Larissa (/ləˈrɪsə/; Greek: Λάρισα, romanized: Lárisa [ˈlarisa]) is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region, the fourth-most populous in Greece according to the population results of municipal units of 2011 census and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transport hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the cities of Thessaloniki and Athens. Larissa, within its municipality, has 162,591 inhabitants, while the regional unit of Larissa reached a population of 284,325 (in 2011). The urban area of the city, although mostly contained within the Larissa municipality, also includes the communities of Giannouli, Platykampos, Nikaia, Terpsithea and several other suburban settlements, bringing the wider urban area population of the city to about 174,012 inhabitants and extends over an area of 572.3 km2 (221.0 sq mi).
Location within the region
|• Mayor||Apostolos Kalogiannis|
|• Municipality||335.98 km2 (129.72 sq mi)|
|• Municipal unit||122.59 km2 (47.33 sq mi)|
|Elevation||67 m (220 ft)|
|• Municipality density||480/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|• Municipal unit||146,926|
|• Municipal unit density||1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Vehicle registration||ΡΙ (Ended), ΡΡ (Current use), PT (For future use)|
There are a number of highways including E75 and the main railway from Athens to Thessaloniki (Salonika) crossing through Thessaly. The region is directly linked to the rest of Europe through the International Airport of Central Greece located in Nea Anchialos a short distance from Larissa (about 60 km). Larissa lies on the river Pineios.
The municipality Larissa has an area of 335.98 km2 (129.72 sq mi), the municipal unit Larissa has an area of 122.586 km2 (47.331 sq mi), and the community Larissa has an area of 88.167 km2 (34.041 sq mi).
The climate of Larissa is semi-arid in the cool version (Köppen: BSk) but it is close to a hot summer Mediterranean climate (Csa). The winter is fairly mild, and some snowstorms may occur. The summer is particularly hot, and temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) may occur. Thunderstorms or heavy rain may cause agricultural damage. Larissa receives 413 mm (16 in) of rain per year.
According to Greek mythology it is said that the city was founded by Acrisius, who was killed accidentally by his grandson, Perseus. There lived Peleus, the hero beloved by the gods, and his son Achilles.
In this paragraph, Homer shows that the Pelasgians, Trojan allies, used to live in the city of Larissa. It is likely that this city of Larissa was different to the city that was the birthplace of Achilles. The Larissa that features as a Trojan ally in the Iliad was likely to be located in the Troad, on the other side of the Aegean Sea.
Traces of Paleolithic human settlement have been recovered from the area, but it was peripheral to areas of advanced culture. The area around Larissa was extremely fruitful; it was agriculturally important and in antiquity was known for its horses.
The name Larissa (Λάρισα Lárīsa) is in origin a Pelasgian (pre-Greek) word for "fortress". There were many ancient Greek cities with this name. The name of Thessalian Larissa is first recorded in connection with the aristocratic Aleuadai family. It was also a polis (city-state).
When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late 5th century BC, it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named; probably the choice was inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. Usually there is a male figure; he should perhaps be seen as the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos, who is probably also to be identified on many of the earlier, federal coins of Thessaly.
Larissa, sometimes written Larisa on ancient coins and inscriptions, is near the site of the Homeric Argissa. It appears in early times, when Thessaly was mainly governed by a few aristocratic families, as an important city under the rule of the Aleuadae, whose authority extended over the whole district of Pelasgiotis. This powerful family possessed for many generations before 369 BC the privilege of furnishing the tagus, the local term for the strategos of the combined Thessalian forces. The principal rivals of the Aleuadae were the Scopadae of Crannon, the remains of which are about 14 miles south west.
Larissa was the birthplace of Meno, who thus became, along with Xenophon and a few others, one of the generals leading several thousands Greeks from various places, in the ill-fated expedition of 401 (retold in Xenophon's Anabasis) meant to help Cyrus the Younger, son of Darius II, king of Persia, overthrow his elder brother Artaxerxes II and take over the throne of Persia (Meno is featured in Plato's dialogue bearing his name, in which Socrates uses the example of "the way to Larissa" to help explain Meno the difference between true opinion and science (Meno, 97a–c); this "way to Larissa" might well be on the part of Socrates an attempt to call to Meno's mind a "way home", understood as the way toward one's true and "eternal" home reached only at death, that each man is supposed to seek in his life).
