Komotini

Komotini

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Komotini'
Start a new discussion about 'Komotini'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Komotini is a city in Thrace
Western Thrace
Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

, northeastern Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. It is the capital of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace
East Macedonia and Thrace
East Macedonia and Thrace is one of the thirteen regions of Greece. It consists of the northeastern parts of the country, comprising the eastern part of the region of Macedonia along with the region of Thrace, and the islands of Thasos and Samothrace....

 and of the Rhodope regional unit. It is also the administrative center of the Rhodope-Evros
Evros Prefecture
Evros is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Its name is derived from the river Evros, which appears to have been a Thracian hydronym. Evros is the northernmost regional unit. It borders Turkey to the east, across the river Evros, and it...

 super-prefecture
Super-prefectures of Greece
The super-prefectures of Greece were a second-degree organization of local self-government and an administrative division between the regions and the prefectures. They were each headed by an elected but largely ceremonial super-prefect, with most of the prefectural duties performed by the prefects...

. The city is home to the Democritus University of Thrace
Democritus University of Thrace
Democritus University of Thrace was established in July 1973. It is based in Komotini, Greece and has campuses in the Thracian cities of Xanthi, Alexandroupoli and Orestiada. The university accepted the first students in the academic year 1974–1975...

, founded in 1973. Komotini is home to a sizeable Turkish-speaking
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 minority, which constitutes 50% of the city's population.

Geography


The city stands at an altitude of 32-38m on the Thracian plain
Western Thrace
Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

 near the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains
Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodopes are a mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik , is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain...

. There is little urban planning in the older parts of city, in contrast to more recently developed quarters. According to the 2011 census, the municipality's population amounts to 66,580, a number that does not include approximately 12,000 resident students, trainees and soldiers. There are two airports near Komotini. The nearest is in Alexandroupoli
Alexandroupoli
Alexandroupoli , is a city of Greece and the capital of the Evros peripheral unit in Thrace. Named after King Alexander, it is an important port and commercial center of northeastern Greece.-Name:...

 (65 km), and the other is in Kavala
Kavala
Kavala , is the second largest city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of Kavala peripheral unit. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala, across from the island of Thasos...

 (80 km). It has rail and bus links to all continental Greek cities as well as Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, and the good provincial road network has been supplemented by the new Egnatia Odos
Egnatia Odos (modern road)
Egnatia Odos is the Greek part of the European route. It is a motorway in Greece that extends from the western port of Igoumenitsa to the eastern Greek–Turkish border at Kipoi. It runs a total of...

 motorway.

Antiquity


Komotini has existed as a settlement since the 2nd century AD. That is confirmed by archaeological finds of that era up until the 4th century. It is also confirmed by an inscription on the ruins of the 4th-century Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 wall, that are visible at various sites in the city, which reads "Theodosiou Ktisma" = Building of Theodosius. The inscription was discovered by the Komotini-born Prof. Stilponas Kyriakidis and the then mayor Sofocles Komninos. It is said that the township 'Komotini' originates from the 5th century and is linked to the daughter of the painter Parrasios from Maroneia
Maroneia
Maroneia is a village and a former municipality in the Rhodope peripheral unit, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Maroneia-Sapes, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 7,644...

. During the Roman age
Roman Greece
Roman Greece is the period of Greek history following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by the Emperor Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire...

 it was one of the several fortresses along the Via Egnatia
Via Egnatia
The Via Egnatia was a road constructed by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. It crossed the Roman provinces of Illyricum, Macedonia, and Thrace, running through territory that is now part of modern Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, and European Turkey.Starting at Dyrrachium on the...

 highway which existed in the Thrace area. The most important city of that period was neighbouring Maximianopolis
Maximianopolis
Maximianopolis can refer to:* Maximianopolis * Maximianopolis * Maximianopolis...

, former Thracian Porsulis or Paesoulae (which was renamed to Mosynopolis
Mosynopolis
Mosynopolis , known in late Antiquity as Maximianoupolis, was a Byzantine town in Thrace located on the Via Egnatia near the modern Greek city of Komotini. The town was destroyed by the Bulgarian tsar Kaloyan in 1207 after his victory over the Latin Empire in the battle of Mosynopolis...

 in the 9th century). Komotini was a Via Egnatia hub on its northern route through the Nymphaea Pass which lead to the Ardas Valley, Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv
Plovdiv
Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...

