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Greece: Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday

Theopetra(ANA) Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday The opening to the public of the prehistoric Theopetra Cave in Trikala prefecture, will be marked with a concert on Friday. Theopetra Cave is a famous archaeological site, and the first excavated cave in Thessaly, with excavations starting in 1987 and continuing to the present. Its deposits begin in the Middle Paleolithic period and continue without gaps until the end of the Neolithic period (3000 BC). Its uniqueness is that in contains, within a single site, the records of two greatly significant cultural transitions: The replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans, and the later transition from hunter-gathering to farming after the end of the last Ice Age. The cave, situated just three kilometers from Meteora, consists of an immense 500 square meter rectangular chamber at the foot of a limestone hill, which rises to the northeast above the village of Theopetra, with a very big entrance 17m wide by three metres high. It lies at the foot of the Chasia mountain range, which forms the natural boundary between Thessaly and Epirus prefectures, while the Lithaios River, a tributary of the Pineios River, flows in front of the cave. Excavations, which have been systematically carried out, have unearthed light geological deposits dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene periods as well as anthropogenic deposits, indicating that the cave had been continuously inhabited during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods. Specimens found, such as coal and human bones, prove that the cave was occupied from about 50,000 BC to 4000 BC, and that temporary use continued during the Bronze Age and historic times up to 1955. Even after that the cave was used occasionally to by shepherds to shelter their herds right up until the excavations began. It is the first time that cave dwelling was recorded in Thessaly during the Palaeolithic period. Continue reading

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Greece: Byzantine Fortress Showcased

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The early Byzantine-era fortress of Trikala, central Greece, which was renovated by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD in recognition of its strategic importance, is located just north of the modern-day city of the same name, in the Thessaly plain. 
The use of stone blocks attest to the fact that it was built on the site of previous ancient citadel surrounded by an outer wall, and dating back to the Classical Era. The fortress was repaired a number of times during the Ottoman occupation and featured a polygonal outer wall with five towers and many small embrasures.
The long history of the Byzantine fortress of Trikala is highlighted in a newly published brochure with photographs and historical details, within the framework of a tourism promotion campaign focusing on the uniqueness of the monument.

Destination Greece: Trikala’s Landmarks Restored

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Trikala’s landmarks, the medieval fort and the clock tower opened to the public on April 27 after undergoing extensive restoration. Located at the north side of the town and on the top of Chasia mountain range, the old fort dates back to the Classic and Hellenistic eras. In the east side, the clock-tower was first built during the Turkish rule and replaced by another one in 1936. Trikala, capital city of the homonymous prefecture is a modern and pedestrian-friendly town on the banks of Lithaios River. Greek News Agenda: Winter Destinations

Greece: Winter Destinations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Breathtaking cliffs and mountains, rugged scenery, lakes, picturesque villages, and traditional architecture make central Greece one of the most beautiful regions in the country, offering outdoor enthusiasts plenty of opportunities for rock climbing and hiking, mountain skiing, kayaking, rafting, biking as well as cave exploration.  Evrytania, at the southern end of the Pindos mountain range, being dubbed “Greece’s Switzerland” is a very popular destination during the winter months. One can visit the Velouchi skiing centre at an elevation of 1,800 meters, the Mikro and Megalo Horio, two well-known villages, Proussos village, best known for its old monastery with the famous icon of Our Lady of Proussos and the Koryschades settlement which hosted the elected National Assembly, in May 1944, during the German occupation. AthensPlus: The ultimate winter destination  (p.42)  Meteora (meaning “suspended in the air”) in the region of Thessaly, is known for the complex of 24 monasteries on the top of impressive rock towers, a strange but breathtaking landscape that has been sculpted by wind and water over thousands of years. These smooth, vertical rocks have become a favourite destination for rock climbers who can truly appreciate the feat of the 9th century hermits who first climbed them to settle in the caves and fissures of the rocks. The site is included in the UNESCO World Heritage listTrikala, at the foothills of Mt Koziakas, on the eastern side of the Pindos mountain range, is a mostly pedestrian’s town on the banks of river Lithaios. One of the highlights of the town is the 16th century Kursum mosque, a protected UNESCO Heritage site, now used as an exhibition hall. Mt Koziakas and Acheloos river are part of the European Natura 2000 network of protected natural habitats.AthensPlus – Trikala, halfway to heaven  (p.42)