Veria was the second most significant town, after Aigai, during the blooming ancient Macedonian years. The city is built on the foothills of Mt. Vermion and crossed by the River Tripotamo. From the 11th to the 14th century it was the third most important city of the Byzantine Empire, after Constantinople (Istanbul) and Thessaloniki. The impressively large number of Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches gave the city the nickname “Little Jerusalem”.