General Information on Rodopi
Komotini is a city in northeastern Greece, 52km from Xanthi. It is the capital of the Prefecture of Rhodope. It is also the centre of the administration of Rhodope-Evros chief prefecture. The city has a mixed population of Greeks and Turkish-speaking Muslims. Komotini is a flat city, built on the Thracian plain and next to the foot of Rhodope Mountains at an altitude of 32-38m. There is little urban planning, particularly in the Old Town. Exceptions to this rule are the recently constructed quarters. Komotini is compensated by an active student population, because it is the base of the Democritus University of Thrace. The city is a good base to explore the amazing surrounding villages and natural environment.
History of Rodopi
The city’s history is practically contemporary with that of Via Egnatia, the Roman road which connected Duhachium with Constantinople and grew along with that trade route. Due to its location, it is believed that it was a trade city under the shadow of Maximianopolis which was the capital at the time, until it was destroyed completely by Bulgarian troops. During the first Balkan War, Bulgarian forces captured the city, only to give it back to the Greek army during the Second Balkan War. The Treaty of Bucharest, however, handed the city back to Bulgaria and, despite various schemes by the Greek inhabitants to avoid Bulgarian occupation, the city remained in the jurisdiction of Bulgaria until the end of World War I. During this period, a short-lived independent state, the Republic of Gumuljina, was established in Western Thrace. Komotini was declared capital of the state. In 1919, the Treaty of Neuilly handed Komotini back to Greece, along with the rest of Western Thrace.
How to Reach Rodopi
Bus: There are frequent departures from Komotini’s bus station to Xanthi (45 minutes) and Alexandroupolis (70 minutes). Also, there are buses to Thessaloniki (4½ hours) via Kavala (1½ hours) and to Athens (11 hours).
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