Giannitsa is the largest town and a former municipality
Communities and Municipalities of Greece
For the new municipalities of Greece see the Kallikratis ProgrammeThe municipalities and communities of Greece are one of several levels of government within the organizational structure of that country. Thirteen regions called peripheries form the largest unit of government beneath the State. ...

 in Pella regional unit, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pella, of which it is a municipal unit. Its chief importance is as an agricultural centre - especially since it is 40 km from Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...


The former shallow, swampy, and variable-sized Giannitsa Lake or Loudias Lake (classical), south of the town, was drained in 1928-1932 by the New York Foundation Company. It or the surrounding marshland are sometimes called Borboros 'slime' or Borboros Limen.

Not far from the city are the ruins of ancient Pella
Pella , an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.-Etymology:...

, birthplace and capital of Alexander the Great. Giannitsa (then called Yenije) was an important center in the Ottoman
Ottoman Greece
Most of Greece gradually became part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th century until its declaration of independence in 1821, a historical period also known as Tourkokratia ....

 period, and several important monuments survive: the tombs of Gazi Evrenos
Gazi Evrenos
Evrenos or Evrenuz was an Ottoman military commander, with an unlikely longevous career and lifetime...

 (a 19th-century substitute for the original) and Gazi Ahmed Bey, the Great Mosque, the Army Mosque, the hammam
A Turkish bath is the Turkish variant of a steam bath, sauna or Russian Bath, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam....

 of Evrenos, and the clocktower, which have been declared historical monuments by the Greek Archaeological Service.

The town is home to 26,296 people (2001 census), and its attractions include the annual fair, the "Paniyiri", which runs for two weeks every September. The municipal unit has a population of 31,442 and a land area of 208.105 km². Other significant towns in the municipal unit are Ampeleíai (pop. 1,095), Melíssion (983), Pentaplátanon (956), and Paralímni (816).


The city was called Γενιτσά until February 1926 when its name was Hellenized. In other languages, the city is called: Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

 Yenice-i Vardar ('new-town of Vardar', as opposed to Yenice-i Karasu, modern Genisea
Genisea is a town in the Vistonida municipal unit of the Xanthi peripheral unit of Greece. According to a 2001 census, the population of Genisea was around 2,576 inhabitants....

, near Xanthi
Xanthi ; is a city in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the Xanthi peripheral unit of the periphery of East Macedonia and Thrace.-History:...

 and known for tobacco), Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

: Yenice or Vardar Yenicesi, and , Enidže Vardar or Пазар, Pazar.


Though there was probably a pre-existing Byzantine castle in the vicinity, the importance of the city of Yenije begins with its foundation by Gazi Evrenos
Gazi Evrenos
Evrenos or Evrenuz was an Ottoman military commander, with an unlikely longevous career and lifetime...

 in around 1372. Yenije became the base of the ghazi followers of Evrenos who took Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

 and later Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

. Yenice was an important Ottoman cultural center in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Yenije was a battleground between Bulgarian-Macedonian and Greek-Macedonian partisans in the Struggle for Macedonia. Penelope Delta
Penelope Delta
Penelope Delta was a Greek author of books for children. Practically the first Greek children's books writer, her historical novels have been widely read and influenced Greek popular perceptions on national identity and history...

's Secrets of the Swamp (referring to the shores of Giannitsa Lake) is a romanticised account of this from the Greek point of view.

Yenije "retained its emphatically Turkish character up to 1912" and members of the Evrenos family lived in Yenice in a large palace in the center of town until then. The Greek army captured Yenice after the Battle of Giannitsa
Battle of Giannitsa
The Battle of Yenidje or Yenice, also Battle of Giannitsa , was a battle between the Greek Army and the Ottoman Army on October 20 / November 2, 1912, during the First Balkan War...

 in the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success...

 (1912); part of the town was destroyed by fire.

On 14 September 1944, during the German occupation of Greece, about 120 residents of Giannitsa were executed by forces of the Jagdkommando Schubert
Friedrich Schubert
Friedrich Schubert was a Greek-speaking German sergeant of the Wehrmacht As head of the Jagdkommando Schubert, a paramilitary force terrorizing the civilian population during the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II, he committed numerous atrocities in Crete and Macedonia.Tried by a special...

 and collaborationist
Collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country. Legally, it may be considered as a form of treason. Collaborationism may be associated with criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, which may include complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions,...

 Greek units
Security Battalions
The Security Battalions were Greek collaborationist military groups, formed during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II in order to support the German occupation troops.- History :...

 under the command of G. Poulos. Part of the city was also burned.

Notable people

  • Gazi Evrenos
    Gazi Evrenos
    Evrenos or Evrenuz was an Ottoman military commander, with an unlikely longevous career and lifetime...

    , founder of the Ottoman city, whose mausoleum is in the center of town
  • Āgehī (died 1577/8), Ottoman poet and historian
  • Georgios Gonos Giotas
    Gonos Giotas
    Georgios or Gonos Giotas was a Greek Macedonian fighter in the Macedonian Struggle from Giannitsa. He was active in the area of Giannitsa, beginning his action in October 1904, initially as a guide in the lake of Giannitsa. He helped 6 villages to abjure the Bulgarian Exarchate and return to the...

    , (1880 - 1911) - revolutionary in the Macedonian Struggle
    Greek Struggle for Macedonia
    The Macedonian Struggle was a series of social, political, cultural and military conflicts between Greeks and Bulgarians in the region of Ottoman Macedonia between 1904 and 1908...

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