LARISSA

Greece

Larissa is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region of Greece and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transportation hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the city of Thessaloniki and Athens. Larissa, within its municipality, has 162,591 inhabitants, while the regional unit of Larissa reached a population of 284,325 (in 2011).

Info Larissa

introduction

Larissa is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region of Greece and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transportation hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the city of Thessaloniki and Athens. Larissa, within its municipality, has 162,591 inhabitants, while the regional unit of Larissa reached a population of 284,325 (in 2011).

The urban area of the city, although mostly contained within the Larissa municipality, also includes the communities of Giannouli,Platykampos, Nikaia, Terpsithea and several other suburban settlements, bringing the wider urban area population of the city to about 174,012 inhabitants and extends over an area of 572.3 km2 (221.0 sq mi).

Today, Larissa is a major commercial and industrial centre in Greece. Legend has it that Achilles was born here, and that Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, died here. As of early 2015, Larissa is a candidate city for the title of the European Capital of Culture 2021.

info
POPULATION :• Municipality 162,591
• Municipal unit 146,926
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :• Time zone EET (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
LANGUAGE : Greek
RELIGION : Greek Orthodox 
AREA :• Municipality 335.1 km2 (129.4 sq mi)
• Municipal unit 122.6 km2 (47.3 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 67 m (220 ft)
COORDINATES : 39°38.5′N 22°25′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 49.4%
 Female: 50.6%
ETHNIC : Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7%
AREA CODE : 241
POSTAL CODE :  41x xx
DIALING CODE : +30 241
WEBSITE :  www.larissa-dimos.gr

Tourism

Larissa (Greek Λάρισα) , has a population of 162.591 people (2011). It is the 4th largest city in Greece, and is situated in Thessaly, between Athens (355 km) and Thessaloniki (150 km). A lively agricultural and university town, it is visited by few tourists. Nevertheless, its sights and energetic cafe and bar scene makes it worth a stop.

  • Ancient Greek Theater. Built by the Macedonian King Philip V in 3rd century BC. It sits at the foot of the ancient Acropolis. The Acropolis during classical times held the temple of Polias Athena and during medieval times the Kastro (Castle). The theater is on the north end of the central district. It is not open to the public but can be well seen from along Elftheriou Venizelou street. Greek language website is also available [www]
  • Second Ancient Theater.Dating from the Roman period. Smaller, two rows of seats remain along with a portion of the stage. The site is not open but can viewed from the streets nearby. It is near the center of town at the intersection of Ergatiki Protomagia and Tagmatarhou Velissariou streets.
  • Diachronic Museum of LarissaMezourlo Hill. One of the 10 biggest museums in Greece, it exhibits archaelogical finds from the paleolithic period until the liberation of Larissa in 1881 by the Greek army. It is the only diachronic museum in Greece, whose openings were on 28 November 2015.

History

Antiquity

Traces of Paleolithic human settlement have been recovered from the area, but it was peripheral to areas of advanced culture. The area around Larissa was extremely fruitful; it was agriculturally important and in antiquity was known for its horses.

The name Larissa (Λάρισα Lárīsa) is in origin a Pelasgian (pre-Greek) word for "fortress". There were many ancient Greek cities with this name. The name of Thessalian Larissa is first recorded in connection with the aristocratic Aleuadai family.

Larissa is thought to be where the famous Greek physician Hippocrates and the famous philosopher Gorgias of Leontini died.

When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late 5th century BC, it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named; probably the choice was inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. Usually there is a male figure; he should perhaps be seen as the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos, who is probably also to be identified on many of the earlier, federal coins of Thessaly.

Larissa, sometimes written Larisa on ancient coins and inscriptions, is near the site of the Homeric Argissa. It appears in early times, when Thessaly was mainly governed by a few aristocratic families, as an important city under the rule of the Aleuadae, whose authority extended over the whole district of Pelasgiotis. This powerful family possessed for many generations before 369 BC the privilege of furnishing the tagus, the local term for the strategos of the combined Thessalian forces. The principal rivals of the Aleuadae were the Scopadac of Crannon, the remains of which are about 14 miles south west.

Larissa was indeed the birthplace of Meno, who thus became, along with Xenophon and a few others, one of the generals leading several thousands Greeks from various places, in the ill-fated expedition of 401 (retold in Xenophon's Anabasis) meant to help Cyrus the Younger, son of Darius II, king ofPersia, overthrow his elder brother Artaxerxes II and take over the throne of Persia (Meno is featured in Plato's dialogue bearing his name, in which Socratesuses the example of "the way to Larissa" to help explain Meno the difference between true opinion and science (Meno, 97a–c) ; this "way to Larissa" might well be on the part of Socrates an attempt to call to Meno's mind a "way home", understood as the way toward one's true and "eternal" home reached only at death, that each man is supposed to seek in his life).

