On the magnificent island of Thassos, our nature offers the original "throubes" olives, with a Protective Designation of Origin qualification, as well as an exquisite extra virgin olive oil, the reputation of which goes beyond the borders of our country!
Even though this "couscousi" was brought to us by the Arabs and came to these parts of Greeece from regions in Northern Africa, people in Thrace use this kind of coarse semolina a lot into their recipes. You may enjoy it in salads or accompanying a main dish!
The city of Kavala, a major port on the north Aegean coast, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The first city, named Neapolis or New City, was probably a colony of the nearby island of Thasos, which in turn was a colony of Paros in the Cyclades. The city enjoyed periods of prosperity while its relations with Thasos went through many fluctuations. During the Peloponnesian War the city sided with Athens. It minted its own currency, a sign of independence. Like the rest of the region, it came under the control of the Macedonians, the new leading Greek power, and rose to prominence as the seaport of Philippi. Its importance increased in Roman times with the settlement of Roman colonists and the construction of the Via Egnatia, being a crossroads both by land and by sea. This was one of the reasons which led Saint Paul to disembark in the city, having come from Asia Minor, on his first missionary journey to Europe, spreading Christianity. Christianity left its mark on the city with the establishment of several churches. During the migration period (7th-9th C.), when Kavala lost control of most of its hinterland, the city remained in the hands of the Byzantines, still an important port on the route from Constantinople to Thessaloniki. The city, rebuilt with funds provided by the imperial capital, was given a new name, Christoupolis, City of Christ. Plundered by the Normans, it fell into the hands of the Crusaders for a short time. During the Byzantine civil wars in the early 14th century it became the theatre of many battles; in order to avert the attacks of the Catalan Company a long wall was built by the Emperor loannis Palaiologos. After many changes of fortune, the city fell under the control of the Ottomans around 1390 and according to some sources it was razed to the ground. Life went on apparently less lavishly until the early 16th century when the city was revived by the Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha and acquired the infrastructure of a standard Ottoman centre, equipped with a mosque, inn, imaret (scholarly and charitable foundation), hammam (baths), etc. The city remained a quiet, small administrative regional centre until the explosion of the tobacco trade at the end of the 17th century. The success of oriental tobacco in the western markets turned Kavala into a bustling commercial centre, attracting merchants from around the world. The rapid population growth led to the expansion of the city beyond its walls in the mid-1860s. Vast and numerous warehouses were built as well as new neighbourhoods for workers and entrepreneurs. The city passed shortly into the hands of the Bulgarians in the First Balkan War in 1912, before becoming part of Greece in 1913. During the Bulgarian occupation of 1916-1918 the city lost a large part of its population due to starvation. In 1923 many Greek refugees from Asia Minor, Pontus and Eastern Thrace settled. During the occupation in the Second World War, the city was annexed by Bulgaria, an ally of Nazi Germany, and paid a heavy toll. In the postwar period the city expanded and, after the collapse of the tobacco trade industry, its economy was oriented to services.
"Ifkadia" is the Thracian version of the Italian "papardela" (a certain kind of pasta), as well as of the Greek "chilopita" (a Greek kind of pasta, as well). You may enjoy them in many different original dishes!
With tradition leading the way, this "kasseri" cheese that is produced in the city of Xanthi and the settlements around it is truly exceptional. Whoever tries it... tries it again!
