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Title: Kilkis  
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Subject: Greek National Road 65, Battle of Kilkis–Lahanas, Central Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Sakis Boulas
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Kilkis is located in Greece
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Central Macedonia
Regional unit: Kilkis
Population statistics (as of 2011)[1]
 - Population: 51,926
 - Area: 1,581.2 km2 (611 sq mi)
 - Density: 33 /km2 (85 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 28,745
 - Area: 306.6 km2 (118 sq mi)
 - Density: 94 /km2 (243 /sq mi)
 - Population: 24,274
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (center): 280 m (919 ft)
Postal code: 611 00
Telephone: 23410
Auto: NI, ΚΙ*

Kilkis (Greek: Κιλκίς) is an industrial city in Central Macedonia, Greece. As of 2011 there were 22,914 people living in the city proper, 28,745 people living in the municipal unit, and 51,926 in the municipality of Kilkis. It is also the capital city of the regional unit of Kilkis.


Kilkis is located in a region that was multi-ethnic in the recent past and is known by several different names. The name of the city in early Byzantine times was Kallikon, and was also known as Kalkis or Kilkis by the Greeks. In church Codix of 1732 it is mentioned as Kilkisi (Κηλκήση).[2] In the South Slavic languages it is known as Kukush (Кукуш, Kukuš),[3] while it was called Kilkitsi or Kılkış by the Ottoman Turks.



The municipality Kilkis was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 7 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[4]


The municipal unit Kilkis consists of the following communities (settlements):


The province of Kilkis (Greek: Επαρχία Κιλκίς) was one of the provinces of the Kilkis Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality Kilkis, and the municipal unit Polykastro.[5] It was abolished in 2006.


Ancient age

Findings dating back to as early as the Bronze and Iron Age have been excavated in the vicinity of Kilkis, including ancient tombs of the 2nd millennium BC. In Metalliko nowadays), Ioron (Palatiano nowadays), Chaetae (Tsaousitsa nowadays), Carabia (Limnotopos nowadays), Bairos (Kastro nowadays), Morrylos (Ano Apostoli nowadays), Doveros (Doirani nowadays), Evropos and Kallindria.

Roman and Byzantine era

In 148 BC, the Romans took over the area. In late antiquity the area of Kilkis saw invasions of different tribes, such as the Goths, the Huns, the Avars and the Slavs, some of whom gradually settled in the Balkan Peninsula.

In the Middle Ages, Kilkis changed hands several times between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. In the 10th century, it was sacked by the Bulgarians, and some of the inhabitants moved to Calabria, in southern Italy, where they founded the village of Gallicianò. During the reign of the Palaeologus dynasty, the region saw the completion of a number of important infrastructure works.

Ottoman rule

The period of prosperity ended in 1430, when Thessalonica and the entire region of Macedonia came under Ottoman rule. After 1850, there was one Greek church, "Panagia tou Kilkis", (Madonna of Kilkis), at the foot of Saint George hill and one Greek school.

By the mid-19th century Kilkis was a primarily Bulgarian-populated town.[7][8] According to one estimate, there were about 500 Greeks, 500 Turks and 4500 Bulgarians in the town [9] at the time. An 1873 Ottoman study concluded that the population of Kilkis consisted of 1,170 households of which there were 5,235 Bulgarian inhabitants, 155 Muslims and 40 Romani people.[10] A Vasil Kanchov study of 1900 counted 7,000 Bulgarian and 750 Turkish inhabitants in the town.[11] Another survey in 1905 established the presence of 9,712 Exarchists, 40 Patriarchists, 592 Uniate Christians and 16 Protestants.[12]

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Kilkis was part of the Salonica Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1904-1908, the Greek inhabitants of Kilkis participated in the [13] Great support to the Greek efforts was given by the Chatziapostolou family. The Chatziapostolou family owned a great farm in Metalliko, the field crop of which was almost completely given to fund the Greek efforts. The farm also served a shelter for the Macedonian fighters.[14]

First and Second Balkan Wars

Kilkis before the Second Balkan War.
Lithography of the Battle of Kilkis (Second Balkan War), 1913.

During the Ottoman Empire and Yugoslavia, especially from Strumica; they built the Church of the Pentekaídeka Martýrōn ("15 Martyrs", named after the main Patriarchal church in Strumica). The resettled Greeks were so many that Kilkis was temporarily renamed Néa Stromnítsa (New Strumica).[16]

In the mid-1920s, after the Kars region back to Turkey as part of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. By 1928, 1,679 Refugee families containing 6,433 individuals had been resettled in Kilkis.[17] Barely two decades later, World War II broke out and the region was devastated once again.

World War II

During the occupation of Greece by the Axis Powers in World War II, Kilkis was included in the Bulgarian zone of occupation, which was expanded to include the prefectures of Kilkis and Chalkidiki, after the Nazis allowed so. The most significant event during the occupation were clashes between the communist-led EAM and collaborationist Security Battalions.


External links

  • Kilkis Tourist Guide
  • - Online news for Kilkis


  1. ^ "Detailed census results 2011" (xls 2,7 MB). National Statistical Service of Greece.  (Greek)
  2. ^ Doumpia, Historical documents
  3. ^ [Article in Greek: Georgios Echedoros, Published in newspaper "Machitis tou Kilkis / Μαχητής του Κιλκίς", (Kilkis Fighter), Kilkis 8 January 1996]
  4. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  5. ^ Detailed census results 1991 PDF (39 MB) (Greek) (French)
  6. ^ ["N.G.L. Hammond, A History of Macedonia I" (1972)]
  7. ^ A report from Koukoush, Journal Bulgarski knizhitsi, Constantinople, No. 10 May 1858, p. 19, A letter from a Russian official to Alexei N. Bekhmetev, Moscow, about the education of young Bulgarians at Moscow University, 22 August 1858, A petition from the Bulgarians in Koukoush to Pope Pius IX, 12 July 1859, British Diplomatic Documents concerning Bulgarian National Question, 1878-1893, Sofia 1993 (bilingual edition), p. 286
  8. ^ Vacalopoulos, Apostolos. Modern history of Macedonia (1830-1912), Thessaloniki 1988, p. 61-62
  9. ^ In Greek "Macedonia: 4.000 years of Greek Civilization" Sakellariou, 1990
  10. ^ „Македония и Одринско. Статистика на населението от 1873 г." Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofiya, 1995, pages.160-161.
  11. ^ Vasil Kanchov. „Macedonia. Ethnography and Statistics". Sofia, 1900, pages.164.
  12. ^ Brancoff, D.M. "La Macédoine et sa Population Chrétienne". Paris, 1905, р.98-99.
  13. ^ [in Greek: "Obscure Native Macedonian Fighters" published by Company of Macedonian Studies, 2008]
  14. ^ [In Greek: "Christos Intos: Centres of Organization, Action and Resistance of the Greeks of Kilkis Prefecture during the Macedonian Struggle" Proceedings of Conclave "100 Years after Pavlos Melas' Death", Company of Macedonian Studies, Thessaloniki 2004]
  15. ^ Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, published by the Endowment Washington, D.C. 1914, p. 97-99
  16. ^ [in Greek: "Trapped...the Greeks of Skopje", Dimitrios Alexandrou, Erodios, Thessaloniki 2008]
  17. ^ Κατάλογος των προσφυγικών συνοικισμών της Μακεδονίας σύμφωνα με τα στοιχεία της Επιτροπής Αποκαταστάσεως Προσφύγων (ΕΑΠ) έτος 1928
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