The Castle of Lamia

The Castle of Lamia stands on the top of a rocky hill while it dominates and controls the Sperchios Valley up to Maliakos Bay as well as the passageway that leads to Thessaly through Orthris. The centre of its main plateau is occupied by the Othonian barrack where the Archaeological Museum of Lamia is hosted. Recent excavation within the walls of the acropolis have shown that the place was inhabited since the Bronze Age (2800-1100 B.C.) and more particular during the Mycenaean Era. The acropolis was the centre of the defense system of Lamia during the Classical/Hellenistic Era and was connected to the walls of the city below. The ancient wall is still preserved in its whole in a very good condition due to its constant use and the continuous repair works. The preserved surrounding wall has a triangular ground plan and a 600-metre perimeter while its height varies reaching 13 metres in its Northwest corner. The thickness of the walls is 1.35m on average and comes to crenellations. The castle has two Gates, one on the Southeast called ‘iron gate’ through which it was connected to the lower part of the city and one on the Northeast that led to Orthris Mountain. Corroborative towers are near the gates, in the corners of the wall and in every weak defensive spots. Inside the space is divided into two transverse walls into three parts. The north part (donjon) is higher and was used as the ultimate shelter of those fighting for the Castle. The most ancient part of the surroundings was built according to the polygonic system and dates back to the end of the 5th till the beginning of the 4th century B.C. when Lamia became the capital of the state of Malieon and significantly prospered from 413 B.C. At the base of the North West tower we see an equally built trapezoidal construction system that can be dated be to the end of the 5th up to the beginning of the 4th century B.C. Equally constructed rectangle system can be found in many more spots in the base of the wall. It is still dubious is there has been any kind of restoration of the wall in the Justinian Era, The parts of the mortared marble with an intermediate use of synthetic mortar and tiles are probably part of repairs in the byzantine Years as well as of the Franks and the Catalans. The plateau of the Southwest corner was used in the Middle Ages as a bastion and had a reservoir. New amendments and repairs were made during the Turkish Occupation.

Historical description-Flashback: The city of Lamia after the mid of the 4th century was conquered by Philip II. In 302 BC it was liberated by Dimitrios the Besieger when it remained under the influence of the Thessalians and the Aitolis until it was occupied by the Romans. During the War of Lamia (323/22 BC) Leosthenis who was the General of the Athenians was killed in front of Lamia’s walls while he was besieging the Macedonians who were defending Lamia. In 190AD Manios Akilios Glabrion occupied and severely plundered the city. In the 13th and 14 century it fell in the hands of the foreign conquerors of the Middle Ages, the Franks and the Catalans and was named ‘the Castle’. In 1446 it was finally occupied by the Turks until the liberation of the city in 1833. In the Othonian Era the central plateau was built as a barrack to meet the needs of the frontier forces. From 1884 till World War II the Castle had been used as a barrack. In 1973 the place was given from the Ministry of Defenmce to the Ministry for Culture and in 1984 the Municipality of Lamia has undertaken its recreation and repair of the barrack in order to house the Archaeological Museum of the city.

Time periods: Classical era, Hellenistic era, Submycenaean season, Mycenaean, Byzantine era, Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Lamia, Local Community of Lamia

Directions: It is located in Melina Merkouri street eastwards.

Transportation: Bus to the city center and then by car or TAXI

Parking: Parking nearby Castle’s entrance

Work hours: Daily: 08:00 to 15:00

Authority: XIV Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

General information: XIV Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Castle of Lamia, Zip Code 35100, Lamia (District of Fthiotida) Phone: +30 22310 29992 Fax: +30 22310 46106 Email: idepka@culture.gr (link sends e-mail)

Area: Lamia

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Memorial of Alamana battle

alamanas-bridgeIt is the place where Athanasios Diakos along with his comrades heroically died, killed by the Turkish hordes led by Homer Vrionis on April, 22 1822 on the bridge bearing his name. The next day Athanasios Diakos who was injured was taken to Lamia where he suffered a tormenting death. Along the National Highway we find Diakos Memorial built in honor of the Alamana Battle.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Lamia, Local Community of Thermopylae

Directions: 1. National Highway Side Road directed to Anthili, we take the route to the Local Community of Damasta. A few metres after, we turn right to Alamana. 2. From the Old Lamia-Athens Highway we are directed to Thermopylae, we turn left to Alamana.

