Glances at History



The Balkan Wars, the liberation from Ottoman rule and the influx of refugees from Pontus, Eastern Romulia and Asia Minor in the early 20th century are events directly linked to the recent history of the Polykastro area.

In the 1930s, the drying up of the Arjan-Amatovo twin lakes and the fight against malaria resulted in the spread of settlements in the lowlands of the Axios valley and the settlement of refugee Hellenism there.

Καρασινάν (Πλάγια) 1917


Until 1928 the settlement that existed on the site of the current city of Polykastro was called Karasouli, which means “Black Swamp”. The community of Karasouli was founded on March 9, 1920 and on July 19, 1928 it was renamed the community of Polykastro. According to the prevailing version, the settlement was named “Polykastro” due to the many fortifications that existed in the area during the First World War.

In the wider area of ​​Polykastro the visitor can discover elements of History in the villages:

Axiochori, Aspro, Limnotopos, Vafiochori, Eiriniko, Korona, Pefkodasos, Mikro Dasos, Evzonous and Pontoiraklia.


The history of Goumenissa is interwoven with the development of ancient Paionia. However, the first mention of the name by which it is known today was made in the Byzantine era (1346).

On the throne of the Byzantine Empire was the dynasty of the Palaeologans and Goumenissa was ceded to the Holy Monastery of Iveron on Mount Athos and was converted into a religious center of the area, with the monastery of Panagia as its core.

The settlements that developed there with agricultural economy composed a dynamic town that took the name “Goumenissa”, honoring the memory of the Abbot of the monastery of Panagia, who was hanged by robbers.

Παλιό αρχοντικό, Γουμένισσα
Παλιά γειτονιά, Γουμένισσα


In 1387 Goumenissa came under Ottoman occupation, but gained the special privilege of the self-governing area, as its inhabitants created fabrics of unsurpassed quality with which the uniforms of the Ottoman army were made.Its craft activity in combination with the production of wine spread its fame throughout Central Europe and the region experienced great commercial and economic prosperity in the 19th century.

Despite her privileged treatment, Goumenissa actively participated in the Greek revolution of 1821.It is characteristic that after the beginning of the clashes, 49 rifles were found in the homes of Goumenissians, resulting in the exemplary punishment of the residents and their compulsion to hand over their food, money and property (eg animals, carriages) to the pasha of Thessaloniki, Abdul Aboud. Their non-compliance provoked the wrath of the Ottoman official, who ordered the violent Islamization of the inhabitants and the expulsion of the monks from the monastery of Panagia. In 1978 the Hellenic School and the Educational Brotherhood were founded with the assistance of local residents.


In the Macedonian Struggle (1903-1908) is memorable the action of local chiefs such as the Dogiamas brothers, Naoumi, Sionidis, Karaiskakis, but also Greek army officers such as Moraitis, Frangopoulos, Papadopoulos, Kapoulidis and others. The action of the spiritual world of the area was also important, such as the teacher Ioannis Pitsoulas, who was hanged by the Bulgarian army, as well as the doctor Angelos Sakelarios, head of the Hellenic Committee of Goumenissa, who was a personal friend of Ionas Dragoumιs and corresponded with Pavlos Melas.

Ion Dragoumis visited Goumenissa twice.

Goumenissa was liberated on October 23, 1912 in the battle of Giannitsa. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Greek population of the region strengthened with the arrival of refugees from Asia Minor and the Slavic minorities were assimilated over the years. During World War II, Goumenissa was under German occupation from April 1941 to October 1944. In the 1950s, the city’s inhabitants followed the migratory flows to the USA, Canada, Australia, West Germany, and in Thessaloniki and Athens.

In the wider area of ​​Goumenissa, picturesque, historic villages perched in Paiko are waiting for the visitor to discover them. These are the villages: Griva, Kastaneri, Karpi, Filyria, Pentalofo and Stathi.

