Larisa Tourist Attractions

LarisaLarisa

Lárisa, chief town of Thessaly and an agricultural market town, lies at a bend in the river Piniós (Peneios) in the Thessalian plain, to the south of Mt Olympus.

Lárisa is a major commercial and industrial center. Worth seeing are the medieval fortress, Alcazar Park, the ancient Theater, the archeological museum and the art gallery.

Lárisa Archeological Museum

In a square in the center of the town of Lárisa, housed in a former mosque, is the Archeological Museum, with material ranging in date from the Palaeolithic (implements from the Piniós valley) through the Mesolithic (Magoula of Gremmos) and Neolithic to the classical and Christian periods. The classical material includes funerary stelae, while Early Christian art is represented by sculpture and altar screens.
Address: 2 31st August Street, 41221 Lárisa, Greece

Larisa Art Gallery

The Larisa Art Gallery contains an admirable collection of fine paintings.

Surroundings

Mt OlympusMt Olympus

Mt Olympus

Mt Olympus, reaching 2,917 m, is the highest and most famous mountain in the country. A shrine of Zeus and another of Apollo have been found and excavated at various elevations.

Ayia, Greece

Ayía (39km/24mi east; alt. 200m/655ft) is a good base from which to climb Mt Ossa (1,978m/6,490ft). Round Lárisa are a number of magoulas (settlement mounds), among them the Magoula of Gremmos (11km/7mi northwest), which was occupied from the Neolithic period into Roman Imperial times.
At the village of Gonni Greek archeologists have brought to light the remains of a sanctuary of Asklepios of the fourth century B.C.

Tempe Valley

The river Piniós (Peneios), coming from Thessaly, flows through the 8km/5mi long gorge-like Vale of Tempe to reach the sea. Celebrated in antiquity for its abundance of water and luxuriant vegetation, and as the place where Apollo came to purify himself after slaying Python, the valley - the principal route into central Greece from the north - has lost much of its original character through the construction of a modern road.
Visitors traveling through the Vale of Tempe should spare the time to pause at a parking place, visit the Spring of Daphne in its shady setting and cross a suspension bridge to the much frequented cave chapel of Ayía Paraskeví. Just beyond this, going south, is the narrowest point in the gorge, Lykóstomo, the Wolf's Jaws. At the south end of the Vale, opposite the village of Témpi, is the site of the fortress of Gonnos, built by Philip II of Macedon to control the valley (Greek excavations). Beyond Témpi a road goes off on the left and climbs, with many sharp bends, to Ambelákia (5km/3mi; alt. 600m/1,970ft; pop. 1,500), on Mount Ossa.

Platamónas Castle

12km/7.5mi north of the entrance to the Vale of Tempe is the mighty Crusader castle of Platamónas (begun 1204).

Ambelakia

Ambelakia is an old market town. The town is known for its history of yard production and exporting. Some of the town's more interesting sights include the Schwarz mansion, as well as the churches of Áyios Yeóryios, Ayía Paraskeví, and Áyios Athanassíos.

Farsala, Greece

The Thessalian town of Fársala, on a site which has been continuously occupied since Neolithic times, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1954 and thereafter rebuilt in modern style.
The only evidence of its long past is an ancient tomb on the western outskirts of the town, a circular structure surrounded by large slabs of stone.
Fársala is notable mainly as the scene of the battle of Pharsalos in the summer of 48 B.C., in which Caesar defeated Pompey. This was the first of three battles fought in Greece in the first century B.C. which had decisive effects on the history of Rome; the others were Philippi in 42 B.C. and Aktion (Actium) in 31 B.C. (see Nikópolis). From the hill (348m/1,142ft) above the town there is a view of the battlefield in the Enipefs valley to the north.
Station on the Athens-Salonica railroad line (13km/8mi west).

Mt Ossa

Separated from Mt Olympus by the Vale of Tempe rises Mt Ossa (1,978m/6,490ft), part of the range which cuts Thessaly off from the sea. There is a mountain hut on the summit. The best starting-points for the ascent of Ossa are the mountain villages of Ambelákia, above the west end of the Vale of Tempe (on the northwest side of the hill) and Ayiá (on the southeast side).

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