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Kozani

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Kozani (Greek Κοζάνη) (Population: 47,451 (2001)) is a city in northern Greece, capital of West Macedonia periphery, between Thessaloniki (120 km) and Ioannina (160 km).

Understand

History

Kozani was probably founded by Christian settlers who, after the Ottoman conquest, withdrew from the plains of Macedonia into the mountains, during 14th and 15th century.

Culture

The Municipal library of Kozani called "Kovendareios" is the second biggest in Greece, and it has 150,000 books, rare publications, valuable documents, and one of the rare copies of Rigas Feraios Charter. For this reason Kozani was included in the National Cultural Network of Cities with object the promotion of the Book and Reading. Thus it was established the Institute of Book and Reading and Kozani is known as city of Book.

Festivals

  • Kozani carnival

The most interesting local celebration during the carnival are the Fanoi (great bonfires), which lit at the squares of Kozani. Around them, people sing and dance mainly scoptic songs and local dances, such as the most known song in the region - the Enteka of Kozani often called Kozani's "national anthem". All celebrations become more exciting on the Sunday of the last week, after the carnival parade, when bonfires are lit all over the town which burn until the early morning hours.

  • Lassaneia festival

Events on the end of summer, which constist theatrical representations, concerts, athletic events etc. They are named "Lassaneia" from Georgios Lassanis, who was from Kozani and participated in the Greek War of Independence.

  • Niaimeros fair

Fair in the north side of the city in the Niaimeros place. It takes place in the first Tuesday of October. It was lasting 9 days (niaimeros = nine days), but now it lasts only 3 days.

  • Local holidays
  • 11 October - celebration for the liberation of the city from the Turks.
  • 6 December - Saint Nicolas day, Kozani's patron.

The municipal band is named Pandora. It is founded in 1902, and it takes part in all the events and celebrations.

Get in

By plane

The city is connected with Athens (4 times/week) from Filippos Airport which lies 3 km south-east of Kozani.

By regional coach

Interurban coaches ("KTEL" buses) are by far the most convenient way to travel around Greece, as well as for intra-regional travelling. There is frequent bus service from Athens Kifissias Station to Kozani 4 times a day (cost is about €30 – 470 km), as well as from Thessaloniki bus terminal "Macedonia" to Kozani every hour from 6AM to 10AM (about € 10). The city is also connected by bus to Veroia, IoanninaLarissaVolos and to all other towns and villages in West Macedonia.

By train

Trains (OSE) connect Kozani to Thessaloniki 3 times a day.

Get around

By bus

The public transit in the city is provided by minibuses, and between the center and the municipal departments, it is provided by Transit buses.

By taxi

Taxi in Kozani, as everywhere in Greece are comparably cheap. You should not pay more than € 3 if you hail a cab (blue colour) on the road to take you anywhere in the city. Note that taxi meters have two rates - rate 1 applies from 5am till midnight, and rate 2, the double rate, from midnight to 5am.

See

  • Kozani Archaeological Museum.
  • Kozani museum of folklore and natural history. Is a place worth visiting. It is built according to old Macedonian architecture, and in its 6 floors, visitor can see everything about the georgaphy, natural history, flora and animals of the region, as well as the history, the traditions and the past way of life in Kozani.
  • Kozani Museum of modern local history.
  • Kozani Museum of the Macedonian Struggle. A museum dedicated to the history of the Macedonian Struggle.
  • The church of Agios Nikolaos 350 years old.
  • Other attractions include the Grigorios Vourkas Mansion and the Georgios Lassanis Mansion . The second one lies in a central square, named Lassani Square.
  • The Municipal Park Kouri, the Park of Agios Dimitrios where you can see the Cultural Center and the Municipal Theatre of Kozani, and the hill of Xenia with the nice view of all the city

Architecture

The city combines modern with old architecture. Some magnificent buildings are the Clock tower, the Townhall, the Folklore museum, the "Valtadoreio" Gymnasium, the National Bank building, the "Ermioneion" Hotel and the mansions of Georgios Lassanis and Grigorios Vourkas.

Do

Cinemas

Films shown in original language with Greek subtitles. Cartoons are often translated to Greek.

Buy

There many shops downtown.

Eat

The choices for eating are Taverns (Ταβέρνα) where mostly meat dishes are served, Restaurants (Εστιατόριο) where Greek dishes can be found (there are Italian and Chinese restaurants also), Psistaries (Ψησταριά) (Grill houses) where the main dish is grilled meat, Fast Food choices are local Souvlatzidika (Οβελιστήριο or Σουβλατζίδικο) where souvlaki is served, and typical fast food chains such as Goody's and Everest.

People in Greece usually eats late in the evening (21:00 - 24:00), during the day most Taverns, Psistaries and Restaurants are closed. However, Fast Food restaurants are open all day long.

Local cuisine

A typical dish in Kozani is the so-called Giaprakia. The main ingredients are meat and rice in salty vine-leaf, having the shape of a ball. It is used often as Christmas food. Kichi (Kozanitiko kichi) is called another local dish, which is actually a cheese pie with circular form.

Restaurants (Εστιατόριο) and Taverns (Ταβέρνα)

Budget

Mid range

Splurge

Psistaries (Ψησταριά) (Grill houses)

Psistaries serve mostly meat, salads and french fries. The meat usually is ordered by weight, and the price is per kilo also. One portion is 330gr of grilled meat.

Drink

Winter bars, pubs and clubs, usually close down during summer. Most of them have a different facility for the summer.

Sleep

There are many hotels in Kozani. Most are in center. Car parking could be hard to find in the center of Kozani.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

  • The bridge above the lake of Polyfytos. It is the longest bridge in Greece with 1372 meters length.



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