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Houses of Eratyra

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View of Eratyra
View of Eratyra from the east.

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View of Eratyra

Built in an advantageous position at the foot of Mount Siniatsiko, Eratyra lies on the road between Siatista and Kozani. The town was founded in the 16th century by people from the plains of western Macedonia seeking a safer home in the mountains. Also known as Selitsa, the town was populated solely by Greeks and enjoyed relative autonomy and certain privileges.

From 1804 to 1820 it was one of Ali Pasha's chiftliks, whereupon it was declared a royal estate, but later (1846) obtained its independence within the context of the Tanzimat reforms. Its prosperity made it prey to the raids of Turkish Albanian irregulars from the 17th to the 19th century.

The residents of Selitsa worked at farming, stock breeding, craft industries (especially tanning), vine cultivation and trade with Constantinople, the northern Balkans and central Europe. Many of them, organized into guilds of builders, worked all over the Ottoman Empire.

In later years, the business activity and emigration (both seasonal and permanent) of its inhabitants contributed to the cultural development of the town, which boasted a school as early as the 17th century. The commercialization of the economy beginning in the 18th century created a new class of urban merchants who erected mansions up until the early 20th century in order to display their wealth.

See Also
History - The period from 1430 to 1821
Civilization - Art in Modern period
Letters in the Modern period
Travelling - Modern Macedonia
In Focus - Thessaloniki from the 18th to the 20th century
The Macedonian Struggle

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.