Veria is the capital of the Prefecture of
Imathia, with a population of approximately 75,000 residents. It is an ancient Byzantine city with a rich heritage, surrounded by dense forests and the turquoise waters of the river
Aliakmonas. Built in the eastern foothills of Mount Vermio, at an altitude of 130 m, it is renowned for its traditional houses, internal courtyards and narrow cobbled streets.
Wander around the alleys of the Old Town in the area of the Kyriotissa Church, where the Sarafoglou Mansion, which now houses the Folklore Museum of Veria, stands out amongst the numerous natural stone buildings.
Admire the Jewish neighbourhood known as
"Barbouta" noted for its elaborate mansions and simple houses, with Jewish inscriptions. The rich vegetation of the area, the sound of the gargling waters of the river, the beauty and colours of the region will take you back to the past.
Visit the Archaeological Museum and the Byzantine Museum of Veria. Alongside other exhibits, in the first you can enjoy an oversized head of Medusa and tomb columns. An old converted flour mill hosts the Byzantine Museum, that was awarded the Europa Nostra prize for its exemplary restoration. Here, amongst else, you will find great murals, icons, and magnificent mosaics.
INFORMATION: Archaeological Museum of Veria: Tel. 23310 24972. Byzantine Museum of Veria, Tel. 23310 25847.
Visit the spiritual center of Pontic (and not only) Hellenism, the Holy Monastery of the Virgin Mother “Panagia Soumela”. A story, a tradition and a legend that embrace the symbol of the Pontus, the Panagia Soumela. It was the evangelist Luke who engraved the form of the Virgin Mary on wood. The Soumela icon was found after his death. Every year, on August 15, thousands of pilgrims from all over the country and abroad come to celebrate the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.
Close to Veria is the Archaeological Museum of Vergina. Discover the first capital of the Macedonian Kingdom and its archaeological treasures. Here Alexander the Great was crowned King of Macedon by his father Philip. Among other findings you will see
Philip's tomb with a gold urn and wreath.
INFORMATION: Archaeological Museum of Vergina, Tel 23310 92347.
The Byzantine churches of Veria are of great religious interest. The most important of the older churches is that of St. John the Evangelist, dating back to the 12th century, with interesting hagiographies (paintings on the subject of holy persons), the church of Christ, the most famous church in Veria, whose hagiographies are the highest quality sample of Paleologean painting. Important Byzantine hagiographies are also found in the Saint Vlassios Church and the Old Metropolitan Church.
The Altar of Apostle Paul in Veria is the oldest and most important point of reference of the
city's general and ecclesiastic local history and a great monument of Christianity. It is worth the visit.
For lovers of winter sports, the National Ski Center of Seli and 3-5 Pigadia (Tria-Pente Pigadia) are suitable for amateur and professional skiing. Apart from else, these two areas are ideal for hiking and climbing as they are part of the E4 European Hiking Route. INFORMATION: Seli: 23310 26237,
3-5 Pigadia: 23320 44981-5, www.3-5pigadia.gr