Krokos Kozanis grows from a small rounded bulb. It is planted in late summer or early fall and produces small purple flowers, with three red-gold stigma strands in each flower. The spice Saffron is made from the dried strands.
Where is Kozani?
Kozani is a city in northern Greece. It is located in the western part of Macedonia, in the northern part of the Aliakmonas river valley. The city lies 710 meters above sea level, 15 kilometers north-west of the artificial lake Polyfytos, 120 km south-west of Thessaloniki, between the mountains Pieria, Vermio, Vourinos and Askio. Its population is estimated at about 50,000. The climate of the area is continental with cold and dry winters, and hot summers.
Map of West Macedonia
How to reach Kozani?
Kozani is a transport node between Central Macedonia, Thessaly and Epirus. The nearest airport is Filippos Airport (KZI), 4 km from the city of Kozani. The airport was first opened in the mid-20th century. Kozani is situated near the Egnatia Highway, which connects the coast of the Ionian Sea with Thessaloniki and Turkish borders.
Facts about Kozani
Kozani is the home of the Technological Educational Institute of Western Macedonia and the University of Western Macedonia, with about 15,000 students from all over Greece and other places. It is also the seat of West Macedonia’s court of appeal and the Bishop of Servia and Kozani.
Saffron from Krokos Kozanis
One of the most important aspects of local folklore is Kozani’s carnival at the end of the winter, which retains much of the profanity of the ancient Dionysiac cult. Kozani is renowned in Greece and abroad for the production of Saffron (Krokos Kozanis), in the nearby town of Krokos.
The Krokos owes its beneficial properties to the particular soil and climate conditions of the area of Kozani (well-tended fields, sunshine, drained soil of medium fertility with a warm temperate climate) as well as to the cultivation techniques and traditional practices followed by the crocus growers.
Kozani – Things to see
Archaeological Museum of Kozani – The museum’s collection includes finds from archaeological excavations as well as from individuals from all over Kozani prefecture, apart from the Aiani area. It includes sculptures, inscriptions, statues, reliefs, clay vessels, figurines, and gold, silver, and bronze jewellery, all dating from the Palaeolithic to the Roman period.
The Historical – Folklore & Natural History Museum of Kozani is a place worth visiting. It is built according to old Macedonian architecture, and in its 6 floors, visitors can see everything about the geography, natural history, flora and animals of the region, as well as the history, the traditions and the past way of life in Kozani.
The clock tower and the church of Agios Nikolaos – 350 years old – in Nikis Square.
The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle at Chromio – in Kozani prefecture, Greece is an open air museum created and landscaped over an area of 7 hectares presenting the struggles of the Greeks in Macedonia until it was united to Greece in 1912–13.
The museum was founded in 1989 by the Letters and Arts Association of the Prefecture of Kozani in commemoration of the February 1878 uprising, which took place in the region aiming to abrogate the treaty of San Stefano. The ultimate objective of the uprising was to prevent Macedonia from becoming part of Bulgaria, to throw off the Ottoman domination, and to be part of the Hellenic state.
Kozani – Weather and climate