A Small City of Chaos and Charm Here is some general information on Kavala Greece: ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO STAY? CHECK OUT KAIROS GARDEN - THE MOST LAID BACK OF HOTELS IN NORTHERN GREECE! Kavala is a charming, …
The world’s only freshwater sardine, the tawilis, is the most important endemic species of fish that can be found here.
Northern Greece consists of Macedonia and Thrace. Macedonia is also that tiny little country north of Greece, that the Greek government still refuses to let call itself Macedonia, despite the whole world calling it that. The Greeks themselves call it Skopje, after its capital, not to confuse it with Macedonia inside Greece.
Some years ago, after the Berlin wall fall and the Soviet Union dissolved and we suddenly got all those new European states there was a certain fear in Greece that Skopje or Bulgaria or both would claim all or parts of Greek Macedonia, but today I don’t think there’s anyone here in Greece who has that opinion.
In west, Greek Macedonia is separated from the part of Greece called Epirus by the majestic Pindos mountains, while in south it’s the valley of Tempe and the highest mountain of Greece, Olympus ( 2917 meters above sea level), that mark the border.
In east the river Nestos creates a natural border between Macedonia and Thrace, while the river Evros indicates the borders with Turkey.
Northern Greece borders to four countries: Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Two islands belong to the region of northern Greece: Thasos in Macedonia, often referred to as the emerald island because it’s so green, and Samothrace in Thrace, famous for it’s ancient temples, its waterfalls and loads of hippies visiting.
Alexander the Great
Macedonia is forever associated with the name of Alexander the Great. Thessaloníki, the capital of northern Greece, was even named after his sister.
In ancient times, Macedonia was populated by inhabitants related to the Greeks, but the Greeks looked upon them as barbarians.
The kingdom of Macedonia was founded by Perdikkas the first around 600 BC and became a strong power under the rule of Phillip the second, Alexander’s father.
In the battle of Chaironeia in 338 BC Phillip won over the Athenians and the Thebians and Greece was put under ruler ship of the Macedonians.
During the rule of Alexander the Great Macedonia grew to become the most powerful empire not only in the Mediterranean, but in the whole world.
Alexander was a great fan of anything Greek – language, philosophy, religion, art – and with him the Greek culture was spread to big parts of the world.
Loosing all power
After his death Macedonia lost its power. Macedonia became an Roman province in 148 AC and came under the East Roman empire in 395.
Later the area was colonized by Slavs, then occupied by Bulgaria and christened.
From 976 to 1018 Macedonia again was an independent state, with it’s center in Ohrid (the lake on today’s border between FYROM and Albania).
Then followed new occupations: Byzantium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turks. In the 19th century there was a movement fighting for a new independent Macedonian state, but without success. This lead to new conflict about dividing the area between Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia and after the Balkan wars in 1913 Bulgaria was forced to give up great parts of Macedonia to Greece.
Puh – but like the Russian monk Theophilos said some 500 years ago:
This is not a place for play or laughter, this is the Balkan.
So, what was all this fighting for? Access to the Mediterranean sea. To the sea trade and the money that followed. But in addition the fields of Macedonia are the most fertile agricultural area in Greece and here is a major production of wheat, rice, cotton, tobacco, fruit, grapes and olives.
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