Larissa, a city with history, culture and future …
Larissa is an ancient city, since, as archaeological research shows, the area was inhabited during the Paleolithic period. The name Larissa is pre-Hellenic, Pelasgian origin and was particularly widespread in Greece. It means the strong fortified hill. Also, according to mythology, the city of Larissa was built by Larissos, son of Pelasgos.
The historical and cultural characteristics of Larissa compose a legend that begins like a river from the slopes of Olympus 8.000 years ago, crosses a fertile plain, both a crossroad and a granary, and flows in the city that gave birth to Achilles, sent off Hippocrates and is still standing here, home of new creators and young artists, with its symbols and its people ready for a new European adventure.
In the city one can see important monuments and sights of antiquity, the Byzantine and Ottoman period, as well as visit the significant museums in the area, such as the Diachronic Museum of Larissa, the Folklore – Historical Museum, the Museum of Wheat and Flour, the Municipal Art Museum «G. Katsigras» and others.
The Mill of Pappas
The Mill of Pappas is cultural heritage museum and a living part of our city’s history. The mill was a watermill, windmill, roller in successive phases of its development since its foundation in the late 19th century until the 1980s that stopped its activity. In 2002 a fire broke the link from the chain of local history. The fire destroyed the wooden floors and the roof collapsed on the ground. Today, after the restoration of the mill, many cultural activities are held. In the mill and around it are housed and operated a dance school, art workshops, a small theatre with 150 people capacity, the Municipal Band, a summer cinema, a puppetry. So today the mill continues to offer things to the city differently.
First Ancient Theatre of Larissa
The magnificent First Ancient Theatre of Larissa was constructed in the first half of the 3rd century BC in the southern foothills of the hill «Fortress», where the ancient city’s fortified Acropolis stood. It was not more until the end of the 3rd century or early in the 4th century AD that it existed. In this monument, in addition to the theatrical performances and reruns of classic plays, original plays of the New Comedy of that era were also performed. The theatre is still used by the municipality as an outdoor place of church gatherings, which in ancient Larissa had the ancient name “Agora”. Furthermore, the same monument constituted a place of convention for the representatives and delegates of many other different city-states that participated in the federation of the Thessalian cities at the prestigious Community of the Thessalians, having Larissa as their capital.
Bezesteni, in Larissa was a covered fabric market on the Ottoman Empire. It was built on the highest point of the hill, the ancient acropolis of Larissa, also known as Fort and dating around the late 15th and early 16th century. Probably there would be the Byzantine citadel. Bezesteni Larissa is a large rectangular building dimensions 30 on 20 meters built of large stones and bricks. There are even cases that marble architectural parts of the ancient temple of Athena Polias that existed in the area is built therein.
Diachronic Museum of Larissa
The new and modern Archaeological Museum is located on the hill of Mezourlo, on an area of ten acres. Here is housed the archaeological treasure of Thessaly – prehistoric, classical and Byzantine – which has been the subject of study in the last century by many Greek and European archaeologists. It includes exhibition rooms with prehistoric, classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine antiquities, warehouses and specialized workshops for murals, mosaics, earthenware and glass objects, metals, sculptures and icons.
It is the second largest Folklore Museum in the country (after the Benaki Museum). Its collection exceeds 20,000 objects dating back to the 15th to the middle of the 20th century. They cover the fields of traditional and urban life, agricultural and livestock farming, ceramics, ecclesiastical silversmithing, weaving, stamping, engraving and visual works, and there is also a rich history and photographic archive.
Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – GI Katsigras Museum
The Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa Museum «G. I. Katsigras” has the second largest and most important public art collection in Greece. It was founded in 1983 to host the 750 paintings of the 19th and 20th centuries that Georgios Katsigras had donated to the city, as well as 410 works of sculpture, painting and engravings he had acquired in the meantime.As a core of intellectual creation and search, it organizes exhibitions from time to time contributing to the aesthetic and artistic education of the audience of the city and the region.
Since 2003, it is housed in a modern building, organized on the basis of modern museographic studies.
More information about the historical centre of Larissa and other sites you may find in the following links: