The Town of Orestiada and her hinterland


ORESTIADA and hinterland

ORESTIADA and hinterland

Founded by refugees coming mainly from Karagatz in the Edirne region of Turkey, New Orestiada was officially established on 12 August 1923 making it the newest town in Greece. The town’s “Hippodameios” street plan is perhaps the best example in all Greece. It combines well with the flat topography making the town ideal for walking and cycling. Orestiada is dominated by:

·         Statue of Adrianoupoliti Ecumenical Patriarch St. Cyril VI;

·         The monument to refugees;

·         the Historical and Folklore Museum with its numerous cultural relics and memorabilia of refugees; 

·         The Library of Educational Association of Adrianople which has 4,500 rare books from the 15th to the 19th century .

·         Museum opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00-13:00 . Tel 25520 28080 & 6977567566 . www.musorest.gr. Library Hours : Monday-Friday, 09:00-20:00 and Saturday 09:00-14:00 . Tel 25520 27588 . www.iorestiada.gr & http://adrianoupolis-orestiada.blogspot.gr.

·         Cultural events held in the town include: “Oresteia” (3rd week in June) and the National Festival of Amateur Theatre, (early September), and others. In addition, in the surrounding area of Orestiada, one can visit the burial tumulus of “Little Doxipara-Zones” (1st century AD); the “Petrota” (the “Stone Quarry”); the Archaeological Educative and Display Cave; a recreation area by the river Arda in Castanies, where in the last week of July the Festival of Arda takes place.

·         For information: www.orestiada.gr


Petrota (the Quarry)

At Petrota Evros mining of the volcanic and sandstone rocks has been going on since antiquity. This lasted until the mid 20th century. The quarried stone was used as millstones, for building material and for making various household items such as drinking troughs for animals, foundations and linings of wells, mortars, hand mills, etc,.  Moreover, these stones were the raw material for the construction of important monuments in the wider region, such as Thracian domed tomb (4th century BC), the Byzantine castle in Mezek, Bulgaria  (11th century AD), the post-Byzantine castle of Petrota (16th century AD), the bridge of Mustafa Pasha at Svilengrad (528-1529 AD ), churches in the surrounding area such as Pentalofou (1858 AD), the “Therapy” (1895 AD) and others. It should be noted that at this spot starts the famous stone paths: a) Petrota-Mezek-Svilengrad and b ) Petrota-Ormenio-Dikaia–Marasia-Karagatz-Adrianople. These stone paths are known as “Kastrinis Strata”. Source : http: / / www.geo.auth.gr/yliko/useful/docs/2007_HMERIDA_PETRWTA.pdf


Mikiri Doxipara Zones

The burial mounds of Mikri (Little) Doxipara Zones is located 30 km from Orestiada, through Valtou and is considered one of the most important tombs excavated in Greece. The excavations uncovered four cremation burials with rich grave goods: five wagons with ten horses, two burials with five ‘work’ horses, two funerary altars and many remains of bonfires where sacrifices and offerings to the dead would have been made. The dead were members of wealthy families of landowners and buried over time by the end of the 1st until the first decades of the second century B.C. Excavations and research from the area surrounding the tomb has not been carried out and so we are not able to know exactly who the people buried in the tomb are. But we know from excavations in northern Thrace that often the families of landowners who had large farmhouses chose to be buried within the family land and not in an organized cemetery.

Information: www.mikridoxipara-zoni.gr

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