Kozani (Greek: Κοζάνη, pronounced [koˈzani]) is a city in
northern Greece, capital of
Kozani regional unit and of West Macedonia
region. It is located in the western part of Macedonia, in the
northern part of the
Aliakmonas river valley. The city lies 710 metres
(2,329 feet) above sea level, 15 kilometres (9 miles) northwest of the
artificial lake Polyfytos, 120 km (75 miles) south-west of
Thessaloniki, between the mountains Pieria, Vermio,
Askio. The population of the
Kozani municipality is over 70,000
people. The climate of the area is continental with cold and dry
winters, and hot summers.
Kozani is the home of the Technological Educational Institute of
Western Macedonia and the
University of Western Macedonia, with about
15,000 students from all over
Greece and other places. It is also the
seat of West Macedonia's court of appeal, police department, fire
brigade, the seat of the 1st Army Corps of the Hellenic Army and of
the Bishop of Servia and Kozani.
One of the most important aspects of local folklore is Kozani's
carnival at the end of the winter, which retains much of the profanity
of the ancient Dionysiac cult.
Kozani is renowned in
abroad for the production of
Krokos Kozanis), in the nearby
town of Krokos.
Kozani is a transport node between Central Macedonia,
Epirus. The nearest airport is Filippos Airport, 4 kilometres (2
miles) from the city, IATA code: KZI. The airport was first opened in
the mid-20th century.
Kozani is situated near the Egnatia Highway,
which connects the coast of the Ionian Sea with
2.2 Ottoman period
2.3 Balkan wars
2.4 Modern times
4 Sites of interest
4.1 Downtown sites of interest
4.2 Nearby sites of interest
5 Mass media
6 Historical population
11.1 Festivals and events
11.3 Notable people
12 International relations
12.1 Twin towns – sister cities
14 See also
16 External links
Kozani in Northern Greece.
According to prevailing opinion in Greece, the name comes from the
Epirus Kósdiani, the origin of settlers of
Kozani in 1392.
The settlement was first named Kózdiani, which then, it was changed
into Kóziani, and in the end into Kozáni.
Antiquities from the prehistoric to the Byzantine period have been
unearthed in many sectors of the city. In the east part of Kozani, an
ancient necropolis has been found, dating to the early Iron Age.
During Philip II of Macedon's reign, the region was named Elimeia,
which was part of
Upper Macedonia and probably in the same place there
was a town named Tyrissa. In the south-west of the modern city, on
Siopoto hill, there was a settlement named Kalyvia, between 1100 and
1300, traces of which are still preserved.
St Nicholas church
Kozani was probably founded by Christian settlers who, after the
Ottoman conquest, withdrew from the plains of Macedonia into the
mountains, during the 14th and 15th centuries. Its secure position
soon attracted other
Christians expelled from Epirus, in 1392.
Together with the settlers from Epirus, many cattle-breeders moved in
The first recorded mention of
Kozani is in an Ottoman register of
1528, as a settlement with 91 houses, 23 singles and 15 widows. One
of the most important colonizers of
Kozani was the chief shepherd
Ioannis Trantas, who settled about 100 families. His son,
Charisios Trantas, managed to obtain a Sultan's firman in 1664,
according to the terms of which the town came under the protection of
the Sultan's mother, was endowed with many privileges, and became
forbidden for the Turks to settle in.
Agios Nikolaos' clock tower (Mamatsios), landmark of the city, in
In 1664, the magnificent church of Agios Nikolaos was built. In 1668,
the library and the famous school of
Kozani were founded. During the
17th and 18th century, commercial relations with the countries of
central Europe gave the opportunity for the city to flourish
economically. During the 19th century, as foreign travellers relate,
the population of the town was Greek, and was growing (Leake
The town's growth was disrupted in 1770, because of conflict that
erupted between Kozani's local inhabitants and Kozanite merchants in
central Europe, who contributed to the town's prosperity; even more
catastrophically, the city was pillaged by Turkish beys in 1770. A
subsequent incursion by Aslan bey, in 1830, ravaged the city
immensely. In 1855 next to St. Nicholas Church a 26 meters high bell
tower was built, which would become the symbol of the city. In 1939, a
clock was added to the top of the tower, donated by Greek American
Konstantinos Mamatsios. According to the 1904 population census,
Greeks and 350
Vlachs were living in
Kozani at the time.