The constitution of the town was democratic, which explains why it sided withAthens in the Peloponnesian War. In the neighbourhood of Larissa was celebrated a festival which recalled the Roman Saturnalia, and at which the slaves were waited on by their masters. As the chief city of ancient Thessaly, Larissa was taken by the Thebans and later directly annexed by Philip II of Macedon in 344. It remained under Macedonian control afterwards, except for a brief period when Demetrius Poliorcetes captured it in 302 BC.

It was in Larissa that Philip V of Macedon signed in 197 BC a treaty with the Romans after his defeat at the Battle of Cynoscephalae, and it was there also thatAntiochus III the Great, won a great victory in 192 BC. In 196 BC Larissa became an ally of Rome and was the headquarters of the Thessalian League.

Larissa is frequently mentioned in connection with the Roman civil wars which preceded the establishment of the Roman Empire and Pompey sought refuge there after the defeat of Pharsalus.


Middle Ages and Ottoman period

Larissa was sacked by the Ostrogoths in the late 5th century, and rebuilt under the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. 

In the 8th century, the city became the metropolis of the theme of Hellas. The city was captured in 986 by Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria, who carried off the relics of its patron saint, Saint Achilleios, toPrespa. It was again unsuccessfully besieged by the Normans under Bohemond I in 1082/3.

After the Fourth Crusade, the King of Thessalonica, Boniface of Montferrat, gave the city to Lombard barons, but they launched a rebellion in 1209 that had to be subdued by the Latin Emperor Henry of Flanders himself. The city was recovered by Epirus soon after.

It was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1386/87 and again in the 1390s, but only came under permanent Ottoman control in 1423, by Turahan Bey. Under Ottoman rule, the city was known as Yeni-şehir i-Fenari, "new citadel". As the chief town and military base of Ottoman Thessaly, Larissa was a predominantly Muslim city. The town was noted for its trade fair in the 17th and 18th centuries, while the seat of the pasha of Thessaly was also transferred there in 1770. The city remained in Ottoman hands until Thessaly became part of the independent Greek kingdom in 1881, except for a period where Ottoman forces re-occupied it during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897.

In the 19th century, there was a small village in the outskirts of town very unusually inhabited by Africans from the Sudan, a curious remnant of the forces collected by Ali Pasha. In the 19th century, the town produced leather, cotton, silkand tobacco. It was also renowned for the minarets of its mosques (four of which were still in use in the early part of the 20th century) and the Muslim burial grounds.


Modern Greek era

Larissa was the headquarters of Hursid Pasha during the Greek War of Independence. In 1881, the city, along with the rest of Thessaly, was incorporated into the Kingdom of Greece. A considerable portion of the Turkish population emigrated into the Ottoman Empire at that point. During the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, the city was the headquarters of Greek Crown PrinceConstantine. The flight of the Greek army from here to Farsala took place on April 23, 1897. Turkish troops entered the city two days later. After a treaty for peace was signed, they withdrew and Larissa remained permanently in Greece. This was followed by a further exodus of Turks in 1898.


Ecclesiastical history

Christianity penetrated early to Larissa, though its first bishop is recorded only in 325 at the Council of Nicaea. St. Achillius of the 4th century, is celebrated for his miracles. Lequien cites twenty-nine bishops from the fourth to the 18th centuries; the most famous is Jeremias II, who occupied the see until 733, when the Emperor Leo III the Isaurian transferred it from the jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the first years of the 10th century it had ten suffragan sees; subsequently the number increased and about the year 1175 under the Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, it reached twenty-eight. At the close of the 15th century, under the Turkish domination, there were only ten suffragan sees, which gradually grew less and finally disappeared.

Larissa is an Orthodox Metropolis of the Church of Greece. It was briefly a Latin archbishopric in the early 13th century, and remains a Latin Metropolitan (top-ranking) titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, which must not be confused with the Latin episcopal (low-ranking) titular see Larissa in Syria.

Climate

The climate of Larissa is transitional. The winter is cold and wet, and some snowstorms may occur. The summer is hot, and temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) may occur. Thunderstorms or heavy rain may cause agricultural damage. Larissa receives 450 mm (18 in) of rain per year.

