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Lamia

Lamia, hailed as the Noble Lady of Roumeli, is the capital of the Regional Unit of Phthiotis, Region of Central Greece. Mythological accounts are unclear as to the origin of the city’s name. One account says that it was built by Lamos, son of Hercules and Omphale, Queen of Lydia who was the one to purchase Hercules from Hermes after Hercules had been sold as a slave per Zeus’ command. Another account maintains that it was built by mythological Lamia, daughter of Poseidon and Queen of the Trachineans. Whatever the legendary case may have been, the founders of the city chose its location very carefully: Situated as it is at the foothills of Mount Othrys, near Sperchios River, Lamia acquired great strategic significance. Archaeological studies have revealed that the area has been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age (2800-1100 BC). Due to its strategic position, Lamia’s past is an illustrious one. Silent witnesses to that past are Lamia’s ancient monuments, churches, and historical locations which unravel the city’s history before the eyes of visitors to the area’s lovely sights.

Lamia’s Medieval Castle is the most famous one. Built on a rocky hill, it towers over the city and affords a panoramic view of the enchanting Valley of Sperchios River, the peaks of Mounts Oiti, Kallidromo, legendary Othrys, Parnassos, Ghiona, and of the Malian Gulf. Lamia’s historical Bridge of Alamana retains unaltered the collective memory from the battle fought there and the tragic defeat of Athanassios Diakos and his men by the Ottoman troops in 1822. A visit to the nearby site of historical Thermopylae is “must” as it is the location of the Battle of Thermopylae known the world over. In 482 BC, at the narrow coastal passage that existed there in antiquity, 300 Spartans under King Leonidas of Sparta clashed and held off King Xerxes’ considerable Persian forces until betrayed by Ephialtes. The last historical stop is Anthele, an early centre of the Delphinian Amphictiony and the place of origin of the Greeks’ civil history. The breathtaking sights around Lamia, its cultural heritage, and the warm hospitality lavished by Lamia residents on the area’s visitors have made the city a pole of well-deserved tourism attraction.