In the late 19th and early 20th century,
Kozani was part of the
Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.
The clock tower today, Nikis (Victory) Square
View of the municipal park
Greek army entered
Kozani on 11 October 1912, during the First
Balkan War, after its victory against the Ottoman army in the Battle
of Sarantaporo. By this time, the population of the town was 12,000
Orthodox Greeks. In 1923, during the population exchange between
Greece and Turkey, about 1,400 Greek families from Pontus and Asia
Minor were settled in Kozani.
In the 20th century, the city grew tremendously, as lignite reserves
in the area started being used by Public Power Corporation, making
Kozani the foremost producer of electrical power in Greece. An
earthquake that occurred in the region on 13 May 1995, with a
magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter scale caused only property damage.
The city now combines modern with old faries architecture. Some
magnificent buildings are the clock tower, the town hall, the folklore
museum, the "Valtadoreio" Gymnasium, the National Bank of Greece
building, the "Ermioneion" Hotel and the mansions of Georgios Lassanis
and Grigorios Vourkas. The Municipal
"Kovendareios" is the second biggest in Greece, and it has 150,000
books, rare publications, valuable documents, and one of the rare
copies of Rigas Feraios' charter. For this reason
Kozani was included
in the National Cultural Network of Cities with object the promotion
of the Book and Reading. The Institute of Book and Reading was
Kozani is now known as City of Books. Today Kozani
is the administrative, commercial, economic, and transport centre of
the region of West Macedonia.
The city is mostly known for its important contribution to the Greek
electricity supply, and a large part of the population works in the
Public Power Corporation's Agios Dimitrios Power Plant, the largest
power plant in Greece. The
Ptolemaida Basin hosts the Western
Macedonia Lignite Center, which is accountable for the production of
40% of the electric energy of the country.
Other famous products are marble, Saffron, (
Krokos Kozanis), fruits,
local wines and specialized arts and crafts industry. The Commercial
Kozani takes part in the Exhibition Centre of West
Macedonia in Koila Kozanis every September. Many firms from
other Balkan countries participate, especially with local products.
Kozani remains a regional banking center, the Kozani-based
Co-operative Bank of
Western Macedonia however failed the stress test
conducted by the Bank of
Greece and subsequently was liquidated in
Sites of interest
Folklore and Natural History Museum of Kozani.
Lake Polyfytos Bridge
Lake Polyfytos Bridge crossing the Polyfytos artificial lake of the
Aliakmonas near Kozani.
The new Nikis square
Downtown sites of interest
The Archaeological Museum of Kozani
Folklore and Natural History Museum of
Kozani is a
place worth visiting. It is built according to old Macedonian
architecture, and in its 6 floors, visitors can see everything about
the geography, natural history, flora and animals of the region, as
well as the history, the traditions and the past way of life in
The Museum of Modern Local History of Kozani
The clock tower and the church of Agios Nikolaos - 350 years old - in
Other attractions include the Grigorios
Vourkas Mansion and the
Georgios Lassanis Mansion. The second one lies in a central square,
named Lassani Square and it is used as the Municipal Map Library.
Nearby sites of interest
The Municipal Park Kouri located in Agios Dimitrios where you can see
Cultural Center and the Municipal Theatre of Kozani, and the hill
of Xenia with the nice view of all the city
The Museum of the
Macedonian Struggle in Chromio, a museum dedicated
to the history of the Macedonian Struggle.
Lake Polyfytos Bridge
Lake Polyfytos Bridge crossing the artificial Polyfytos Lake. With a
length of 1,372 m (4,501 ft), it is the second longest
Greece next to the Rio–Antirrio bridge.