The constitution of the town was democratic, which explains why it sided with Athens in the Peloponnesian War. In the neighbourhood of Larissa was celebrated a festival which recalled the Roman Saturnalia, and at which the slaves were waited on by their masters. As the chief city of ancient Thessaly, Larissa was taken by the Thebans and later directly annexed by Philip II of Macedon in 344. It remained under Macedonian control afterwards, except for a brief period when Demetrius Poliorcetes captured it in 302 BC.
It was in Larissa that Philip V of Macedon signed in 197 BC a treaty with the Romans after his defeat at the Battle of Cynoscephalae, and it was there also that Antiochus III the Great, won a great victory in 192 BC. In 196 BC Larissa became an ally of Rome and was the headquarters of the Thessalian League.
In the 8th century, the city became the metropolis of the theme of Hellas. The city was captured in 986 by Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria, who carried off the relics of its patron saint, Saint Achilleios, to Prespa. It was again unsuccessfully besieged by the Italo-Normans under Bohemond I in 1082/3.
After the Fourth Crusade, the King of Thessalonica, Boniface of Montferrat, gave the city to Lombard barons, but they launched a rebellion in 1209 that had to be subdued by the Latin Emperor Henry of Flanders himself. The city was recovered by Epirus soon after.
It was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1386/87 and again in the 1390s, but only came under permanent Ottoman control in 1423, by Turahan Bey. Under Ottoman rule, the city was known as Yeni-şehir i-Fenari, "new citadel". As the chief town and military base of Ottoman Thessaly, Larissa was a predominantly Muslim city. During Ottoman rule the administration of the Metropolis of Larissa was transferred to nearby Trikala where it remained until 1734, when Metropolitan Iakovos II returned the see from Trikala to Larisa and established the present-day metropolis of Larissa and Tyrnavos.
The town was noted for its trade fair in the 17th and 18th centuries, while the seat of the pasha of Thessaly was also transferred there in 1770. The city remained in Ottoman hands until Thessaly became part of the independent Kingdom of Greece in 1881, except for a period where Ottoman forces re-occupied it during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897.
In the 19th century, there was a small village in the outskirts of town very unusually inhabited by Africans from Sudan, a curious remnant of the forces collected by Ali Pasha. In the 19th century, the town produced leather, cotton, silk and tobacco. Fevers and agues were prevalent owing to bad drainage and the overflowing of the river; and the death rate was higher than the birth rate. It was also renowned for the minarets of its mosques (four of which were still in use in the early part of the 20th century) and the Muslim burial grounds.
In 1881, the city, along with the rest of Thessaly, was incorporated into the Kingdom of Greece. A considerable portion of the Turkish population emigrated into the Ottoman Empire at that point. During the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, the city was the headquarters of Greek Crown Prince Constantine. The flight of the Greek army from here to Farsala took place on April 23, 1897. Turkish troops entered the city two days later. After a treaty for peace was signed, they withdrew and Larissa remained permanently in Greece. This was followed by a further exodus of Turks in 1898.
During the Axis Occupation of the country, the Jewish community of the city (dated back to 2nd BC, see Romaniotes) suffered heavy losses. Today in the city there is a Holocaust memorial and a synagogue.
Today Larissa is the fourth largest Greek city with many squares, taverns and cafes. It has three public hospitals with one being a military hospital. It hosts the Hellenic Air Force Headquarters and NATO Headquarters in Greece. It has a School of Medicine and a School of Biochemistry – Biotechnology and the third largest in the country Institute of Technology. It occupies the first place among Greek cities into green coverage rate per square-metre urban space and the first place with the highest percentance of bars-taverns-restaurants per capita in Greece. It also has two public libraries and five museums.
Christianity penetrated early to Larissa, though its first bishop is recorded only in 325 at the Council of Nicaea. St. Achillius of the 4th century, is celebrated for his miracles. Le Quien cites twenty-nine bishops from the fourth to the 18th centuries; the most famous is Jeremias II, who occupied the see until 733, when the Emperor Leo III the Isaurian transferred it from the jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the first years of the 10th century it had ten suffragan sees; subsequently the number increased and about the year 1175 under the Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, it reached twenty-eight. At the close of the 15th century, under the Turkish domination, there were only ten suffragan sees, which gradually grew less and finally disappeared.
