Komotini: Wikis

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Komotini
Κομοτηνή
Seal of Komotini
Location
Komotini is located in Greece
Komotini
Coordinates 41°6′N 25°25′E / 41.1°N 25.417°E / 41.1; 25.417Coordinates: 41°6′N 25°25′E / 41.1°N 25.417°E / 41.1; 25.417
Government
Country: Greece
Periphery: East Macedonia and Thrace
Prefecture: Rhodope
Districts: 7
Mayor: Dimitrios Kotsakis
Population statistics (as of 2001[1])
City
 - Population: 52,659
 - Area: 385.386 km2 (149 sq mi)
 - Density: 137 /km2 (354 /sq mi)
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (center): 45 m (148 ft)
Postal: 691 00
Telephone: 25310
Auto: ΚΟ
Website
www.komotini.gr

Komotini or Komotene (Greek: Κομοτηνή; Turkish: Gümülcine) is a city in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the periphery of East Macedonia and Thrace and of the Rhodope Prefecture. It is also the administrative center of the Rhodope-Evros super-prefecture. The city is home to the Democritus University of Thrace, founded in 1973. Komotini is home to a sizeable Turkish-speaking minority, which constitutes 50% of the city's population.[2]

Contents

Geography

The city stands at an altitude of 32-38m on the Thracian plain near the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains. There is little urban planning in the older parts of city, in contrast to more recently developed quarters. According to the 2001 census, the city's population amounts to 52,659, a number that does not include approximately 13,000 resident students, trainees and soldiers. There are two airports near Komotini. The nearest is in Alexandroupoli (65 km), and the other is in Kavala (80 km). It has rail and bus links to all continental Greek cities as well as Istanbul, and the good provincial road network has been supplemented by the new Egnatia Odos motorway.

History

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Eastern Roman/Byzantine Era

The city's history is closely connected with that of Via Egnatia, the Roman trunk road which connected Dyrrhachium with Constantinople. The Roman emperor Theodosius I built a small rectilinear fortress on the road at a junction with a route leading north across the Rhodope Mountains toward Philippopolis. For most of its early existence the settlement was overshadowed by the larger town 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 tsar Kaloyan, the remnant population fled and established themselves within the walls of the abandoned fortress. John Kantakouzenos mentions the place for the first time under the name Koumoutsinas in his account of the Byzantine civil war of the early 14th century.[3]

Ottoman Era

In the Ottoman Era, Komotini was known as Gümülcine. Its historical population has included Greeks, Turks, Jews, Armenians, Bulgarians and Pomaks. The city continued to be an important hub connecting the capital city of Constantinople with the European part of the Empire, and grew accordingly. Many monuments in the city today date to this era.

First Balkan War

Local stamp issued during the Greek occupation (1913)

During the first Balkan War, Bulgarian forces captured the city, only to surrender it to the Greek army during the second Balkan War on July 14, 1913. The Treaty of Bucharest, however, handed the city back to Bulgaria. Despite various schemes by Greek inhabitants to avoid Bulgarian occupation, the city was part of Bulgaria until the end of World War I. In this period, a short-lived independent state, the Republic of Gumuljina, was established in Western Thrace. Komotini, was declared as capital city of that state. In 1919, in the Treaty of Neuilly, Komotini was handed back to Greece, along with the rest of Western Thrace.

Modern Komotini

Komotini's Clock Tower

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. 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, Greek refugees from Asia Minor and East Thrace, Muslims of Turkish, Pomak and Romani origins, descendants of refugees who survived the Armenian Genocide, and recent refugees, including Pontic Greeks, from the countries of the former Soviet Union (mainly Georgia, Armenia, Russia and Kazakhstan).

Municipal Districts

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 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 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 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.

Media

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 (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.[4]

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 runs through the city and connects Komotini with the other Greek Continental cities. The Egnatia Motorway (A2) 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

The Greek Railway 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 Municipal Stadium of Komotini (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. - Football team, promoted to the Greek Superleague during the 2007-2008 season.
  • G.A.S. Komotini - Basketball, Football and Swimming teams
  • A.E.Komotini - Basketball, Volleyball and Football teams
  • Olympiada - Track and Field

Historical population & Growth

Year Population Change Municipal population Change
1981 37,487 - 40,141 -
1991 37,036 461/-1.20% 45,934 5,793/14.432%
2001 40,141 3,105/+9% 52,659 6,725/16%

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ "Δείτε τη Διοικητική Διαίρεση" (in Greek). Hellenic Interior Ministry. www.ypes.gr. http://www.ypes.gr/UserFiles/f0ff9297-f516-40ff-a70e-eca84e2ec9b9/D_diairesi.xls. Retrieved 2009-09-09.  
  2. ^ Demetriou, Olga (May 2006). "Streets Not Named: Discursive Dead Ends and the Politics of Orientation in Intercommunal Spatial Relations in Northern Greece". Cultural Anthropoplogy 21 (2): 295–321. doi:10.1525/can.2006.21.2.295.  
  3. ^ Kiel, Machiel (1971). "Observations on the History of Northern Greece during the Turkish Rule: Historical and Architectural Description of the Turkish Monuments of Komotini and Serres, their place in the Development of Ottoman Turkish Architecture and their Present Condition". Balkan Studies 12: 417.  
  4. ^ http://www.kom.gr/news

External links


Simple English

Komotini is a Greek city which is located in Thrace. Thrace is a periphery which located in the north-west of Greece. Komotini is a capital of Rodopi prefecture. Its population is 52.659, some of them is Muslims. Komotini is the second city in Greece which has got Muslims. The other city is Xanthi.

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