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Old August 14th, 2005, 11:45 AM   #1
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Αλεξανδρούπολη | Alexandroupolis

Map of Hellas where you can see Alexandroupolis on the north-eastern edge of Greece , just few kilometers from the borders with Turkey ( Kipoi passage )



"The crossroad of people, cultures and beauty" Alexandroupolis, a city that brings to your memory the distant past and the beauty of today. A "key" city of Greece, whether you leave or enter the east. Alexandroupolis, one "open embrace" towards the open sea. A city of tradition and innovation, a city of rest and entertainment, a city of sea and tourism.
Its location is nodal, linking Europe to Asia, West to East and thus its contact with the world and the rest of Greece is achieved with every mean of transportation, by land, sea and air.
Capital of the Prefecture of Evros, with all the services at the disposal of its visitors but also with the hospitable spirit of its 60.000 inhabitants.



Geography
Alexandroupolis is about 14.5 kilometres west of the mouth of the river Evros and the border with Turkey, 391 kilometres from Thessaloniki, and 849 kilometres from Athens.

History



Thrace is a region in South-east Europe, forming part of present day Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. The western part of Thrace belongs to Greece and is called Western Thrace. Western Thrace is divided into three provinces: Evros, Xanthe and Rodope.

The name was first applied by the ancient Greeks to the north-eastern shores of the Aegean Sea. Ancient Thrace was covered with forest: mineral deposits, particularly of gold, made the region a coveted possession. The Tracians where war-like people who established their own king-doom in the 5th century B.C. Thrace became successively a Macedonian, Roman and Byzantine province.

Remains of human civilization from the Neolithic Age (4,500-3,000 B.C.) have been found in the north-eastern part of western Thrace. At that time a number of important changes took place marking the evolution of civilization as we know it today. Humans began producing food instead of collecting it from nature. They also developed methods of cultivating the earth and rearing animals as a means of financial support. Humans learned to organize their economic activities, their communities and societies. There are many sites near Alexandroupolis (such as Makri, Potamos, Doriskos and Mikro Vouni in Samothrace) where one can find significant remains from daily life as it existed in that day and age.

Remains from the next prehistoric period, the Bronze Age (3,000-1,050 B.C.) can be found not only in Alexandroupolis but in the winder region of Thrace. This is the period during which Aegean civilization flourished.

Aegean civilization is a term used to denote the Bronze Age civilizations that developed (3,000-1,200 B.C.) in the basin of the Aegean Sea, mainly on Crete, the Cyclades Island, and mainland of the Greece. The Aegean civilizations, are among the earliest known European civilizations.

The existing evidence suggest that communities living near the coasts of Makri, Kariotes in Samothrace and especially at Mikro Vouni in the north-western part of the island of Samothrace, where very active during this periode. Towards the end of the Late Bronze Age (i.e. during the Early Iron Age 1,050– 650 B.C.) various Thracian tribes settled mostly in the mountainous regions, and occasionally on the Thracian plain. The Kikones tribe occupied the area of Alexandroupolis, as well as the area defined by the estuary of the Evros river (today known as the Evros Delta) and lake Vistonida and towards the North, to the foot of the Rodope mountains. In ancient history, Odysseus and his comrades fought the Kikones tribe on their way home from Troy:

At Cicones the wind banished me from Troy to Ismaros were I plundered both its castle and inhabitans...

The Cicones run then to call the other Cicones, whose neighbours were more numerous and brave...

So many of them arrived at dawn, like the blooms and leaves flowering in the spring...

And when the sun leaned down, at the time of the ox being unyoked, the Cicones then destroy the Achaeans.

Odyssey

Remains of the civilization from the end of the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age can also be found in Kirki, Avantas, Potamos, Makri, Nipsa, Kila, Kavissos, Vriskos and Gialomandra in Samothrace. The remain found at these sites include a large number of megalithic monuments: fortresses, open air sanctuaries used to worship the sun and the stars, rock engravings with linear drawings and human life figures, rocks with ritual cup– marks or cut– bowls, carved chamber tombs and dolmen graves.

