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  • 4th part of Drama cultural routes - “ELEFTHERIA” SQUARE

4th part of Drama cultural routes - “ELEFTHERIA” SQUARE

2500 YEARS OF HISTORY IN ONE HOUR

Drama Culture Route

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4th part of Drama cultural routes - “ELEFTHERIA” SQUARE

 
 
THE “ELEFTHERIA” SQUARE took its current form after a fire which, in 1915, burnt down the wooden shacks that had occupied this area until then. In the late 19th century, the square was paved with cobble-stones and at the beginning of the twentieth it was both an open market and a taxi rank.
Some of the old buildings that were built around 1920 to house professional activities have been saved, as for instance, the two-storey construction at number 11 of “Eleftheria” Square, which is situated on the west side of the square and is composed of a ground floor and an upper floor.
The two-storey building located at number 12 of “Eleftheria” Square, next door to that at number 11, also consists of a ground floor and an upper floor that is still used for professional purpose to this day. The most important feature of its façade is the two eaves decorated with a young lady’s (“kore”) bust.
The two-storey building on the South side of the square is called “Stoa Bekou” (Bekos’ Arcade). It was built in 1920 and links the square to the Theophilos Athanasiadis Street. It has a ground floor with a passage that used to house shops, and a single upper floor.
The bronze statue representing a mother and her child is dedicated to all those who sacrificed their life for the country. At its base was engraved an olive branch and the inscription: “To those who fell for our Race (1912-1922). Municipality of Drama”. This monument was erected between 1923-1927 and stood in the center of the square until 1938. It was then transferred to the yard of the “Gymnasion Arrenon” (Boys High School) and the olive branch and inscription were removed from its pedestal.
Nowadays, at the Northeast corner of the square, stands the marble bust of Armen Kouptsios, a native of Volakas and a fighter of the Macedonian Struggle; he was hung by the Turks from a plane tree near this spot in 1907. He was only twenty-two years old. 
A part of the square was later occupied by a coffee house with its own band of musicians and in the rest residents would stroll. In the 1950s it was the most central entertainment quarter, with coffee-and-pastry shops and tables on the pavement. The old Town Hall, with its fine marble and neoclassical style, was preserved on the North side of the square on Hagia Sophia Street until the 1970s, when it was torn down to leave its place to the current building, which was turned into a cultural center after its renovation.
From the square began the two main arteries of the town, Venizelos Street and Megas Alexandros Street. The former led to the Greek quarter of town, to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral and to the “Ekpaedeuteria” School, and was lined with shops, clubs, coffee houses, hotels, as well as the Reading Room and the library of the brotherhood “Prohodos” (Progress) of Drama. Megas Alexandros Street (or by whatever name it was then designated) led to the Turkish neighborhoods, where the public services (military, political and judicial authorities, prisons and schools) were located.
 

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  • Greece
  • Drama
  • 4th part of Drama cultural routes - “ELEFTHERIA” SQUARE

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