If you find yourself in beautiful Thrace, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the cosmopolitan Xánthi, a colourful city with a distinctive personality, and a vibrant cultural scene.

The tobacco cultivation and trade, which flourished at the end of the 18th century, contributed significantly to the economic prosperity of the city, reflected today in the grandeur of the well-preserved traditional settlement of the Old City. Epirotes and Western Macedonians craftsmen built the traditional settlement following the patterns of the urban centers of the Ottoman Empire. In the architecture of the buildings one can trace the influence of a variety of architectural styles: Belle Époque, Italian Renaissance, German romanticism and Greek neoclassicism are the timeless reminders of the owners’ trips abroad.

Stroll around the narrow cobbled streets of the Old City, admire the grand mansions – whose glory remains intact through time–, and feel like you are in an open museum of Architecture. The Old Town of Xanthi is situated at its north part being a historic core and cover 380.000 m2 of surface. The town is built after 1829. It is the year when strong earthquakes destroy the former settlement. The town is built on the remains having as core the churches, which pre-existed from the Byzantine Xanthia, as the town was called in the ancient times. During the 19th century, Xanthi is referred as a small country town having 8000 citizens. But there was economic prosperity due to the cultivation, processing, manufacturing and distribution of tobacco and its products, as well as due to the advantageous position of merchant routes. The town is built by Ipirotes and Macedonian craftsmen, characterized by the labyrinth form of tilled alleys and filled with folk balcanic residences, inns, shops, typical churches of the last Ottoman period but at the same time west styled neoclassic mansions whose owners are mainly tobacco merchants.
The Old Town of Xanthi is a unique place. It is a valuable cultural chapter for the contemporary town and generally for the region of Thrace. It wouldn’t exist, if in 1976 it wasn’t declared as preserved settlement. This had as effect the curbing of the street plan from 1939 which made provision for the roads to be broadened and straightened.

Visit magnificent monuments like the old tobacco houses, the Metropolis, and the clock in the central square. Xanthi’s exceptional Museums, like the Municipal Gallery and the Folklore Museum, will introduce you to the city’s 18th century daily life. Seek for the famous Xanthi’s bazaar that takes place every Saturday behind the Polytechnic University. Here, you can taste fresh fruit and vegetables, smell aromatic herbs and spices, uncover bric-a-brac and hidden treasures, and experience with all your senses a journey to the magic of the East.
During a day-trip to nearby destinations, visit an archaeological park. The ancient philosopher Democritus invites you to discover his homeland, an ancient city founded by Hercules, called Abdera. There you will discover an impressive centuries-old settlement, magnificent reminder of a glorious past.
Xanthi is also famous for its festivities. Here are held some of the most renowned cultural events in Greece, like the Old Town Festival, and the Carnival, a unique celebration of dance and music. The cultural agenda is rich all year round. Don’t forget to check out what’s on before organizing your trip to Xanthi.
The culinary enthusiasts will also discover here the ultimate gastronomic paradise. Delicious eastern specialties like soutzoukákia, tsigerosarmádes, giaourtloú and laxmatzoún are waiting to indulge your palate, and a great variety of sweet delights will help you finish your meal: baklavá, saraglí kariókes, soutzoúk loukoúm, sekér pare, or kazán ntipí.

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