Information on the area DIDYMOTICHO - Greek Travel Pages

Destinations Guide

DIDYMOTICHO (DDM), Town, EVROS


Information on the area


Main pages (1)

Miscellaneous

Didymotichon Community

  Didymoteichon, today a small town of approximately 12000 people, bears a long and extremely noteworthy history.
  The city is lying next to the Erythropotamos river, on the western bank of the famous Hevros river.
  The first habitation was founded on the Hagia Petra hill at the Southeastern end of the city in the Neolithic period, according to recent excavational evidence. During the Early Iron Age two villages existed together in both hills of the city, Hagia Petra and Kales, the second lying at the western end of today’s Didymoteichon.
  Abundant quantities of ceramics (local, imported Attic & Thasian pottery etc.) as well as other findings form the ancient historic times witness not only the existence of a city at that period but, even more, its close relations with the Greeks.
  During the "Pax Romana" the emperor Traianos re-established the city, honouring it with the name of his wife, Plotina. Plotinopolis became one of the most important cities of Roman Thrace, being itself under an autonomous regime. The city reached a remarkable status of welfare, reflected on random findings or results of the few excavational works done up to now: floor mosaics representing the Hercules deeds and the Zeus-Swan and Leda legend, or the famous golden head of the emperor Septimus Severus. The decadence of the Empire & the barbaric invasions & lootings caused the gradual transportation of the city from the hill of Hagia Petra to that of Kales. It's perhaps then that Didymoteichon took its last name, if we accept that it means Twin (= δίδυμο) castles. During the Byzantine period the importance of the city is growing, because of its crucial geostragetic position and its steep, impregnable stronghold of Kales where it lied. This constantly growing significance is well marked by writers of the Middle and Late Byzantine times Greeks as well as foreigners, like Godfried Villeharduin, who stresses that "Ditymoteichon was the strongest and one of the richest cities of Romania" (= the territory of the Byzantine empire). Especially during the Paleologian period (13th and first half of the 14th century) Didymoteichon becomes the focus of the historical events: capital of the emperors Andronicos the Third the Paleologos and Ioannis the Sixth Kantakouzenos during the catastrophic civil wars of 1321 to 1354, also witnesses the birth of "Purple-born" emperors, as well as royal weddings, imperial army, inauguration of two emperors, etc. Unfortunately only recently excavations have began to bear in light the expected traces of this glorious past:
  An imperial foundation nest to Agios Athanassios post-byzantine church where the excavation has revealed a peculiar structure and some unique fragments of byzantine frescoes, the humble funeral chapel of Hagia Aikaterini, the hundreds of rock-cut caves, shaped by the mediaeval inhabitants of the city as cisterns or storerooms at the back of their houses and of course the byzantine walls retaining building phases form Justinian time to the early Ottoman period on the surfaces of the towers and in the castle one can still can see monograms of byzantine nobles, imperial families etc.
  The Turkish occupation holds for more than 550 years, from 1361 to 1920 and is characterized from an extraordinary early ottoman building activity, parallel to the choice of the city as a temporary capital of the empire.
  On the other hand the greek element has a thriving presence and through the years becomes the dominating factor socially, economically & culturally as is shown by the vast quantities of the exported Didymoteichon pottery and the post byzantine churches with the marvelous wooden temples and icons, offered by the powerful professional unions.
  The city was liberated in 1920, 19th of May.
This text (extract) is cited September 2003 from the Municipality of Didymoteichon tourist pamphlet (1995).

Sights (11)

Religious monuments

The Great Temenos

  Large, unfinished rectangular building, built of well-cut blocks, with a monumental entrance on the west side. Instead of built vaults it has a pyramidal roof of lead leaves on a wooden frame, which stands on four built pillars.
  The temenos was founded near the road linking Traianoupolis and Adrianople, in the years of Mohammed I (1413-1421).
  The lead leaves of the roof have been replaced, and the structure has been reinforced with a metal tower inside. The wall paintings have been cleared. Today the monument is used as a storeroom for the archaeological finds from the area of Didymoteichon.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture URL below, which also contains image.


