Larisa – the capital of Thessaly

Larisa, or Larissa is one of the four major prefectures of Greek region of Thessaly and is its capital as well. This area is situated in central Greece and is considered an important agricultural spot and a transportation centre which causes it to receive important amount of travelers in a constant basis. Besides this, this spot has a very rich historical past and it is very recommendable to visit it while being in Thessaly.

There are evidences that the city of Larissa was already inhabited in the Paleolithic times. According to the town’s history, it was always seen as a very fertile area and it was famous by its agriculture and its horses. As it can be seen, this city has a combination of peculiar past events and characteristics which turn it into a very appealing destination.

The origins of the name of the city, Larisa or Larissa are strongly attached to ancient Greek mythology and its creatures. According to mythology, Larisa was a daughter of Pelasgus, and she was known by that fact although she is not found or named at any particular mythic tale.

When the entire Thessaly was mainly inhabited and controlled by aristocratic families, Larisa was ruled by the Aleuadae. The Aleudae was a very important aristocratic family whose power extended to other towns and spots such as, per example, Pelasgiotis. This family remained in control of this area for an important amount of time, and some coins could be found from such époque with interesting inscriptions.

During the 5th century AD, Larisa became home of an archbishop. After that, and during the Greek War of Independence, the city of Larisa became a major headquarter of Ali Pasha. Also, during the Greco Turkish War it was one of the main headquarters of the Prince Constantine.

During the 19th century, Larisa was called Yeni Shehr i Fenar or New Town in Greece by the Turkish who had settled in it and left an important mark in the town’s culture and population. Towards the last decades of the 19th century, most of the Turkish inhabitants left Larisa, and after the Greco Turkish War ended, the city was controlled by Greece.

Map of Larisa in Greece