Komotini, Rhodope 691 00
The Conference will take place at the Opera House of Komotini. The Opera House was built in 2010 and is the 3rd largest opera house of Greece. Great cultural events are presented there, such as operas, music recitals, concerts, painting exhibitions. Great musicians and orchestras have made successful performances. The Opera House provides all the necessary facilities to operate as a convention center as well.
AIRPORT AND TRANSPORT
The City of Komotini is connected to two airports. The airport Dimokritos of Alexandroupoli is located 65 km East of the city center and the airport Alexander of Chrysoupoli Kavala is located 80 km west of the city center.The Delegates will be welcomed at the airports and transferred to their hotels. At the end of the Conference the delegates will be transferred to the airport according to their time of departure. The Greek Presidency will also provide transport for the delegates to and from the venue of the Conference and all the other sites indicated in the program.
During the Conference, the delegates will be staying in the Arcadia Hotel and Chris & Eve Mansion. The Mansion is located at the 3rd km of Komotini-Alexandroupoli National Road, and the Arcadia Hotel is located 4km from the city center at the University Campus area.
The price for the accommodation is 60 Euro per person, per room, per day including breakfast. Free wi-fi is also available at both hotels. Hotel reservations will be made directly to the hotels via the reservation forms.
Built at the Northern part of the plain bearing the same name, Komotini is the administrative, financial and cultural center of Rhodope prefecture. It is also the center of Eastern Macedonia - Thrace Region and a transport interchange. During the Turkish occupation, Goumoultzina or Gkoumourtzina (as Komotini was known at the time) was the most important settlement of the region and became very prosperous.
During the second half of the 19th century it became major agricultural and breeding center of the area. It was liberated in 1913, but did not join Greece until May 1920 with the signature of the Treaty of Sevres. A great number of refugees settled in Komotini in 1922-1923. In the modern town the Christian and Muslim communities co-exist in peace as far as culture and every day habits are concerned. It is located 795 km NE of Athens and 281 km NE of Thessaloniki.
- In the town center the visitors can observe the remains of the Byzantine fortifications dating back to the 4th century built by the emperor Theodosius I (379-395 A.D.). It had four sides with four entrances, 16 towers and 9.6m tall.
- The Tsanakleios School in Dimocritos street: It was constructed in 1904 on the expense of Nestoras Tsanaklis, national benefactor from Komotini who had immigrated to Egypt.
- Inside the fortress of Komotini is the cathedral of Koimisis tis Theotokou (1800 A.C.) built in the place of an older Byzantine church. The old religious icons and the wood carved chancel are worth observing.
- The colorful old town with labyrinthine alleys and low traditional houses with tile roofs.
Clock Tower beside the Yeni Mosque.
- The old market, where you will see small shops, junk-shops, traditional family businesses, blacksmith and tinker workshops, while an outdoor bazaar is organized every Saturday.
- The neoclassical buildings dating back to the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century.
- The Armenian Market and the area known as Teneke Mahala.
- The Zoo in the Municipal Garden.
- The Clock Tower is located beside the Yeni Mosque and is a sample of the Ottoman Empire's modernization. It was built at 1884 A.C. as an oblation of the Sultan Abdul Hamid B.
- The Sword is the monument of the Second World War, well known as the Sword that is carved on the 15m marble column. It is the emblem of the city.
Museum of Popular and Folklore Art.
The Archeological MuseumThe exhibits are from the region of Thrace dated from Neolithic era to the Byzantine period. The museum's most important statue is the golden head of the Roman Emperor Septimus Sevirus (193-211 A.D.).
Museum of Popular and Folklore ArtThe Museum is housed at the Peidi Mansion House, characteristic sample of the local folklore architecture. The museum hosts local costumes, embroidery, wooden craft, farmer tools, tools of handicraft and domestic tools.
Ecclesiastical Museum of Maroneia and Komotini MetropolisIt is housed at the Imaret building since 1999. It has ecclesiastical exhibits from the 16th to the 20th century, such as portable religious icons, manuscripts, copes etc. The building is a sample of the ottoman architecture very rarely met in Europe and is built by byzantine technique.
Byzantine MuseumThe exhibits of the museum are byzantine ecclesiastical objects, books, jewelry, coins and seals. It is located at the side of the Prefecture building.
Museum of KomotiniIt belongs to the N. Papanikolaou Foundation and exhibits ecclesiastical heirlooms and other objects dating back to the Byzantine years. It also includes a remarkable library with works published during the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST
Porto Lagos Vistonida Lagoon
Porto Lagos Village.
Porto Lagos is a small picturesque village, within a 20 km distance of the city of Komotini, which is coastal and lakeside. It is located next to Vistonida lake and its coasts are washed by the Thracian sea. It is among 11 great Greek wetlands that have been announced of International Importance for preserving species and important population, particularly of birds, that are under extinction threat and is protected by Natura 2000.
It is popular with ornithologist, as well as lovers of bird watching as a perfect place for this activity. Among lagoons, valleys, forests and Vistonida lake there is a wetland that hosts a rich bird fauna. In this area you will find 322 bird species. Some of them are little egret, flamingos, pygmy cormorant etc. In the small forest at the entrance of the village and its port, above the dense pine trees, there are three kinds of heron nest: the Grey Heron, the Squacco Heron and the Little Egret. Visitors can watch herons with binoculars from the observation tower or from the sea front where taverns and coffee shops are.
In Porto Lagos has been established the Environmental Center of Information about Vistonida with rich exhibits about the area.
Archeological Site of Maroneia
The Ancient Theatre of Maronia.
Maroneia was founded by Chian colonists on the Southwest slopes of Ismaros, in the mid-7th century B.C. and soon developed into a prosperous and densely inhabited city-state.
According to tradition, the mythical founder (oikistes) of the city was Maron, a priest of Apollo. Homer describes Maron's hospitality and the gifts that he offered to Ulysses when he visited the land of the Kikones. During the Classical period the city had a strong fortification wall, 10 km long, enclosing an area of 4 sq.km., extended from the coast up to the top of Ismaros.
The most important monuments of the site are:
- The Ancient Theatre. It was constructed in the Hellenistic period and remodeled in Roman times. Preserved are: three rows of stone seats of the cavea, the central and the horseshoe-shaped conduit of the orchestra, and the building of the Roman scene.
- Sanctuary of Dionysus. The sanctuary, probably dedicated to Dionysus, is built on a terrace supported by a retaining wall. Parts of two more buildings have been revealed to the north and south of the sanctuary, which is dated to the 4th century B.C.
- House of the mosaic Large, private house, preserving a mosaic floor in the men's quarters (andron), dated to the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 3rd century B.C.
- Roman propylon Monumental gate, constructed probably during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (124-125 A.D.)
The Brewery Macedonia-ThraceThe brewery is famous mostly for the Beer Vergina that is exported at USA, Australia, Japan and member states of the European Union. It has been awarded with the International Brewing Awards. Visitors may be guided at the installations of the brewery and enjoy the different kinds of beer produced there.
Komotini is famous for the Greek coffee that any visitor can buy at the special shops or taste at the local cafes and the delicious delights as well as for the dried nuts especially the roasted chick peas.