoli, Kozani - Siatista - Grevena Kozani - Larissa

Kastoria: Notable people

  • Şefik Aker (1877–1964), military officer in the Ottoman and Turkish armies
  • Athanasios Christopoulos (1772–1847), poet
  • Dimitris Diamantidis (1980–), basketball player
  • Christina Giazitzidou (1989–), Olympic bronze medalist in rowing
  • Jagnula Kunovska (1943–), politician, jurist and writer
  • Nicholas Lambrinides, founder of Skyline Chili, a famous restaurant chain in Cincinnati, USA
  • Qazim Baba, 15th century Muslim bektashi holy man.
  • Tobiah ben Eliezer Author of the Midrash Lekach Tov
  • Sevastos Leontiadis (1690–1765), educationalist
  • Lucas Samaras (1936–), artist
  • Maria Spiropulu (1970–), experimental physicist

Kastoria: International relations

Kastoria: Twin towns - sister cities

Kastoria is twinned with:

  • Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine since 1998.
  • Bulgaria Plovdiv, Bulgaria since 2005.

Kastoria: See also

  • Kastoria (regional unit)
  • Castoria (titular see) (Latin Catholic)
  • Metropolis of Kastoria (now Greek Orthodox)
  • Kastoria (Greece) Folklore Museum
  • Kostur dialect
  • Fossil Exhibition (Nostimo), a village 25 km (16 mi) from Kastoria

Kastoria: Notes

  1. "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
  2. "Καστοριά - Προέλευση Του Ονόματος (Kastoria - origin of the name)" (in Greek). Δήμος Καστοριάς (City of Kastoria). Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  3. "K". The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989, online". dictionary.oed.com. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  4. Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (in Greek)
  5. "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.
  6. Δρακοπούλου, Ευγενία. Η πόλη της Καστοριάς τη βυζαντινή και μεταβυζαντινή εποχή (12ος - 16ος αι.): ιστορία, τέχνη, επιγραφές, Χριστιανική Αρχαιολογική Εταιρεία, 1997, ISBN 960-85882-1-9, p.23. (in Greek)
  7. [1] D. C. Samsaris, Historical Geography of the Roman province of Macedonia (The Department of Western Macedonia today) (in Greek), Thessaloniki 1989 (Society for Macedonian Studies), p. 152. ISBN 960-7265-01-7
  8. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907, s.v. Castoria
  9. D. C. Samsaris, Dioclétianopoleis - Deux fondations de Dioclétien en Macédoine, BYZANTINA 16(1991)65-72
  10. Gregory, Timothy E.; Wharton, Annabel Jane (1991). "Kastoria". In ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  11. "Kastoria". jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  12. Andreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 200, ISBN 954-427-216-X
  13. Ring, Trudy; Salkin, Robert M.; Boda, Sharon La (1996), International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe, Taylor & Francis, p. 361, ISBN 978-1-884964-02-2
  14. "The Holocaust in Greece". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  15. "Wiped out ‘in the blink of an eye’: Only 35 Jews survived from a 2,000-year-old Greek community". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
  16. "About us - Real Fur Coats, Vests, Keychains, Slides and Hats". hauteacorn.com. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  17. "ραδιοφωνικός χάρτης | Ραδιόφωνο (Greek radio stations, Kastoria)". radiofono.gr. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  18. "Εφημερίδα Μακεδονία | Η εφημερίδα της Θεσσαλονίκης (Makedonia newspaper, article of 2008/06/29 by Dimitra Tsapodimou)". makthes.gr. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  19. "Twinnings" (PDF). Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  20. "Plovdiv has yet another sister city". Retrieved 2015-03-01.

Kastoria: References

  • The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004.
  • Encyclopædia Britannica, 2005.
  • The Penguin Encyclopedia of Places, 1999.
  • Rough Guide to Greece, Mark Ellingham et al., 2000.
  • Official municipal website (English version under construction)
  • Official website of the Prefecture
  • Informational Portal for Kastoria
  • Kastoria Byzantine Museum
  • Dispilio Lakeside Neolithic Settlement
  • Byzantine Kastoria through its monuments (10th-14th centuries)
Source of information: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We're not responsible for the content of this article and your use of this information. Disclaimer
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