Climate data for Larissa

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)10.2
(50.4)
11.8
(53.2)
15.4
(59.7)
20.0
(68)
26.0
(78.8)
31.6
(88.9)
33.4
(92.1)
32.9
(91.2)
28.6
(83.5)
22.5
(72.5)
15.3
(59.5)
10.5
(50.9)
21.6
(70.9)
Daily mean °C (°F)5.4
(41.7)
6.4
(43.5)
9.5
(49.1)
13.5
(56.3)
18.8
(65.8)
23.9
(75)
26.0
(78.8)
25.5
(77.9)
21.5
(70.7)
16.5
(61.7)
10.5
(50.9)
6.4
(43.5)
15.4
(59.7)
Average low °C (°F)0.7
(33.3)
1.1
(34)
3.6
(38.5)
6.9
(44.4)
11.5
(52.7)
16.1
(61)
18.5
(65.3)
18.1
(64.6)
14.4
(57.9)
10.5
(50.9)
5.7
(42.3)
2.2
(36)
9.1
(48.4)
              
Source: meteo-climat-bzh

Geography

There are a number of highways including E75 and the main railway from Athens to Thessaloniki (Salonika) crossing through Thessaly. The region is directly linked to the rest of Europe through the International Airport of Central Greecelocated in Nea Anchialos a short distance from Larissa. Larissa lies on the riverPineios.

The Larissa Chasma, a deep gash in the surface of Dione, a natural satellite of Saturn, was named after Larissa.

Subdivisions

The municipal unit of Larissa is divided into four city-districts or municipal communities (29 city areas) plus 2 suburban communities (Amphithea and Koulourion). The Municipality includes also the Community of Terpsithèa (with the suburban community of Argyssa).


1st Municipal District (pop. 26,035)

  1. Papastàvrou
  2. Saint Athanàsios
  3. Alkazàr
  4. Hippocrates-Pèra
  5. Potamòpolis
  6. Philippòpolis
  7. Livadàki
  8. Saint Thomas
  9. Saint Paraskevi-Mezourlo
  10. Neàpolis

2nd Municipal District (pop. 41,816)

  1. Saint Achellios
  2. Saint Nikòlaos
  3. Ambelòkipoi
  4. Saints Sarànta
  5. Saint Konstantinos
  6. Stathmòs

3rd Municipal District (pop. 30,121)

  1. Lachanòkipoi
  2. Nèa Smyrne-Kamynia
  3. Kalyvia-Saint Marina
  4. Saint Geòrgios
  5. Anatoli
  6. Koulouri
  7. Amphithèa

4rh Municipal District (pop. 26,814)

  1. Charavgi-Toumba-OKE
  2. Pyrovolikà-Pharos
  3. Avèrof-Sèkfo
  4. Nèa Politia
  5. Epiròtika
  6. Anthoupolis
  7. Neràida
  8. Kàmpos

Community of Terpsithèa (pop. 1,290)

  1. Terpsithèa
  2. Argyssa

From 1 January 2011, in accordance with the Kallikratis plan (new administrative division of Greece), the new municipality of Larissa includes also the former municipalities of Giannouli and Koilada.

Prices in Larissa

PRICES LIST - EUR

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€1.20
Tomatoes1 kg€1.30
Cheese0.5 kg€3.80
Apples1 kg€1.35
Oranges1 kg€0.95
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.05
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€6.00
Coca-Cola2 liters€2.20
Bread1 piece€0.83
Water1.5 l€0.75

PRICES LIST - EUR

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€16.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€30.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2€45.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€6.00
Water0.33 l€0.50
Cappuccino1 cup€2.80
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€3.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€3.50
Coca-Cola0.33 l€1.37
Coctail drink1 drink€8.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€16.00
Gym1 month€38.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€8.50
Theatar2 tickets€38.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.26
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€4.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack€7.00
Tampons32 pieces€2.70
Deodorant50 ml.€3.50
Shampoo400 ml.€2.90
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.50
Toothpaste1 tube€1.80

PRICES LIST - EUR

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€80.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€32.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€82.00
Leather shoes1€88.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.45
TaxiStart€3.00
Taxi1 km€1.20
Local Transport1 ticket€1.20

Tourist (Backpacker)  

57 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

155 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Volos airport (IATA: VOL) is situated in Nea Anchialos, 75 km SW from the city. It is the nearest airfield but only offers service during the warm-weather months.

Air Berlin operates every Monday and Friday from May to October (Flights to/from Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf,Nuremberg, Vienna).

Ryanair operates flights from April to October to/from Hahn (Frankfurt),Bergamo (Milan), Rome and Charleroi (Brussels) airports.

Lauda Air operates May to September to/from Vienna. Transavia operates to/from Amsterdam.

