In the lower parts of the mountains - towards the side of the Thessalian plain - but also between them, the various branches of the Pinios river pass. Pinios has always been the basis of all the elements related to history, culture, economy and the evolution of human life in Thessaly. This is also the reason why the earliest remains of human presence here have always been found near the banks of this river.
The history of the presence of man in the Kalambakas - Pyli region, with the data so far, begins during the Middle Paleolithic era, the outermost limits of which are placed approximately 100,000 years from today. Remains of this era have been found in recent years in the cave of Theopetra.
In fact, the findings of this cave are so far the oldest excavated remains of the human presence in the whole of Thessaly, whose history was believed to begin in the Neolithic era, i.e. 6,500 years BC. about. Dates that have been made so far on carbon from this cave exceed 40,000 years, while it is not unlikely that in the future they will approach 100,000 years. The cave continued to be inhabited until about 3,000 BC, when open-air settlements, usually known as "magoules", had already developed on the plain of Thessaly.
From 14,000 BC approximately, we also have a human skeletal remains, probably a burial, in this cave, the oldest so far in Thessaly. It belongs to today's human type, but with archaic features.
Another skeleton, this time of a young woman, comes from the transitional stage between the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras in Thessaly, the Mesolithic. She was found in a normal burial and the possible cause of her death is considered, according to scholars, to be anemia. The knowledge accumulated over thousands of years by these Paleolithic people - culminating in the achievement of baking the clay that provided them with watertight containers for preserving and preparing food - led to the creation of the Neolithic civilization, which experienced great growth in the Thessalian area.
Towards the end of the Neolithic era (after 4,000 BC), there was a shift of the center of development of the Neolithic world towards the sea (eastern Thessaly), which they began to exploit. This is the reason that from the Bronze Age period that follows, we have few findings from the cave of Theopetra. The heyday of the Mycenaean world at the end of the Bronze Age was centered on the eastern coast of Thessaly (Iolkos-Pefkakia), while around a hundred smaller centers developed throughout Thessaly at this time. On the contrary, the northwestern region of the Thessalian plain presents few sites with Mycenaean findings.
Layers from the Mycenaean era were however found in the excavations of Asklepiion (inside the city of Trikala), while tombs of this era were excavated in Exalofos and Agrelia and slightly later ones (proto-geometric) in Phiki and Prinos. One of the leaves that entered, the Thessalians of Thesprotia, dominated Aeolida (later Thessaliotida, present-day Karditsa) before the middle of the 12th BC. h. and finally he gave this country, as well as the rest of Thessaly, its name.
The mound of Exalofos is the first evidence of the entry of continental sheets into Thessaly before the end of the Mycenaean period.
The final prevalence of these plagues sealed the natural end of the Mycenaean civilization of Thessaly. However, Homer's mention of Trikki, Oichalia and Ithomi (near the borders with the Prefecture of Karditsa) in the Iliad, testifies that their presence was known and their power could be calculated. And if Trikki possessed a strong power then, it is certain that the area of ​​Pialeia and the drug mills of Asclepius, Pyli and Kalambaka, would be included in the territories of this power, which were famous for their horses.
The transition to classical times was smooth. Thessaly, remote from the big urban centers, always maintained a local character in its culture, but contributing decisively with its power in wars never in favor of the Athenians, never in favor of the Spartans and never on the side of the Macedonians - later.
From ancient times, Thessaly appears divided into four parts (tetrarchy) which were the following: Pelasgiotis, Fthiotis, Thessaliotis and Estiaiotis or Istaiotis. The latter included the current prefecture of Trikala and had Trikki as its capital and the cities of Pialia, Oichalia, Aeginio, Faloria, Gomfi, Ithome, Metropolis, Oxynia, Pelinnaion, Farkadona, Phaistos (near today's Zarkos), Atragas, which were also the more important and presented a remarkable culture, known from the archaeological finds brought to light by the excavations of archaeologists from time to time. Formerly it is said to have been called Doris and inhabited by Dorians. The name Estiaiotis / Istaiotis is said to be due to the inhabitants of Isteaia in Evia, who immigrated there when the Perraivos occupied their homeland.
Around 360 BC the Common of Thessaly was founded, which includes all the cities of Thessaly, except for Phera which was an independent state. A little later, the Thessalians, through the noble Alevadas of Trikala, asked for the help of the Macedonians to relieve the pressures of the tyrants of the Pherae. In the year 353 BC, Philip, head of all the military forces of the Common of Thessaly, faced the Phocians who had come to reinforce their Ferraian allies and defeated them. Immediately afterwards he captured all the Thessalian cities that had allied with the Phocians, including Trikki.
