The history of Alexandroupolis

Alexandroupolis, located in the northern Greek region of Thrace, is the capital city of the Evros Prefecture. This city is located nearby several other interesting destinations, a characteristic that turns it into a very attractive spot for all those tourists who wish to be able to visit many places in a short period of time. Despite of the fact that Alexandroupolis’ history is very short, it is also very rich, and its urban design and constructions are an important legacy of several facts that not only affected this town but the entire country as well.

The city of Alexandroupolis is located near the River Maritsa and the Greek border with Turkey, as well as it can be found at a distance of about 850 kilometers from Athens or 400 kilometers from Thessaloniki. Most of the population of the Municipality of Alexandroupolis lives in this city, in such a way that this capital has about 38000 inhabitants and the municipality has about 39500.

The history of this city is very recent, starting around beginnings of the 19th century. In its origins, Alexandroupolis was known as Dedeagatch, a Turkish word which means “the monks tree”. This name changed to the actual one towards beginnings of the 20th century.

The first real settlement that developed in this city got established in this spot after a railway line that connected Macedonia with Constantinople was constructed. This small settlement progressively became a fishing village known as Dedeagatch town. This town was conquered by the Russians during the Russian-Turkish War. During the period of time when the Russians controlled Alexandroupolis, this town saw a fast progress in its urban design and in the amount of constructions it had.

After the First Balkan War, around 1913, Alexandroupolis became controlled by Bulgaria as the Treaty of Bucharest would establish. This situation continued until 1919, when this city had to be returned to Greece after the Treaty of Neuilly was signed. During this period of time, the king Alexander I visited this town, being the first King approaching to this area, and having this city named Alexandroupolis in his honor.

Map of Alexandroupolis in Greece