There are some telecommunications companies, TV and radio stations,
newspapers, magazines, and web portals based in Kozani. The television
channels are West Channel, TOP Channel and Flash TV. Top-circulation
newspapers include Chronos, Grammi,
Tharros and others.
Kozani is accessed with Motorway Egnatia (or GR-2, or E90) from
Ioannina and Thessaloniki, GR-3 (or E65) from
Larissa and Florina,
GR-4 and GR-20.
By bus, (KTEL Kozanis) for all West Macedonian towns and for the
biggest Greek cities
Athens (4 times/day - 470 km), Thessaloniki
(every hour - 120 km),
Larisa (120 km), Volos, Ioannina
(160 km), Patras.
By aeroplane (Sky Express), the city is connected with
Kastoria from Filippos Airport which lies 3 km (2 mi)
south-east of Kozani.
By railway (OSE) to
Thessaloniki (Railway Line
Kozani - Amyntaio).
The public transit in the city is provided by minibuses, and between
the centre and the municipal departments, it is provided by Transit
buses. The traffic problems of the city have become more severe during
the last few years.
See also: List of mayors of Kozani
Kozani center, Greece.
The Municipality of
West Macedonia after the 2011
Kozani was formed at the 2011 local government reform
by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became
The total population is 71,388 (2011). It is developing into a nodal
town of the Western Balkans, with areas and activities of a wider
regional nature. Within this context, the municipality of
creating a modern satellite town, the
Kozani Zone of Alternate Urban
Planning (ZEP). The Municipal Corporation of alternate planning and
Kozani S.A.(DEPEPOK) was established in order to
implement the projects of the ZEP.
The ZEP is strategically located on 50 ha south-west of Kozani, and
aims to become a model development centre, attracting an urban
population and economic activities from throughout Western Macedonia
Greece and the Western Balkans.
Other known neighborhoods of
Kozani are Sk'rka, Ipirotika, Gitia,
Agios Athanasios, Platania.
The province of
Kozani (Greek: Επαρχία Κοζάνης) was one
of the provinces of the
Kozani Prefecture. Its territory corresponded
with that of the current municipalities
Kozani (except a few villages
that were part of the
Eordaia province) and Servia-Velventos. It
was abolished in 2006.
Under the Köppen climate classification,
Kozani has a humid
subtropical climate (Cfa), with considerable hot-summer continental
climate (Dfa) influences. Rainfall is spread evenly throughout the
Climate data for
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service
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The climate of
Kozani has changed over the years as a result of the
environmental degradation brought by the extensive lignite mining in
the area. The lignite mine is one of the largest in Eastern Europe;
due to the constant expansion of the mining activities in the area
several communities have already been moved closer to city of Kozani
and more are scheduled to be moved by 2020. Given that the main source
of income for the city of
Kozani is the lignite mine and the thermal
power station in the area local residents are often biased about the
environmental catastrophe brought on by these activities.
There are 18 Primary schools in Kozani, and another 8, in the
municipal departments of Vatero, Kariditsa, Koila, Lefkovrysi,
Lefkopigi, Nea Charavgi,
Xirolimni and Petrana. The Gymnasiums of the
city are 8, and there are two more in the municipal departments of
Lefkopigi and Xirolimni. There are also 4 Lyceums, 4 Technical Schools
(TEE), some Business Schools and one municipal Odeum.
Kozani is the home of the Technological Educational Institute of
Western Macedonia - one of the biggest in
Greece (founded on 1976).
Three of its Faculties are in the city - the Faculty of Administration
and Economy, Technological Applications and Health. (The rest of them
are in other places of West Macedonia). The seat of the
Western Macedonia and its Faculty of Engineering, they are also in
University was founded in 2002.
Festivals and events
Fanos; an old carnival custom.
The mansion of
Georgios Lassanis in Kozani. Today it is used as a
Municipal Map Library.