The great mosque

Post byzantine church of St. Catherine

Various

The biggest flag in the world

Walls

The walls

Caves

Cagiali cave

Monuments

Uroutz Pasha mausoleum

Buildings

Ferintoun Achmet Beg hot baths

Uroutz Pasha hot baths

"Carolos jail"

Castles, fortresses & fortifications

The Castle of Didymoteicho

Information about the place (2)

Local government WebPages

Didymoticho

It is the historical continuity of ancient Plotinoupoli, it’s a city that was built from Traegnus (100 BC) on the area where a unknown Hellenic city used to exist, we came to this conclusion after the finding of classic Hellenic ceramic artifacts from the 5th BC century and mosaic floors that are presenting Lyda and the achievements of Hercules.The Bulgarians are destroying the town in the year 1206 and later it is used from the Frank conquerors. The emperor Ioannis Katakouzinos the 6th was crowned here in Didimoteicho he also was the first emperor who brought Ottoman mercenaries to Thrace to fight against Ioanni Palaiologo the 5th and his mother. It is here in Didimoteicho where the ending of the universal Hellenic culture starts, while its post- historical existence rises, the time of pain and sadness the time of the pogrom and the mass kidnapping of children, of the rapping’s and slaughtering, of the islamization and of the neo-martyrs. Here is the place where in the year 1520 the saint martyr Iakovos and his students the monks Iakovos and Dionisios were killed.

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Didymoteichos

  Didymoteichos (Didumoteichos), a Thracian town opposite to Plotinopolis, situated not far from the point where the Eurus empties itself into the Hebrus, on an island of the former. It is now called Demotica. (Nicet. Chr. p. 404.)

Places of worship (5)

Cathedrals

Church of Agios Athanassios

Churches

Church of Agios Georgios

Church of Christos Sotiras

Church of Kimisseos Theotokou

Church of Panagia Eleftherotria

Biographies (6)

Painters

Michalis Garoudis

Musicians

Emperors

Mathaios Assanis Kantakouzinos

, , 1325 - 1404

Ioannis III Doukas Vatatzis

, , 1193 - 1254
Emperor of the byzantine State of Nicaea (1222 - 1254).

Ioannis V Palaeologos

, , 1332 - 1391
Emperor ot the Byzantine Empire (1341 - 1376 and 1379 - 1391).

Ioannis VI Angelos Komninos Paleologos

Late 13th c.-1383
  Son of Theodora Kantakouzini and nephew of the great general Ioannis Synadinos, from whom he received his military training, married Irini Kantakouzini (empress before 1320) with whom he had six children (including Mathaios, Manouil Palaiologos and the future empress Eleni Kantakouzini). During the civil war waged by Andronikos III Palaiologos against his grandfather Andronikos II, he sided with the former. To this end he contracted an alliance in 1320 with Theodoros Synadinos, Syrgiannis Palaiologos Philanthropinos and Alexios Apokaukos and became governor of Adrianoupolis (Adrianople), while between 1325(?) and 1341, he was emerged as Megas Domestikos. After the death of Andronikos III in 1341, he was declared emperor at Didymoteicho. During the civil strife that followed his enemies were the widowed empress Anna Palaiologina, Apokaukos and the patriarch Ioannis Kalekas. He sought refuge with the Serbian tsar Stephan I Uressi and was supported by Omour, emir of Aidinion and Orhan, the Osmanli sultan. In 1347 he entered Constantinople, was crowned emperor by patriarch Isidoros Boucheiras and granted a general amnesty. In 1351, declaring himself a follower of Grigorios Palamas, leader of the Hesychasts, he headed the synods in which his teachings on Orthodoxy were proclaimed. When in 1354 Ioannis V Palaiologos entered the city, he withdrew from public life and became a monk under the name Ioasaph and shortly afterwards went to Mystra with his sons Manouil and Mathaios. In 1379-1381 the Genoese ordered his arrest but he later returned to the Peloponnese, where he died in 1383. He was the author of "The Histories" and several rhetorical texts, among which was a Commentary on the Hesychasts.

