The name Kastorya derives from the Greek for "the place where beavers live." Located on a high headland overlooking Kastoria Lake, the town was conquered by the Ghazi Evrenos Bey at the end of the 14

th century (1385) and remained under Ottoman rule until 1913. It was a central district affiliated with the Selânik province. In 1874 it became a city under the affiliation of the Gorice district in the province of Manastir.


Evliya Çelebi describes the city as follows (V, 1966, pp.396 - 397): "There are twenty districts in this city; sixteen of them Greek and one is a Jewish neighborhood. The houses are similar in style to those found in Istanbul; there are villas that have multiple floors, palaces and waterfront residences. Two thousand one hundred houses can be counted, if you include those of the poor, and all of the houses have a view of the lake. This city and the castle are located on the rocky west side of the lake. The narrow, neat cobble stone streets are lined with about 100 shops, most selling dried fish and groceries.

The almond shaped lake is twenty-four mile longs and just under fifty fathom deeps. The entire city uses the lake to do their laundry without ever using soap. The lake is home to many kinds of fish which are very unique, the most popular being the rainbow trout."


During the population exchange between Turkey and Greece, Turkish refugees from Kesriye were relocated to Malatya in Anatolia according to the Executive Decree of 17 July, 1923 (İpek, 2000, p.42). In 1924, the refugees from Kesriye also settled in Giresun (İpek, 2000, p.74).

The only remaining Ottoman artifacts in the city today are two mosques, one of which has become a church, one madrasah, a mansion that has a Turkish bath in its garden, a few houses and the remains of the city walls.


Kastoria Topography around the Government Office:



1-Kurşunlu Mosque,


3-Şahin Bey Mansions,

4-Aram Bey Mansion,


6-Police Station,

7-Ahmed Pasha Madrasah,

8-Ottoman Bank,

9-Post Office-Telegraph Office

10-Government Office,

(Tsolakis, 2008, p.186)


The sub-district of Horpiste, located 2 hours west of Kesriye in the District of Gorice became affiliated with Kesriye in 1874. It is located on the Bilice tributary of the İnce Karasu River (Tuğlacı, 1985, p.399).

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