Kozani carnival is one of the most important events in the region,
taking place the end of the winter. The most interesting local
celebration during the carnival are the Fanoi (great bonfires),
which are lit in the squares of Kozani. Around them, people sing and
dance mainly scoptic songs and local dances, such as the best known
song in the region - the Enteka of Kozani, often called Kozani's
"national anthem". All celebrations become more exciting on the Sunday
of the last week, after the carnival parade, when bonfires are lit all
over the town which burn until the early morning hours.
At the end of summer Lassaneia Events are organised. They consist of
theatrical representations, concerts, athletic events etc. The name
"Lassaneia" comes from Georgios Lassanis, who was from
participated in the Greek War of Independence. A part of those events
is also the new authors song festival "Nikolas Asimos".
Niaimeros is a fair in the north of the city in the Niaimeros place.
It takes place on the first Tuesday of October. It used to last 9 days
(niaimeros = nine days), but now it lasts only 3 days.
Official local public holidays are the celebration for the liberation
of the city from the Turks on 11 October and Saint Nicolas day -
Kozani's patron - on 6 December.
The municipal Band is named Pandora. It was founded in 1902, and it
takes part in all the events and celebrations.
Main article: Macedonian cuisine (Greek)
A typical dish in
Kozani is the so-called Giaprakia. The main
ingredients are meat and rice in salty carbage-leaf, having the shape
of an egg. It is used often as Christmas food. Kichi (Kozanitiko
kichi) is called another local dish, which is actually a cheese pie
with circular-snail form.
Kozani from the south.
Ioannis Amanatidis, (1981–present) footballer
Nikolas Asimos, (1949–1988) composer and singer
Elias Atmatsidis, (1969–present)Football goalkeeper
Evripidis Bakirtzis, (1895–1947), politician
Anna Diamantopoulou, (1959–present) politician, former EU
Commissioner, for Employment and Social Affairs, in the Prodi
Foulidis Eleftherios, Iconographer
Georgios Lassanis, (1793–1870) scholar and politician
Michalis Papakonstantinou, (1919–2010), author and Minister for
Foreign Affairs (1992–1993)
Minister for Finance
Minister for Finance of Greece
Georgios Parakeimenos, educator
Georgios Sakellarios, (1765–1838) educator
Ieroklis Stoltidis, (1975–present) footballer
Ioannis Topalidis, (1962–present), former Greek football player,
assistant manager of the Greek national football team.
Chrisanthos Theodoridis, (1934–2005) singer-songwriter, was born in
Kozani FC (Greek Third Division - 1st group)
Lassanis Kozanis BC
G.S. Κozanis, volleyball, gskozanis.gr
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Greece
Twin towns – sister cities
Kozani is twinned with:
Bristol, Connecticut, USA, since November 2, 1987
Turgovishte, Bulgaria, since 2002
Ptolemaida - Florina
Veroia - Thessaloniki
Siatista - Neapoli
Velvendos - Katerini
Grevena - Ioannina
Servia - Larissa
Lake Polyfytos Bridge
Kozani Municipal Stadium
I Army Corps of the Hellenic Army
Kozani National Airport "Filippos"
^ a b c d e "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών
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αιώνας - 20ος αιώνας Archived July 2, 2008, at the
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Municipality of Kozani
Prefecture of Kozani
Region of Western Macedonia
University of Western Macedonia
TEI of Western Macedonia
Kozani travel guide from Wikivoyage
Find all events in Kozani
Administrative division of the
Western Macedonia Region
9,451 km2 (3,649 sq mi)
283,689 (as of 2011)
12 (since 2011)
Regional unit of Florina
Regional unit of Grevena
Regional unit of Kastoria
Regional unit of Kozani
Theodoros Karypidis (since 2014)
Epirus and Western Macedonia
Subdivisions of the municipality of Kozani
Municipal unit of Aiani
Municipal unit of Dimitrios Ypsilantis
Municipal unit of Elimeia
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Municipal unit of Kozani
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