The history of Kastoria

Kastoria is a city and a prefecture located in the peripheral area of western Macedonia, towards the northern region of Greece. The city of Kastoria, which is the capital of the prefecture of same name, is located on the shore of Lake Orestiada and counts with a population of about 22000 inhabitants.

The history of Kastoria can be traced back to ancient Greece, towards the year 200 BC, and is very rich in interesting and important events. According to historians, during its beginnings this town was known as Celetrum, until the Romans captured it and changed its name to Justinianopolis.

Due to its strategic location, this town was disputed between different opponents several times. One of the main times Kastoria was disputed was within the 12th century, when the Despotate of Epirus and the Bizantine Empire confronted each other for it, being this one of the most crucial moments in the history of the town.

Towards the year 1390, Kastoria became part of the Ottoman Empire. The city remained in the hands of this Empire until the year 1012, after the First Balkan War took place and this city became ruled by Greece again. As it can be seen, Kastoria was ruled by several different empires and had a very struggled past which nowadays can be seen reflected in the city’s appearance.

It is also interesting to know that Kastoria is a traditional central spot for the Orthodox Church of Greece. This city is the seat of an important metropolitan bishop and counts with many antique churches, some of them Medieval and Byzantine. This way, this destination can be especially attractive to all those tourists who enjoy meeting antique religious constructions and buildings, as well as to those who wish to meet interesting art work pieces due to the fact that some of these constructions conserve frescoes from many centuries ago.

The economy of Kastoria has been traditionally based on the trading of fur. Besides this, Kastoria also bases an important part of its economy on selling products such as apples, wine, fish and wheat among others. Besides this, tourism is also becoming important to this city, since more and more visitants are becoming aware of its attractions.

Map of Kastoria in Greece