The city appears under the word name Ekaterini or Agia Ekaterini in the language of the bureaucracy and until the beginning of the 20th century. Katerini was probably founded during the Ottoman suzerainty.
History of Katerini
The popular name Katerini, instead of the scholarly name Aikaterini, was retained. At that time it had 4-5 thousand inhabitants, most of whom were Greeks. Another version is that Katerini owes its name to a small chapel of St. Catherine, where there is a cemetery whose icons date back to 1831.
During the period of Turkish rule, the region of Pieria was a special Administrative Region with Katerini as its centre. Katerini originally belonged to the bishopric of Platamonas, until 1878, when Thessaly was annexed to Greece. Later it was added to the diocese of Petra of Olympus and when it was dissolved it was transferred to Kitros. The diocese became a Metropolis in 1924 and is formally referred to by name, as the Metropolis of Kitros, although around the end of the 19th century its seat was moved to Katerini, which was the central settlement.
Pieria, as well as the city of Katerini, was liberated from the Turkish yoke during the First Balkan War (1912-1913) by the 7th Infantry Division. The city of Katerini was the capital of the province of the prefecture of Thessaloniki until 1949. It then became the capital of the newly created prefecture of Pieria. From 1950, when Katerini became a Prefectural and Regional Centre, its urban development and the rapid expansion of the settlement began.
After the liberation in 1912, Katerini became a municipality until 28 June 1918. In 1920-1930 Katerini became a community. The first Municipal Council took place on 4 September 1929. In 1931 the Municipal Market of Katerini was erected. In this decade, with the arrival of refugees, the population of the city doubled. Many residents come from Thrace, and in particular from Artesco.
In 1961, the urban complex of Katerini was the fourth urban center in Macedonia. This population growth, which was naturally followed by a corresponding evolution of the city’s form, was largely due to the development of tobacco cultivation and the increase in the production of tobacco of the Katerini variety, which, after the Second World War, was in demand on the international market for a considerable period of time.
It is also characteristic that the contribution of tobacco to the relatively high income of the region of Katerini, and the prefecture of Pieria in general, is greater than in any other region of Greece. Katerini’s urban side, with cafes and bars full of people from all over, invites you to stop for a nightcap. And at the same time, the municipal park takes you into the natural world. Katerini strikes a happy balance between the city and countryside.
The beach of Katerini, the closest to the homonymous city, with its incredible sandy beach and the shallow blue sea, is ideal for water sports such as sailing, diving, paragliding, windsurfing, cycling and more. Close to Katerini you can find one of the most beautiful beaches of Pieria, with crystal clear waters, organized beach and easily accessible, overlooking the imposing castle of Platamonas. There, besides water sports, you can also take a paragliding from Palaios Panteleimonas and stop at the beach.
In Korinos beach, there is a tourist resort with luxurious hotels, rooms to let, organized camping facilities, restaurants and taverns. mountain with impeccable infrastructure, actively participating in all day fun. Nearby is the beach of Skotina with its golden sands and many ancient trees, hosts an endless array of famous camping sites.
What to see
Close to Katerini there is a small town called Pydna near the Ancient city of Pydna, who was a part of the Macedonia Empire under Alexander the Great and remained under it till the Romans came in. In 168 BC in the big battle of Romans against Macedonians, in an age where the Macedonian empire had declined, Roman general Lucius Emilius Paullus defeated King Perseus. This was the last battle against the Romans which led to the disintegration of Macedonia and all Greece the following years.
With the Later excavations the archeologists discovered hundreds of temples, iron and silver weapons, jewelers, vessels and coins. Close to the town the visitor can also explore the Lagoon of Aliki. About 200 species of different birds live in the Aliki salt marsh, among them many rare ones of particular national and international interest. There they find abundant and uniform food, although one would expect that no life form could survive in the dense salt water. The salt marsh is interesting at all times of the year, especially for photographers. In the summer they can combine the photo shoot with a swim in the almost hot salt water.
If not curing their arthritis, at least they will have interesting conversations with the other bathers and learn a lot about the way of life in the area. The dense salt water makes the surface of the salt flat completely undisturbed like glass, and the salt mercilessly erodes the artificial and natural environment, imposing a “deathly” stillness and stillness everywhere. In spring and summer warm colors dominate, while in winter and autumn the images are particularly atmospheric and dramatic.