You see “her” as you approach sitting comfortably on a creek at the eastern feet of Vermio. “She” sees you as you ascend the road to the entrance to the city. Around the slopes with lush vegetation and at the end of the road is the Agios Nikolaos grove, designated as a Landscape of Special Natural Beauty.
The town welcomes you with the watermill on St. George’s rock emphasizing Naoussa’s relationship with water and its contribution to the development of textiles, with waterfalls and sculptures referring to the natural beauty and brilliant tradition of Naoussa in wine and agricultural production.
Continue to the left to Naoussa’s Park. Enter through the stone arch entrance. On the left is the summer municipal theater gazing the plain. The 30 acre park has been there since the late ’50s. Lush, with artificial lakes, wooden bridges, streets, a fountain and benches to rest enjoying unobstructed views of the plain! Arapitsa, the river of Naoussa, flows to the south. You can see the precipice with the waterfalls or move on to the opposite bank of the river where the textile buildings that once thrived in the city are located.Today they are a municipal property that house civil services, a nice café-bar (Boston’s). The former factory across the street is now a cultural events venues building (ERIAS). Car parks are located on either sides of the park. On the road above the park (also known as “beach”!) you will find many bars, cafes (“Neon”) and taverns (try “Paradosiako”). You are close to the centre and Karatassou Square with the obelisk which is 11 meters high and ranks among the 10 tallest in the world. Walk up the street to the Town Hall. The trademark of Naoussa, the Clock Tower in front of the Town Hall, was built in 1895 with limestone and is 25 meters high. It still maintains its original clock mechanism.
Move on to the old quarter of the city, the “Alonia”. A few streets in all in this plebeian neighborhood, with a few old houses having survived from the modern recontstruction. They are typical of the town’s characteristic architectural style with the “sahnisia”, keeping up with the Macedonian style, made of limestone, adobe and wood. Stop and drink water at the fountain under the crooked plane tree. Here is also the remarkable building of the “Galakia” school.
Cross to the other side of the city, along the river, to the ‘Batania’ and ‘Pouliana’ neighborhoods. Some few two-storey, larger inner-city buildings belonging to more affluent families survive here. From the “Batania” walk up the cobbled street towards the church of Metamorphosis, stop at the ‘Vlach Folklore Museum’ (Sofroniou 23) and admire the renovated building of the “Gennitsari and Boules” Group – ex sesame mill of Makis in “Pouliana” and the imposing- although abandoned nowadays -former roller mill, a building belonging to Chr. Matthaios.
A trail on a paved pedestrian street on the lush banks of the Arapitsa River with rushing waters and spectacular waterfalls from the ‘Batania Bridge’ ends at the site of the sacrifice of the Naousaian women, the “Stoubanoi”. It’s the site of the sacrifice of the Naoussaian women who jumped in the chasm and into the waters of Arapitsa holding their children in order not to fall into the hands of the Turks, in April 1822. The city’s uprising against the Ottomans was paid with heavy blood tax. After the Holocaust of Naoussa, as the bloody suppression of the revolution, was named, the Greek State gave the town the name “heroic”. Stroll around the area with the panoramic views and the noise of water falling into the chasm forming waterfalls. Walk across the wooden bridge which remains at the same point as the old bridge that connected the two banks. It is under the modern bridge. Raise your eyes towards the abandoned industrial buildings that once functioned as cotton mills, with their tall smokestacks testifying their location and the reminiscent of its rich industrial past. They once produced the famous Naoussa blankets, “flokates” (long haired handmade blankets) and yarns.
You won’t find old churches in Naoussa since they were all burned down in 1822 at the city’s holocaust. The only temple that survives is the small Temple of Prodromos. One of the old churches (built 11 years after the Holocaust), is the church of the Virgin Mary (Dormition of the Virgin Mary) is worth a visit for its impressive wood-carved ceiling. What you will see everywhere, often under centuries-old plane trees, at squares and crossroads, are fountains old but also new that cool passers-by with their icy cold fresh water. The Municipality of Naoussa, besides being the largest forested municipality in the country is also well known for its many water reserves.
Get to know the cultural heritage of Naoussa at the Historical and Folklore Museum. It is located next to the church of Agios Dimitrios. It includes the collection of the Naoussa’s Lyceum of the Greeks (10 Agios Dimitriou Street, tel: 2332021713) and see the Wine and Vine Museum, housed in the city’s first winery, at the home of John Boutaris (17 Chatzimaloussi, tel: 2332029800), founder of the company of the same name.
Naoussa is famous for its wine and tsipouro and that’s something you should definitely taste. Take a break to drink a glass of local wine in a tavern. The special variety of this wine is ‘Xinomavro’, which is a Designation of Origin of High Quality (PDO).
The label “Naoussa” has received many awards in the country and abroad. It was one of the first wines in Greece to be bottled. It goes without saying that the area is full of wineries that you can visit, especially during the grape harvest so you can attend the process of distilling the ‘tsipouro’ in the “kazania”.
Do not miss it! And of course, depending on the season, taste and take home with you local fruits (apples, peaches and cherries).
Naoussa is also famous for its traditional carnival and the custom of “Genichari and Boules”, which attracts a large number of visitors each year. Visit during Carnival Season!
- More info here: https://www.naoussa.gr/visit/index.htm
WHERE TO EAT
- Where ever you choose to have a bite you have to taste traditional dishes of Naoussa: ‘gavopsara’, ‘mantza’, ‘batzio saganakiι’ και ‘sarmades’.
Paradosiako (“Παραδοσιακό”) http://www.tavernaparadosiako.gr/ (tel. 23320.29132)
Oinomagiremata (“Οινομαγειρέματα”) (τηλ. 2332 023576)
Σπονδή (“Spondi”) https://www.facebook.com/spondhnaoussa (tel. 2332022233 at the main square)
4 Seasons (“4 Εποχές”) https://www.facebook.com/tesserisepoxes.estiatorio/ (tel. 2332026221)
Gerania (“Γεράνια”) https://www.gerania.gr/ (tel. 23320 25174, 23320 21922)
Harama (“Χάραμα”) http://www.estiatorio-xarama.gr/ (tel. 2332021125)
Sfendamos Wood Village (“Σφένδαμος”) https://sfendamos.gr/ (tel. 23320 – 44844)
Agonari (“Αγκωνάρι”) http://arxontiko-agonari.gr/ (tel. 2332 044 588)