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Information about the place (4)

Columbia Encyclopedia

Local government WebPages

Evros River

The river Evros has its sources in Rila, the ancient Skomio, which close to the Bulgarian capitol Sofia. The river is floating to the southeast and is the natural border between Greece- Bulgaria and Turkey. According to the mythology the ancient name of the river was Romvos. The river got its new name after the drowning of Evros who was the son of the Thracian king Kassandros. Evros jumped into the river and drowned because he was disappointed by his father’s behavior, who didn’t believe Evros when he told him that his step mother, the kings wife, wanted his love and he refused it.
For many centuries the river remains the crossroad between east and west, north and south, Europe and Asia providing vital areas to the birds on their long journey. A magical scenario, where the sea embraced with land in a never-ending dance is forming little islands, lakes, swamps and lagoons. A rich area blessed but also cruel.

This extract is cited Sept 2003 from the Development Company of Alexandroupolis URL below, which contains images.

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


   (Hebros). The modern Maritza; the principal river in Thrace, rising in the mountains of Scomius and Rhodope, and falling into the Aegaean Sea near Aenos, after forming by another branch an estuary called Stentoris Lacus. The Hebrus was celebrated in Greek legends. On its banks Orpheus was torn to pieces by the Thracian women; and it is frequently mentioned in connection with the worship of Dionysus.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


  Hebrus (Hebros: Maritza), the principal river of Thrace, has its sources near the point where mount Scomius joins mount Rhodope, in the northwestern corner of Thrace. Its course at first has a south-eastern direction; but below Adrianopolis it takes a south-western turn, and continues to flow in that direction until it reaches the Aegaean near Aenos. (Thucyd. ii. 96; Plin. iv. 18; Aristot. Meteor. i. 13.) The tributaries of the Hebrus are so numerous and important, that it becomes navigable even at Philippolis, while near its mouth it becomes really a large river. (Herod. vii. 59.) Near its mouth it divides itself into two branches, the eastern one of which forms lake Stentoris. (Herod. vii. 58; Acropolita, p. 64.) The most important among its tributaries are the Suemus, Arda, Artiscus, Tonsus, and Agrianes. About Adrianople the basin of the Hebrus is very extensive; but south of that city it becomes narrower, the mountains on both sides approaching more closely to the river. During the winter the Hebrus is sometimes frozen over. (Comp. Herod. iv. 90; Polyb. xxxiv. 13; Eurip. Here. Fur. 386; Strab. vii. pp. 322, 329, xiii. p. 590; Ptol. iii. 11. § 2; Arrian, Anab. i. 11; Mela, ii. 2; Virg. Eel. x. 65, Georg. iv. 463, 524; Val. Flac. ii. 515, iv. 463, viii. 228.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Biotopes (3)

Hellenic Ornithological Society

Official pages

Evros Delta

  At the northeastern corner of Greece and nearly 20-km from Alexandroupolis at the crossroad between East and West, North and South, the river Evros is forming an ecosystem of international importance, according to the Ramsar contract, known as the Evros delta. Evros is one of the biggest rivers in the Balkans with its 430-km length, from which the 203-km are forming the natural borderline between Greece and Turkey.
  According to Ploutarchos, the initial name of the river was Romvos. Today the river is called Evros. Evros was the son of the Thracian king named Kassandros this is from where the river has its name. Evros was slandered from his stepmother, Damasipi, because he refused her love.
  After that Evros was chased from his father because he believed Damasipi, Evros was so disappointed and jumped into the river, since then the river is carrying his name. The story of the despaired purity, which is hunted and is trying to survive in our nature, after this entire story is familiar thanks to the myth of Hypolytos.
  The archimandrite N. Vafiadis is telling us another name of the river, he is naming it Maritsa, according to his theory the name might comes from the ancient Thracian name Marissos or Maris, the Thracians used to call the rivers with this name because of the shimmering of the surfaces, or from the Slavic name Moritsi or Moravitsi or from the Indo- European word mar, which means lake or sea.
   The sources of the river are located on Skomio, a mountain that is close to Sofia. The river is flowing to the southeast and is entering Greece, a small part of it, from Ormenio until a village called Dilofo, is forming the natural borderline between Greece and Bulgaria. From this region on and until the village Marasia, where the river is entering Turkey and from the village Nea Vissa until the rivers’ outfall it is forming the natural borderline between Greece and Turkey.
  The tributaries of Evros are Ardas, Erithropotamos and Erginis. The river Evros is flowing into the Aegean Sea and at its coast it is forming an extended Delta. The area of the delta is covering 188.000 sq.meters, from which 150.000 sq.meters belong to Greece. From those, 100.000 sq.meters are forming the area that is included in the Ramsar contract. The area is considered as one of the most important hydrotopes worldwide.
  The valley of the river is formed from several ecosystems that expand from Nea Vissa until the sea, here you can find a large variety of biotopes with a rich flora and fauna, which was created from the aquatic systems of the river and its tributaries and from the eastern endings of the Rodopi mountain range. At the southern part of this valley, there where the river is branching, the delta is forming.
  The delta of the river was formed 10.000 years ago, the melting of the glaciers had as result the rising of the sea-level. After that the sea literally drowned the north Aegean coast and inundating the low land of the delta. This alteration reduced the grade and the flowing speed of the river the result of this phenomenon was the change of the rivers "behavior".
  Many times the river was flowing over its main riverbed and created new ones, it left materials behind during its flowing and also when the waters reached its outfall. Simultaneously the wave and current activities of the sea were increasing in the coastal area of the delta, as a result of these activities were the dispersion of the material in this area.In the summertime when the river waters are reducing, the seawaters, because of the small hypsometric difference from the sea level and the calmly flowing of the river waters, are insinuating the riverbed and the artificial canals.
  The result of these natural activities is the forming of various coasts, small islands, lagoons, swamps, dunes and many other small biotopes in the coastal area of the delta, all these facts are characterizing a developing ecosystem.
  In the winter sometimes the river is flowing over its bed forming smaller or bigger aquatic areas by inundating the southeastern part of the delta. At the Turkish side is the Gala lake our ancient forefathers used to call the lake Stendoritida, while at the Greek side you can see the lake of the water nymph and several other smaller lakes, such as the Tsekouri, Skepi, Spitia and Gyneka lakes.

This text is cited May 2003 from the Development Company of Alexandroupolis URL below.

Ancient literary sources (1)

Perseus Encyclopedia


A river in Thrace, Doriscus on it.

Fauna (1)

Hellenic Ornithological Society

Various locations (2)

Ancient place-names

Agrianes tributary

Agrianes (Agrianes: Ergina), a small river in Thrace, and one of the tributaries of the Hebrus. (Herod. iv. 89.) It flows from Mount Hieron in a NW. direction, till it joins the Hebrus. Some have supposed it to be the same as the Erigon, which, however, is impossible, the latter being a tributary of the Axius.

Artiscus tributary

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