Visit Greece: Kavala, the port city with the numerous faces

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Visit Greece: Kavala, the port city with the numerous facesThe city’s breeze sweeps through its historic buildings, which perfectly reflect its modern character

Kavala, the capital and main port of the Kavala prefecture is amphitheatrically built on the slopes of Mt. Symvolo forming one of the most picturesque cities in Greece. The city’s breeze sweeps through its historic buildings, which perfectly reflect the city’s modern character.

Neapoli, Chrysoupoli, Kavala: according to archaeological finds, the city’s history dates back to the Prehistoric times. Initially the city’s core was restricted to the district of Panayia, which has been uninterruptedly inhabited since the 7th century BC. After 2500 years though, at the beginning of the 16th century, Kavala expanded maintaining these new borders until 1870; it was only after 1928 that it began to shape its today structure. Its strategic and economic importance over the centuries is attributed to its strategic position in Via Egnatia, which traversed the city connecting East and West, to its port and to the natural fortification of the peninsula, on which the old city was built.

A tour around the Old City (Panayia)

The most important sights in Panayia district are the Castle, the Acropolis, the Imaret and the old Lighthouse at the end of Theodorou Pavlidou str, beneath which the rocks of Panayia are situated. The landmark of the Old City is the Mohamed Ali square, dominated by its statue, situated between the “konaki” (his house built at the end of the 18th century) and the church of Panayia, built in 1965 on the ruins of an older post-Byzantine three-aisled basilica. A tour around the Mohamed Ali Street will lead you to the oldest district of the city, where you will have the chance to visit Hussein Bey Mosque (or Music Mosque).

The modern town

Kavala boasts a unique character reflecting its recent past: neoclassical mansions and big tobacco warehouses evoke the memory of a distant past when a wealthy bourgeoisie was dominating the city. In the “Mecca of tobacco” as Kavala was named in the past, thousands of tobacco workers, male and female, earned their living. Their faces will remain alive for all eternity thanks to the black and white photos adorning the walls of the city’s Tobacco Museum. At the cobblestoned, lined with palm trees port, stand one next to another modern buildings and fish tavernas, while fish boats cast their reflection on azure waters.

The city’s most popular meeting point is Eleftherias Square while the most buzzing point is Megalou Alexandrou Pedestrian Street featuring chic shops, cafes, bars as well as a tobacco warehouse that has been transformed into a shopping center. Close to Eleftherias square lies the old scenic neighborhood of Agios Nikolaos, where also the homonymous church – a former mosque- is situated. On the relics of an ancient pillar one can see what, according to tradition, is supposed to be Apostle Paul’s footprint, left there from the time that he first visited Macedonia.

Seven important buildings

– Tokos Hall (1879). The residence of tobacco farmer D. Tokos which had hosted the consulate of Italy for two years (1879-80) and features Ottoman, Neoclassical and Baroque elements. Today it is the seat of the 12th Department of Byzantine Antiquities.

– The old Girls’ School, a neoclassical building, which today houses the 10th Primary School.

– Megali Lesxi (Big Club), (1910). A neoclassical mansion that now houses the Municipal Library.

– The City Hall (1890), the former residence of the Hungarian tobacco trader Pierre Herzog.

– Wix Hall (1898-1900), which used to be the residence of the German Baron Adolf Wix von Zsolna until 1925. From 1989 on it houses the municipal authorities.

– The Catholic Mission (1888-92), a building that housed the French consulate as well as a school of French language.

– The Municipal Tobacco Warehouse (built around 1900) featuring Ottoman, Neoclassical and Baroque elements.

Kamares

Kamares, meaning arches, are the trademark of Kavala and a listed monument. It is actually an aqueduct built in 1550 by the Sultan Suleiman II, the Magnificent and repaired in the 19th century by Mehmet Ali to serve the water supply needs of the City. It is a monumental construction, 52meters high, consisting of 60 arches. On Kamares are perched some beautifully repaired refugees’ houses as well as 20th century stores.