This text is cited Apr 2003 from the Thracian Electronic Thesaurus URL below, of Democritus University of Thrace


Religious figures biography (1)

Bishops

Hilarion, metropolitan of Didymoteicho

, , 1281 - 1343

Culture & Art Centres (2)

Festivals and fairs (5)

Customary

Courbani

, , 18/1/2002

Feasts

The Holy Cross

, , 13/9/2002 - 14/9/2002

Historical memories

Liberation Day (from the German occupation)

, , 28/8/2002

Liberation of Didymoticho, on May

Carnival

Kiopeck Beis

The Monday before Shrove Monday

Cultural events (2)

Festivals

New Artist Festival

(Following URL information in Greek only)

Cultural events-festivals

The Castle Feast

, , 1/8 - 15/8

Useful Information (1)

Police

Police Department of Didymoticho

Tel: +30 25530 20280, 22100
Fax: +30 25530 25600

Local governments (2)

Town-halls

Didymoteicho Municipality

Tel: +3025533 50602
Fax: +3025530 24424

Municipalities' district offices

Didymotichon Community

  Didymoteichon, today a small town of approximately 12000 people, bears a long and extremely noteworthy history.
  The city is lying next to the Erythropotamos river, on the western bank of the famous Hevros river.
  The first habitation was founded on the Hagia Petra hill at the Southeastern end of the city in the Neolithic period, according to recent excavational evidence. During the Early Iron Age two villages existed together in both hills of the city, Hagia Petra and Kales, the second lying at the western end of today’s Didymoteichon.
  Abundant quantities of ceramics (local, imported Attic & Thasian pottery etc.) as well as other findings form the ancient historic times witness not only the existence of a city at that period but, even more, its close relations with the Greeks.
  During the "Pax Romana" the emperor Traianos re-established the city, honouring it with the name of his wife, Plotina. Plotinopolis became one of the most important cities of Roman Thrace, being itself under an autonomous regime. The city reached a remarkable status of welfare, reflected on random findings or results of the few excavational works done up to now: floor mosaics representing the Hercules deeds and the Zeus-Swan and Leda legend, or the famous golden head of the emperor Septimus Severus. The decadence of the Empire & the barbaric invasions & lootings caused the gradual transportation of the city from the hill of Hagia Petra to that of Kales. It's perhaps then that Didymoteichon took its last name, if we accept that it means Twin (= δίδυμο) castles. During the Byzantine period the importance of the city is growing, because of its crucial geostragetic position and its steep, impregnable stronghold of Kales where it lied. This constantly growing significance is well marked by writers of the Middle and Late Byzantine times Greeks as well as foreigners, like Godfried Villeharduin, who stresses that "Ditymoteichon was the strongest and one of the richest cities of Romania" (= the territory of the Byzantine empire). Especially during the Paleologian period (13th and first half of the 14th century) Didymoteichon becomes the focus of the historical events: capital of the emperors Andronicos the Third the Paleologos and Ioannis the Sixth Kantakouzenos during the catastrophic civil wars of 1321 to 1354, also witnesses the birth of "Purple-born" emperors, as well as royal weddings, imperial army, inauguration of two emperors, etc. Unfortunately only recently excavations have began to bear in light the expected traces of this glorious past:
  An imperial foundation nest to Agios Athanassios post-byzantine church where the excavation has revealed a peculiar structure and some unique fragments of byzantine frescoes, the humble funeral chapel of Hagia Aikaterini, the hundreds of rock-cut caves, shaped by the mediaeval inhabitants of the city as cisterns or storerooms at the back of their houses and of course the byzantine walls retaining building phases form Justinian time to the early Ottoman period on the surfaces of the towers and in the castle one can still can see monograms of byzantine nobles, imperial families etc.
  The Turkish occupation holds for more than 550 years, from 1361 to 1920 and is characterized from an extraordinary early ottoman building activity, parallel to the choice of the city as a temporary capital of the empire.
  On the other hand the greek element has a thriving presence and through the years becomes the dominating factor socially, economically & culturally as is shown by the vast quantities of the exported Didymoteichon pottery and the post byzantine churches with the marvelous wooden temples and icons, offered by the powerful professional unions.
  The city was liberated in 1920, 19th of May.
This text (extract) is cited September 2003 from the Municipality of Didymoteichon tourist pamphlet (1995).

Selected tourism enterprises (1)

Hotels

Ermis Hotel 3 Stars

Tel: +30 25530 20250-4
Fax: +30 25530 23666


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