There are expansion projects of the airport underway, as well as a rail connection from Volos city to the airport.

There is a bus connecting the airport and Volos bus station. Buses are scheduled based on flights. The cost from the airport to Volos Bus station is 3 €. Then you need to get another bus or train from Volos to Larissa. The bus station in Volos is about 1 km from the train station.

The nearest airport offering year-round international service is in Thessaloniki(SLK) about 2.5 hours away.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Trains (OSE) connect Larissa to other cities in Greece including Athens,Thessaloniki, and Volos. Travelling with ordinary trains can be cheaper, although a little bit slower, whereas choosing a fancy faster Intercity train will cost the same amount of money, or even more than a KTEL bus. The train station (+30 2410 590143) lies just south of the ring road a little less than 1 km from the city center. Also there is an OSE office downtown (+30 2410 590239) at Papakyriazi 35, opposite the town hall.

Transportation - Get In

By international coach

There are buses connecting Larissa with some eastern European cities. FPtravel (Serbia, Hungary).

Transportation - Get In

By regional coach

Interurban coaches ("KTEL" buses) ([www] in Greek) are by far the most convenient way to travel around Greece, as well as for intra-regional travelling. There is frequent bus service from Athens Liossion Station to Larissa about 15 times a day (cost is about €20), as well as from Thessaloniki bus terminal "Macedonia" to Larissa about 10 times a day (about €13.5). The main bus station is at Georgiadou & Olympou streets (+30 2410 537777) providing service to most cities. KTEL buses have free Wi-Fi and coffee. For service to Trikala and Kalampaka (Meteora) the bus station is on Iroön Polytehniou near the junction with Gazi Anthimou (+30 2410 610124).


Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By foot

The best way to get around the central district, since most of the streets in the commercial centre are pedestrianized. This area is small enough so that most locations are just a few minutes apart.

Transportation - Get Around

By Taxi

Taxis in Larissa, as everywhere in Greece are comparably cheap. You should not pay more than €4 if you hail a cab (silver colour) on the road to take you anywhere in the city. Note that taxi meters have two rates - rate 1 applies from 05:00 till 24:00, and rate 2, the double rate, from midnight to 05:00. Taxi fare fraud is not widespread but it still happens, so make sure the rate is correct. If you feel you have been overcharged, ask for a receipt (they are obliged to give one) and take the plate number, then phone the tourist police to report the driver on 171. Expect to pay €1 or €2 extra if you take a taxi from the bus station or the train station, and a surcharge if you call for a taxi service on demand.

Transportation - Get Around

By Car

Parking in the central district can be a challenge, especially on-street parking. There are parking lots scattered throughout town.

Transportation - Get Around

By Bicycle

Larissa is a flat city thus bicycle in a nice way to explore it. The city center has many pedestrian streets. there are also some streets with bicycle lanes in recent years. These are: Papanastasiou st., part of Kyprou st.

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

There is an efficient public transport system going around the city (ticket price about €1), detailed info in the regional bus terminal (called "Astiko KTEL").

Hotels

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Hotels

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Shopping

There many shops downtown. Be aware that shopping hours vary by the day of the week. Monday-Saturday shops are open from around 9am to 2pm. Monday, Wednesday and Friday they reopen around 6pm and stay open until 20:00-21:00. On Sundays about the only places open are cafes, restaurants, and kiosks.


Malls

  • Pantheon Plaza. A big mall with a lot of shops. Among others: Mediamarkt, Fokas. Also many cafeterias and places to eat, e.g. Goody's. Cinema too.
  • Gaea Lifestyle CenterΑγίας Τριάδας 60+30 2410 610922. A mall with shops.

Farmers Market

Or more properly "Peoples Market" and locally known as "Laiki agora" is a weekly event in many Greek cities. Farmers sell their fresh products directly to the housekeepers for very affordable prices from morning to noon. Peoples Market instances in Larissa include:

  • Every Saturday in the Neapoli region on the street "Dimitri Karaoli"
  • Every Wednesday on the street "Kalitheas" next to Pinios river.

Restaurants

There are plenty of options for eating out in Larissa.

  • Taverns, (Ταβέρνα), are where mostly meat dishes are served.
  • Restaurants, (Εστιατόριο), Greek dishes can be found at most of them, however there are Italian and Chinese restaurants options as well.
  • Psistaries, (Ψησταριά), these are grill houses. These serve mostly meat, salads and french fries. The meat usually is ordered by weight, and the price is per kilo also. One portion is 330 gr of grilled meat.
  • Fast Food, choices are local Souvlatzidika, (Οβελιστήριο or Σουβλατζίδικο) where souvlaki is served, and typical fast food chains such as Goody's, To-Eat, and Everest.