The city state of Samothrace was the main social and economic center of the region from the 7th century B.C. Settlers from Paleapolis in Samothrace set up small communities and commercial stations (emporia) on the coast, and across the estuary of the river Evros up to the Ismaros mountain in order to strengthen their tribe with the interior regions of Trace. These settlements were known as the Samothracian Peraea. Six towns and one placename were established between the 5th century B.C. and the forth century A.D. According to Herodotus among these were Mesemvria, Zone, Sali and the cape of Serreion. Later sources refer to Drys, Thembyra and Charakoma. Towards the end of the 5th century B.C. Zone, Drys, and Sali paid significant amount of taxes to the Athenian Alliance. Inscriptions and literary sources from the 2th century B.C. suggest that part of the Samothracian Peraea was under the rule of Maronia. In the Roman period, Peraea was defined towards the east by the region between Alexandroupolis and Traianoupolis, which was evident from to border inscriptions dating from the 1st century A.D., and was declared “sacred land” (i.e. protected territory dedicated to the Greek Gods of Samothrace).

Modern Alexandroupolis is the site of ancient Sali as shown from the Roman “itineraria” (route notes) of the 4th century A.D. and according to which the town was located about eleven kilometers west of Traianoupolis (today known as Loutra).
This is also confirmed by various remains found in Alexandroupolis which included black– glazed pottery, tow tombs of the Hellenistic period (found near the cathedral), a border inscription of the 1st century A.D. which was found near the Lighthouse (today known as Faros), graves of the cemetery from the period between the 1st and 4th centuries A.D., one headless statue of a young man made of marble and part of a marble square column decorated with waves and a head in relief. These remains indicate that the town of Sali was located mainly between what are today the port and the cathedral of Alexandrouolis. It is also known that the town of Sali paid about 3,000 drachmas in taxes to the Athenian Alliance during the period 425– 421 B.C. and that it was a small town which belonged to Mamorian territory in 188 B.C., according to Titus Libious.

In Roman times, Traianoupolis dominated the Samothracian Peraea. Long range routes, such as the Via Egnatia, were established.

In Byzantine times, the region played a major role due to its proximity to Constantinople. New towns (such as Vira and Makri) and monasteries (such as Panagia Kosmoteira in Ferres and the church of Aghioi Theodoroi, which was located in a cave) flourished. These were protected by strong fortified sites including the castles of Potamos and Avantas.

Alexandrouolis and this part of Thrace, having been part of the route of various armies and the site of battles, was abandoned in later years, up to the time that it became part of the Ottoman Empire. During these years, the land was covered by forests of wild trees and oak trees.

In later years, fishermen from Enos, Makri and Maronia discovered this land and by the 19th century A.D., the fishermen has established a small fishing community known as Dede– Agats!




