At the northwestern edge of the open courtyard of the Jewish quarter, with its cobbled alleys and imposing mansions, the visitor can come across the stone building of the old Jewish synagogue with its rich and elaborate interior decoration.
The district is located next to the site of Barbuta, which owes its name to a fountain in the area that is still preserved today. Thus, with the passage of time the two regions became identified to a certain extent in the consciousness of the world. It is located northwest on the city map, next to the Tripotamos river.
Traditional district of Kyriotissa
Kyriotissa, with its labyrinthine narrow cobbled streets and cul-de-sacs, tall buildings, mansions and courtyards with a high enclosure bring to mind the traditional houses of the Balkans of the 18th and 19th centuries. Behind the high arcades and next to the alleys, small stone churches emerge. The district lists many Christian and Byzantine churches. Kyriotissa follows the architectural style of Barbouta with the gables, the floors with strong projections, the stacked windows and skylights, the wooden walls and the heavy doors. Many of the listed houses have been restored and turned into leisure and entertainment venues. A significant number of Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches are preserved in the area.
Among the buildings, the Sarafoglou mansion stands out, one of the oldest mansions in Veria, built in the middle of the 18th century. Another impressive building is the Vlachogianni mansion, with its heavily fortified appearance and wooden facades. Before we go out onto Mitropoleos Street and the imposing building of the City Hall, next to Kyriotissa is the Byzantine Museum, an industrial building of the 20th century that was converted into a museum where the history of the area during Byzantine and post-Byzantine times is displayed.
Traditional district of Panagia Dexia
This preserved district of Veria is developed along the river Tripotamos, right next to the central market of Veria. Unlike other traditional districts of Veria, there are few churches here, such as the parish church of Panagia Dexia and the churches of Ag. Nikolaou and Ag. Friday. The church of Panagia Dexia was built at the beginning of the 19th century on the site of an older church of the 14th century from which only part of the niche of the sanctuary and the eastern face with frescoes are preserved.
Bekah Mansion (Old Mordecai Property)
The Beka Mansion was built in 1859 and belonged to a rich merchant of Jewish origin. It is located in the Jewish quarter of the city and impresses with its unique architecture and decoration, dominated by Baroque and Rococo styles. Its exterior is decorated with original frescoes, preserved in excellent condition. Today, it is municipal property and houses the A/Grade and B/Grade Education committees and the Archive of Professor Moutsopoulos.
The archive of Professor N. Moutsopoulos is very rich and consists of several parts. It includes over 16,000 blueprints of traditional and church buildings. Also included is his photographic archive with thousands of subjects of traditional architecture, the result of many years of individual and collective research. To this is added the library of approximately 2,200 volumes of traditional architecture and archaeology, a number of magazines, student theses, school and company yearbooks, conference proceedings, etc. Today, the archive is managed by the Center for Local History and Culture of K.E.P.A. D. Verias.
The Sarafoglou Mansion, located in the Greek quarter of Kyriotissa, is the most important of the mansions that survived. His story came to light thanks to the rescue and study of the archives of the Sarafoglou family. According to these records, the Greek landowner Antonios Kambouronikos bought the house in 1766. At that time, the wine from the owner’s vines was made and stored in the appropriately designed rooms on the ground floor. At the beginning of the 19th century, George Petras, a rich and powerful merchant, married the daughter of Kambouronikos and settled in the house. The extensive changes and additions made to the building belong to this period.
It is the time when the house takes the form of the mansion. In 1870, Konstantinos Sarafoglou, merchant and craftsman with his own watermill, married Petras’ only daughter and settled in the mansion.
The Sarafoglou Mansion is a typical example of the Greek mansions of Veria. The front door leads to a large pebbled courtyard, covered. Wooden pillars, the “direkia”, support the first floor. On the left side of the covered courtyard – which continues behind with an open one – was the winemaking workshop, with the press and barrels, where the wine was stored. A wooden staircase, starting from the covered courtyard, passes through the large “mezzanine” of the mansion and leads to the hall on the first floor. Here, around the great hall, with the elevated arcades on both sides, are arranged the three winter and two summer rooms of the first floor. One summer and one winter room are on a higher level than the hall and the other rooms.
The hall also communicates with the kitchen of the house. The “good house” of the Sarafoglou Mansion was richly decorated. Unfortunately, however, its architectural decoration, the ceiling, the frescoes that decorated the frieze of its walls, the skylights, the wooden floor, were removed by French soldiers of the Entente, during the First World War and transferred abroad, with the result that today they have lost track of them.