There is a large concentration of restaurants along Filellinon Street on the north side of the central district.

People in Greece usually eat late in the evening (21:00-24:00), during the day most taverns, psistaries and restaurants are closed. However, fast-food restaurants are open all day long.


Budget

  • Kimatothrafstis (Κιματοθραύστης), Kentavron 2 (Κεντάυρων 2),  +30 2410 256722. Small plate for €3.5, big for €6, soup for €3.

Mid range

  • Nikodimos (Νικόδημος), Karaiskaki 2 (Καραϊσκάκη 2),  +30 2410 535042.Nice old tavern with a nice backyard.
  • Syndrivani (on south side of Platiea Ethnarhou Makariou), +30 2410 535933.Open all day and known for its lamb and moussaka.

Sights & Landmarks

  • Ancient Greek Theater. Built by the Macedonian King Philip V in 3rd century BC. It sits at the foot of the ancient Acropolis. The Acropolis during classical times held the temple of Polias Athena and during medieval times the Kastro (Castle). The theater is on the north end of the central district. It is not open to the public but can be well seen from along Elftheriou Venizelou street. Greek language website is also available [www]
  • Second Ancient Theater. Dating from the Roman period. Smaller, two rows of seats remain along with a portion of the stage. The site is not open but can viewed from the streets nearby. It is near the center of town at the intersection of Ergatiki Protomagia and Tagmatarhou Velissariou streets.
  • Diachronic Museum of LarissaMezourlo Hill. One of the 10 biggest museums in Greece, it exhibits archaelogical finds from the paleolithic period until the liberation of Larissa in 1881 by the Greek army. It is the only diachronic museum in Greece, whose openings were on 28 November 2015.

Museums & Galleries

Things to do


Cinemas

Films shown in original language with Greek subtitles. Cartoons are often translated to Greek.

  • Ster Cinema (in Pantheon shopping center on south side of city). Multiplex

Parks

  • Alkazar Park. Just across the river from the town center and along the Pinios River. A nice place to cool down and relax with a large fountain and a statue of Hippocrates who is supposed to have been buried in Larissa.

Football

  • AEL 1964 FC (Larissa), AEL FC Arena (Niapoli District). Plays in the Greek Football League. AEL's stadium holds over 16,000 seats.

Cycling

During the summer months you may have the chance to follow the weekly night ride. Bikers usually gather every Thursday night at the Central Square and form a large group that later rovers on a common route around the city.


Running

Various running events take place in the city during the year with the most notable ones being:

  • Gyros tis Larisas. 5 km run in the streets of the city, usually in the last weeks of May.
  • Ippokratios Agonas Dromou. Newly established event where runners are required to cover about 10 km on unpaved roads that run through the fields in the west edge of the city. In June the weather conditions are extremely hot in Larisa but most people will forget the heat and enjoy the wide view of the Thessaly's lowland and the surrounding mountains.

Many locals enjoy training by the river which offers paths almost 1.5 km long on each side.

Nightlife

Winter bars, pubs and clubs, usually close down during summer. Most of them have a different facility for the summer. Dancing in clubs is common only during a party.


Winter

Tsipouro is a very famous beverage in Greece, but most of the areas in Thessaly are famous for making some of the purest and strongest tsipouro in the country. It's really good in cold weather, because of its high concentration in alcohol. Tyrnavos is known for its local production which is known and sold as Tsipouro Tyrnavou.

Clubs:

  • Stage. Often live music venue, mostly rock.

Summer

Tsipouro, Ouzo or Wine, as in the rest of Greece, are good choices. There are many bars downtown, so the visitor is not expected to have any problem finding a place to enjoy a drink. Youths buy drinks and sit around the Frourio square during the summer nights while the restaurants and pubs in that area thrive with people this season. Another popular place is Neapoli square where a big number of pubs is to be found around the square.

Safety in Larissa

Stay Safe

Larissa's football club known as AEL has a very aggressive fan club called Monsters. It is probable that you get attacked in the street if you are seen wearing cloths with logos of other football teams, especially Greek ones. Avoid wearing such clothing and do not come in conduct with anyone that seems like a sports fanatic.

Dial 112 in case of emergency.

  • Larissa General Hospital (Koutlimbaneio & Triantafylleio General Hospital Of Larissa), Tsakalof 1 (northeast side of town),  +30 2410 230031.

Very High / 9.5

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Very High / 8.5

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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