KERKINI LAKE HISTORY

The lake kerkini was created in 1932 with the construction of a dam in the river Strymonas, in the northwest part of the valley of Serres near Lithotopos village, as well as the construction of a large bank on the eastern side of the area and a smaller one on the west to protect the settlement of Kerkini. The aim behind the creation of the lake was to halt the floods of the Strymonas, restrain the sedimentary materials and irrigate the valley of Serres. In the location it was created, there have been small lakes since ancient times, as well as permanent and temporary marshes. In the north­ern part of the valley of Serres there was the lake of Achinos, which dried up in the same period and is identified as Lake Kerkinitida as mentioned by Arrian. Kerkini as it exists today (Butkovou in Turkish) shall be identified as one of the seven (7) anonymous lakes crossed by the Strymonas along its way from the source to the mouth and not to ancient Prasiada that is probably what is Doj’ran Lake of today. These two lakes were probably only widenings of the Strymonas, which would make them expand or vanish according to its flow. Besides, the Strymonas had an indisput­able dominance over the valley of Serres and it was responsible for the fertility of the valley, thus being regarded as a God by the inhabitants of the area, who built temples in its honour and depicted it personified on coins.

Strymonas has its source at the Vitosha Mountain in Bulgaria, it crosses the Fort Roupel and enters the val­ley of Serres, where it usually follows a NE direction to finally end in the Strymonian Gulf. It would follow a different route according to its flow, thus causing big problems to the inhabitants because of the floods.


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