) and Byzantine Berroe (modern Stara Zagora
Stara Zagora
Stara Zagora is the sixth largest city in Bulgaria, and a nationally important economic center. Located in Southern Bulgaria, it is the administrative capital of the homonymous Stara Zagora Province...

).

Eastern Roman/Byzantine Era


The city's history is closely connected with that of Via Egnatia
Via Egnatia
The Via Egnatia was a road constructed by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. It crossed the Roman provinces of Illyricum, Macedonia, and Thrace, running through territory that is now part of modern Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, and European Turkey.Starting at Dyrrachium on the...

, the Roman trunk road which connected Dyrrhachium
Durrës
Durrës is the second largest city of Albania located on the central Albanian coast, about west of the capital Tirana. It is one of the most ancient and economically important cities of Albania. Durres is situated at one of the narrower points of the Adriatic Sea, opposite the Italian ports of Bari...

 with Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

. The Roman emperor Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

 built a small rectilinear fortress on the road at a junction with a route leading north across the Rhodope Mountains
Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodopes are a mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik , is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain...

 toward Philippopolis
Plovdiv
Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...

. During the Byzantine period, the city belonged to the Theme of Macedonia, whilst from the 9th century it could be found within the newly founded theme of Boleron. For most of its early existence the settlement was overshadowed by the larger town of Mosynopolis
Mosynopolis
Mosynopolis , known in late Antiquity as Maximianoupolis, was a Byzantine town in Thrace located on the Via Egnatia near the modern Greek city of Komotini. The town was destroyed by the Bulgarian tsar Kaloyan in 1207 after his victory over the Latin Empire in the battle of Mosynopolis...

 to the west, and by the end of the 12th century, the place had been completely abandoned. In 1207 following the destruction of Mosynopolis by the Bulgarian
Second Bulgarian Empire
The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state which existed between 1185 and 1396 . A successor of the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th-early 15th century...

 tsar Kaloyan
Kaloyan of Bulgaria
Kaloyan the Romanslayer , Ivan II , ruled as emperor of Bulgaria 1197-1207. He is the third and youngest brother of Peter IV and Ivan Asen I who managed to restore the Bulgarian Empire...

, the remnant population fled and established themselves within the walls of the abandoned fortress. Since then the population had been increasing continuously until it became an important town within the area. In 1331 John Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos or Cantacuzenus was the Byzantine emperor from 1347 to 1354.-Early life:Born in Constantinople, John Kantakouzenos was the son of a Michael Kantakouzenos, governor of the Morea. Through his mother Theodora Palaiologina Angelina, he was a descendant of the reigning house of...

 referred to her as Koumoutzina in his account of the Byzantine civil war of 1321–1328
Byzantine civil war of 1321–1328
The Byzantine civil war of 1321–1328 was a series of conflicts fought in the 1320s between the Byzantine emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos and his grandson Andronikos III Palaiologos over control of the Byzantine Empire.-Prelude to the civil war:...

. In 1332 Andronikos III Palaiologos
Andronikos III Palaiologos
Andronikos III Palaiologos, Latinized as Andronicus III Palaeologus was Byzantine emperor from 1328 to 1341, after being rival emperor since 1321. Andronikos III was the son of Michael IX Palaiologos and Rita of Armenia...

 set camp in Komotini to face Umur Bey of Smyrna
Smyrna
Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey...

 at the Panagia village close to the Panagia Vathirryakos (Fatirgiaka) monastery. However, Umur departed without a battle. In 1341 the historian Nikephoros Phokas referred to the town with its current name. In 1343, during the civil war
Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347
The Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347 was a conflict between supporters of designated regent John VI Kantakouzenos and guardians acting for John V Palaiologos, Emperor Andronikos III's nine-year-old son, in the persons of the Empress-dowager Anna of Savoy, the Patriarch of Constantinople John XIV...

 between John VI Kantakouzenos and John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos was a Byzantine emperor, who succeeded his father in 1341, at age nine.-Biography:...