The city's history only goes back to the 19th century.
Long used as a landing ground for fishermen from the coast of Samothrace opposite, the location was known as Dedeagatch in Greek or Dedeağaç in Turkish (meaning "tree of the monk"). The name was based on a local tradition of a wise dervish having spent much of his time in the shade of a local tree and being eventually buried beside it.
A small settlement developed in the area during the construction of a railway line connecting Constantinople to the major cities of Macedonia. The work was part of an effort to modernise the Ottoman Empire, and was assigned to engineers from Austria-Hungary. The settlement soon grew into a fishing village, which also used the name Dedeagatch.
Dedeagatch was captured by the army of Imperial Russia during the last Russo–Turkish War of 1877–1878, and Russian forces settled in the village. The officers in charge put some effort into urban planning, with an emphasis on the design of wide streets, allowing the quick advance of troops.
The streets run parallel to each other, and cul-de-sacs were avoided as too confusing. This was very unlike the narrow allies, cobbled streets, and dead-ends that were characteristic of Ottoman cities at the time. The city returned to Ottoman control by the end of the war, but the brief Russian presence has had a lasting influence in the design of Alexandroupolis' urban streets.
The building of a railway station in Dedeagatch led to the development of the village into a town, and a minor trade centre by the end of the century
Public buildings including churches, hospitals and schools were constructed during this period. In 1897, the town could be reached from Thessaloniki by rail using the famous Orient Express train.
The same year a stone was discovered in excavations near the burial place of the Turk Dede, north west of the lighthouse, with the inscription: “BORDER OF THE SACRED LAND OF THE GODS OF SAMOTHRACE”. Twenty years earlier a similar inscription had been discovered near the hill of St. George in Loutra (Traianoupolis) with the engraving: “BORDER OF SACRED LAND”. That inscription had been read by Albert Dumont. Both these findings confirmed that an area of about 20 km. around Alexandroupolis and Loutra belonged to the sacred land of Samothrace. It was also confirmed that the modern town of Alexandroupolis is located at the place occupied by the ancient town of Sali.
. The town became the seat of a Pasha with administrative duties. The Ottoman control of the town would last until the Balkan Wars. On 8 November 1912, Dedeagatch and its station was captured by Bulgarian forces with the assistance of the Hellenic Navy
. Bulgaria and Greece were allies during the First Balkan War, but opponents in the Second Balkan War.
Dedeagatch was captured by the Hellenic Army on 11 July 1913. This would prove short-lived, for the Treaty of Bucharest (10 August 1913) determined that Dedeagatch would be returned to Bulgaria along with the rest of Western Thrace.
The defeat of Bulgaria by the Allies in World War I (1914 - 1918) ensured another change of hands for the town. The Treaty of Neuilly (27 November 1919) required the ceding of Western Thrace from Bulgaria to Greece. However Bulgaria retained the right to use the port of Dedeagatch to transport goods through the Aegean Sea. The change of guard between Bulgarian and Greek officials occurred on May 14, 1920.
On 14th May 1920, the town liberated. The 9th Division of Serres, based in the valley of the River Nestos and commanded by Ep. Zimvrakaki, occupied the border crossings from Bulgaria and assembled in Gioumourtzina (now known as Komotini). A convoy of twenty– ships assisted the landing of the Division based in Xanthe, commanded by the general K. Mazaraki– Enean, in Dede– Agats. The lowering of the French flag was followed by the raising of the Greek one. The chief of police K. Daniel handed over the town. Its citizens celebrated the liberation of the town with parades, while the church bells rang continuously, and ships in the port joined the party with continuous blasting of their horns.
The city was soon visited by Alexander I of Greece amidst great celebration. He was the first King of Greece to visit the town which was renamed in his honor.
Following the defeat of Greece in the Greco-Turkish War (1919 - 1922), forces of the Hellenic Army retreated from Eastern Thrace to the area of Alexandroupolis under the leadership of General Theodoros Pangalos.
Bulgaria used the opportunity of the Greek defeat to demand for Alexandroupolis to be either returned to its control or to be declared a neutral zone under international control. Both demands were rejected by the Greek leadership and found no support in the League of Nations.
The Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923) affirmed that Western Thrace and Alexandroupolis would continue to be controlled by Greece. The previous agreement allowing a Bulgarian presence in the town port had expired.
Representatives of Prime Minister of Greece Stilianos Gonatas offered a renewal of the agreement in an apparent attempt to improve the relationship between the two Balkan countries. Their Bulgarian counterparts informed Prime Minister of Bulgaria Aleksandur Tsankov and returned a negative reply.
Bulgaria used its alliance with Nazi Germany to regain control of Western Thrace during World War II. Alexandroupolis remained unter Bulgarian occupation between May, 1941 and 1945.
The city suffered disaster of buildings and loss of population during the war but was largely spared of the effects of the Greek Civil War (1942 - 1949). Forces of the Democratic Army of Greece in and around the town area were small and loosely organized , resulting in no major battles occurring in it.
The return of peace allowed for Alexandroupolis to grow from a town of 16,332 residents (1951) to a city of 35,999 residents by 1981.
Today the city has a population ~50-60,000.




