13:30 Departure to the Byzantine Monastery of Prodromos, built in 1270 and located 12km northeast of Serres to admire the nowadays life of about forty nuns living in this important and extremely beautiful pilgrimage in a green valley.
Returning to Serres, visit the Tower of Orestes with its magnificent panoramic view of the city.
Following, a walking tour in the city center to sense the ambience of the ottoman era, , the beautiful monuments of Bezesteni, the Archaeological Museum and the Tzitzirli mosque.
18:00 Tour ends at the hotels
A highlight to the Ottoman era, the beauties of Serres and the 12th AD Prodromos Monastery
The Monastery of St. John the Baptist, an astonishing monument of the Byzantine art, was built in 1270 and its long history testifies the culture, tradition and the rich spiruality of Byzantium. Saint Ioannikios from Serres, a Mount Athos’s monk, hermit and later bishop, was the founder of the monastery.. From 1457 to 1462 the monastery became the residence of the first Patriarch, after the fall of Constantinople, Gennadios Scholarios, who lived there until his death. The main temple is made of stone and there are many Byzantine frescoes. The temple is carved and dating from 1804. In 1917 the monastery was plundered and many large number of manuscripts and relics disappeared. In December 13, 2010, the monastery was hit by a fire. Today, the Monastry of Prodromos with more than forty nuns is considered one of the most beautiful monasteries all over Greece and one of the major centers of Orthodox monasticism in the Balkans.
The Tower of Orestes
The 18m high Tower stands imposingly on the top of the city and it is considered one of the best preserved and most famous part of the Byzantine fortifications of Serres. It dates back to the 7th and 6th BC.built as an fortification defending the ancient city.
The mosque belongs to the architectural building concept of the Sinan school (end 16th century, Istanbul). Sinan was a great architect of the classical period of Ottoman architecture. It is said that the mosque took its name from the gold coins that were required to be paid the extremely expensive works. The coins were called “Tzitzirli”.
It is a unique in historical and cultural value building of the 15th century. It was the textile market of Serres which was a very important institution for Ottoman cities. The word bezesteni comes from the Arabic word bez which means cloth-beige fabric, and at the same time was used for selling embroidery and expensive items. This one storey parallelogram building dimensions is 21x31m. with tiled roof and six domes. As of 1938 it is declared a protected monument which today houses the archaeological museum established in 1970. Museum exhibits are from the prehistoric, ancient, classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, but the most attractive is a marble image of Jesus Christ from the Old Cathedral of Serres and a mosaic of the 12th century depicting Apostle Andrew.
Government House of Serres
During the years 1898-1905 the famous architect Xenophon Peonidis built the Government House to serve the needs of the Ottoman government. Its size symbolizes the power of the state during those years. Its design has the shape of the letter E and today it houses the Regional Unit of Serres.