Xanthi is a Thracean city, Capital of the Perfecture of Xanthi. It
is built on the foot of the "Rodopi" mountain chain in the beginning of the plain
spreading south to the Thracean Sea, about 20-25 km from the sea.. It is the spiritual
and commercial center of the area, characterized by the coexistence of Christian
and Muslim population. It has a well preserved old-Town with beautiful old buildings
and roads covered by granite stones. The population of Xanthi and the surrounding
communities amounts to 50,000 inhabitants. Since 1975, Xanthi is host to the Polytechnic
School of Democritus University of Thrace.
Xanthi is worldwide known for its famous aromatic tobacco. In the old times, Xanthi gained prosperity due to the tobacco trade. Today, its progress is rapid. It has a large industrial area with a sugar factory, tobacco industries, flour industries, textile industries etc. It has also deposits of precious stones and Uranium.
In the north side of the city, within beautiful mountainous forest scenery, there are some very beautiful monasteries, the most famous of them being: Panagia Archageliotisa, Panagia Kalamiotisa, the monastery of Taxiarches, Profitis Elias etc. Even higher, you can find the remains of the wall of Xantheppe castle, which dates back to the Byzantine era. The Queen of Xanthi, Xantheppe, is rather a legendary person. A gallery starting from the castle ends to the old Town. According to the myth, Xantheppe was using this gallery to reach the old city, where she was taking her bath.
The City is mentioned by Stravon (about 63-21 b.C) as Xanthea, while Ecateus (560-490 b.C) mentions the people of Xanthons. According to an interpretation the name of the city comes from Xanthos, which was the horse of Diomedes, the King of the Vistons-Thracians.
Xanthi was the seat of a bishop and later on (in the beginning of the 14th century) was the seat of a metropolitan bishop. It was fortified and played a significant role in the history of these violent years. In 1361 Xanthi was occupied by the Turks. During its occupation, the town preserved its significance, having a flourish economy, since it was the center of the agricultural area with the aromatic tobacco. During the Balkan wars it was occupied first by the Bulgarians (1912) and then by the Greek army (1913). The treaty of Bucharest adjudged it to Bulgary but it became Greek again after the 1st World War. During the 2nd World War it was occupied by the German and then by the Bulgarian troops. It was deliberated in 1944.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Prefecture of Xanthi URL below, which contains image.
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