History of Serres

Serres is an ancient city whose history goes back over a thousand years BC. Its location wasn’t chosen by chance either, as the Acropolis hill offered the city protection and an offensive lead against invaders from antiquity to its most recent history of the 20th century.

The city of Serres has gone through many wars, sufferings and destructions like the rest of Greece. Writers and poets of antiquity such as Herodotus, Thucydides and Homer have written about the city and its inhabitants and they referred to the city as “Siris”. The Byzantines on the other hand considered Serres as a metropolis (megalopolis) during the Byzantine era.

Many populations settled in the greater area of Serres in antiquity, which is confirmed by the remnants of ancient settlements and cities, still standing today. Amphipolis is the most famous of the ancient cities in the region. Until now, 49 ancient sites and settlements have been discovered, some associated with the Classical & Hellenistic period and others with the Roman period.

Serres was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1383 and for the following 530 years until it was liberated. During the Ottoman years the city of Serres flourished commercially, being an important trade hub between Europe and the East. The city was also a large export center, with cereals, cotton and textiles being the primary exports.

The city also prioritized to enrich the educational level of its inhabitants by founding the Macedonian Educational Association in 1870 and creating, in 1872, the first «Didaskaleion” (School) of Greece and the European part of the Ottoman Empire.

Its rich history and gastronomic tradition in combination with modern tourist products result in Serres city being an attractive destination for many visitors who are looking for alternative experiences.