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Tourism-Modern life East Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Xanthi

The celebration?s eve of the patron saint of Kimeria, Saint Dimitrios (25th of October, 2006)
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)
Part of the dancing club of the Cultural Union of Kimeria
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)

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15/11/2006
Kimeria

Nikolaos Th. Kokkas

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Kimeria is situated 4 kilometers away form the city of Xanthi and even if its inhabitants call it a ?village?, it is a town of 3222 inhabitants (2001 census). It is built on the slopes of a valley that crosses the Kidonea current. At the northwestern part of Kimeria, at 242 meters altitude, there is a hill between the Douz Alan area and the chapel of the Kalamou (Lifegiving Saint) church. The arrangement of the watercourse of the current led to the creation of farms and country houses on both sides of the course. Kimeria is sundered from the road of Xanthi to Komotini that was used a lot in the previous years.
From a geographical point of view, the Kimeria area is characterized as a manifold mountainous anaglyph with many humified granitic rocks. The highest pint of the mountainous area, at the northern part of Kimeria, is the Karaoglan (Black child) peak at 1070 meters altitude. Around Karaoglan there are three lower peaks at 935, 932 and 906 m altitude correspondingly. At the western part, Eranos village, a peak also exists at 845 m altitude. At the southern part of the Prioni village, the Kale peak is at 662 m altitude. Kale, at the southern part of Livadi, is at 554 m altitude. Three km northern to Kimeria, there is an ancient fortress at 543 m altitude. The climate in the greater area is Mediterranean to middle Mediterranean. Winters are hard and summers are hot, short lasting with uneven rainfalls during the year. We meet elements of the Paramediterranean zone of flora as a continuing part of the hilly and sub hilly area. The basic flora zones are the deciduous oaks zone, the beech zone, the Mediterranean coniferous zone (i.e black pine) and the astragalo zone (pinus silvestris, betual pendula and betula lenta). Many species of wild fauna lives at the Kimeria area.
Touring Kimeria reveals a colorful landscape where Christian Orthodoxes and Muslims harmonically coexist. The church of Saint Dimitrios is located at the central square, next to the Kimerian current, across the mosque (tzami), where an old water mill existed but didn?t survive. The western and eastern district (mahala) of Kimeria is connected with two bridges, one for the cars and a pedestrian also. Ascending towards the eastern area we meet another square and not far away the refugee settlement. Matzir mahala was the Kimeria area where the refuges from Prousa, Nikomidia and Andrianoupolis and Eastern Thrace settled in after 1922. At the eastern end of Kimeria, a big cradle was built for the children of the houses around.
Regarding the history of the village, according to the Ottoman archives, the Muhammed village (Koyun Köyü) seems to have a leading Christian orthodox population in the 15th and 16th century. In 1492 after Christ, 101 families were living at Kimeria and only 8 of them were Muslim ones. In 1530 , Kimeria has the third place among the Christian towns of Kaza (Turkish term for the concept of area) of Xanthi regarding population and tax deposit after Xanthi and Oreo. It has 117 paternalistic Christian families and 13 Muslim ones. The intense Christian presence around the area is proclaimed by the many Byzantine toponyms along with the fact of bordering to the Papikion community of monks who preserved close spiritual relations to the Mountain Athos. Around 1850, there is a reference to the area as a village with mixed population of Greeks and Turks with the name ?Yanem?, even if people called it Kuyun Kioi (sheep village). Ipirotes (inhabitans of the western part of Greece) coming in the middle of the 19th century was a fact that affected strongly the habitual construction and the economical development of the settlement. After the Greek revolution in 1821, Kimeria received colonists from Epirus and Macedoina, mainly from Hroupista, contemporary known as Argos Orestiko. The historical moment for the evolution of the settlement was the construction of the railway that was crossing the village in its southern area. Vivified by the arrival of the newcomers Ipirotes, the Christians of the Kimeria moved on to the construction of a new church. The new church of St. Dimitrios was set up in 1902 and the inauguration was in the 12th of September of 1904 coinciding with the opening of the school year. During the first Bulgarian hold (8/11/1912 έως 4/10/1919), Kimeria is struck again. All Kimeria?s inhabitants leave it at the beginnings of August of 1913 and settle in the Toxotes railway station area that was a liberated Greek land, until Christmas of 1913 and then they are scattered in Kavala, Drama, Thesaloniki and Volos. On 4.10.1919 the ninth division of the Greek army that was constituted by Ipirotes in Yanena in 1918, enters Xanthi. The Kimeria people go back to their village in 4th of October 1919, after the second liberation from the Bulgarians.
The designation ?Little Paris? for Kimeria during the middle war years reveals that it was a popular place for glendi (entertainment ritual process) for the inhabitants of Xanthi. Many people from Xanthi visited the country halls of Kimeria on Sundays. They came with horsecars (paitoinia) The progress on literature is important. Many people from Kimeria finish the 12 year education program (scholarcheion) in Xanthi and Komotini and know how to speak French. Before the Second World War, four music and athletic clubs exist in the village along with the String Philharmonic, the Wind Philharmonic, the Police Station with five police men, three general stores, six bakeries and seven coffeehouses.
From 1/1/1999 and then, the Kimeria community came under the Prefecture of Xanthi. Many traditional mountainous settlements belong also to the municipal department of Kimeria. You can divide them in two parts. The first part contains seven settlements in the northern area of Kimeria (Anthiro, Vasilika, Eranos, Livadi, Plagia, Porta, Prioni) and the second one contains another eight settlements (Alikohori, Askira, Gialistero, Zafirio, Ketikio, Megalohori, Pelekito, Idrohori) located in the northern part of the Sounio village.