, Komotini along with the neighbouring forts of Asomatos, Paradimi, Kranovouni and Stylario joined Kantakouzenos' side. John VI Kantakouzenos escaped to Komotini to survive from a battle with the army of the Bulgarian brigand Momchil
Momchil
Momchil was a 14th-century Bulgarian brigand and local ruler. Initially a member of a bandit gang in the borderlands of Bulgaria, Byzantium and Serbia, Momchil was recruited by the Byzantines as a mercenary...

  near the already ruined Mosynopolis.

Ottoman Era


In the Ottoman Era
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, Komotini was known as Gümülcine or Ghumurdjina. The city continued to be an important hub connecting the capital city of Constantinople
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 with the European part of the Empire, and grew accordingly. Many monuments in the city today date to this era. In 1361, Gazi Evrenos
Gazi Evrenos
Evrenos or Evrenuz was an Ottoman military commander, with an unlikely longevous career and lifetime...

 conquered the town and thus a long period of Ottoman rule began. Many local families fled at that time to Epirus and founded the Koumoutzades village (modern Ammotopos, Arta). Even there they were persecuted and some of them found refuge in Tropaia of Gortynia. The bond between the inhabitants of Komotini, Ammotopos and Tropaia exists to this day. Komotini then belonged to the Edirne villayet and was the seat of the Komotini Kaza. After the end of the Ottoman rule, the town extended its boundaries beyond its walls. Komotini maintained its mostly Greek profile up to the end of the 16th century. In 1548 the French tourist Pierre Bellon stated that "the city is inhabited by Greeks and a few Muslims". Mass relocation of Uruks from the depths of Asia Minor and the islamisation of Pomaks
Pomaks
Pomaks is a term used for a Slavic Muslim population native to some parts of Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. The Pomaks speak Bulgarian as their native language, also referred to in Greece and Turkey as Pomak language, and some are fluent in Turkish,...

 were required to reinforce the Muslim population of the city. A Jewish community has also been described. During the Ottoman rule many armed insurgent Greek groups existed in the area, which forced Ahmed III
Ahmed III
Ahmed III was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and a son of Sultan Mehmed IV . His mother was Mâh-Pâre Ummatullah Râbi'a Gül-Nûş Valide Sultan, originally named Evmania Voria, who was an ethnic Greek. He was born at Hajioglupazari, in Dobruja...

 to order their dissolution with poor results. During the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

 Komotini's inhabitants contributed substantially with Ioannikios (later bishop), Aggelis Kirzalis and Captain Stavros Kobenos (members of the Filiki Eteria
Filiki Eteria
thumb|right|200px|The flag of the Filiki Eteria.Filiki Eteria or Society of Friends was a secret 19th century organization, whose purpose was to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece and to establish an independent Greek state. Society members were mainly young Phanariot Greeks from Russia and local...

 organisation). During the following decades Komotini progressed financially due to the processing and trade of tobacco. Greeks took advantage of the religious liberty granted by the Ottomans and completely controlled the economic activity of the city. The mansions that can be found today in the streets of Komotini (such as Stalios, Malliopoulos, Peidis) were built in that era. After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, a new wave of Muslim refugees arrived in Komotini. During that period the area found itself under Bulgarian pressure which originated in the rise of Bulgarian nationalism. In 1880 a Girls School and a Boys Urban School were functioning. In 1885 the cultural association 'Omonoia' was founded and it contributed in the cultural life of the city by presenting theatrical plays and concerts. Great benefactors such as Nestor Tsanaklis (builder of the Tsanakleios School, Dimitrios Sintos etc. rose during that era. Remarkable people that were born in Komotini include Alexandros Symeonidis (Professor of Medicine at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and Victoria Margaritopoulou (one of the first Greek female doctors).

Jewish Community


Writings in the area of ancient Maroneia confirm the presence of Jews in the area. In the 16th century the Jewish community of Komotini consisted of Sephardite Jews who were textile and wool merchants. Many of the Jews had come to Komotini as immigrants from Edirne and Thessaloniki. The community was concentrated within the ancient walls of the city where the Synagogue was built in the 18th century. It was destroyed during WWII. In 1900 there were 1,200 Jews. In 1910 the Alliance Israelite Universelle School started functioning. Greek, French and Hebrew were taught in the school. In 1912–13 many Jews moved to larger cities such as Thessaloniki and Istanbul. After the liberation of Komotini (May 1920) the Israelite community of Komotini had a Cultural Club and Charity organisations. During the Bulgarian occupation, the Bulgarians (Nazi allies) arrested 863 Jews and sent them to the concentration camp of Treblinka where they were exterminated (28 survived the Holocaust). In 1958 the Israelite community was dissolved due to lack of members. In 2004 the municipality of Komotini created a memorial (southern entrance of Central Park) for the victims of the Holocaust.

