In the East side of west Macedonia, at the Prefecture of Kozani, almost 28km away from the city of Kozani, stands Siatista. Siatista is a city build ampitheatrically, at 950m high on Velia mountain. You can get there by taking the high way from Thessaloniki to Grevena - Ioannina - Kastoria.
A weekend is too short for Siatista, as you need a lot of time and energy to meet the true beauty of this city, to understand its history and meet its people. If you try to explore it, to walk along its streets, to talk to the local, discover its magnificent Country houses coming from an era of cultural and economical nadir, you will get this ache to explore it more deeply.
No. 1 - Siatista was build in the early 15th century from the nearby residents, who seeked for a shelter to keep them safe from the Otoman raids. People from Moschopoli, Thessaly, Souli, Morias and other places joined them during the ages.
No. 2 - Siatistas name is rumored to have derived from the Slavic "setsiam" (=deviding) and the suffix - ista (=a place divided). This version might describe the division of Siatista in two neighborhoods, "Gerania" and "Chora" which are now united.
No. 3 - Siatista became very rich during 17ο, 18ο and 19ο century due to immigrants sending back forreign currency, to wine and raki production which were famous products, to textile making, shoe making and fur making. Siatista had commercial relationshops with Russia, Budapest, Vienna and Venice.
No. 4 - The economic growth also benefited the development of art and culture. The most impressive Country Houses were built at that period indicating the wealth of the city, the aesthetics of the people and the abilities of the craftsmens and builders.
Words: Liza Kokkidou Photographs: Giorgos Chasparis