BOEOTIA - MYTHOLOGY AND HISTORY
The Prefecture of Viotia is a prefecture of Central Greece with larger plains of Thebes, Chaeronia and Kopaida that are bathed by rivers and torrents, mainly Asopos, Boeotian Kifissos and Livadostra. The main areas of the prefecture are Arachova, Parnassos, Distomo, Thebes and Livadia. Its infrastructure is offered for summer holidays but is also characterized as the "flagship" of winter tourism in Greece. According to mythology, the area got its name from Boeotia, son of Poseidon and Arni. Boeotia is mentioned as the birthplace of the god Dionysus and the hero Hercules.
Livadia, the capital of the prefecture, is a modern city built at the foot of Elikonas, with a remarkable history. The folklore tradition of the prefecture is inextricably linked to Livadia. The main squares are connected by a pedestrian street and are a place of meeting and walking. The stone bridges from the era of Ottoman rule, the watermill , the terraces, the beautiful stone theater of the city and the traditional buildings compose a picturesque setting. It stands out with its beautiful natural landscape, the river Erkyna and the springs of Krya which is suitable for climbing, while there are climbing routes, with scattered monuments of historical and architectural heritage.
The Oracle of Trophonius at the foot of the hill of Prophet Elias was one of the most special oracles of antiquity. Visitors drank the water of Oblivion to forget and then the water of Memory to remember what they heard in the cave. The Clock Tower, from the years of Frankish empire, served as a torch when Lord Elgin presented it to the city. The Catalan Castle on the hill of Profitis Ilias is one of the 4 Catalan castles that survive in Greece. The Archaeological Museum includes collections featuring finds from the Paleolithic period to Modern History. The Theater is characterized by its special architecture but also its good acoustics. At the entrance of Chaeronia stands a large lion seated that symbolizes the heroism of the soldiers.
Picturesque and cosmopolitan, at the foot of Mount Parnassos, Arachova is a pole of attraction for thousands of people. It is built in the area of Parnassos and the traditional stone houses, the narrow cobbled alleys, the fountains, the wild beauty of the landscape and the magnificent view compose a unique natural landscape. Lakka square is a meeting point in the heart of the village while Papaioannou square was a "bridal market" of another era. The famous Clock, also known as "The Hour" owes its current form to the abbot of the Monastery of Saint Lukas. The statue of Karaiskakis dominates the village honoring the great hero of the Greek Revolution.
Delphi is the ancient center of Hellenism from the 8th century BC. which flourished and became a political and religious center. The place where the temple of the god Apollo was built , is one of the three most important energy points on the planet. In the ancient world, the place was considered sacred and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery of Saint Lukas is one of the most important Byzantine monuments near Steiri in the location of the church of Steritida Dimitra. It is known as "Hagia Sophia of Roumeli" with the architecture of Hagia Sophia and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Parnassos is one of the largest and most beautiful mountains in the country with the highest point being the Liakoura peak at 2,457m. The Ski Center is one of the most popular due to its organized facilities. It has 19 slopes, 7 ski runs, 10 trails and three mini slopes for beginners with a total length of about 36 km. For adventure lovers, there are 12 off-piste "black" routes with deep snow that are distinguished for their high levels of safety. With state-of-the-art lifts it is now on the list of top ski resorts in the Balkans. Between Arachova and the ski resort is a cave that houses the southernmost glacier in Europe that is maintained all year round with temperatures from 0- -20 degrees Celsius.
Distomo, is a town 15 km from Arachova with a great attraction the monastery of Saint Lukas of the 12th century UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its architecture and mosaic decoration rank it among the most remarkable works of Byzantine art. The Museum of the Victims of Nazism presents the history of the place through documents and photographs while the Holocaust monument has been placed in Distomo. The Distomo Museum Collection contains exhibits from the Mycenaean to the Early Christian years. On the beach of Distomo there is the acropolis of Medeon, of which a large part of the fortress is preserved and the vaulted tomb that is placed in the period 1500-1400 BC.
Antikyra is a seaside village 170 km from Athens known for its beautiful beaches. The picturesque port with the beautiful lighthouse is a safe harbor on the northern shores of the Corinthian Gulf. Parts of the wall, ancient houses, the cemetery, ruins of the temples of Athena and Artemis are preserved from the ancient city. It is distinguished for the beautiful beaches with the most characteristic,being the beach of Agios Isidoros which is honored every year with the Blue Flag for its clear waters. South of Antikyra is the castle of Vourlia or Vroulia. Specifically, at the eastern entrance of the bay of Agios Isidoros, there is a steep part where the ruins of the castle are preserved.
Thebes is one of the oldest cities in Greece which dominated the Greek period of the 4th century BC. The Archaeological Museum includes finds and antiquities from the city and from all over Boeotia. Characteristic are the sculptures of the archaic era, the columns of the classical era, the collection of carnivores decorated with the Mycenaean period, etc. One of the most important sanctuaries was the sanctuary of Ismene Apollo, on the homonymous hill southeast of the ancient city. Three large Mycenaean cemeteries of Thebes were developed on the hills around Kadmeia. Thebes, although established as a Mediterranean destination offers archaeological interest but is also an excellent destination for summer.
The area produces dairy products such as Parnassos feta, formaella, obsimotyri or keremezi, mizithra and yogurt. The production of wine and tsipouro in the traditional way is important, as well as the black and brusco. Traditional cuisine is based on livestock and cheese products. Local dishes are giouvetsi,stuffed cabbage rolls sarmades with vine leaves, dolmades, pies and sourdough bread. Authentic sweets are the walnut pie, the rice milk, the galaktoboureko, the pancakes, the diples, the almonds, the syrupy sweets, with walnut, almond and honey, the baklava, the walnut cookies, the almond cookies kourabiedes and spoon sweets from Cooperatives.