Larissa is an Orthodox Metropolis of the Church of Greece. It was briefly a Latin archbishopric in the early 13th century, and remains a Latin Metropolitan (top-ranking) titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, which must not be confused with the Latin episcopal (low-ranking) titular see Larissa in Syria.
The municipality Larissa was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 3 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
The municipal unit of Larissa is divided into four city-districts or municipal communities (29 city areas) plus 2 suburban communities (Amphithea and Koulourion). The municipality includes also the Community of Terpsithèa (with the suburban community of Argyssa).
1st Municipal District (pop. 26,035)
2nd Municipal District (pop. 41,816)
3rd Municipal District (pop. 30,121)
4th Municipal District (pop. 26,814)
Community of Terpsithèa (pop. 1,290)
The province of Larissa (Greek: Επαρχία Λάρισας) was one of the provinces of the Larissa Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipalities Larissa (except the municipal unit Giannouli) and Tempi (except the municipal units Gonnoi and Kato Olympos). It was abolished in 2006.
The city is in close proximity of many interesting destinations in the region (Mount Olympus, Mount Kissavos, Meteora, Lake Plastira, Pilio, etc.) suitable for daily trips.
The local football club AEL 1964 FC currently participates in Superleague Greece. The team became Greek champion in 1988 and won the Greek Cup in 1985 and 2007. These titles place AEL among the five most important football clubs in Greece. AEL hosts its home games in the newbuild AEL FC Arena since November 2010, a UEFA 3-star-rated football ground. Other important sport venues are the National Sport Center of Larissa (EAK Larissas), which includes the Alcazar Stadium and the Neapoli Indoor Hall.
The National Sports Center of Larissa can accommodate a number of sports and events (football, basketball, wrestling, swimming, boxing, martial arts, handball, water polo, etc.), while the Sports Hall has hosted important athletic events (the World Youth Championship, the Women's Euroleague Final Four, the Greek Cup Final Four, martial arts events, et.c.) and it is also used for cultural events, such as dance festivals.
|Notable sport clubs based in Larissa|
|Gymnastikos S. Larissas||Basketball||1928||Earlier presence in A1 Ethniki|
|Apollon Larissa||Football||1930||Earlier presence in Gamma Ethniki|
|AEL Larissa||Football||1964||Winner of Greek Championship and Greek Cup|
|Basketball||2006||Earlier presence in A1 Ethniki|
|EA Larissa||Volleyball||1968||Earlier presence in A1 Ethniki|
|Olympia Larissa||Basketball||1979||Earlier presence in A1 Ethniki|
|Filathlitikos Larissaikos||Volleyball||1990||Presence in A1 Ethniki women|
Larissa is twinned with:
Agia (Greek: Αγιά, also written Ayia) is a village and a municipality in the Larissa regional unit, Thessaly, Greece. Agia is located east of Larissa and south of Melivoia. The Mavrovouni mountains dominate the south and the Aegean Sea lies to the east.Apollon Larissa F.C.
Apollon Larissa Football Club (Greek: ΠΑΕ Απόλλων Λάρισας) is a professional Greek football club based in Filippoupoli, Larissa, Greece. The club plays in the Super League 2, the second tier of Greek football. It plays its home matches at the Apollon Ground.Athlitiki Enosi Larissa F.C.
AEL Football Club (Greek: ΠΑΕ ΑΕΛ), also known by its full name Athlitiki Enosi Larissa (Greek: Αθλητική Ένωση Λάρισας, lit. 'Athletic Union of Larissa'), simply called AEL or Larissa, is a Greek association football club based in the city of Larissa, capital of Greece's Thessaly region.
Founded in 1964, it is directly associated with the city of Larissa and its representation. The club's emblem, is a rising horse and its colors are crimson and white. It is the only team outside the two major Greek cities (Athens and Thessaloniki) to have won the Greek Championship in the season 1987–88. AEL has also won the Greek Cup twice (1984–85 and 2006–07) and came runners-up in the Cup finals of 1982 and 1984. This record places the club among the top teams in the history of Greek football.