Transportation: Car, Taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: XIV Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

General information: Area: Lamia

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

 

Statue of Athanasios Diakos

diakos-memorialOn April,23 1821 the blood of the hero of the Revolution, Athanasios Diakos was shed in Lamia while he was captured by the Turks after the battle in Alamana. He was executed with a violent and appalling death. The statue of Athanasios Diakos is of great historical importance and it has been placed in Diakou Square in 1903.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Lamia, Local Community of Lamia

Directions: West of Parkou Square, you can see Diakou Square on which the statue of Athanasios Diakos, who was a hero of the revolution, was erected.

Transportation: Bus, Car, Taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: Municipality of Lamia

General information: Area: Lamia

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Athanasios Diakos cenotaph

In 1886 after Major Rouvali’s suggestion and later on with actions carried on in 1889 by the Mayor of Lamia named Sklivanitionis, the cenotaph dedicated to the tragic sacrifice of Athanasios Diakos has been built. He was one of the most exciting figures of the national rebellion of the Greeks. It is a Calvary, that means accumulation of huge rocks that bear a marble Cross on the top which is surrounded by bay leaves. On the facade of the Calvary the inscription says: ‘Here is the place where on 23, April 1821 Athanasios Diakos died by impalement for the sake of Faith and freedom by the Turks ‘. On another plaque that was placed in 1930 when 100 years from the Liberation of Lamia passed, the poet Kostis Palamas wrote the following verses : ‘The road of sacrifice has brought you , Athanasios Diakos, on the heroes pride and the Lord’s glory, while evil fire your honest body ate, an angel’s kiss anointed your mouth’.

Historical description-Flashback: Athanasios Diakos was opted to fight for the Bridge in Alamana, thus on 22nd April 1821 along with 48 men we have a desperate battle. Nevertheless the revolution in Roumeli has already broken out and the city of Livadeia which was free, was risen the Greek flag at its castle on the 4th April 1821. His choice encouraged the rest of the Greeks in their fight for national freedom from the Turks and gave time to the up risen Greeks of Tripolitsa, putting an obstacle on the reinforcement of the Turks of the Peloponese, with additional military forces. Against the up risen of Roumeli have come Omer Vrionis and Kiose Mehmet in charge of 8000 soldiers and 900 Turk equestrians under the command to stop the revolution in Roumeli and them move to the Peloponese and eliminate the revolution in Tripolitsa. Although Diakos fought heroically to the end, he fell in the hands of the Turks since such fights were predetermined as was mentioned before. The Turks promised to honour and give him privileges if he denied the revolution and fought in favour of the Turks. Diakos refused replying with the historical phrase : ‘I was born Greek and I shall die Greek’ , so the Turks gave him an agonizing death, impaling him to death.

 

Captains memorial in Kompotades

Under the planes of the Square, the meeting of the Captains Diakos, Panourgias and Diovouniotis took place on how to fight against the troops of Homer Vrionis and Kiose Mehmet that were descending to the Peloponese. There is a column in their memory in the location named Four Planes. Apart from the column you will see a group of five old planes that have been acknowledged as natural monuments and are in need of special protection.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Ypati, Local Community of Kompotades

Directions: It is located in Kobotades’ Square

Transportation: Intercity bus, car, taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: Municipality of Lamia

General informations: Area: Kobotades

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Kamilovrisi Memorial

The particular spot is the place where the Turks stopped their advance in 1897 during the Greek-Turkish War.The monument with the names of the fallen, one Officer , 4 Commissioned Officers and 15 other Gunners reveals the desperate battle against the Ottomans.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Lamia, Local Community of Lamia

Directions: Northeast of Lamia, when travelling to Domokos you can visit the monument that is dedicated to the battle of Kamilovrisi.

Transportation: Car, Taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: Municipality of Lamia

Area: Lamia

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Resistance Memorial

The Iroon (The Memorial) that is in the centre of the city and in the homonymous square was built   in the memory of the victims-executed during the Holocaust in Ypati on the 17th June 1944. On this day the darkest page of the modern history of the town was written. The German forces in order to take revenge on Ypati, which was the base of operations for the ELAS Rebels, set fire, plundered and executed civilians and patriots. Military forces of the central German administration in Lamia attacked Ypati, executed 28 people, injure 30 and destroyed 375 out of the 400 houses of the town including byzantine churches and historic mansions.A Holocaust. For this reason Ypati was deemed to be a Martyr (Tormented) City.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Ypati, Local Community of Ypati

Directions: It is located north of Ypati’s Square

Transportation: Intercity bus to the Square of Ypati, car, taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: Municipality of Lamia

Area: Ypati

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Stadium of Amfiktionies

The Amphictyonies was the external union and co-administration among cities, with an internal independence and local authorities in every city. It is something like the European Community. Among the first Amphictyonies was that of Anthili, which was dedicated to Goddess Dimitra. The stadium was the place where the Amphictyonic Leagues took place, which where gatherings of the official representatives of the city-nations on a regular basis. During the Leagues, certain issues were discussed, which were about the wider necessities of life, attitude and survival in the different nations internally as well as among them.

