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Orestiada
Category: Town-Village
Prefecture: Evros
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Orestiada


Orestiada or Orestias is the northeasternmost and northernmost city of Greece and the second largest city of the Evros Prefecture of Thrace. The population is around 25,000. Orestiada is only 2 km west of the banks of the Evros, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey. Orestiada is located 23 km S of Edirne, about 64 km SE of the Greek-Turkish-Bulgarian border, 66 km SE of Svilengrad, about 110 km N of Alexandroupoli, N of Didymoteicho, ENE of Soufli, about 110 km ENE of Alexandroupoli and 460 km ENE of Thessaloniki. It is a modern and contemporary city, only 75 years old. In ancient times, there was a small settlement on this site which legends claim was founded by Orestes, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Ancient Orestiada was located in present day Turkey, across the river from the town of Kastanies. Nea Orestias or New Orestiada was founded in 1922 when the population exchange occurred between Turkey and Greece, in which the Evros River became the new border between the two countries. The site of the original Orestiada was founded around 3000 years ago and remains fairly undeveloped as it is near the much larger city of Edirne. Orestiada has a train station, a Medical Centre, a Philharmonic and a Choir as well as a sugar factory, outside the city which processes locally grown sugar beets. Sparrowgrass, potatoes, tobacco, watermelons and corn are also grown. As well, a cattle breeding fund gives commercial impetus to the city and the whole area which is in such an economically strategic location in far eastern Europe. In 1999, Orestiada became the fourth city to host university departments (faculties) of the Democritus University of Thrace. The faculties based in Orestiada are the Department of Rural Development and the Department of Forestry, Environmental Management and Natural Resources. Both faculties have a five year curriculum. More than 800 students live in the city.

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