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TRIKALA

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GENERAL INFORMATION

The prefecture of Trikala is a mountainous region which gradually descends from altitudes of over 2000 meters to the great plain of Thessaly. This is where the capital of the prefecture is situated. The comfortable and pretty city of Trikala, built upon the ruins of ancient Trikki and along the banks of the Lithaeos river, has a population of 45000 people, a full third of the total population of the prefecture.  

 

HISTORY-CULTURE

This fertile land has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, and many early settlements dating as far back as the Neolithic period have been found under the thick layers of soil which have been sheltering them for millennia. During the classical period, the most important centers here were the cities of Trikki and Aeginion. The prefecture has suffered many invasions and conquests. It was plundered by Persians, then conquered by Romans. Byzantine rule, though Greek in origin, often failed to protect the region from the onslaught of the barbarian raids, which plagued all of Europe during the middle ages. The network of monasteries atop the Meteora rocks served as a refuge and as a cultural haven during most of these long periods of trouble. Beginning in the 11th century, the monks gradually built their monasteries upon this impossible location, and have been residing there ever since. Following their example, most of the populace of the region sought the protection of the highlands, where they flourished as producers and traders of silk, wool, and textiles. Finally, the region fell to the Turks, and after nearly five centuries of Turkish oppression, Trikala rejoined Greece in 1898.

 

SIGHTS

The mountainous landscape of Trikala is dominated by the presence of one of the most impressive spectacles in the world, the grey rocks of Meteora. The scene is breathtaking, awe-inspiring in itself; huge masses of granite jutting straight out of the ground, resembling tree trunks with their tops chopped off, their formation being so uncanny that it seems difficult to believe that this is a work of nature and not a work of man. But though man had nothing to do with this impressive formation of rocks, the ?rock forest?, he has, after all, laid his touch on the picture. Six monasteries adorn the tops of the rocks, monuments of faith, of devotion, and of sheer willpower. It is difficult to get to the top of these rocks just by carrying one?s own weight, and doing so with a load of building materials would seem irrational. Yet the monks managed to build an entire complex which can host hundreds and still have enough private room for tranquil prayer. Just below, at the foot of the rocks, the town of Kalambaka stands over the ruins of ancient Aeginion, some remains of which can still be seen. It is believed that an even older city lies underneath, the legendary ancient Ithomi, a participant in the Trojan War. The nearby cave of Theopetra provided shelter to humans as long as 75000 years ago. In the city of Trikala, the imposing Byzantine fortress is well-preserved, and the traditional Varoussi neighborhood lying at its feet complements its medieval image. Other sights here include ancient Trikki, the old churches, built between the 16th and the 17th century, and the old clock. The Neolithic settlement in Zarkos dates back into the 7th millennia BC, and includes one of the most ancient organized burial grounds in the world. The region is literally bursting with monuments, mostly of ecclesiastical interest. Furthermore, it is a region of unparalleled natural beauty. Fir, beech and chestnut forests cover its mountains and hills, forming a green blanket which turns into pure white in the winter. Countless streams, rivulets, waterfalls and small lakes add in to complete this picture of divine natural perfection.       

 

ENTERTAINMENT-SPORTS-SHOPPING

Both the capital city of Trikala and Kalambaka have a well-organized tourist infrastructure, a situation which can be found all across the prefecture. High quality accommodations and a sufficient market are accompanied by night clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, taverns, and traditional feasts. A chance to attend one of the latter is an experience one should never miss. The swap meet in Trikala will complement this taste of cultural initiation, as it is among the oldest and largest bazaars in Greece. Finally, few places offer comparable sporting opportunities, though many will consider keeping up with the local delicacies a much more exciting and no less challenging sporting event. Kokoretsi, kontosouvli, spleen sausage, goat soup, tripe soup, frumenty, and crushed grain are but few among an endless array of specialties. The taverns in the villages of Pertouli and Elati are best suited for these contests of gastronomy, while the beautiful scenery seen on the ride is enchanting. A few jars of honey, fine textiles and hand-woven clothing will be ideal to take back home along with the pleasant memory of this land.    

 

ACCESS

There is a daily bus service to the capital of Trikala and to Kalambaka from Athens and Thessaloniki. The train, beginning from Pireaus, Athens, Thessaloniki, or Larissa, reaches the city of Trikala through Volos.

 

CONNECTIONS

There is a direct bus connection with the cities of Larissa, Karditsa, Volos, Grevena, Ioannina, Athens and Thessaloniki. The extensive bus network easily connects this central region with any location in mainland Greece. 

 

MUSEUMS

The city of Trikala hosts a folk art museum rich in items of cultural interest. There is also an interesting art gallery, while the library in the village of Kastania houses more than 3000 books.   

 

ALTERNATIVE TOURISM

Spiritual (a visit to Meteora commands piety even to the most casual believer), archaeology, gastronomy, ecotourism, agrotourism, caving, canyoning, and sporting (mountain climbing of the highest levels, mountain bike, trekking, rappel, parapente, ski, snowboard).

 

 

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS:

TRIKALA AREA CODE:  24310-

POLICE STATION: 24310-63009, 63013-4, 63043

MUNICIPALITY: 24310-51100

POST OFFICE: 24310-32983, 27415

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG. : 24310-22299

RADIO TAXI STATION: 24310-33111, 22111, 33991. 31000, 75444, 31555

HOSPITAL: 24310-45100

PHARMACIES: 24310-21345, 31777, 73736, 23411, 37470, 31333

BUS STATION: 24310-73130-5

RAILWAY STATION: 24310-27214

 

 

 

Photo Gallery
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