The Castle and the Acropolis

The Acropolis was built by the Ottomans between 1425 and 1530 on the ruins of a byzantine castle. It consisted of the inner and the outer walls, which connected the acropolis to the peninsula’s walls fortifying the lower part of the hill on the side of the port.

The castle was built at a time when the war was conducted with early weapons such as bows, arrows and swords. This is why it could not defend the region sufficiently and ceased to operate as a defensive fortress in the following years. Around 1700AD it became a place of imprisonment and exile. The walls surrounding the peninsula of Panayia were reconstructed from the Ottomans at the beginning of the 16th century in order to protect the 130 hectares’ city.

Imaret

Imaret is an impressive building erected by Mehmet Ali (1769-1849) as a donation to its native town. Ali was born in Kavala and later became Ruler of Egypt. It is situated on the western side of the Old City, in Panayia, occupying an area of 3500 m2. It was beautifully renovated by the Misirians, a family of tobacco traders. The building complex was a “kulliye”- a religious school- maybe the last of the Ottoman Empire offering social and educational services. On its premises it hosted two Madrasahs (religious educational foundations), two mestzit (pray-spaces), an imaret (a kitchen for soup), a mekteb (elementary school), offices and dormitories.

The initial educational and charity purpose of the foundation eventually changed and after 1858 it was even considered to be harmful for the city. It continued however to operate as a religious school until 1902 and as a charity foundation until 1923. After the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey at the beginning of the ‘70s, Imaret was inhabited by refugees. After 1967 Imaret entered into an era of decadence. Its renovation lasted 22 months and today it operates as a luxury hotel.

The Mecca of tobacco

The tobacco cultivation started in Kavala at the beginning of the 19th century forming an indispensible part of the city’s history for over 150 years, as well as the reason for the city to be wealthy and prosperous. From 1918 onwards operated in Kavala around 50 tobacco companies while the 160 tobacco warehouses engaged half of the country’s tobacco workers (around 14.000).

However, the world economic crisis that broke out in 1929, the fact that the profession became less “protected” and the withdrawal of many men from tobacco industry led the biggest tobacco centre of the Balkans to a great decline.

Τhe Tobacco Museum

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a particularly interesting museum narrating the history of tobacco industry in Kavala. The exhibits include tools related to the tobacco procession, photographs and rare documents.

Τel. +30 2510 223344, www.tobaccomuseum.gr

Source: Valy Vaimaki/visitgreece.gr

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Visit Greece

Tornos
  1. 29/05 22:06

    How ancient Greeks regarded India’s Caste system in 300 BC

  2. 29/05 21:07

    “Trip to Greece” film promotes destination in most critical tourist phase

  3. 29/05 20:40

    Greek train services expand while iconic routes at Pelion and Kalavryta restart

  4. 29/05 18:44

    No deaths from Covid-19 again in Greece during the last 24 hours

  5. 29/05 15:53

    Greek government: Turkish 'fiestas' outside Hagia Sophia 'annoying'

  6. 29/05 15:34

    Celestyal: Reopening of cruise sector to follow adoption of EU rules

  7. 29/05 13:39

    Greece to open its borders for inbound flights to these 29 countries from June 15

  8. 29/05 11:23

    International Documentary Festival on Castellorizo island on August 23-30

  9. 28/05 20:22

    AP: Austria takes Covid-19 precautions as it awaits summer tourist season

  10. 28/05 20:06

    Muslims pray in front of Hagia Sophia to revert historic monument into Mosque

  11. 28/05 19:47

    Brookings webinar with Greek PM on Greece’s COVID-19 response (video)

  12. 28/05 19:41

    Greek government's plan on re-opening of tourism sets five priorities

  13. 28/05 19:18

    AP: Europeans soak up the sun but Coronavirus travel rules a puzzle

  14. 28/05 19:04

    US to donate €2.9 million for refugee unaccompanied minors in Greece

  15. 28/05 18:23

    Greek police forces in Evros to be reinforced by 400 officers

  16. 28/05 18:12

    Greek Tourism Minister: Our target is to be ready to welcome every tourist

  17. 28/05 18:02

    AP: EasyJet and American Airlines to reduce workforce amid Covid-19

  18. 28/05 16:22

    PM: Greece secured €32 billion as a result of the government's consistent work

  19. 28/05 16:00

    COVID-19 Observatory: Greece's good course even more firmly established

  20. 28/05 15:41

    No coronavirus lockdown Swedish tourists welcome on Cyprus yet

  21. 28/05 14:56

    Health Minister: Single management and protocols for all Greek islands

  22. 28/05 14:42

    European Best Destinations: Monolithi Beach in Greece the safest in the whole of Europe