Historical description-Flashback: The soil continuity and uniformity of the land in different areas, had put forward the creation of different nations and consequently the founding of many small unions in Amphictyonies, that later on were merged in smaller ones but with more members. Every small city was a part of the wider Greek people which was characterized and was connected to them with the inbred, speaking the same language, the same attitude and religion features that were evident mainly in religious gatherings. The institution of the Amphictyonies was created before the founding of the Greek Cities, when various ancient Greek nations reside the Greek space. Their members used to gather in one place, such as the Amphictyonies Stadium on a set day to worship a God who most probably initially was Pelasgikos Zeus.

Time periods: Classical era, Hellenistic era

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Lamia, Local Community of Anthili

Directions: We take the Lamia-Athens National Highway, take the Thermopylae exit, we take the southbound dirt track.

Transportation: Car, Taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: XIV Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

Area: Anthili

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Cave of Arsali (Saint Jerusalem)

In the higher grounds of the fir-covered Oiti Mountain, stands an enormous cave that looks like a Cyclops’s eye that is vigilant for his kingdom. It is the cave of Arsali (Saint Jerusalem) where the residents of Ypati, in her honor, formed an internal part into a church and celebrate her on the Thursday after the Orthodox Easter with festivities accorded to the local customs. The Icon of the Saint was transferred there to be saved from the heterodox. Only men go up to the cave the specific period while women and those who could not go up gather on Thursday morning in the beautiful place called ‘Perivolia’ that has a landscape of natural contrast in relation to the wilderness of the mountain because it is full of fields and trees, wild as wild as well regular. In the plateau there is a fount from which fresh, flowing wanted flows that springs from the centre of the mountain of Oiti and a few metres away a perennial plane which has a huge cavity in its trunk where somebody can sit to rest. When the service in the cave ends, someone signs to depart and everybody walk down towards Perivolia, where the feast starts. Everybody go down to the square, where the procession of the icon takes place, which is brought from the cave as well as sprinkling holy water to the congregation. In the evening Arsaliotes dance and the boys are impatient to become fully-fledged Arsaliotes. Whoever comes to Ypati is sure to become an Arsaliotis.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Ypati, Local Community of Ypati

Directions: On the Eastern entrance of Ypati we take the rural road which is initially cemented towards Saint Kiriaki, in the Perivolia area, we take the amateur path which is about 3 hours.

Transportation: 4X (4×4) to a point

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: 24th Byzantine Antiquities

General information: Area: Ypati

Accessibility for the disabled: No

Cost: Free entrance

 

Gorgopotamos bridge

gorgopotamos-bridgeOver the village of Gorgopotamos we can find the homonymous bridge that connects the two slopes of Oiti and the national railway connecting Athens and Salonika. One of the most glorious pages of contemporary history was written on this bridge. The night of November,25 1942 the united resistance organizations of E.A.M. and E.D.E.S. along with English saboteurs following the decision made in the Allied Middle East Headquarters blew up the bridge causing great delay to the crossing of the Germans that pressured the allies in Africa. The bridge was reconstructed in 1948. It is 211m long and 30m high. On the smal neighbouring hill, , an anniversary ceremony is held with the gathering of representatives of the government and of resistance unions so as to honour the achievement of the 25th November 1942, that expresses the unity in the fight during the years of the Occupation.