It was built in 1872 and the family of a Jewish high priest lived here. It took its name from the mythical deity of the river, whose bust dates back to the 2nd century. A.D. and is exhibited in the archaeological museum of Veria.
Mansion of Anastasios
It was built in 1882 and is the last house of the Jewish quarter. It belonged to the rabbi of the time.
Ancient Roman Road - Egnatia Odos
After the conquest of Macedonia by the Romans (168 BC) Veria evolved into a large administrative, spiritual and economic center. Its development also contributed to its connection in the 2nd century BC. with Egnatia street with a paved road, part of which was located in the center of the city on Mitropoleos street.
Tower of Queen Vergina
The second surviving section is the ruins of Queen Vergina’s tower to the left of the Veria Guard Officers’ Club, behind the courthouse. According to the tradition, during the capture of the city and the arrest of Arsenius and the prefects in the Metropolis, the Turks also tried to arrest Queen Vergina who was the wife of the last Duke of Veria who was also in the church. Being chased, unable to escape and not wanting to be caught and dishonored, she fell with her minor children into the river (Tripotamos) at the spot where the bridge bearing her name is today. It is also called the bridge of Barbutas and joins the banks of Tripotamos outside the Jewish quarter.
Monuments of the Ottoman period
During the Turkish rule, the Turkish element was the most numerous in Veria, concentrated in the upper part of the city. When the Turks settled in the city they turned old churches into mosques. Among them was the Old Metropolis – the Hunkyar Mosque, the Kazaktsi and Baba Teke Mosques. The total number of mosques in Veria was 14. Another area where building activity developed was the public Turkish baths, the hamams. Some buildings have been preserved in the city from the time when the city was under the Ottoman regime, such as the Courthouse, the Clock Square Primary School, the Madrasah Mosque, the Hunkiar Mosque – part of the Old Metropolis, the Orta Mosque, the Twin Baths and Karakhmet Bridge.
During the Turkish rule, the Turkish element was the most numerous in Veria, concentrated in the upper part of the city. When the Turks settled in the city they turned old churches into mosques. Among them were the Old Metropolis, Hunkiarjasimi, Kazaktsi and Baba Teke Jasmi. The total number of mosques in Veria was 14. Another area where building activity developed was the public Turkish baths, the hamams. Some buildings have been preserved in the city from the time when the city was under the Ottoman regime.
Next to the Byzantine Museum of Veria and on top of the ancient city wall were two dilapidated Ottoman houses. The Byzantine wall was fixed and can be visited for educational activities while the red house will house the Byzantine antiquities department and the Byzantine library of the Imathia Antiquities Ephorate. The blue house with its richly painted decoration is all that remains of a late 18th century beko house associated with the neighboring tekke of the Bekhtasids, Mahmut Çelepi.
Tripotamos – The bridges of Tripotamos
We have known the river by this name for many years and it is recorded in all the books published from 1930 onwards. Vasilikos was his name during Byzantine times. While possibly in antiquity it bore the name Olganos, son of one of the two founders of Veria of Veris.
The historical presence of Veria is timeless and important throughout the centuries. This Veroia owes its presence to the generosity of nature, which endowed it with abundant water. Two rivers, the great Aliakmonas and the small Tripotamos, have lived and “acted” for centuries incessantly near and alongside it to shape the landscape as we see it developing before our eyes even now. The erosion caused by Tripotamos is palpable and we can still see it unfolding in front of us. The presence of the two rivers in the course of the city is catalytic, because they ensured its water supply and irrigation, the energy from the waterfalls.
Tripotamos is formed by 3 streams joining into one, 500 meters out and N.E. of the village of the same name, near the last houses at the SW end of Veria. • First Asproneri stream: It consists of two smaller streams that originate from the Eastern Vermio and are Megali Rematia and Xerolakkos. North and North-West of Koumaria is their catchment area. The two streams join in the area of Ai Lia Hill and continue their course now as Asproneri. Veria is watered from here, but part of it also goes to the Municipality of Alexandria for its own use (water supply). From the height of Ai Lia to Veria it has many springs. • Second stream: The second stream is southwest of Tripotamos village in the area of the old settlement of Tormanis. It is the smallest of the three and is purely a torrent. On its way it joins the third stream (Mavroneri) that descends from the region of Kastania. • Third Mavroneri Stream: The most important of the three streams is the Mavroneri. It draws its waters from the areas of A. Vermio between Kastania and Georgiana. It is the stream we see going to Kastania. Part of its waters irrigate Veria, while they irrigate Georgians and Rahia.