They play their home games at AEL FC Arena, a newly built stadium (2010) with a capacity of 16,118 seats. The team currently competes in the Greek Super League, the first tier of the Greek football league system.Dionysius III of Constantinople
Dionysius III was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from June 29, 1662 to October 21, 1665. He had previously been bishop of Thessaloniki, Larissa (1652–1662) and Bursa.Elassona
Elassona (Greek: Ελασσόνα; Katharevousa: Greek: Ἐλασσών, romanized: Elasson) is a town and a municipality in the Larissa regional unit in Greece. During antiquity Elassona was called Oloösson (Ὀλοοσσών) and was a town of the Perrhaebi tribe. It is situated at the foot of Mount Olympus. Elassona is bypassed by the GR-3 (Larissa - Kozani - Florina).FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour (known between 2003 and 2012 as the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour for sponsorship reasons) is the worldwide professional beach volleyball tour for both men and women organized by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). The World Tour was introduced for men in 1989 while the women first competed in 1992.
Winning the World Tour is considered to be one of the highest honours in international beach volleyball, being surpassed only by the World Championships, and the Beach Volleyball tournament at the Summer Olympic Games.G.S. Olympia Larissa B.C.
Olympia Larissa B.C. (alternate spellings: Olimpia, Larissas, Larisa, Larisas) (Greek: Ολύμπια Λάρισας) is a Greek professional basketball club that is based in Larissa, Greece. The club's full name is Olympia Larissa Basketball Club. It was founded in 1979, making it one of the youngest sports clubs in Greece. Its colors are orange and blue. Olympia Larissa's home arena is the Larissa Neapolis Arena.
Notable Greek players that have played with the club include: Georgios Printezis, Dimos Dikoudis, and Nikos Oikonomou.Greek National Road 3
Greek National Road 3 (Greek: Εθνική Οδός 3, abbreviated as EO3) is a single carriageway road in Greece. It connects Eleusis near Athens with the border of North Macedonia at Niki. It passes through Larissa and Florina. At Niki, it connects with the M5K motorway to Bitola. Greek National Road 3 is one of the longest highways in Greece and until the 1960s it served as the main route from Larissa to Thessaloniki. The new A1 motorway now offers a faster connection to Thessaloniki. Most of the EO3, except the southernmost section between Eleusis and Bralos, is part of the E65.Greek National Road 6
Greek National Road 6 (Greek: Εθνική Οδός 6, abbreviated as EO6) is a national road in north-central Greece. It begins at the port of Igoumenitsa and ends at Volos, passing through the towns Ioannina, Metsovo, Trikala and Larissa. The section between Metsovo and Volos is part of the European route E92. The road runs through five regional units (Thesprotia, Ioannina, Trikala, Larissa and Magnesia) and the regions of Epirus and Thessaly.
The route begins in Igoumenitsa. It passes north of Ioannina and its lake, near Perama. It crosses the Pindus mountains, passing through Metsovo. It runs through Kalampaka and bypasses Trikala. It then passes into the plain and runs through Larissa. Between the southeast of Larissa and Velestino, it has been replaced by the A1 motorway. From Velestino it continues east and it ends at the Aegean port of Volos. As of 2015, the section between Trikala and Larissa has been upgraded to a dual carriageway and has expressway standards. The new A2 motorway offers a faster connection between Igoumenitsa, Ioannina and Metsovo.James of Constantinople
James (? – 1700) was 3-time Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (1679–1682, 1685–1686, 1687–1688). He was previously bishop of Larissa.Larisa Latynina
Larisa Semyonovna Latynina (Ukrainian: Лариса Семенівна Латиніна, Russian: Лари́са Семёновна Латы́нина; née Diriy; born 27 December 1934) is a former Soviet artistic gymnast from southern Ukrainian SSR. Between 1956 and 1964 she won 14 individual Olympic medals and four team medals. She holds the record for the most Olympic gold medals by a gymnast, male or female, with 9. Her total of 18 Olympic medals was a record for 48 years. She held the record for individual event medals with 14 for 52 years. She is credited with helping to establish the Soviet Union as a dominant force in gymnastics.Larissa (regional unit)
Larissa (Greek: Περιφερειακή ενότητα Λάρισας) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Thessaly. Its capital is the city of Larissa. Total population 284,325 (2011).Larissa Waters
Larissa Joy Waters (born 8 February 1977) is an Australian politician and member of the Australian Greens. She currently sits in the Australian Senate, representing the state of Queensland. Waters initially served in the Senate from 2011 until July 2017, and in that time was deputy leader of the Greens, though she resigned due to holding dual citizenship of Australia and Canada, in violation of Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia. She was re-appointed to the Senate in September 2018. In 2017 she became the first politician to breastfeed a baby in the federal parliament of Australia when she breastfed her infant daughter in the Senate chamber. Also in 2017, she became the first woman to breastfeed while moving a motion in that same Senate.Miss Gibraltar
Miss Gibraltar is a national beauty pageant in Gibraltar.Oikonomos Tsaritsani F.C.