Historical description-Flashback: The south stand of the bridge with the guard of 80 Italians and full fortification has taken the responsibility of taking over a part of 60 revolutioners of ELAS with Kostoulas in charge, the men of ELAS will follow Commander Zervas’ lieutenant M.Myridakis with 8-10 Edesites to eliminate a possible reaction of the enemy which would not be predicted and then it would stop the Italian retreat. The North stand of the bridge which was guarded by 30 Italians had two antiaircraft weapons which were capable of being used against earth targets, a battalion of 30 men was in charge with leaders the lieutenants Papachristos and Petropoulakis. The undermining and blowing up of the bridge undertook specialized English saboteurs which were given help by trained men such as ELAS or EDES. Moreover, two ELAS teams with 15 men each and a British saboteur have undertaken to undermine the railways along one kilometre approximately to the north so as to eradicate any possibility of reinforcements to the enemy by train. Leader of each was Diamantis (Yiannis Alexandrou) and Helaklis (Kostas Skarmoutsos). Another team of 15 EDES men, has undertaken to burn with gas the wooden road bridge, in case the enemy tried to show up there. Finally, a team of 30 ELAS rebels was in general redundancy which was led by Nikiforos. The time for the beginning of the operation was 11pm and the general chief was Zervas. The whole operation was successful and was finished in 2:21am on 26th November. In order for this to be achieved a redundant team of Nikiforos’ fought since the EDES forces which has undertaken the north stand were frightened when they faced the Italian fire and retreated, Two days later the Italian retaliated to scare the people. They took from the prisons of Lamia 14 patriots from which 7 were executed in front of the ruined bridge and 7 were executed in their birth place Kastelia Parnasidos along with 10 residents of the village. The blow up of the Bridge in Gorgopotamos, was considered as one of the two most important rebellion actions of World War II along with the sabotage of the heavy water of Rzoukan in South Norway. Churchill in his Memoirs refers to the event of the Gorgopotamos Bridge blow up, while concerning the valuation of the fact German historians agree. It should be noted that Borkenau states that Gorgopotamos is the “most important rebellious operation throughout Europe as well as in the entire world”.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Gorgopotamos, Local Community of Gorgopotamos

Directions: 1. If we follow the Old National Lamia-Athens Highway, we turn right from the Moshohori junction to Gorgopotamos following the signs to Dio Vouna, you can see the Historic Bridge lying in front of you. 2. Following the provincial Lamia-Gorgopotamos Road and after we reach the square of the village , you can see the Bridge.

Transportation: Intercity bus, car, taxi to the Square of Gorgopotamos, car, taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: Municipality of Lamia

General information: Area: Gorgopotamos

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Kolonus hill in Thermopylae

Opposite the contemporary Leonides’ Memorial stands a low hill that has been identified with Kolonus where the final phase of the Battle of Thermopylae took place. The shape of Kolonus hill, where the last phase of the 480B.C. battle took place, has changed from ancient year till our days due to the construction of consecutive defensive works in different areas. This fact is accredited by the significance it had as a strategic defense spot. The small-range excavation carried out in 1939 in the aforementioned hill has come to a variety of spears and edges made of steel and copper dating back to the 5th century BC, some of which were acquired by Easterners. According to Herodotus’ narration those who died fighting in the battle of Thermopylae were buried. In their honor a lion made of stone and three plain monuments were erected. Today on the top of the hill appears to be a representation of the epigram of Simonides of Kios.

Time periods: Classical era, Hellenistic era

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Lamia, Local Community of Thermopylae

Directions: 1. Coming from Athens on National Highway Road to Lamia, after the tollpost of Agia Triada, we take the route firght to the Local Community of Thermopylae.  2.Coming from Thessaloniki on National Highway Road to Athens, after the city of Lamia we take the route right to the Local Community of Thermopylae.

Transportation: Intercity bus, car, taxi

Parking: Parking available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: XIV Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

General information: Area:Thermopylae

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance

 

Monument of Battle of Pavliani

On June 3, 1943, just before noon a team of two hundred (200) EAM-ELAS fighters faced an Italian convoy that was taking military clearance actions in the mountains. Until night fell the Greeks with high conviction  confounded the Italians. Despite the fact the consequences of the fight were severe for civilians, the Italian forces were repelled and permanently left the area after another battle that took place in the area of Kaloskopi later. Their effort to annihilate the rebellious forces spectacularly failed costing them severe losses.

Time periods: Newer modern Greece

Boundaries: Municipality of Lamia – Municipal Section of Pavliani, Local Community of Pavliani

Directions: We take the Oiti-Pavliani provincial Road and before we reach Pavliani on the right hand side you can see the monument.

Transportation: Intercity bus to the Square of Pavliani, car, taxi

Parking: Parking not available

Work hours: Without Restrictions

Authority: Municipality of Lamia

Area: Pavliani

Accessibility for the disabled: Yes

Cost: Free entrance