Karditsa is built close to tributary of Peneus River, in an area perfect for commercial contact between the plain and mountain area (31.000 inhabitants). This is one of the reasons why it is the rural center of Thessaly products (cotton, wheat and products of cattle raising) collection and distribution. With its two big squares, the huge park and beautiful pedestrian precincts, Karditsa gives to its visitors the opportunity to go around the city by bicycle (it has a wide network of bicycle streets) and enjoy its beauty. In 1821, the plague epidemic decimated the city population. Its revival began after the liberation from Turks in 1881. Karditsa was the first free city in Europe after the withdrawal of Italian army on March 1943 during the Second World War. Its final liberation from German army took place in September 1944. It is located 303 km NW of Athens and 228 km SW of Thessaloniki.