The best seasons for this route is the spring and the autumn and particularly the time before the sunset when the sky is clear. From Maronia we going up for 3 km to Plataniti. The road continues along the coast and reaches the beach of Proskiniton, which extends the settlements Alcyone, Kryoneri and Profitis Elias. Continue alongside the Thracian Sea to the road to get a northerly direction, passing out of the harbor Imeros and continues for the settlement Imeros. Follow westerly direction and signs to Glyfada. Cross the Lisso River from the Irish crossing and south of the Lake Ismarida after the bridge turn right channel approaching the premises of the farm. Return to the paved road. After a mile turn left to reach the area Molyvote (6km, of which the last two is dirt road), where you will see the lagoons Elos and Ptelea. Besides the lagoon there are the ruins of ancient Strymi. Returning to the main road (6 km), turn left and go through the village of Glyfada where you reach the junction that turning right leads to Buckle and Komotini, left to the beach of Mesi and going straight to the village of Mesi. On the Mesi beach there is a paved pedestrian road and a bicycle lane for 2km that pass between the lagoon and the sea Karatzas and reach Agori village. Arogi and Fanari are a single, continuous beach along the lagoon Xirolimni. By car you will follow the path of Mesi Beach - Mesi - Arogi - Fanari, making a big circle because there is no crossing of vehicles between Middle Beach and Relief. On this route you will have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful landscape with the birds of the lagoons, the traditional farms and the beautiful beaches. In Fanari village you will find one of the most beautiful and touristic parts of the Thracian area with many facilities, hotels, restaurants, shopping and ATM banking. From the national road you can be back to Komotini in 20 minutes covering a distance of 35 mm (total distance covered 47 km,
Start at the Archaeological Museum at 2 Patriarchou Dionysiou Street. It operates daily from 8:30 till 15:00. Closed on Monday. Entrance: 2 euro. Telephone: +3025210 31365 In the small, but well organized Archaeological Museum, the visitor will see interesting evidence of over 50,000 years of man’s presence in the region from the time when nomadic cattle farm- ers populated the Cave of Aggitis and the first Neolithic farmers and cattle breeders lived in the villages of Sitagra and Arkadiko, until the Inter-war Period. A replica of a Neolithic house made of wood, branches and mud, complete with an oven and household items, even bobbins, attracts the attention of young and old alike. A stage post sign from Macedonian times and a milestone from Egnatia Highway, which were found in Kalabaki, indicate the pres- ence of a signifi road network and the position of the area as a crossroads of trade routes. Time is measured by a sundial with etched hour indicators and the date, 1069. The latest fi in the museum is a Mammoth tusk which was found in 2005 in the Aggitis area. From the Museum, head toward the Municipal Garden, with wa- ter features, perennial plane trees and the Statue of Liberty in the east side of the garden, created by the sculptor Laz- aros Lameras and the architect I.N. Halepas. Turn left at Atha- nasiadis Street and you will fi Eleftsquare on your right. Agios Nikolaos church (formerly Eski Minaret), built in the 15th century, complete with a cu- pola, 9 domes and semi-circle arches, overlooks the square. In the NE corner of the square you can see the bust of Macedonian fiArmen Koubtsios, who was hanged there in 1907. From Eleft Square, go down G. Zervos Street and turn right into Armen Street. At the corner of Armen Street and Agamemnon Street, you will fi the Sardivan Mosque featuring frescoes on the portico and an illustration of a paradisaical town, which is presumed to represent Drama at the end of Ottoman Rule. Head towards Tria Street where you can see a Hellenistic tomb in the Macedonian style. Carry on towards Di- kastirion Square and admire the Ottoman fountain in front of the Law Courts on Themidos Street. From Themidos Street, continue onto K. Palaiologou Street where you can see the Arap Mosque at the junction of Megalou Alexandrou Street and L. Labrianidou Street. The Municipality of Drama plans to convert the minaret into an art gallery. On Megalou Alexandrou Street, go towards 19 May Street which was created when the Monastiraki Stream was fi in the 1960s and constitutes a signifi shopping street in the town. From 19 May Street, head towards EleftVenizelos Street. Going up this main road around which the town was built, you see the Byzantine Pammegiston Taxiarchon Church on your left The walls were made with the ‘opus incertum’ technique, and parts of the interior walls have survived, with some of their icons (Circle of Passions and the Archangels Michael and Gabriel), Ga- briel, dating back to the fi two decades of the 14th century. On the south side there is a crypt (ossuary). The church is thought to have been a burial chapel for Empress Ireni - Palaiologina. At the junction of Venizelos Street and Kountouriotou Street, is the his- toric Eleft cafe, a two storey neoclassical building, which was built by the Greek Community of Drama at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, there is a café on the ground fl and a cultural centre on the fi fl . The entrance is on Kountouriotou Street. To the right, a part of the