General information on the Municipality of Metaxades

Baira Clio
Source: CETI/ Athena R.C.
© Prefecture of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace

The Municipality of Metaxades is situated in the northeastern area of the Prefecture of Evros; it arose out of the unification of eight former communities and includes 14 villages. The municipality?s seat is at Amaxades. It covers a surface area of 211 km2 and has a population of 5,777 inhabitants. The main advantages for the development of this newly established municipality are the forest that covers an area of 15,000 km2 (as a wealth-producing source of natural resources and due to the potential for developing special forms of tourism), the fertile valley of Erythropotamos river, where a dam will be built with the aim of increasing primary production, and the traditional character of the villages of Metaxades, Paliouri, Alepochori and ???, which in combination with the area?s sights and natural beauty, set the conditions for the vigorous growth of mild forms of tourism.
Between 1361 and 1915, the village of Metaxades was under Turkish rule, with a brief interlude during 1878 and 1881, when it was occupied by the Russians. From 1915 and until the area?s accession to Greece, Metaxades was under Bulgarian occupation. The Municipality?s most important villages are Avdela, Alepochori, Asproneri, Vryssi, Vryssika, Giatrades, Doxa, Elafochori, Ladi, Paliouri, Polia, Savra and Chionades.
Visitors to the Metaxades area may visit the municipal forest of Metaxades, which has an abundance of natural attractions and game and the traditional villages of Metaxades, Paliouri, Avdela and Alepochori with their traditional stone houses, which have been built with outstanding craftsmanship.
The three post-Byzantine churches (Aghios Athanassios of Metaxades, Aghios Athanassios of Alepochori and Aghios Panteleimon of Paliouri) that date to the end of the 17th century attract the visitors? attention, who also visit the underground built tomb of Dafni at Elafochori, which is the first underground Thracian tomb of the early Hellenistic period (4th or 3rd century B.C.). There is a folklore museum at the village of Vryssika.
Various events, particularly dances and concerts, are organised from time to time by the women?s societies, the sports clubs and the cultural group of Neoi Metaxades. Efforts are being made to preserve the area?s manners and customs, such as the carols that are traditionally called by a different name in each village. In Metaxades carols come under the name of Kolianda, Kolianda babou tsi tsi, Christiana, Sourvala and Lazarissia. Other villages use other names; for example, in Karoti and Petrades, the people singing the carols are called Bouboussiaroi, whereas in Didymoticho they are called Foustanelades, in Lavara Rougatsia, in Isaakio Pourpourdis, etc.

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