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Didymoteicho

A beautiful city of 8,600 inhabitants with a rich history, well-preserved ancient Byzantine and Ottoman monuments near the border line. Didymoteicho is built in the shape of an amphitheater on a steep hill next to Erythropotamos, a tributary of Evros river. Some say the town was named after the two identical Byzantine walls (Didymoteicho = twin walls), others say it was named after the two fortified towns facing each other, the castle town and the town Aghia Petra ("kastro didymariko"). Didymoteicho became the capital of Byzantium in 1325 during the reign of Emperor Andronicus III. After the conquest of Thrace by the Turks, it became the capital of their empire for some time and the churches were transformed to mosques (more than 100 in the whole region). During the Turkish occupation the organized trade guilds brought economic growth to the town. Didymoteicho was also occupied by the Russians and the Bulgarians. It was finally liberated after the signature of the Treaty of Neuilly in 1920, after having been occupied for five and a half centuries. It is located 98 km NE of Alexandroupoli.

Sightseeing

  •  The walls surrounding "Pano Poli" (the upper town).
  •  The castle and Byzantine monuments of the archaeological site: You can visit the ruins of buildings and basements carved on the rock, the church of Aghia Aikaterini comprising tombs, the cathedral of Aghios Athanasios (1834), the church of the Christ (1846) and the two caves next to the Cathedral, where Charles XII, King of Sweden, is said to have been imprisoned by the Turks.
  •  The Great Mosque (14th century), the oldest and biggest Muslim sacred precinct on European soil.
  •  The Feridun Ahmet Hamam (16th century) as well as the one of Oruç Pasha (14th century), on the banks of Erythropotamos, also known as "the Baths of Love and Whispers”.
  •  The ancient town of Plotinopolis located on the hill of Aghia Petra. It was the present Emperor Traianus offered to his wife (early 2nd century A.D.).
  •  The Folklore Museum, housed in a beautiful manor house.
  •  The adjoining village of Neoi Psarades and the local Folklore and Zoological Museum.
  •  Elafochori (16 km NW) and the nearby stone tholos tomb (late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.).
  • The village of Pythio (16 km NE) where you can still see the ruins of a Byzantine castle established during the period 1331-1341 by Ioannis VI Katakouzinos.
  • The forest of Tsiggla.
  •  Te village of Metaxades (28 km W) with traditional houses, which are samples of the Thracian architecture.

Events

  •  Bazaar organized in late September.
  •  The custom of “Bay” during Carnival.
  •  “Eleftheria": festivities organized every year in May in order to celebrate the liberation of the town.

Useful Phone Numbers

  •  Municipality: 25530-22.236
  •  Police station: 25530-22.100
  •  Hospital: 25530-22.011-2
  •  Intercity Bus Service: 25530-22.366
  •  Hellenic Railways (OSE): 25530-22.263
  •  Folklore Museum: 25530-22.316

 

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