Infobox Greek Dimos
name = Flórina
name_local = Φλώρινα
prefec = Florina
population = 16771
population_as_of = 2001
area = 150.6
elevation = 663
lat_deg = 40
lat_min = 47
lon_deg = 21
lon_min = 24
postal_code = 531 00
area_code = 23850
licence = ΡΑ
mayor = Stephanos Papanastasiou
website = [http://www.cityoflorina.gr www.cityoflorina.gr]
caption_skyline = View of the plain and the town of Florina
Flórina ( _el. Φλώρινα, local Slavic: Лерин, "Lerin"; known also by several alternative names) is a town in mountainous northwestern Macedonia,
Greeceand its motto is, 'Where Greece begins'. [ [http://www.florina.gr Florina official website.] ] It is also the Metropolitan seat for the region. It lies in the central part of Florina Prefecture, of which it is the capital. Florina belongs to the periphery of West Macedonia. The town's population is 16,771 people (2001 census). It is in a wooded valley about 13 km south of the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
It is the gateway to the Prespa Lakes and, until the modernisation of the road system, of the old town of
Kastoria. Its border location find it in proximity to Korçë, Albaniaand south of Bitola, FYR Macedonia, west of Edessa, northwest of Kozani, and northeast of Ioanninaand Kastoria. The nearest airport is situated to the east. The mountains of Vernois to the southwest and Varnousto the northwest.
Winters bring heavy snow fall and prolonged temperature below-freezing. During the hot summer months it becomes a busy market town.
Even though it enjoys the first rail line build in the southern Ottoman provinces late 19 century, its rail system remains undeveloped. Today, Florina is linked by rail (single track standard gauge) to
Thessalonikiand Bitola, and to Kozani (meter gauge) where it was intended to continue south and link up with the terminal in Kalambaka, in Thessalybut this did not proceed due to the 1930s financial crisis.
Florina is passed by GR-2 (
Lake Prespa- Edessa) and GR-3/ E65(Kozani - Florina - Niki - Bitola). The historic " Via Egnatia" is situated to the east. The new GR-3 superhighway will run east of Florina.
The city's original Byzantine name, Χλέρινον ("Chlérinon", "full of green vegetation"), derives from the Greek word χλωρός ("chlōrós", "fresh" or "green vegetation"). The name was sometimes Latinized as "Florinon" (from the
Latin"flora", "vegetation") in the later Byzantine period, and in early Ottoman documents the forms "Chlerina" and "Florina" are both used, with the latter becoming standard after the 17th century. Another theory is that the modern Greek name derives from φλωρός ("florós"), the Macedonian dialectal form of χλωρός. The South Slavic name for the city, Лерин ("Lerin"), is a borrowing of the Byzantine Greek name, with the loss of the initial IPA| [x] characteristic of the local dialect (cf. Slavic Macedonian "leb" "bread" vs. Serbian "hleb").
The town is first mentioned in 1334, when the Serbian king Stefan Dušan established a certain Sphrantzes Palaeologus as commander of the fortress of "Chlerenon". [ref|kravari|Kravari, p. 247.] By 1385, the place had fallen to the Ottomans. [ref|kravari|Kravari, p. 55, n. 178.] By no means a large or important town, an Ottoman "
defter" for the year 1481 records 243 households. [ref|kravari|Kravari, p. 248.]
The demographic composition of the area the 19th and early 20th centuries is unclear as many factors contributed to the ethnic orientation of the people; out of these religion was particularly important thus giving rise to a proselytism struggle between the Greek
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinopleand the Bulgarian Exarchate(established in 1870). In 1886, 78.4% of the Christian population of the Florina "kaza" (province) - a part of the Manastır vilayet- was aligned with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and 21.6% with the Bulgarian Exarchate, however by 1900 the Patriarchatists had dropped to 50.9% and Exarchatists had risen to 49.1%.Richard Clogg, "Minorities in Greece: Aspects of a Plural Society", pp. 123-124] The actual Greek-speaking element in this area was concentrated in urban centres where it participated in the religious, administrative, social, and educational sectors of life, this presenting to the outside world a "Greek-like" picture of the area.
