Farsala, known in antiquity as Farsalos, is a semi-mountainous
town in the Regional Unit of Larissa and is located at the southern
end of the prefecture, at the edge of the Thessalian plain and at
the northern end of Mount Narthaki, 45 km south of
Larissa. It was,
according to Euripides, the homeland of the Heroic Achilles. Built
on the natural road that connects Thessaly with southern Greece, the
city has often been a passage of forces either to the south or
north, but also a field of historical conflicts, the most important
of which is the one that took place in 48 BC. between Julius Caesar
and Pompey, with the former the victor in the Roman Civil War.
It is the administrative, financial and agricultural center of the homonymous province. The inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, mainly in the cultivation of cotton, animal husbandry, while many are also employed in the local processing units of agricultural products, such as for example in the textile industry. A well-known product throughout Greece and abroad is the local halva, Farsalon (soap) that we often find in the festivals that are organized. Also known are their legumes and specifically the famous lentils of Farsala, whose cultivation reached this semi-mountainous region by Greek refugees from Caesarea in Asia Minor. The careful selection of sloping dry fields, extending in the areas of Hara, Chalkiades as well as Narthakio and Polydameio by the local growers, in combination with the ideal microclimate of the semi-mountainous area, the potassium-rich soils and the quality, dynamic Greek varieties of lentils, ensure characterized by its special taste and "full" taste.
The permanent population of the Municipal Unit of Farsala (formerly Kapodistrian Municipality of Farsala), according to the 2011 Census, amounts to 9,982 inhabitants, while the city of Farsala to 9,298 inhabitants. In 2001 it amounted to 10,812 inhabitants for the then Municipality, while for the city of Farsala to 9,801 inhabitants. In the 1991 and 1981 censuses, the population of the city of Farsala was 8,413 and 7,094, respectively.
The city is built at the foot of a relatively low mountain, Mount Narthaki, which has an altitude of 1,011 meters, while the city itself has an altitude of 160 meters. Archaeological finds testify to the continuous habitation of the site since the Neolithic era. Even today the Cyclopean walls that protected the city are visible. There is also a vaulted tomb of this period.
In historical times, the city is known as Farsalos. During the Persian Wars he allied with the Athenians. The mansion of the city was the family of the Echekratids. At the beginning of the 4th BC. century the city was a member of the Thessalian Common. It was later incorporated into the kingdom of Macedonia, during the reign of Philip II. The wider area became a theater of conflicts both between Aetolians and Thessalians against the Macedonians, and during the Second and Third Macedonian Wars. After the overthrow of the Macedonian kingdom by the Roman Republic, Farsalos came under Roman rule. The wider area was devastated during the Roman Civil War, either by passing troops or by Thracians and other mercenaries serving in the civilian armies. In 48 BC. in the plain of Farsala, Julius Caesar defeated Pompey in the battle of the same name, the Battle of Farsala.
Strabo, historian and geographer, mentions two cities, Palaifarsalos and Farsalos, in the historical years. His statement that Thetideion, the temple south of Skotoussi, was "close to the two Farsalos, the old and the new", may mean that the two cities were not adjacent. Although the battle of 48 BC. is called the Battle of Farsala, four ancient writers - the scribe Bellum Alexandrinum (48.1), Frontinus (Strategemata 2.3.22), Eutropius (20), and Orosius (6.15.27) - place the battle categorically close to Palaifarsalos . In 198 BC. Philip V had plundered Palaifarsalos (Livy 32.13.9). If the new city had been found next to the old one, Philip would have looted both cities, and Livy would have written "Farsalo" instead of "Palaifarsalo". The English historian FL Lucas has proved (Annual of the British School at Athens, XXIV, 1919-21) that the Battle of Farsala took place north of the river Enipeos, near the present village of Krini (formerly Driskoli), and the American Archaeologist John D. Morgan ("Palae-pharsalus - the Battle and the Town", The American Journal of Archeology, Vol. 87, 1, Jan. 1983), argues that the Fountain was built on the site of Palaifarsalos, where the ancient road from Larissa came out of the hills on the north side of the Farsala plain
The ancient currency of Farsala
Farsala had minted a coin, and some ancient coins have survived.
The silver Aeginite half drachma of Farsala of the 5th c. e.g. depicts the right profile of the bust of Athena. He wears earrings and a necklace, while the head is decorated with an Attic helmet with a plume and snakes. The rear side bears the inscription Φ ΑR at the right end and from top to bottom and depicts the horse's head from the right. The coin has a diameter of 15 mm and weighs 3.38 grams.
Farsala, which during the Turkish occupation was called Chataltza, was liberated by the Ottoman Empire in 1881, when Thessaly was united to the Greek Kingdom. Then they experienced a new flowering period. During the Greek-Turkish war of 1897, a fierce battle was fought in the area of Farsala, on April 24, with the Ottoman forces.
World war II
During World War II, Farsala suffered significant damage. In 1941 they were bombed by the Germans, while in March 1943 the city was set on fire by the Italians and several residents were executed in retaliation for guerrilla attacks. In the civil war that followed the Occupation, the city was attacked by guerrillas, as evidenced by the numerous gunfire around the city.
The modern city is unfortunately colorless due to the devastation
during World War II and the earthquakes that followed in the 1950s.
Also, during the period 1985 - 2000 many old buildings were
demolished and in their place were built apartment buildings of
dubious aesthetics with the compensation system. Its road
construction is a mixture of the old city of the Turkish occupation
and the "experimentation" of various municipal actors who tried
rather unfortunate to improve the situation. The audacity of the
municipal actors in the opening of streets is noticeable. In recent
years, an attempt has been made to beautify the city center with the
construction of sidewalks and stairs to the aesthetic grove of
Profitis Ilias that dominates the south of the city. The city has a
traffic problem due to the lack of a central parking space due to
objective and subjective weaknesses.
What was not destroyed by the occupiers was destroyed by the earthquake of 1954, which caused great damage to the city buildings. The result of the earthquake was that there were no old buildings and most of the buildings in the city are new and of poor aesthetics.