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Kavala Port
Category: Transportation
Prefecture: Kavala
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Kavala Port




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Kav?la, the principal port in eastern Macedonia, is beautifully situated on the slopes of Mt Symvolon, rising from the harbor to the Byzantine castle on the acropolis. Kavala was called Neapolis in antiquity while its Byzantine name was Christoupolis. Its modern name appeared during the Turkish occupation and, specifically, at the end of the 15th century. The exact date of the founding of ancient Neapolis is not known, just like the descent of its first inhabitants. From the archaeological evidence, we come to think that the area was first colonized by the Thassians between 650 and 625 BC. Although information about Neapolis is scarce, the multitude of pottery found in the city bears witness to the extent of trading it carried out with the rest of Greece, which trading was facilitated by its harbour. Neapolis gained its autonomy from the Thassians only during the last part of the 6th century BC. After the Persian wars, Neapolis became a member of the Delian Alliance in 454. During the Peloponnesian War, Neapolis remained a faithful ally to Athens. In 411, the Spartans led by general Eteonikos and with the aid of the Thassians, laid siege to Neapolis, but the Athenean Thracyboulos hurried to put an end to the siege. Neapolis was a member of the second Athenian alliance. When Phillip appeared in the horizon, Neapolis came under his power in about 340. Not only did Neapolis lose its autonomy, it also lost its importance as a city and came to be the port of Philippi. Apostle Paul arrived at the harbour of Neapolis in 49 AD and Neapolis can be proud of being the first European city in which the Apostle of the nations preached. It seems that the name of Neapolis continued to be used until the 9th century when the name of Christoupoli appeared, which is connected to Apostle Paul and his visit to the area. The importance of Christoupolis was great for the Byzantine empire. It belonged to the administrative prefecture of Strymon and its fort was used as a naval base in the struggle to eliminate piracy in the north Aegean, as well as against the Slavic raids. In 926, the general of the area Vassilios Kladon repaired the damaged walls of the city. The latter met with the catastrophic wrath of the Normans in 1185, when it was conquered and burnt. The King of Nikea Ioannis the 3rd Vatatzis took the city under his control and fortified it better. After the recapture of the Byzantine capital by Michael the 3rd Paleologos, Christoupolis came under the jurisdiction of Constantinople again. In 1306 emperor Andronikos the 2nd Paleologos built a new strong wall, from the sea up to the hill of the city. Of this wall, only two gates survive, one in Theodore Poulides street and the other in Lambros Katsonis street, as well as the central cylindrical tower and some other relics of towers from the acropolis. During this time, Christoupolis suffered from continuous pirate raids, until its capture by the Ottomans in 1387, who appointed Manuel Paleologos in charge of the city, the previous Despot of Thessaloniki. However, in 1391 the Turks besieged the city again and after its fall it was totally destroyed. The habitants resorted in the high and steep parts of Mt. Pageo and so Christoupolis was deserted. Of this wall, only two gates survive, one in Theodore Poulides street and the other in Lambros Katsonis street, as well as the central cylindrical tower and some other relics of towers from the acropolis. During this time, Christoupolis suffered from continuous pirate raids, until its capture by the Ottomans in 1387, who appointed Manuel Paleologos in charge of the city, the previous Despot of Thessaloniki. However, in 1391 the Turks besieged the city again and after its fall it was totally destroyed. The habitants resorted in the high and steep parts of Mt. Pageo and so Christoupolis was deserted. A part from the expanded wall, another wall was constructed between 1591 and 1669, which divided the upper city from the lower. At the end of the 18th century, Kavala had a population of two thousand, the majority of whom were Moslem farmers and some Greeks, who were already turning their attention to profitable trading. The commercial growth of Kavala had always had direct relation to its harbour and the tobacco trade. The city kept on growing and at the end of the 19th century, it numbered 20.000 people. The rise and growth of Kavala has been connected directly to its natural environment, its commercial harbour and its excellent quality t?bacco. Tobacco cultivation surpassed anything else because it was a product in constant demand. Starting in 1899, exports done through the port of Kavala were worth more than those done through the port of Thessaloniki, because of the huge demand for tobacco by the Americans and the high prices they offered. Between 1904 and 1912, production of tobacco in Kavala trippled. After the war, the ruined industrial infrastructure of Kavala will again find support on tobacco and its port in order to stand on its feet. The introduction of automated processing will bring about changes and eventually tobacco processing will cease to have the same financial characteristics, until its importance is completely limited finally. Along with tobacco processing, industrial activity also increased and from its workforce rose the labour movement. The tobacco workers of Kavala were the core of the labour movement of the city. Their multitude (about 11.500) and their fighting spirit led them to clashes with the police and rendered Kavala the centre of labour struggles and claims. The rehabilitation of the economy of the city on the basis of new activities and choices will give a different quality of life and picture of its inhabitants. The modernization of the infrastructure of the harbour will contribute efficiently to the growth of the commercial activity of the city. Contemporary Kavala is a very beautiful city, which immediately wins over the visitor's heart. Its warm and friendly atmosphere, its favorable location combined with its beautiful architecture render Kavala one of the most charming cities of our country. The sea complements the mountain, next to traditional communities, there are modern structures, and tours for nature lovers are combined with visits to archaeological sites. Its historical past is also rich, its people hospitable and open, its cultural activity significant; and finally, it is endowed with many places which offer the serenity city people seek. From all the above is concluded that the visitor to the city will spend an unforgettable time and will go home with the best of impressions. Kavala, with a population of 60.000, offers its visitors all the necessary facilities (banks, hospitals, administration centers, etc.) which characterize a modern city. Health Centers can also be found in Elefteroupolis and Chrissoupolis.