The city of Alexandroupolis as seen from the hills north of the city.




partial view of the port of alexandroupolis


Night view at Alexandroupolis port


the fish tavern "Mylos" at the seaside of Alexandroupolis


Ancient Messemvria , few kms west of the modern city




the beach of the city


night view of the famous lighthouse (the symbol of the city)
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Old August 14th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #2
Haradrim
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Dedeağaç is a nice city...
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Old August 14th, 2005, 10:35 PM   #3
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when i go to the sea, i listen greek-turk radios...interesting accent
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Old August 15th, 2005, 10:34 PM   #4
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Nice pics!!! Let me link to some more I found on the Internet:









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Old August 15th, 2005, 11:15 PM   #5
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Anyone have pictures of Komotini (Gümülcine)? That's where my grandfater is from.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:46 PM   #6
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Old February 28th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #7
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I have been there many times. Nice bougatza


BTW


this map shows a high speed train line. Is there any project between Athens and Thess?
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Old February 28th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #8
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High speed, yes there could actually be one, if u take 200kmph as a high speed.I think they have already complete the lines part.

From OSE:In Greece, the network modernization projects in progress will be completed over the period 2006-2008. On the PATHE axis (Patra - Athens - Thessaloniki - Idomeni), the double, electrified and remotely controlled track to be constructed will enable minimum traffic speeds of 200km/h.

But it says minimum, i ll search more and i ll tell u

Last edited by pilotos; February 28th, 2007 at 01:24 PM.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 01:52 PM   #9
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From "ergose" i found that the lines can handle the maximum speed of 250kmph.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 02:52 PM   #10
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I love my city!!
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Old February 28th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #11
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There is such a huge plain around the city, why are they building like a village, with one house over the other. Where are the open spaces? Why do they use so many apartments. There is so much land available ...


(This goes for many Greek cities of-course, but Alexandroupolis is a relevantly new one, and with such a huge free space around. For example the same wouldn't count for Kavala)
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #12
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Nice pics you added, Leafs I loved the aerials!!!
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroGardian View Post
There is such a huge plain around the city, why are they building like a village, with one house over the other. Where are the open spaces? Why do they use so many apartments. There is so much land available ...


(This goes for many Greek cities of-course, but Alexandroupolis is a relevantly new one, and with such a huge free space around. For example the same wouldn't count for Kavala)
because those fields are agricultral are and incoming source of the people and food source of your country.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:23 AM   #14
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I have been to Alexandroupoli and it is a very nice city i could say.Actually it's the 3rd city in my preferences that i like most.1st is Thessaloniki and 2nd is Kavala.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 12:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuvvaci View Post
because those fields are agricultral are and incoming source of the people and food source of your country.

I quite disagree with that,it is not a legitimate argument . Cities take a very short percentage on the total area for the population they host, compared to villages and towns.

If the city size was increased by a factor of 2 (Parks, open spaces, larger roads, pavements, place for new development), the agricultural land would be decreased by a factor of 0.5% (~ made up number).

Check any Greek village. It might have 1/3 - 1/10 the size of the city and host 1/100 of citizens.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:49 PM   #16
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^ Have you been to Alexandroupolis? Because it has many parks, wide roads and pavements. It has also one of the best street plans in Greece. From air it may look dense but from the ground is amazing. And it is expanding... In the last decade the population increased very much.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 02:21 PM   #17
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From my personal experience i second what epsilon5 already said above.Although the climate is a bit cold (even in the summer) the city itself is well planned,quiet and nice.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 05:37 PM   #18
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No, just judging from the pictures, which might be misleading.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #19
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woooooooooooooooooow
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Old March 13th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #20
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Beautiful Pictures of a beautiful City!!!!
Bravo real a good job!!!
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