Macedonian rule over the Thessalian cities became extremely oppressive over time, but their repeated outrages were drowned in blood. The absolute hegemony of the Macedonians in Thessaly lasted until 197 BC, when the victory of the Romans at the "Kynos Kefales" in Pelasgiotida created a new situation and the Thessalians are henceforth at the disposal of the Roman generals and vassals.
A new Common of Thessaly was founded by the general Flamininus, with the main organ being the "Synedrio", made up of representatives of the various Thessalian cities. In 168 BC the Romans captured Trikki.
Under Roman rule, Thessaly lived days of great power and prosperity, mainly during the 2nd BC. h. During the imperial period, when the civil wars of the Romans began, it declines little by little and during the times of the emperor Trajan (98 - 117 AD). The capital Trikala gives the image of a provincial Roman city, while things are much worse for the smaller cities of Thessaly.
Thus weakened were the Thessalian cities at the beginning of the Byzantine era, which succeeded the Roman rule in the eastern part of the empire.
During the early Byzantine period, it was an administrative part of Eastern Illyria (4th - 6th century) and then of the Theme of Greece. It is the era of the spread of Christianity, which quickly took root in the area of ​​the prefecture of Trikala, as evidenced by the existence of the diocese of Trikki as early as the 4th century.
From the moment the new religion becomes the unofficial religion of the empire, the construction of Christian churches begins, whose presence is witnessed in the area by both the famous early Christian pulpit that can be seen reconstructed in the Church of the Assumption in Kalambaka, as well as the ruins of the early Christian temple found on the hill of Prophet Ilias in Trikala. These are among the first monuments that testify to the transition from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages in the region.
The invasions of tribes from the north are successive: Goths in 396, Huns in 447, Slavs in 527 and later, Saracens in 976, Bulgarians in 1025 and Normans in 1081 AD. In the meantime, since the 10th century, the lowland area of ​​today's prefecture of Trikala has been administratively included in the subject of Thessaloniki, while the mountainous area of ​​Pindos in the subject of Nikopolis. In the same period, the name of the Vlachs, Latin speakers of mountainous Thessaly and especially of Pindos, appeared, with a dominant presence in the history of the region since then, to the point that a part of it was called Megali Vlachia as early as the 12th century.
Also from the 10th century - until today - the Stagion Metropolis has existed, based in the homonymous city, today's Kalambaka (Aeginio of antiquity). In fact, the historian Ioannis Vogiatzakis claims that there were two ponds, Asty, in today's Kastraki and Emporion in today's Kalambaka. However, for the first time the name Stagoi is found in the Formulation of Leo VI the Wise (9th - 10th century). The name Stagoi, according to the traveler Pouqueville, is a corruption of the phrase <to the Saints> (probably the rocks are meant, because of the existing monasteries) - to the Saints - Stagoi. Ioannis Vogiatzidis argues that the word comes from the word sitagos-stagos (threshing floor) while the archaeologist-historian I. Giannopoulos attributes it to the Slavic word staja (chamber, rock hollow).
The name Kalambaka began to be used from the time of Sultan Bayazid II, after the Turkish conquest of Thessaly (1393 - 1394) and according to some it comes from the word Kalebak (beautiful fortress) and according to others from the name of probably someone with a surname lord.
During the reign of Manuel Komnenos, the city of Stagion and its region came under the Theme of the Serbs, which from the 12th century is a separate issue. When in 1204, the Franks occupy Constantinople and slowly expand throughout Greece, N. Trikalon comes under the rule of the Greek Despotate of Epirus of Michael Angelos Komnenos Doukas, who granted it to his illegitimate son, Sebastokrator Ioannis Angelus Comnenus Duke the ruler of Thessaly, then called Great Vlachia. Ioannis Angelos is mentioned in a chronicle of 1788, which is listed in code 793 of I.M. St. Panteleimon Ag. Terms, as the founder of I.M. Megalon Pylon, to the North of the Gate.
The Pyli (old gate) are built between Itamos and Kotziakas, at the base that joins Epirus with Thessaly and is separated by the Portaikos river from the new settlement of Porta Panagia, where the Byzantine city <Megalai Pylai> or Great Gate was located. The name Pyli testifies to how important the location was, as an entrance to Epirus.