Oikonomos Football Club is a Greek football club, based in Tsaritsani, Larissa regional unit. The association was founded in 1953.
In 2011, they promoted to Football League 2 for the first time in history after becoming champions of the 2010–11 Delta Ethniki.Shaizar
Shaizar (Arabic: شيزر; in modern Arabic Saijar; Hellenistic name: Larissa in Syria) is a town in northern Syria, administratively part of the Hama Governorate, located northwest of Hama. Nearby localities include, Mahardah, Tremseh, Kafr Hud, Khunayzir and Halfaya. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Shaizar had a population of 5,953 in the 2004 census.During the Crusades, the town was a fortress, ruled by the Banu Munqidh family. It played an important part in the Christian and Muslim politics of the crusades.Telephone numbers in Greece
This is a list of dialing codes in Greece. The first digit represents the type of service. 1 is used for short codes, 2 for geographical numbers (3 and 4 are reserved for that purpose too), 5 is used for inter-network routing purposes (non-dialable codes) and VPNs, 6 for mobile services, 7 is reserved for universal access numbers (not active), 8 for reduced-fee services (like 800 toll-free, 801 local call, 89 dial-up and data services), 9 is used for premium rate services (901 for general purpose and 909 for adult-only services). All dialable numbers are ten digits, except for short codes (3–5 digits in the 1 range), 807-XXXX (seven digits) used for calling card access codes, and numbers in the 5 range, used for routing purposes and not dialable by end-subscribers.Thessaly
Thessaly (Greek: Θεσσαλία, Thessalía; ancient Thessalian: Πετθαλία, Petthalía) is a traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia (Greek: Αἰολία, Aíolía), and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey.
Thessaly became part of the modern Greek state in 1881, after four and a half centuries of Ottoman rule. Since 1987 it has formed one of the country's 13 regions and is further (since the Kallikratis reform of 2010) sub-divided into 5 regional units and 25 municipalities. The capital of the region is Larissa. Thessaly lies in northern Greece and borders the regions of Macedonia on the north, Epirus on the west, Central Greece on the south and the Aegean Sea on the east. The Thessaly region also includes the Sporades islands.Tyrnavos
Tyrnavos (Greek: Τύρναβος) is a municipality in the Larissa regional unit, of the Thessaly region of Greece. It is the second-largest town of the Larissa regional unit, after Larissa. The town is near the mountains and the Thessalian Plain. The river Titarisios, a tributary of the Pineios, flows through the town. Tyrnavos is bypassed by the GR-3 (Larissa - Kozani - Niki) and has an old road connecting the town to Elassona. It will be linked with a superhighway numbered 3 (A3) with an unscheduled opening date. Tyrnavos is located south-southwest of Thessaloniki and Katerini, northwest of Larissa, east-northeast of Trikala and south-southeast of Elassona and Kozani. Here live an important community of Aromanians (Vlachs).
|Climate data for Larissa, 1981–2010 normals|
|Average high °C (°F)||10.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.4
|Average low °C (°F)||0.7
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||29.9
|Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||5||6||6||6||5||3||2||2||2||5||7||7||56|
|Climate data for Larissa, 1961–1990 normals|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.8
|Average high °C (°F)||9.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.1
|Average low °C (°F)||0.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−21.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||29.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||5.8||5.8||5.8||5.0||5.3||3.5||2.0||1.7||2.8||5.5||6.5||6.9||56.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||79.5||75.9||74.1||68.7||61.7||49.9||46.4||50.0||58.6||69.9||78.9||82.5||66.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||104.7||117.8||157.5||213.8||266.3||307.2||337.1||320.1||247.6||171.8||126.0||101.0||2,470.9|
|Regional unit of Karditsa|
|Regional unit of Larissa|
|Regional unit of Magnesia|
|Regional unit of the Sporades|
|Regional unit of Trikala|
Subdivisions of the municipality of Larissa
|Municipal unit of Giannouli|
|Municipal unit of Koilada|
|Municipal unit of Larissa|
|Eastern Macedonia and Thrace|
Note: not all prefectures were subdivided into provinces.