Traveler's Guide

East Macedonia & Thrace

Tour of Alexandroupoli - Zoni Archaeological site

You can begin at the town’s “trademark”, the Lighthouse.It was built in 1880 by the French Lighthouseand Lantern Company “Administration Généraledes Phares de l` Empire Ottoman” to cater to the increased nauticaltraffic brought on by the introduction of the railway in 1870, whichplayed a crucial role in the foundation and development of Alexandroupoli.Starting from the Lighthouse, walk along the seasideavenue, past the Municipal Conservatory, The Courthouse, wherethe autumn book exhibition is held, and turn right into Zarifis Street,dominated by the building of the Zarifios Pedagogical Academy. Themodel schools of the Teachers Training College of the DimokritosUniversity of Thrace are now housed in the garden, where one cansee a marble effigy of Giorgos Zarifis by the sculptor Perantinos, inhonour of the benefactor and great national philanthropist. AfterZafiris Street, turn right into Dimokratias Avenue with its cafes, barsand public buildings. Go past the Town Hall, the Municipal Theatrenext door and turn left into 14 May Avenue, a broad road full ofshops with wide pavements and interesting shops. At number 63you will see a neo-classicalbuilding on the left. Thereare a few tables and chairson its a small lawn as wellas a small library which willpleasantly surprise you andcreate a feeling of intimacy.Lifting your gaze, you willsee on the left of the entrancea sign welcoming you tothe Ethnological Museumof Thrace. Spend as muchtime as you can there. Thegarden is definitely worth it.You can also make arrangementshere for a visit to theMuseum of Natural History.EthnologicalMuseum of Thracein AlexandroupoliThe Ethnological Museumof Thrace – Angeliki Giannakidouis housed in arented neoclassical buildingmade in 1899 and is runwith own funds. The exhibitsderive from the widerhistorical area of Thraceand date from the end ofthe 17th century until the beginning of the 20th century. Illuminatingvideos introduce you to the lifestyle and technological context ofthe period. A lively place to acquaint yourself with the folk cultureof Thrace, it links tradition and the knowledge included therein withthe problems of modern society.Tel. +30 down 14th May Avenue and turn left into Ainou Street. The MitropoleosPark is at the junction of Ainou Street and Mazaraki Streetwhere the imposing Agios Nikolaos Cathedral, Archdiocese andEcclesiastical Museum can be found. Go up the steps and ring thebell. The atmosphere is solemn and soothing. Everything inspiresrespect and calm.Ecclesiastical Museum of the Holy Metropolisof AlexandroupoliThe Ecclesiastical Museum of the Holy Metropolis of Alexandroupoliwas founded in 1976 and it now houses a collection of ecclesiasticalobjects collected from the churches and monasteries ofthe ecclesiastical provincial metropolis in question. The main bodyof the collection dates to the 18th and 19th centuries.There are few exhibits, mainly incunabula and a few portable icons,which date to the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.The portable icons constitute thenucleus of the museum’s collectionand, at the same time, the most importantand largest part of it and arerepresentative of every category.Telephone: +30 25510 82282Opening hours:Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 – 14:00,Saturday: 9:30 – 13:30Open on Sunday from 1 Novemberuntil 31 March. Open on 27 September.Visits on public holidays: by prior arrangement.Return to Dimokratias Avenue via Konstantinou PalaiologouStreet and head towards the History Museum, opposite the TownHall. The guided tour lasts approximately one hour and you willlearn everything there is to know about the town and its history inan enjoyable way.History Museum of AlexandroupoliThe three storey building of the Historic Museum of Alexandroupolican be found at 335 Dimokratia Avenue.Construction of the building was realized thanks to donationsby citizens of Alexandroupoli as well as the donation of the plotin 1990 by the Ministry of Culture. A permanent exhibition of theHistory of Alexandroupoli delivers many surprises and arouses thevisitor’s interest: photographic compositions and representationalmaterial, interactive audio-visual media and screenings, help thevisitor understand the connection between the town, the railwayand the port, its urban and architectural character, its financial andpolitical journey, its cultural and social life, and to be acquaintedwith the different population groups that shaped it.Telephone: +30 25510 28 926Opening Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 10:30-14:30Saturday 18:30-21:30Monday, Tuesday: ClosedEntrance: Standard 2 euros. Reduced: 1 euroE-mail: / site: www.ismo.grFrom Alexandropouli, set off for the Archaeological site Zoni. Goalong Dimokratia Avenue in the direction of Komotini, continuealong National Highway 2 and after 15.4 km, turn left for Dikella-Messimvria. Follow the signs and you will reach your destinationafter 3.8km.Archaeological site ZoniAt the beginning of the 20th century, Bulgarian soldiers, diggingtrenches, discovered building material and fragments of urnswhich suggested the existence of a settlement. In 1966 the firstsystematic archaeological dig funded by the Archaeological Societytook place. Specially designed paths allow the easy movement ofpersons with disabilities or impaired vision. Informative signs withtexts, drawings and reconstructions inform the visitor about the region’shistory, the most important places in the ancient town, suchas the Sanctuary of Dimitra and Apollo’s Temple, the only identifiedarchaic temple in Thrace temple in Thrace, which indicates thatZoni was an an organized town from as early as the 6th centuryBC. The building complex with its large number of amphorae (188)(from the 6th century and 5th centuryBC) placed one next to the other ontheir sides with the aperture on theground, indicates that they probablyformed a system to keep the earthenfloor dry. Another point of interest isthe perforated disc shaped clay objectin the same building complex. It is atype of sieve to strain grape must afterpressing. Thanks to inscriptions inZoni, archaeologists have discoveredinterpretable evidence of local Thraciandialect for the first time, a factof great significance for the region’shistory. Events are organized for the August Full Moon.Just a few km north, via the old national road (from Mesti toKomaro), parts of the Ancient Egnatia Road are laid. The route issufficiently marked for visitors guidance.Open Daily: 8:00 - 15:00Entrance: Standard 2 euros. Reduced: 1 euro.