© Eastern Macedonia ? Thrace Region
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Alexandroupolis has its designation since 1920, after its emancipation from the Turks. It was created in the ends of 19th century on the old village of Dedeagats and as a result of the Ottoman modernization and the regulations imposed by the trade relations with the foreign capitals and not as a result of the Ottoman urban planning activity. The Austrian company of the baron Hirsch undertook the construction of the railroad from Thessaloniki to Constantinople along with the construction of a harbor at Enos, in the east of Evros, that would function as a seaport and outport of Andrianoupolis and the Turkish inland -since boats would came through Evros river to the harbor. The cost for such a port?s construction was too big and the company decided to change its location and built it at the west coast of Evros, 9 kilometers away from it, at the Dedeagats location. The first small core of the new city was created through the beginning of the operation of the railroad and the port in 1872 along with the existence of the railway station, the warehouses, the customs, the buildings of the employees of the Austrian company and the workers. The merchants of Enos moved to the new city where the Greek consular agency was established. The Russians who occupied the city during the Russian-Turkish war (1876-1878), managed to expand the city with the Greeks? assistance. The Russian applied a European urban design with straight and wide roads, avenues and squares viewing the sea. They also constructed the drainage. When Turks reoccupied Alexandroupolis, it was the first city of the Ottoman Empire that differed in urban design, contrasted to the rest of the traditional Turkish urban design that was daedal and without technostructure. A French company built the famous firehouse and the headquarters of the Ottoman santzaki (prefecture) moved from Didimoticho to Alexandroupolis in 1833. In 1894 the city had 1500 schools. By 1900, schools, churches and administrative buildings were constructed at the western side of the city. We find among them the first Greek school, the Leontaridios Urban School for male students and the Zarifios Pedagogic School (1909) with intense neoclassic morphological elements.
Source: A. Karadimou Gerolibou. Between East and West: Cities at Northern Greece in the Ottoman reformation period, Trochalia 1997, p.173