eastern Byzantine wall can be discerned as well as the rear of the inns whose façade is on Venizelos Street. The Byzantine Walls of Drama, 850m in perimeter, date to the 10th century. In 1206 they were completely rebuilt by Boniface of Mont- ferrat. In the Taxiarches Church precinct (SE corner of the walls) there are visible traces of one of two known stairways. The town clock, which was removed in 1945, was on a tower on the crum- bling north side wall, accessible from 19 May Street. At 18 Kountouriotou Street, one can admire an excellent example of urban architecture; the tobacco agent Gian- noulils Dakos mansion built in 1926- 1927. Carry on till Agia Sophia Church, the oldest surviving church in the town. The 10th century church, which is approximately 2 metres below present ground level, consists of a transitional style basilica (octagonal dome) and peristyle and is of a similar structure to that of the walls. The pillared antechamber west of the church and the clock tower (former minaret) were added when the church was transformed into a mosque under Ottoman Rule. Originally dedicated to the Assumption, the church took its present name from refugees in 1922. Next to Agia Sophia is the Bouboura Mansion (1972), which, with its extravagant exterior relief decoration and a main entrance in the Art Nouveau style, unavoidably attracts attention. Return to E. Venizelos Street, where the “OLYMPIA” cinema, one of the oldest in Greece, can be found on the corner. Owned by the Israeli Community of Drama, it operated from the beginning of the 1920s. In 1940 it was named “Olympia”. It was bought by the Mu- nicipality of Drama and now serves as as a cultural centre. Every year, in September, fi from The Greek and International Short Films Festival are screened here for a week. A truncated aisled basilica with a pitched roof can be seen op- posite “OLYMPIA” - the old Metropolitan Church of Drama – built in 1834 on the site of an older church of 1721, which was prob- ably destroyed in the earthquake of 1829. There are remarkable icons from the mid 19th century on the ornate wooden iconostasis. Some bear the signatures of the artists Stergiou and Anthimou from Nevrokopi and the artist Iakovos Melenikiotis. The Ecclesiastic Museum is at the end of Venizelos Street on the right. The treasures on display mainly come from heirlooms brought by refugees from Asia Minor and Ponto between 1922- 1924. Particularly valuable are the icons of Theotoko Odigitria and Mr. Evlogoudos, which are among the oldest found to date. The Greek Schools of Drama are at the junction of Perdikka Street and Venizelos Street, built between 1907-1908 with a donation by the family of Macedonian Fighter Pavlos Melas and the support of Bishop Chrisostomos, National Martyr of Drama. Continuing your walk down Perdika Street, you fi yourself in front of Pabouka Mansion, an ex- ample of late 19th and early 20th century eclectic ar- chitecture. Its designer, Chr. Dimopoulos, was as- sistant to the Austrian architect, Konrad von Vilas. The incorporation of the building on this particular plot, shows Dimopoulos’ ability in architectural composition. An impressive large multi-storey tobacco warehouse, work of Konrad von Vilas, awaits you at 10, Perdikka Street. The façades indicate central European infland elements of Art Nouveau. Machinery has been preserved inside, as has the stairwell with its iron banister which leads to the fifl, where the offi used to be. The tobacco warehouse belongs to the Municipality of Drama and hosts some of the events during the Short Film Fes- tival every year. In Taxiarches Square, the Taxiarchia, or Tzimou mansion, was built in 1925 by Konrad von Vilas for the tobacco merchant Andreas Tzimou, an example of eclecticism with ele- ments of the Renaissance, Baroque and recent central European architecture. Vilas brought craftfrom Austria to build the mansion. From here, go down Perdikka Street once more, turn right into Elli Street, go along Kilkisi Street until you come to Agia Barbara church, patron saint of Drama. On the night of her name day celebration, children flsmall boats decorated with candles lit in her honour in the springs. You are in the area of the Agia Barbara springs, that earthly paradise of still and running water, which travelers have praised and locals worship. In the southern area of the Agia Bar- bara springs, stone built pre-industri- al establishments can be discerned: traditional watermills of the 19th cen- tury: The blower drive mechanism and grinding area with its millstones and the miller’s two storey house have been preserved at Zonke mill. Dimitropoulos watermill has survived almost intact behind Melina hall. Pantoulis watermill has been converted into a leisure centre. The Monument to Jewish Holocaust Martyrs stands next to the small outdoor theatre (where Giosef Faratzi’s tobacco warehouse used to be and where the Nazis locked up Jews in 1943, before moving them to Tremplinka) and behind the Visitors Information Centre, which used to be an old OSE pump station. On the north side of the park, the multi-story tobacco warehouse belonging to the Swiss-Jewish tobacco merchant, Erman Spirer, from 1925, (property of Manolis Ledaki today and presently being converted into a luxurious hotel) is witness to the golden age of the town, when tobacco workers swamped the tobacco shops and basmas scattered its heady aroma everywhere. Finish your walk with a meal at one of the small tavernas in the park.