Built on a lush plateau, the border town of Florina is split in two by the picturesque Sakoulevas river. It has been inhabited continuously since prehistoric times, as archaeological finds show, though its present name is perhaps related to the Byzantine settlement, Chloro.
Convoy in Florina
Early 20th century photograph
Throughout the Ottoman occupation a large number of Muslims lived in the town, but by the early 18th century the Greek element had begun to increase and develop, thanks to trade and crafts, principally that of the silversmith.
The linking of Florina by rail with Thessaloniki and Monastir in 1894 gave a new boost to the town's economy; Florina evolved into an urban center with an active cultural and educational life, helped by the remittances of prosperous emigrants.
From 1878 the activity of its guerrilla bands was on the increase, while its strategic location made it a key center in the Macedonian Struggle and a base for Greek operations in the Balkan Wars (1912-1913).
A major factor in the development of the contemporary town was the settlement of many residents from Monastir (now Bitola) after 1912, who made a great contribution to the intellectual and cultural renewal of the district.