First Balkan War


During the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success...

, Bulgarian forces captured the city, only to surrender it to the Greek army
Hellenic Army
The Hellenic Army , formed in 1828, is the land force of Greece.The motto of the Hellenic Army is , "Freedom Stems from Valor", from Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War...

 during the Second Balkan War
Second Balkan War
The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Bulgaria had a prewar agreement about the division of region of Macedonia...

 on July 14, 1913. In this period, a short-lived independent state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

, the Provisional Government of Western Thrace, was established in Western Thrace
Western Thrace
Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

. Komotini was declared as capital city of that state. The Treaty of Bucharest
Treaty of Bucharest
Five peace treaties were signed in Bucharest:# Treaty of Bucharest - May 28, 1812, at the end of the Russo-Turkish war, Turkey cedes Bessarabia to Russia# Treaty of Bucharest - March 3, 1886, at the end of the Serbo-Bulgarian War...

, however, handed the city back to Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

. Despite various schemes by Greek inhabitants to avoid Bulgarian occupation, the city was part of Bulgaria until the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. During this period, the city had the Bulgarian name Гюмюрджина Gyumyurdzina. In 1919, in the Treaty of Neuilly
Treaty of Neuilly
The Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, dealing with Bulgaria for its role as one of the Central Powers in World War I, was signed on 27 November 1919 at Neuilly-sur-Seine, France....

, Komotini was handed back to Greece, along with the rest of Western Thrace.

Modern Komotini


Komotini is, nowadays, a thriving commercial and administrative centre. It is heavily centralised with the majority of commerce and services based around the historical core of the city. Getting around on foot is therefore very practical. However, traffic can be remarkably heavy due to the daily commute. In the past, a river used to divide Komotini into two parts. In the 1970s, after repeated flooding episodes it was eventually diverted and replaced by the main avenues of the city.

Heart of the City

At the heart of the city lie the evergreen Municipal Central Park and the 15 m-high WW2 Heroes' Memorial, locally known as 'The Sword'. The revamped Central square or Plateia Irinis (Square of Peace) is the focus of a vibrant nightlife boosted by the huge number of students living in the city. The Old commercial centre is very popular with tourists as it houses traditional shops and workshops that have long vanished from other Greek cities. In addition, in the northwestern outskirts of the city (Nea Mosinoupoli) locals and tourists alike flock into a modern shopping plaza: Kosmopolis Park, which houses department stores, shops, supermarkets, a cinema complex, cafés and restaurants. The area stretching from Kosmopolis to Ifaistos is gradually becoming a retail destination in its own right.

Culture and Entertainment

Komotini began life as a Byzantine Fortress built by the Emperor Theodosius in the 4th century AD. The ruins of this quadrangular structure can still be found NW of the central square. Komotini has several museums including the Archaeological, Byzantine and Folklore museums. SW of the central square one can find the Open-air Municipal Theatre, which hosts many cultural shows and events such as the cultural summer (πολιτιστικό καλοκαίρι = politistiko kalokairi). There is a Regional Theatre (DIPETHE) whose company produces many plays all year round. 6 km NE of Komotini is the Nymfaia forest. It has recreational facilities which comprise trails, courts, playgrounds and space for environmental studies
Environmental studies
Environmental studies is the academic field which systematically studies human interaction with the environment. It is a broad interdisciplinary field of study that includes the natural environment, built environment, and the sets of relationships between them...

. The forest is divided by a paved road which leads to the ruins of yet another Byzantine fortress and the historical (WWII) fort of Nymfaia.

Demographics

The population is quite multilingual for a city of its size and it is made up of local Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, Greek refugees
Greek refugees
Greek refugees is a collective term used to refer to the Greeks from Asia Minor who were evacuated or relocated in Greece following the Treaty of Lausanne and the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey...

 from Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 and East Thrace
East Thrace
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace , also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey that is geographically part of Europe, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; most of Turkey is in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called...

, Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s of Turkish
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

, Pomak
Pomaks
Pomaks is a term used for a Slavic Muslim population native to some parts of Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. The Pomaks speak Bulgarian as their native language, also referred to in Greece and Turkey as Pomak language, and some are fluent in Turkish,...

 and Romani origins, descendants of refugees who survived the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

, and recent refugees, including Pontic Greeks
Pontic Greeks
The Pontians are an ethnic group traditionally living in the Pontus region, the shores of Turkey's Black Sea...

, from the countries of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (mainly Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

).

Municipality


The municipality Komotini was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 3 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
  • Aigeiros
    Aigeiros
    Aigeiros is a village and a former municipality in the Rhodope peripheral unit, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Komotini, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 4,418 ....

  • Komotini
  • Neo Sidirochori
    Neo Sidirochori
    Neo Sidirochori is a village and a former municipality in the Rhodope peripheral unit, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Komotini, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 3,497 ....


Quarters


Central
Historic Commercial Centre, Plaka, Armenio

West
Nea Mosinoupoli, Remvi

South-West
Kavakliotika, Stathmos, Ergatika Stathmou, Ergatika DEI

South
Zimvrakaki

South-East
Agios Stylianos

East
Neoktista

North
Agia Varvara/Stratones

Suburbs

  • Komotini Industrial Zone (SE, 9 km from City centre), with dozens of factories and an environmentally friendly
    Environmentally friendly
    Environmentally friendly are terms used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies claimed to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment....

     natural gas-fuelled power plant.
  • Panepistimioupoli/Democritus University Campus (NW,3 km from City Centre) home of D.U.TH.
  • Ifaistos (NW,adjacent to Nea Mosinoupoli), home of a large Roma community
  • Roditis (SE,5 km from City Centre), residential area
    Residential area
    A residential area is a land use in which housing predominates, as opposed to industrial and commercial areas.Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These include single family housing, multi-family residential, or mobile homes. Zoning for residential use may permit...

     with upmarket properties
  • Karidia (NE,4 km from City Centre), residential area with upmarket properties
  • Kosmio (S,3 km from City Centre), residential area
  • Thrilorio (SE,8 km from City Centre), residential area
  • Ampelokipoi (SE,2 km from City Centre), residential area
  • Kikidio (SE,2 km from City Centre), mixed residential-business area
  • Ifantes (W, 2 km from City Centre), mixed residential-business area

Education


There are more than adequate primary and secondary education facilities in the city. There are around 20 primary schools, 7 gymnasia (junior high schools) and 4 lykeia (high schools) as well as the Institute for Vocational Training (IEK Komotini). In addition there is 2 technical education institutes (TEE).

Komotini is an established university city in the North of Greece known for its high standard of education and the unique and unforgettable 'Komotini student experience'. It is home to the Central Administration and several departments of the Democritus University of Thrace
Democritus University of Thrace
Democritus University of Thrace was established in July 1973. It is based in Komotini, Greece and has campuses in the Thracian cities of Xanthi, Alexandroupoli and Orestiada. The university accepted the first students in the academic year 1974–1975...

 including the following:
  • Law School
  • Physical Education and Sport Sciences
  • History and Ethnology
  • Greek Literature
  • Social Administration
  • International Financial Relations and Development
  • Business Management (commencing in 2009)
  • Politics (commencing in 2009)
  • Languages, Literature and Civilization of Black Sea countries


The Komotini campus has a dynamic population of approximately 5–10.000 students and a major part of social life evolves around it. The founding of the University of Thrace in 1973 has had a significant positive influence on the entire urban area fuelling the city's expansion and growth.

The Police Academy is located 7 km from Komotini on the road to Xanthi on extensive grounds and with modern facilities.

Television


The main television station based in Komotini is R Channel although other stations broadcast from the city, namely Delta from neighbouring Alexandroupoli and ET3
ERT3
ET3 is the third television network of the ERT, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation. It broadcasts nationwide from Thessaloniki. It has regional studios operating in various cities across the country, including Florina, Komotini and Alexandroupolis and on the islands of Paros, Mytilini and...

 (the northern branch of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation) from Thessaloniki.