In the late 19th century, it became a centre of Slavic agitation for independence from the Ottoman Empire, but in 1912 it became part of Greece following the
First Balkan War. The town was again in the firing line during World War I, during which it was occupied by Bulgaria, and during the Axis Occupation in World War II, when the town became a centre of Slavic separatism.
For part of the
Greek Civil WarFlorina was under communist control. The Slavic-Macedonian National Liberation Front, later simply the National Liberation Front or NOF, had a significant presence in the area: [ Simpson, Neil (1994). Macedonia Its Disputed History. Victoria: Aristoc Press, 105,106 & 94. ISBN 0646204629.] by 1946, seven Slav Macedonian partisan units were operating in the Florina area, [ "Les Archives de la Macedonine, Fond: Aegean Macedonia in NLW" - (Field report of Mihail Keramidzhiev to the Main Command of NOF), 8 July 1945 ] and NOF had a regional committee based in Florina. When the NOF merged with the Democratic Army of Greece(DSE), many Slav Macedonians in the region enlisted as volunteers in the DSE. [Η Τραγική αναμέτρηση, 1945-1949 – Ο μύθος και η αλήθεια. Ζαούσης Αλέξανδρος" (ISBN 9607213432).] When the Communists withdrew from Florina in 1949, thousands of people were evacuated or fled to Yugoslavia and the Eastern Bloc.
Florina is a market town with an economy dominated by agriculture, forestry, summer and winter tourism, cross-border trading and the sale of local produce (especially
grain, grapes, and vegetables). It also has textile mills and is known for locally manufactured leatherhandicrafts. Its university changed in 2002 from being a branch of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, to a part of the University of Western Macedonia. After 2004, four departments that previously belonged to the Aristotle University, reinforced its potential.
Durinig the 1950s and 1960s, the area lost much of its population to emigration, both to Athens and Thessaloniki as well as US, Canada, Australia and Germany. Following Greece's EU membership and the economic upturn, many from Germany returned.
Florina Archaeological Museum, [http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21117m/e211qm05.html]
Florina Byzantine Museum, [http://www.culture.gr/2/21/212/21211m/e212km01.html]
Florina Museum of Modern Art, [http://www.culture.gr/4/42/422/42202/42202f/e42202f1.html]
ERA Florinas- an ERA affiliate, [http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://users.otenet.gr/~era-flor/ website]
* [http://www.kanali3.gr/ Κανάλι 3]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.radioflorina.gr/ Radio Florina]
* [http://www.e-radio.gr/ e-radio Hellas]
Radio Lehovo 97.1, plays greek classics [http://www.e-radio.gr/categories/greeklaiko.asp Greeklaiko] , radio station list on Greek radio portal.]
Villages and Subdivisions
Trivouni(Τρίβουνο, 2005 pop: 10)
**village (2001 pop: 5)
Kalogeritsa(Καλογερίτσα, 2001 pop: 5)
Kratero(Κρατερό, 1991 pop: 208)
Augoustinos Kantiotes- Metropolitan of Florina.
Necati Cumalı- Turkish novelist, short-story writer and poet
George Lianis- former PASOK sports minister promoting Athens candidature for the 2004 Olympic Games, and MP for Florina
Nikodim Tsarknias- Macedonian Orthodox Monk
*"The Columbia Encyclopedia", 2004
*"Encyclopædia Britannica", 2005
*"The Penguin Encyclopedia of Places", 1999
*"Rough Guide to Greece", Mark Ellingham "et al", 2000
* cite book |last= Kravari|first=Vassiliki |title=Ville et villages de Macedoine occidentale |series= Realites byzantines|volume=2 |date=1989|publisher= Editions P. Lethielleux|location= Paris|language=French |isbn=2283604524
* [http://www.cityoflorina.gr/ City of Florina] gr icon
* [http://www.florina.gr/ Florina Prefecture] gr icon
* [http://hellas.teipir.gr/Thesis/Florina/index.htm Presentation of Florina - TEI of Pireas]
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