This combined with the soft travertite walls (parapets) within the city of Veria created the specific relief of the area. The Middle part of the river is the one that crosses the city of Veria. It is defined from the area of Agia Triada (Ergostasio Paschalidis) to its exit from the city by the bridge of old Sphagia (Modia Bridge). This event resulted in the creation of bridges for the communication of the townspeople who lived on the two sides of the town. These are:
1. Agia Triada Bridge: It was built to serve the power plants. It owes its name to the Holy Church of the Holy Trinity that was built by the first factory owners. 2. Panorama Bridge: New bridge that connects the neighborhood of Panorama with Veria. 3. Kamares Bridge: It is the bridge that connects the upper part of the city with Prometheus on Dimitras Street. The current bridge built in 1990 is spacious solid and flood resistant. It replaced the prefabricated iron bridge that had been erected there after the flood of 1935. The bridge until 1935, when it was destroyed by the flood, was stone-built, with two arches and beautiful. It got its name from those arches. Next to the bridge on the west bank of the river there is a Batani (water mill) There in the Batani there was a rough wooden bridge where the Prometheus passed and took water from the fountain of Barbutas 4. Barbutas Bridge: The area of Barbutas is the most talked about and interesting area . The social presence of the area has always been very large for the people of Verio as well as for foreign visitors to the city. There next to the old cafe-entertainment center where there is and today was also a stone-built bridge that was destroyed by the great flood of 1935. Havras Bridge: It is the bridge that connects Prometheus with the Jewish quarter of the city. In the past there was also a stone bridge that was washed away by the flood of 1935. There is also a smaller wooden bridge on the path of Queen Vergina. There were also wooden bridges in many other places on the banks of the river. No one is saved. 6. Karahmet Bridge: The wider area is known as Karahmet. The name probably comes from the cafe that existed down there on a plateau near the bridge. The coffee shop was swept away by the flood of 1935, the bridge lost only its stone circlips. A unique characteristic example of the stone bridges of the city that has been preserved to this day, showing us the diligence of the craftsmen – bridge builders with which they built the stone bridges at that time, despite the difficulties and dangers they faced. 7. Bombolis Bridge (near the current Thermopylos Bridgen): The bridge where the bazaar takes place. It was named so from the abundance of Bombolos (Kakavies) that exist on the banks of the bed. Elderly and super-elderly people talk about huge Bombolies that were cut down during the construction of the bridge. The bridge was built by the Construction Company as a gift to the Municipality of Veria and was given for use in 1960. The area was served for a short period of 2-3 years around the end of 1959 and the beginning of 1960 by a wooden bridge that existed on the plateau below the current one parking . The proposal for a pedestrian bridge next to the existing one was heard for many years. It was implemented in our days. 8. Marif Bridge: This is the name of the area and the bridge we now call Stavros. In the area of the building that currently houses the PPC there was a country store that belonged to a certain Muarif (Muaerif). The bridge was built of stone with three arches, which was also destroyed by the flood of 35. Over this bridge, the consecration of the waters took place during the Festival of Lights. 9. Modia Bridge: It is the bridge of Stadiou Street to Naoussa. “Modia” was the name of the tax collector, which is why later generations called it the “tax” bridge. Tax was paid there by those who brought goods in carts or bundles to the city for sale. Over the years, an animal fair developed in the area. Modia means a measure of mostly fruit, mostly cereals, equal to 7.8 liters and is a Latin word modius. There have always been bridges in this particular location.
In Tripotamos, there is the Paparousopoulos watermill, where it was originally a flour mill and dates back to the end of the 19th century, it is still in operation today and in addition keeps all the equipment of the flour mill in place. It is worth mentioning that along the Tripotamos, pre-industrial facilities were developed in the past, which utilized hydraulic energy for the operation of their machines. Most of the buildings were swept away by the waters of the flood of 1935. Also, there are 17 recorded caves from the area of the Police School to the Marif Bridge. Askitaria, corrals, gathering points for washermen, water transport tunnels, hiding places, ossuaries, but also ancient Macedonian Tombs were their uses.