  23. 28/05 13:12

    WTTC presents first global safety stamp for 'Safe Travels' protocols around the world

  24. 28/05 01:37

    Greek firm concludes first phase of construction works in Agia Napa Marina

  25. 28/05 01:24

    Greek island medical staff being trained to deal with potential coronavirus cases

  26. 28/05 01:11

    GNTO and National Theatre in Athens to promote cultural tourism in Greece

  27. 28/05 00:34

    Greek Prime Minister welcomes European Commission aid proposal of €750 billion

  28. 27/05 23:40

    Aegean airline resumes foreign flights from Thessaloniki June 15

  29. 27/05 22:12

    Athens Open Air Film Festival offers unforgettable nights to movie fans

  30. 27/05 21:55

    European Union Covid-19 Recovery Fund to allocate €33.4 billion to Greece

  31. 27/05 20:53

    No new deaths from coronavirus pandemic in Greece since Tuesday

  32. 27/05 20:19

    Greece to invest its portion of the EU Recovery Fund 'prudently and responsibly'

  33. 27/05 19:27

    Telegraph praises Greece for moving early and decisively to keep Covid-19 out

  34. 27/05 16:35

    The New Orthodox Observer multimedia content now completely online

  35. 27/05 16:25

    Cyprus pledges to cover costs for coronavirus-hit tourists and families

  36. 27/05 13:19

    Greek doctors: Vitamin D levels correlate to outcomes in coronavirus cases

  37. 27/05 13:15

    Latin America’s largest airline Latam filed for bankruptcy

  38. 27/05 11:59

    Unstable weather to continue in Greece during the next 24 hours

  39. 26/05 23:03

    Greek cruise operator Celestyal Cruises stops all voyages until July 30

  40. 26/05 22:34

    Cyprus ends 14-day coronavirus quarantine in tourism re-opening

  41. 26/05 22:29

    Jerusalem's Holy Sepulcher reopens following Covid-19 closure

  42. 26/05 22:08

    CNN joins World Tourism Organization on #traveltomorrow campaign

  43. 26/05 21:41

    Discover “Lovers’ Cave” only 36km from the centre of Athens

  44. 26/05 21:15

    International Air Transport Association chief at media briefing on COVID-19

  45. 26/05 20:15

    Greece's Piraeus becomes top container port in entire Mediterranean

  46. 26/05 19:23

    Greece records ten new coronavirus cases throughout the country

  47. 26/05 19:06

    Greek PM to Bild: We will open tourism to countries with similar Covid-19 data

  48. 26/05 18:56

    Survey: One in three Greeks will always carry antiseptic from now on

  49. 26/05 16:37

    US airline shows strong interest in more flights to Greece

  50. 26/05 15:49

    Grecotel hotel chain sends message of optimism for tourism this summer

  51. 26/05 15:30

    FM: Greece has proved that it can protect our borders, the borders of Europe

  52. 26/05 12:55

    Deutsche Welle: Germany prepares to open up to 31 European countries on 15 June

  53. 25/05 23:04

    Admire rare “horseshoe cloud” from the sky of Crete

  54. 25/05 22:10

    AP: Repatriated Cypriots cause rise in coronavirus cases after lockdown eases

  55. 25/05 22:04

    Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism Scholarship available by Faith

  56. 25/05 21:10

    Greek Minister: 'We don't want a summer without culture'

  57. 25/05 20:41

    Weather to change with rain, winds and hail in Greece till end of the week

  58. 25/05 20:29

    UNWTO President issues special message to celebrate Africa Day on May 25

  59. 25/05 20:28

    MIT Professor interview: Greece on good coronavirus recovery path

  60. 25/05 19:48

    Greek islands and ferries open and ready for big first wave of tourists in Greece

