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Velestino, Magnisia

Velestino is a small town in the heartland of the sprawling plain of Thessaly, 18 km away from the major city of Volos. Velestino is built on the site of ancient Feres, once a major hub of ancient Thessaly. Velestino is frequently cited by Greek Modern History sources as it is the birthplace of Rigas Feraios (1757-1798), a writer, political thinker, and national martyr who was instrumental in the emergence of the Contemporary Greek Enlightenment. Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Velestino was known as Velestin and was a kaza (district), part of the Sanjak of Tirhalla (Province of present-day Trikala). Together with the rest of Thessaly, Velestino was ceded to Greece by the Treaty of Berlin (1878) and became the theater of one of the most historical battles of the Greco-Turkish War of 1897. Present-day Velestino is a modern town and the hub of considerable farming and livestock-raising activities due to the fertile lands surrounding it.