The Catalans upset and savagely plundered the Province of Trikala in 1309 - 1311, a time when the administration of the region was held by the Byzantine nobles, Stephas and Michael Gavriilopoulos, with titles such as ruler of Western Thessaly, Sebastokraror and Despot of Northern Thessaly, but typically the area falls under the Despotate of Epirus. The brutal taxation and the harsh conditions imposed on the people by the Gavriolopoulos led to their removal and in 1333 Western Thessaly again came under the Byzantine Empire under Andronikos III Palaiologos.
However, this peaceful period for the region will be very short, because already after 1318, the area of ​​Trikala was attacked by several raiders, mainly the Albanians, while the many civil conflicts in the interior had to pave the way for the occupation of Thessaly by the Serbs with Sefano Dusan as ruler. He appoints Grigorio Preloubio, based in Trikala, as governor of the region, who previously invaded it and occupied it without resistance.
After the death of Grigoros Preloubius, Stefanos Dusan's half-brother Simeon Uresis takes over the continuation of Serbian rule in Thessaly. Around 1370, Simeon Uresis dies and leaves John Uresis on the throne, who already from 1359 - 60 had been proclaimed co-king, at the age of only 10.
Ioannis Uresis Palaiologos, who is the last descendant of the Serbian rulers, takes refuge after 1372 and before June 1373 in Metaiora, in the Monastery of the Transfiguration, where he becomes a monk with the name Ioasaf.
At the time of the Serbian rule, the area of ​​Trikala experienced a great intellectual flourishing and activity. Serbian rule in the region will be interrupted by the arrival of the Turks in 1395.
The Turks first entered Eastern Thessaly in 1393 and settled it with Turks from Asia Minor. Two years later, in 1395, they advanced westward and captured the city of Trikala, which they made an advanced military base against the unruly inhabitants of Pindos and the Agrafos. The conquest of the lowland West. Thessaly was done in a peaceful way and without resistance, because of the disorder that prevailed in it in the 14th century, during which they were under various dynasties, as well as because of the heavy taxation and oppression, which had impoverished the free farmers and serfs. The large areas passed into the hands of the Turks and thus the first Turkish farms were created in Thessaly.
In 1444 there was a victorious rebellion of the Thessalians against the Turks. Its leader was the despot of Mystras, Konstantinos Palaiologos, later the last emperor of Byzantium. The Vlachs of Pindos also took part in the rebellion. A Greek commander of the West was temporarily appointed. of Thessaly with headquarters in Fanari. However, in the spring of 1446, the Turkish general Turahan Beys campaigned with a large army against Thessaly and forced Constantine to abandon it to the definitive rule of the Turks, which lasted until 1881. Immediately after the settlement of the Turks in the area of ​​Trikala, a mass exodus began. of the Greeks from the plains to the mountains and mainly to the hard-to-reach slopes of Pindos and Khasia, which were filled with picturesque villages full of life. These villages gave birth and nurtured the <
During the German-Italian Occupation (1941 - 44), the mountainous region of the prefecture of Trikalon was one of the most important centers of the Resistance and was under the control of EAM-ELAS, which even had its General Headquarters in the mountainous village of Pertouli in Pindos. The group of the joint General Strategy of the resistance organizations ELAS, EDES, EKKA and the English Mission was also installed in the same village.
The most important battles of the guerrilla groups against the occupying troops in the area of ​​Trikala Prefecture are: The battle of Meritsa (Oxyneia) which took place on February 12, 1943, in which the ambush and surprise of the rebels cost the Italian army 164 dead and 184 prisoners . On the Greek side there were 7 dead and 3 wounded. The battle of Kalambaka, Holy Thursday, April 23, 1943, with 70 Italian dead. The Battle of Porta (June 8 - 9, 1943), during which the ELAS forces inflicted significant losses on the Italians. Thanks to the action of the guerrilla groups, the areas of Hasion and Pindos were essentially free from the presence of Occupation troops. However, the entire area of ​​Trikala and especially the highlands was severely tested by the German reprisals, which in October 1943, they burned many villages and executed many Greek patriots. The lowland area of ​​Trikala Prefecture was liberated by the Germans on October 18, 1944, while the mountainous area was part of <Free Greece> and was never actually conquered. It is worth noting that the military leader of ELAS was Trikali general Stefanos Sarafis.
Finally, Aris Velouchiotis crossed the region of Hassia and Aspropotamos in his attempt in the summer of 1945 to reach Roumeli. He died on July 17 in the bed of Achelou, below the village of Myrophylo.

Source: Region of Thessaly