Radio


There are dozens of stations one can tune into. Some are broadcast from neighbouring towns and others are from Athens. The main Radio Stations broadcasting from Komotini are:
  • ERA Komotinis (part of the national ERA network, greatest coverage area in N. Greece)
  • Diavlos Rodopis
  • Hit FM
  • Radio Hronos
  • Radio Paratiritis
  • Radio Komotini
  • Isik FM
  • Radio City

Press


There has been increasing activity in this sector for the last 50 years. There are now 7 daily and 2 weekly active newspapers in the city.
  • O Hronos (The Time): Oldest, most popular, politics and news based content
  • Paratiritis tis Thrakis (Observer of Thrace): Multilingual (recognised with distinction by the President of The Hellenic Republic for its innovation) politics and culture.
  • To Elefthero Vima (Free Standpoint): Politics and culture.
  • Thrakiki Agora (Thracian Market): Weekly Politics and Financial news.
  • I Paremvasi (Intervention): Politics.
  • I Foni tis Rodopis (Voice of Rodopi): Politics.
  • Antifonitis (The Opposition): Reactionary Politics, satirical commentary.
  • Thrakiki Gi (Thracian Land): Politics and Agricultural News.
  • I Patrida (The Homeland): One of the oldest,Politics.


All of the above are paper based. However, there is an increasing volume of news and content that is on the newspapers' websites. The latter can be accessed from the news section of Komotini's commercial portal.

Transportation


Komotini is a midland city and has no port. It is served by two airports. The nearest is in Alexandroupoli (65 km), and the other is in Kavala (80 km).

Highway Network


European route E90
European route E90
European route E 90 is an A-Class West-East European route, extending from Lisbon in Portugal in the west to the Turkish-Iraqi border in the east.-Itinerary:...

 runs through the city and connects Komotini with the other Greek Continental cities. The Egnatia Motorway (A2)
Egnatia Odos (modern road)
Egnatia Odos is the Greek part of the European route. It is a motorway in Greece that extends from the western port of Igoumenitsa to the eastern Greek–Turkish border at Kipoi. It runs a total of...

 lies south of the city. One can enter the city from one of two Junctions; 'Komotini West' and 'Komotini East'.

Public transit


There are a number of municipal buses serving 3 main lines within the city. The Intercity Bus Company of Komotini connects it to many local villages, the coastal areas and major Greek cities.

Railway


Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) trains run regularly at least twice daily westwards to Thessaloniki and Athens and eastwards to Evros and occasionally Istanbul.

Sports


There is an impressive array of sports facilities available. They include the Komotini Municipal Stadium (Home of Panthrakikos FC), Panthrakiko Stadium (training grounds), Municipal Sports Complex (NE of the city), Municipal Swimming pool and Basketball Arena, Democritus University Sports Complex including an Arena and an Aquatic Centre as well as Basketball courts in almost every school in the city. The mountainous area in the north of the city is ideal for mountain-biking and trekking as well as 4x4 racing both of which take place throughout the year.

Panthrakikos F.C.
Panthrakikos F.C.
Panthrakikos is a football club in Komotini of Thrace in North Eastern Greece founded in 1963. The club competed in Super League Greece during the season 2008–2009 for the first time.-History:The early years, 1963-2001...

Football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 team, joined the Greek Superleague during the 2007–2009 seasons. Currently in the Football League.
  • G.A.S. Komotini – Basketball, Football and Swimming teams
  • A.E.Komotini – Basketball, Volleyball and Football teams
  • Olympiada – Track and Field

Historical population

Year Town population Municipality population
1981 37,487 40,141
1991 37,036 45,934
2001 46,586 52,659
2011 51,437 66,580

See also

  • Rodhopi
  • Greek Muslim minority
  • Turks of Western Thrace
    Turks of Western Thrace
    Turks of Western Thrace are ethnic Turks who live in Western Thrace, in the north-eastern part of Greece.According to the Greek census of 1991, there were approximately 50,000 Turks in Western Thrace, out of the approximately 98,000 strong Muslim minority of Greece...

  • Pomaks
    Pomaks
    Pomaks is a term used for a Slavic Muslim population native to some parts of Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. The Pomaks speak Bulgarian as their native language, also referred to in Greece and Turkey as Pomak language, and some are fluent in Turkish,...


External links