Evros (Greek: Περιφερειακή ενότητα Έβρου) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Its name is derived from the river Evros, which appears to have been a Thracian hydronym. Evros is the northernmost regional unit. It borders Turkey to the east, across the river Evros, and it borders Bulgaria to the north and the northwest.
|Region||East Macedonia and Thrace|
|• Total||4,242 km2 (1,638 sq mi)|
|• Density||32/km2 (82/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||GR-71|
|Car plates||ΕΒ, ΟΡ|
Evros is one of the largest regional units of Greece. It forms the eastern part of the geographical region Western Thrace, and includes the island Samothrace in the northern Aegean Sea. Its length is about 150 km from north to south (excluding Samothrace). Its width ranges from 70 to 100 km from east to west. The most important rivers are the Evros and its tributary Arda.
The coastal area has a predominantly Mediterranean climate, whereas the northern part and the mountains have a colder continental climate.
The Evros regional unit is subdivided into 5 municipalities. These are (number as in the map in the infobox):
Evros was established as a prefecture in 1930 (Greek: Νομός Έβρου), when the former Thrace Prefecture was divided into the Rhodope and Evros prefectures. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was transformed into a regional unit within the East Macedonia and Thrace region, with no change in its boundaries. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.
- Province of Orestiada - Orestiada
- Province of Didymoteicho - Didymoteicho
- Province of Soufli - Soufli
- Province of Alexandroupolis - Alexandroupolis
- Province of Samothrace - Samothrace
Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.
As a part of Western Thrace, the territory of the Evros regional unit followed the fate of that region. In 1821, several parts of Evros region rebelled, such as Lavara and Samothraki, and participated in the Greek War of Independence. It became part of Greece in 1920 when it was ceded by Bulgaria as a result of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Initially it was part of the Thrace Prefecture, which was subdivided in 1930.
During the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), many Greek refugees settled in the Evros. New towns were built, including Orestiada. The Evros river valley has flooded several times, with the most recent floods taking place in 2005, 2006, 2014 and in 2021 where the multiple and largest floods took place.
The main roads in the Evros regional unit are:
- Egnatia Odos/E90 motorway (... Komotini - Alexandroupolis - İpsala (Turkey))
- Greek National Road 2 (... Komotini - Alexandroupolis - Feres)
- Greek National Road 51/E85 (Svilengrad (Bulgaria) - Orestiada - Didymoteicho - Feres)
- Greek National Road 53 (Ormenio - Metaxades - Aisymi - Alexandroupolis)
A railway line connects Alexandroupolis with Thessaloniki via Komotini, Xanthi and Drama. Another line connects Alexandroupolis with Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria via Didymoteicho and Orestiada, with a branch line from Didymoteicho to Uzunköprü, Turkey.
The Alexandroupolis International Airport is served by mostly national flights.
The most important sights of the prefecture are:
- Church of Theotokos Kosmosoteira. The church was founded in 1152. It is considered one of the best examples of Byzantine art in Greece.
- Samothrace with the Sanctuary of the Great Gods and its Archaeological Museum.
- Evros Delta National Park
- Lighthouse of Alexandroupolis
- The post-Byzantine churches in the villages of Alepochori (Church of Saint Athanasius), Metaxades (Church of Saint Athanasius) and Paliouri (Church of Saint Pantaleon)
- The ancient Mesimvria-Zoni
- Dadia Forest
- Fossilized Forest of Lefkimmi
- Cyclops Polyphemus Cave in Makri
- Burial Tomb of Mikri Doxipara: Roman Tomb which dates from the 2nd century
- Castle of Pythio
- The thermal baths of Traianoupoli
- Castle of Avanta-Potamos
- The Ethnological Museum of Thrace in Alexandroupolis
- The Silk Museum of Soufli
- Zourafa islet
- The village Metaxades with its traditional architecture
- The Pomak villages Goniko and Roussa with the traditional architecture
Notable people Edit
- Hrysopiyi Devetzi (1976, Alexandroupolis), Greek silver Olympic Champion in triple jump (Athens, 2004)
- Demis Nikolaidis (1973, Alexandroupolis), Greek international footballer, European Champion with Greece National football team (Portugal, 2004)
- Stelios Venetidis (1976, Orestiada),Greek international footballer, European Champion with Greece National football team (Portugal, 2004)
- Athanasios Tsigas (1982, Aristeino Alexandroupolis), Greek footballer
- Lefteris Hapsiadis (1953, Kila Feres), Greek lyricist and writer
- Andreas Andreadis (1982, Provatonas Soufli), Greek international volleyball player
- Marios Giourdas (1973, Alexandroupolis), international volleyball player
- Thanassis Moustakidis (1962, Soufli), Greek international volleyball player, player with the most appearances with Greece National football team
- Nikos Samaras (1970-2013, Orestiada), Greek international volleyball player, player-symbol for the Greek volleyball
- Constantin Carathéodory (1873-1950, Nea Vyssa), Greek mathematician
- Dimosthenis Michalentzakis (1998, Feres), Greek Gold Paralympic Champion Swimmer in category S9 (Rio, 2016)
- Marinos Ouzounidis (1968, Alexandroupolis), former international Greek footballer, now football coach
- Manolis Siopis (1994, Alexandroupolis), Greek international footballer
- Dimosthenis Magginas (1982, Alexandroupolis), Greek middle-distance, long-distance runner
- Fotis Kosmas, (1926-1995), Alexandroupolis) Mediterranean and 7th Olympic winner in decathlon
- Kostas Gatsioudis (1973, Didymoteicho), 6th Olympic winner, Mediterranean and Silver World champion, in Javelin throw
- Nikos Alavantas (1959, Krios Orestiada), former Greek international footballer
- Giannis Matzourakis (1949, Didymoteicho), former footballer, now football coach
- Nikos Hadjinikolaou (1962, Alexandroupolis), Greek journalist
- Renos Haralampidis (1970, Spilaio), Greek actor, film director
- Yannis Stankoglou (1974, Thourio), Greek actor
- John III Doukas Vatatzes (1192–1254, Didymoteicho), emperor of Nicaea
- John V Palaiologos (1332–1391, Didymoteicho), Byzantine Emperor
- Bayezid II (1481–1512, Didymoteicho) Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
- Eugenios Eugenidis (1882–1954, Didymoteicho), shipping magnate
- Sürmeli Ali Pasha, (1645-1695, Didymoteicho), Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
- Konstantinos Malamatinas, founder of retsina Malamatina
- Paraskevas Tselios (1997, Alexandroupolis), Greek international volleyball player with Greece men's national volleyball team
- Savvas Gentsoglou (1990, Alexandroupolis), Greek football player
- Gregoris Mentzas (1960, Alexandroupolis), Greek management scientist and professor at the National Technical University of Athens
- Giorgos Valavanidis (1974, Alexandroupolis), Greek; former international basketball player, silver medalist with Greece women's national under-16 basketball team in 1991 and Greek champion with PAOK
- Arete Kosmidou (1997, Alexandroupolis), Greek singer
- Anestis Dalakouras (1993, Alexandroupolis), international Volleyball player with Greece men's national volleyball team
- Stavros Stathakis (1987, Alexandroupolis), Greece footballer
- Nikos Alavantas (1959, Orestiada), former international footballer with Greece national football team
- Stefania Liberakaki (2002), Greek-Dutch singer originally from Sofiko, a village near Didymoteicho
- Evros terrain map by Geopsis