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Useful Information About Thrace

Population: 355,000

Rodopi is a very interesting region with great natural beauty (lakes Vistonida and Ismarida), rich flora and fauna on the massif located to the east of the prefecture, archaeological sites, traditional small villages and remarkable history. Komotini is the seat of the prefecture, a town with a very long course in history, where the Christian and Muslim communities co-exist in peace. The archaeological findings indicate that the region has been inhabited since the Prehistoric era. During the Historic times, Maroneia was the most important city of the region. It was established by settlers from Chios island in mid-7th century B.C. During the Byzantine period, towns such as Maroneia, Mosynoupolis, Anastasioupolis and Gratianoupolis played a uniquely important role. The mountain of Papikion became a major monastic center from the 10th until the 14th century. The region was occupied by the Turks in 1361 and during their occupation Goumoultzina (as Komotini was known at the time) became the most important settlement of this region, which finally joined Greece in 1920. Nowadays, Democritus University of Thrace, the new industrial plants and the construction of Egnatia Odos (not finalized) have largely contributed to the growth dynamics of the region. Rodopi shares borders with Bulgaria to the north, Xanthi to the west, Evros to the east and is on the Thracian Sea to the south.

Prefecture of Evros: The evolution of the civilization in Evros prefecture is connected with the geomorphology of the area and the existence of Evros river. The diachronic and powerful relationship of the river with the human communities is reflected ideally in the name of the present prefecture which is taken from the historic and life-giving river. The human groups live in ideal environmental conditions, which boost their economic development and constitute the foundation for a rich commercial and cultural activity. The area, being located between two virtual cultural cycles (West and East cycles), was influenced by both sides and created its own charming character.

The mountain range of Rodopi covered with virgin forests, the serpent-like Nestos river, the lake of Vistonida, the beautiful old town of Xanthi and the mountain villages attract many visitors to the Prefecture of Xanthi. The region has been inhabited since the Neolithic era. During the ancient times, the most important town here was Avdira. During the 1st century A.D. Apostle Paul spread Christianity in this region, which was a Roman province at the time. During the Byzantine years the most important settlements of Polystylon (which replaced Avdira), Topeiros, Xantheia, Poroi, while during the Turkish ccupation (1829-1870) Genisea was the capital of the region. After being burnt down, it declined and was replaced by the town Xanthi. The region of Xanthi, which definitively joined Greece in May 1920, shares borders with Rodopi to the east, Bulgaria to the north, Drama and Kavala to the west and is on the Thracian Sea to the south.

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