liThe city of Katerini is the capital of Pieria and is located under the wings of Mount Olympus. No matter when you visit, you’ll find plenty of green parks and fun things to do. It’s an appealing destination. Katerini ideally combines the mountain with the sea and the organized tourist coasts that reach 80 km in length.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy nature, Katerini is perfect for you. You can take a stroll in one of its many green parks or enjoy the beautiful beaches that stretch along the coast. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go hiking on Mount Olympus or explore the nearby villages.
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Katerini: The History of a modern city
Katerini has a population of 56,877 inhabitants according to the 2021 census. The city is located on Pierian Hill, between the Pieria Mountains and the Thermaikos Gulf, just 71 km from Thessaloniki.
The people of Katerini (Kateriniotes) have a rich history of participating in national liberation struggles. They fought in the Revolution of 1821, the movement of 1854, the Macedonian Revolution of 1878, and the Macedonian Struggle. Total liberation finally came in 1912.
The two years 1913-1914 were important for the region since it was then that families of Thracian refugees from Eastern Thrace and Eastern Rumelia settled there. After the Asia Minor catastrophe, the population doubled thanks to the settlement of Asia Minor people in the area.
If you’re interested in learning more about Katerini’s history and culture, there are many museums and historical sites you can visit. For example, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Dion or explore the ancient city of Pydna.
The Pieria Mountains are the trademark of Katerini. Mythology says that the wonderful environment of Pieria enchanted the nine Pierides Muses, who were patrons of poetry, music, song, and dance. They stayed in the area and turned into birds.
The mountain overlooks the Aegean Sea and Mount Olympus and embraces visitors with its paths that lead to picturesque churches in the forest. The mountain constantly offers unobstructed views of the Thermaikos Gulf.
If you’re interested in hiking or exploring nature, the Pieria Mountains are a great place to visit. You can take a stroll along one of its many paths or visit one of its picturesque churches.
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What to see in Katerini
Liberty Square is a historic square located at the beginning of the pedestrian street of Megalou Alexandrou. In its center stands the Statue of Liberty, a female figure in an airy dress and raised arms. The statue is made of brass and was created in 1973 at the expense of the Municipality of Katerini by the sculptor Efthymios Kalevras.
Another listed building at the junction of 25th Martiou and Ionos Dragoumi streets is the Arts Center “Nine Muses” (former “Tsalopoulos Mansion”). A Greek engineer supervised the construction of the building in 1908. It is a sample of remarkable Central European architecture and aesthetics. Architect Max Rubens, who belonged to the school of eclecticism, designed it. Its owner is Dimitrios Tsalopoulos, a lawyer who has been a Member of Parliament for many years. Today, the property belongs to the Municipality of Katerini and has been renamed “Nine Muses Arts Center”.
If you’re interested in art and architecture, you can visit these two landmarks and learn more about their history and significance.
Central pedestrian street M. Alexander – fountain. Here hits the shopping center of Katerini. You will find it all – cafes, bars, patisseries, restaurants, and of course, shops. At the end of the pedestrian street, in Kouloumvaki Square, there is a beautiful marble fountain.
Urban School of Katerini (Old 1st Primary School of Katerini): A building-ornament, a typical example of neoclassical architecture, on Irinis Street. The building was built in 1905 and served as the 1st Primary School of Katerini until 1979. It has been a “work of art for special protection” since then. Inside it hosted the permanent exhibition of sculptures by the Pierian artist, Efthimis Kalevras.
Macedonia Square. In the heart of the city, also known as Efkarpidi Square because of the homonymous cinema-theatrical scene located there.
Town Hall Square. In the city center, a short distance from the central square of Eleftherias is the Town Hall.
Evangelical Church of Katerini – Evangelical District. Greek refugees from Pontus created a unique district of its kind in 1923. The Evangelical Church, built in 1925, is in the heart of the settlement. Fanatical arsonists caused a fire in 1930 and the church was rebuilt in 1931. All buildings here have a unique architecture and the street layout is squared and… Impressive detached houses intersperse it.
Municipal Park of Katerini. Large in area (about 51,000 sq.m.) and with 1,252 trees of 39 species, it is definitely an impressive place with fountains, monuments, playgrounds, a café, and a snack bar. It hosts festivals, exhibitions, and artistic events all year round. Here is also the open theater of Katerini.
Turkish-Albanian tekke. Muslim monument that survived and is located on 7th Merarchias Street in the area of the old Hospital. The Muslim sect of Albanian Bektashis built the mosque about 200-250 years ago as part of their monastery complex or tekke. It is the only one left of the tekke now. The tekke operated until 1951 and the building today belongs to the Muslim community.
Katerini Railway Station and former impregnation plant. The station opened in 1916 and is one of the most picturesque and well-groomed in Greece. The Germans, in IIWW, created the timber impregnation plant during their occupation and it started operating in August 1939. The factory produced tar with which they smeared the sleepers used by the Greek Railways. The smokestack of the factory is about 38 meters high.
The Fortress of Katerini Railway Station. The Germans, in IIWW, constructed it during their occupation and it has several damages that are preserved until today. Included in the Monuments of Modern History is a typical German machine gun tower that belongs to the fortifications of the Germans during the occupation (1941-1944).
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Places to visit near Katerini
Paralia Katerini. It is 8 km from the city and its main pedestrian street has hotels, rooms, shops, restaurants, and bars. At the port of Paralia Katerini, daily fishing boats unload fresh fish.
Platanodasos of Neocaesarea. At 7 km from the city, it is located on the banks of the river Mavroneri and is a dense forest of plane trees. There is a café and a children’s playground.
Olympic Beach. An illuminated avenue, with a parallel bicycle and pedestrian path, connects the beach of Katerini with the Olympic Beach. Its sandy coastline stretches for several kilometers while the area has a growth in the construction of hotels and other tourist facilities.
Castle of Platamonas . A landmark of the wider region, it “covers” the vast beach of Pieria. It is an imposing attraction, a castle city of the 10th century, with a well-preserved tower.
Archaeological Park of Dion. The most beautiful archaeological park in Greece is located near Katerini. The scenery is truly mythical: ancient sanctuaries, Hellenistic and Roman theaters, paved streets, an odeon, Roman houses, and small torrents. In the sanctuary of Isis, buildings emerge from the wet vegetation. Nearby is the sanctuary of Demeter, one of the oldest excavated in Macedonia.
Overall, Katerini is a great place to visit if you want to experience Greece’s natural beauty and rich culture.
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