  61. 25/05 18:02

    Greek PM: Results in tourism will be better than expected

  62. 25/05 17:44

    Greek Finance Minιster: 'We are not discussing cuts to wages and pensions'

  63. 25/05 16:10

    German airline Lufthansa to resume flights to Greece in mid-June

  64. 25/05 15:59

    AP: German government fund greenlights €9 billion in aid to Lufthansa

  65. 25/05 15:13

    Transport Minister: Thessaloniki metro will delivered in 2023 according to schedule

  66. 25/05 13:33

    Five exotic Greek beaches with crystal clear waters

  67. 25/05 13:11

    Social distancing and masks recommended as Cyprus relaxes coronavirus restrictions

  68. 25/05 11:19

    Primary schools and kindergartens to reopen in Greece on June 1st

  69. 24/05 14:11

    Day-care centers for the elderly and disabled children to reopen in Greece on Monday

  70. 24/05 14:06

    Athens City plan to ban traffic over the summer and give center to pedestrians

  71. 24/05 13:48

    Three new cases of the coronavirus in Greece during last 24 hours

  72. 24/05 13:30

    Travelling to all Greek islands resumes on Monday

  73. 24/05 11:13

    Cafes, restaurants open for business in Athens on Monday

  74. 23/05 14:05

    Minister: Number of migrants on islands decreases by 15% in Greece after initiatives

  75. 23/05 14:00

    Greek travel receipts fell by 71% in March

  76. 23/05 13:54

    European Aviation Safety Agency guidelines welcomed by airline industry

  77. 23/05 13:50

    Greek and Israeli Presidents assure they will continue working closely together

  78. 23/05 13:45

    Moody's report: Covid-19 a temporary shock for the Greek economy

  79. 23/05 13:41

    Airports Council International and IATA present roadmap for aviation industry restart

  80. 23/05 13:37

    Passenger traffic at Greek airports dropped 99% in April due to coronavirus

  81. 23/05 13:33

    Greek government announces plan to boost the economy and labor

  82. 23/05 13:23

    International Air Transport Association Board declares principles for sector re-start

  83. 23/05 11:12

    Ministry of Tourism announces directions for reopening Greek hotels and campings

  84. 22/05 22:47

    Cyprus to open airports on June 9 and seek EU health aid for coronavirus

  85. 22/05 14:07

    Greek Finance Minister content with 6th Enhanced Surveillance Report on Greece

  86. 22/05 13:04

    Greek PM: We won the battle for health and we will win the battle for the economy

  87. 22/05 11:46

    Greek Minister: No worry about reopening to tourism

  88. 22/05 11:14

    Greek Prime Minister: We will not leave the people of art unprotected

  89. 22/05 11:01

    Minister: Greek government aims at bridge program for social cohesion

  90. 21/05 21:20

    Greek capital of Athens to get a drive-in cinema again

  91. 21/05 20:10

    Greece ranks 2nd in the world in “Blue Flags” (video)

  92. 21/05 19:54

    Greek Prime Minister announces €24 billion package to restart economy (video)

  93. 21/05 19:28

    Greece continues weekly relaxation of coronavirus lockdown measures

  94. 21/05 19:08

    Greek tourism bodies: Measures for sector in right direction, more will be required

  95. 21/05 18:07

    Greek Tourism Minister: No mandatory tests throughout Greece for visitors from abroad

  96. 21/05 17:13

    EU awards to Greek cities of Karditsa and Rethymno for safe walking and cycling

  97. 21/05 17:05

    Greek Minister: Government working on a plan to help Aegean Airlines

  98. 21/05 16:40

    Bank of Greece: ECB bought €3.3 billion in bonds in secondary market

  99. 21/05 15:22

    Transport Minister: Athens metro line 3 to reach suburb of Nikea in early July

  100. 21/05 14:22

    Greek hoteliers' head: Measures announced by government first step for restarting tourism sector