Central Fountain, Goumenissa
Agios Fanourios, Axioupolis


The inhabitants of the area actively participated in the revolution of 1821 and the Papazafiriou Stamatiadis family from Eidomeni, led the revolutionary struggle. However, the failure of the revolution in Macedonia led to Turkish hostility in the region until 1878, when arms of local chiefs were established. The area was liberated from Turkish occupation on October 22, 1912.During World War I, French troops stationed in Axiopolis helped build a railway line connecting Axiopolis with Skra and the Axios railway bridge, projects that boosted the region’s industrial development. In 1923 the region received hundreds of refugees from Thrace and Central Asia. In World War II, the Germans captured the city of Axiopolis in April 1944, controlling the Axis supply lines, and withdrew on October 31 of the same year.

In the wider area of ​​Axiopolis, the steps lead the visitor to the historical and full of legendary villages: Gorgopi, Eidomeni, Plagia, Ryzia, Skra and Fano.



Until World War II, Megalo Livadi was considered one of the largest Vlach villages in Macedonia. The first inhabitants of the mountain village were Vlachs and came from villages of Pindos.

The patriarchal families of the Vlachs, the “falkaria” as they were called, were transferred to Livadia with almost all their assets, which corresponded to livestock, resulting in the creation of a strong livestock and agricultural settlement (potato cultivation) in Livadia. It is noteworthy that in 1889 the Austrian traveler Weigand noted that in the area there were 400 houses and 2,000 inhabitants. Livadia was the economic center of the surrounding Vlach-speaking villages of Moglena (Archangelos, Koupa, Skra, Karpi, Houma). The 1913 census raised their population to 4,000 inhabitants and ranked the  settlement as the ninth largest in Central Macedonia.


The mountain settlement of Livadia was strongly present in the Macedonian Struggle but also against the German conquerors in 1944.

In 1944, the German occupiers completely destroyed the village, as a result of which their population was scattered in the surrounding plain areas of Kilkis, Pella and Thessaloniki. Today the inhabitants of the village are mainly engaged in agriculture, while Livadia is a famous tourist destination thanks to its special natural beauty and the favorable climatic conditions of the area.

Μεγάλα Λιβάδια
Άλσος Ευρωπού



In September 1924 the Muslim inhabitants of Evropos (then called Asiklar), were replaced, by population exchange, by refugee families from Asia Minor and Pontus.

However, the social ties of the Evropos region with the Muslim inhabitants who exchanged with the Greeks in 1924 and returned to Turkey, remain strong and the region often becomes a pole of attraction for visitors from Turkey.

In the wider area of ​​Europe, the steps lead the visitor to traditional villages of the Greek countryside which are: Agios Petros, Mesia, Polypetro, and Toumpa.


Valuable objects and relics from the unforgettable homelands and from the customs and traditions of the past are exhibited in the Museum of Agricultural and Cultural Heritage of Europe, which was founded in order to preserve the memories of the long tradition.Asia Minor from Fulatzik and Kizdervent, Thracians from Jelepkioi, Tzanto and Albasani in Eastern Thrace, native Macedonians, Pontians and Vlachs helped by donating their family heirlooms to the museum.

The museum is housed in the old Primary School.

The visit to the Museum of Agricultural and Cultural Heritage of Europe is a special experience!

Live it!

Μουσείο Αγροτικής και Πολιτιστικής Κληρονομιάς Ευρωπού


Association of “Anatolikoromyliotes” of Polykastro

More than 1000 objects (textiles, tools, household utensils, local costumes, historical documents, equipment and especially objects of high aesthetics) recount  the visitor of the museum the cultural and folklore course of the Anatolikoromyliotes “Sinapliotes” residents of Polykastro.

The Historical and Folklore Museum of Polykastro is the second organized folklore museum of Kilkis and is considered as one of the important reference points of the wider area of ​​the Municipality of Paionia.

It often welcomes organized groups of visitors and especially students, as part of educational activities.

The art, culture and folklore of Eastern Romulia remain alive.

Ιστορικό και Λαογραφικό Μουσείο Πολυκάστρου


The history, folklore and culture of Amydona, in today’s Axiochori, are presented to the visitor and travel through time. In the “Amydoneio Folklore Museum” which operates under the responsibility of the Cultural Association of Axiochori, the local history comes to life.

Αμυδώνειο Λαογραφικό Μουσείο