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Lamia (Municipality, Greece)


Last modified: 2014-11-15 by ivan sache
Keywords: lamia | gorgopotamos |
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Flag of Lamia - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 6 November 2013

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Presentation of Lamia

The municipality of Lamia (75,315 inhabitants in 2011; 94,290 ha) is made since the 2011 local government reform of the merger of the five former municipalities of Gorgopotamos (Γοργοπόταμος, 4,510 inh.), Lamia (64,716 inh.), Leianokladi (Λειανοκλάδι 3,034 inh.), Pavliani (Παύλιανη, 574 inh.), and Ypati (Υπάτη, 6,855 inh.).

The town might have been named after the mythological figure of Lamia, the daughter of Poseidon, and queen of the Trachineans, or maybe after the Malians, the inhabitants of the surrounding area. The site of Lamia has been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), but the town was first mentioned after the earthquake of 424 BC, when it was an important Spartan military base.
In Antiquity, Lamia played an important role due to its strategic location, controlling the narrow coastal plain that connected southern Greece with Thessaly and the rest of the Balkans. The city was fortified in the 5th century BC, and was contested by the Macedonians, Thessalians and Aetolians until the Roman conquest in the early 2nd century BC. After Alexander the Great's death in 323 BC, the Athenians and other Greeks rebelled against Macedonian overlordship. Antipatros, the regent of Macedon, took refuge behind the walls of the city (Lamian War, 323322 BC). The war ended with the death of the Athenian general Leosthenes, and the arrival of a 20,000-strong Macedonian army. Lamia prospered afterwards, especially in the 3rd century BC under Aetolian hegemony, which came to an end when Manius Acilius Glabrio sacked the city in 190 BC.
In the Middle Ages, Lamia was called Zetounion. Following the Fourth Crusade (1204), the city was captured by the Frankish crusaders of the Duchy of Athens, who made it the seat of a barony. In 1218 it was captured by Epirote forces, and was surrendered again to the Franks of Athens in 1275 as a dowry. It was known as Girton under Frankish rule and later El Cito when it was controlled by the Catalan Company of mercenaries.
From 1446, the town was under Ottoman control. In Turkish, it was sometimes called Izdin or İzzeddin. Lamia became part of the newly independent Kingdom of Greece in 1832. Until the annexation of Thessaly in 1881, it was a border city.

Olivier Touzeau, 6 November 2013

Flag of Lamia

The flag (photo, no longer on line) is white with a blue border and an orange disk in each corner. In the center is the emblem of the municipality showing old coins and beneath a red ribbon with the words ΔΗΜΟΣ ΛΑΜΙΕΩΝ.
The new municipality uses the same emblem and flag as the former one.

Olivier Touzeau, 6 November 2013

Former municipality of Gorgopotamos

[Flag of Gorgopotamos]

Former flag of Gorgopotamos - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 20 August 2013

Gorgopotamos is named after the river Gorgopotamos (in Greek, "the rushing river"). During World War II, on November 25, 1942, 150 Greek partisans, assisted by a group of British SOE officers, which included C.M. Woodhouse, blew up the railroad bridge over the Gorgopotamos river as part of "Operation Harling" and cut off the enemy-controlled route between Thessaloniki and Athens. In an act of reprisals, the German occupation forces executed 16 Greek locals. The area around the bridge has been designated a national monument.

The former flag of Gorgopotamos (Kokkonis website) was white with its emblem. The emblem shows the famous bridge of Gorgopotamos, a peace dove, and 11 stars for the 11 communities of the municipality: Gorgopotamos, Damasta (Δαμάστα), Delfino (Δελφίνο), Dyo Vouna (Δύο Βουνά), Eleftherochori (Ελευθεροχώρι), Irakleia (Ηράκλει;), Koumaritsi (Κουμαρίτσι), Moschochori (Μοσχοχώρι), Neo Krikello (Νέον Κρίκελλο), Oiti (Οίτη), and Vardates (Βαρδάτες).

Olivier Touzeau, 20 August 2013