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Economy Economical Life Averofios Agricultural School Larissa

Air-photograph of the Agricultural School
(Photo: Archive of the Averofeios Agricultural School of Larissa)
The founder of the School Georgios Averof
(Photo: Archive of the Averofeios Agricultural School of Larissa)

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Averofios Agricultural School
The Bazaar of Larissa
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The foundation of Averofeios

Ioulia Kandila

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The history of Averofeios Agricultural School begins in 1901 with the decision of the State to found an agricultural school in Larissa. This decision is owed in the big donation of the national benefactor Georgios Averof to the Greek State for national, beneficial to the public and charitable aims. Between them and the constitution of an agricultural school in Larissa or anywhere else it judged more suitable the state.

Thus in February 1901 the government of Georgios Theotokis decided to vote a law according to which was founded agricultural School in Larissa with the name "Averofeios Agricultural Practical School of Larissa". The choice of Larissa as the place of foundation of an agricultural school, apart from the wish of the donor, depended also from its geographic place but also from the existence of the fertile Thessalian plain. Its foundation came to cover an enormous void in the area of agricultural education, since on this period only an agricultural school functioned, the Kassaveteia school in the region of Almiros. With this decision the government expected the Averofejos School to become nursery of new agronomists but also centre of research and study aiming at the improvement of the cultivation of the cereals.

According to the founding law of 1901, the school had as aim, to educate and to work out agronomists capable, that would undertake the management and the monitoring of properties or agricultural industries of (dairy-farming, cheese-making, wine industry, sericulture, apiculture etc). Despite the fast decision of the state on the direct exploitation of the bequest of Averof, the course of its concretization was slow and with a lot of obstacles, a fact that will delay the beginning of the school’s operation for ten and more years. This was owed so much in the continuous governmental changes that marked the decade 1901-1911 as in the difficulties of regulation and arrangement of certain issues essential for its beginning.

As the more suitable area of its installation after a lot of activities was selected an extent of 3.000 acres of the national land "Ak-Serai" (former Stefanovikeia lands), which granted in 1903 the Ministry of Finance. More time-consuming was the process of the construction of the essential buildings so much for the teaching and the practical exercise of the students as for the residence of the personnel and the students. After multiple postponements in June 1908 began the manufacture of the buildings. Meanwhile up to the dues of 1904 had been deposited the biggest part of the money of the bequest, which amounted in May 1909 to the amount of 1.109.355 drachmas, shared in two equal in amount portions, portion of foundation and portion of maintenance of the School, according to the terms of the disposer.

In August 1911 were delivered the more basic buildings of the School with enough lacks and three months later the School functioned officially.