Velestino (Greek: Βελεστίνο, Aromanian: Velescir ) is an Aromanian (Vlach) town in the Magnesia regional unit, Thessaly, Greece. It is the seat of the municipality Rigas Feraios.


Velescir, Βελεστίνο
Velestino is located in Greece
Coordinates: 39°22.9′N 22°44.7′E / 39.3817°N 22.7450°E / 39.3817; 22.7450Coordinates: 39°22.9′N 22°44.7′E / 39.3817°N 22.7450°E / 39.3817; 22.7450
Administrative regionThessaly
Regional unitMagnesia
MunicipalityRigas Feraios
Municipal unitFeres
120 m (390 ft)
 • Population3,403 (2011)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
37 500
Area code(s)24250


It is situated at 120 metres (390 ft) elevation[2] on a hillside, at the southeastern end of the Thessalian Plain. It is 17 km (11 mi) west of Volos and 40 km southeast of Larissa. Velestino has a train station on the local line from Larissa to Volos.[3] The Motorway 1 (Athens - Larissa - Thessaloniki) passes east of the town. The Greek writer and revolutionary Rigas Feraios was born in Velestino in 1757.[4]


Velestino is built on the site of ancient Pherae.[5] The ancient settlement is still attested in early Byzantine times, but was apparently abandoned following the Slavic invasions of the 7th century.[6]

The current settlement appears with its current name—probably of Slavic origin[7]—for the first time in 1208, in a letter by Pope Innocent III mentioning its Frankish ruler, Berthold of Katzenelnbogen.[6] In c. 1213 it was part of the jurisdiction of the Latin bishop of Gardiki, Bartholomew (Cardicensis episcopus et Valestinensis).[6] At about the same time, it became a Greek Orthodox episcopal see as well, being attested thereafter in episcopal lists and acts of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[6] In 1259 an imperial estate (kouratoria) is attested in the area, as part of the province (thema) of Halmyros; by the 1280s, Velestino itself is listed as a separate thema.[6] Very few traces remain of the medieval town today.[6]

Under the Ottoman Empire, Velestino was called Velestin and was the seat of a kaza within the Sanjak of Tirhala.[citation needed]

With the rest of Thessaly, Velestino was ceded to Greece in 1881 by the Convention of Constantinople.

The Battle of Velestino was fought here during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897.


  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
  2. ^ GTP - Velestino
  3. ^ "TrainOSE - 2012 schedules" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  4. ^ Keridis, Dimitris (2009). Historical Dictionary of Modern Greece. Scarecrow Press. p. 67. ISBN 9780810859982.
  5. ^ Smith, William (1854). "Pherae (Φέραι) (1)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: Walton and Maber.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Koder, Johannes; Hild, Friedrich (1976). Tabula Imperii Byzantini, Band 1: Hellas und Thessalia (in German). Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. p. 133. ISBN 978-3-7001-0182-6.
  7. ^ Vasmer, Max (1941). Die Slaven in Griechenland (in German). Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften. p. 108.