|Administrative region||East Macedonia and Thrace|
|• Municipality||955.6 km2 (369.0 sq mi)|
|• Municipal unit||256.9 km2 (99.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||35 m (115 ft)|
|• Municipality density||39/km2 (100/sq mi)|
|• Municipal unit||23,584|
|• Municipal unit density||92/km2 (240/sq mi)|
|• Population||20,211 (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Orestiada (Greek : Ορεστιάδα, formerly Νέα Ὀρεστιάς, Nea Orestiás), is the northeasternmost, northernmost and newest city of Greece and the second largest town of the Evros regional unit of Thrace. Founded by Greek refugees from Adrianople after the Treaty of Lausanne when the population exchange occurred between Turkey and Greece, in which the river Evros became the new border between the two countries. The population is around 20,000.
Ancient Orestiada was located in present-day Turkey, across the river from the current town of Kastanies. In ancient times, there was a small settlement on this site which legends claim was founded by Orestes, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.
In 1920, after the liberation of Thrace, the city was renamed Orestiada and conferred on Greece along with the whole of Western Thrace and most of Eastern Thrace under the Treaty of Sevres. Following the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) and the Armistice of Mudanya (October 1922), the Western Forces surrendered Eastern Thrace to Turkey and the Greek army was ordered to withdraw within 15 days to positions east of Evros. As a result, Adrianople (renamed Edirne) which is located to the east of Evros, became Turkish, but Karagatch, located to the west of Evros, remained in Greece. As Eastern Thrace was evacuated by its Greek population, several residents of Edirne fled to its neighboring suburb, Karagatch, on the other bank of the river (the west and still Greek), hoping that something would change and they could go back to their homes more easily.However at the Lausanne conference, the British representative Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Curzon, with French Prime Minister Poincaré, Italian Prime Minister Mussolini and United States High Commissioner Admiral Mark L. Bristol, failed to reach a compromise with Ismet Pasha, the chief negotiator for Turkey. Effects were made more difficult following protests by the Turks and hindered still further by Admiral Bristol's explicit support for Turkish efforts.
As compensation to the new Turkish republic, Greece was asked to pay 4 billion gold francs (half of the cost Greek military and commercial fleet), to leave the Ecumenical Patriarchate from Constantinople and hold a referendum in Western Thrace to decide its future.In reaction to Eleftherios Venizelos, in May 1923, the French general Mauritius Pelley argued: "Since Greece cannot pay, the old Orestiada (Karagatch) should be given to the Turks." His proposal was accepted. Karagatch, with the villages of Bosna and Demerdes, were transferred to Turkish control, along with the strategic railhead and Karagatch railway station which at the time served Edirne also. The 17,000 Greek inhabitants of the Karagatch Triangle learned of this concession on 27 May 1923. The abandonment of the old Orestiada began in July 1923, as the population moved beyond the Evros River, the new border. At 10:20, 15 September 1923 around 1500 years of Greek orthodox history was at an end. On 4 June 1923, a committee, which had only been formed the day before at a joint meeting of the inhabitants of old Orestiada, traveled 17 kilometers south, to the uninhabited rural site of Kum-Tsiflik (Sandy Estate), to view the possible new settlement. On 12 August 1923, the new city called New Orestias and later New Orestiada was inaugurated to remind the old Orestiada, Karagatch. The inauguration of the new city took place in August 1923 by the Metropolitan of Adrianople Polycarpos, with Spyros Dassios also in attendance.
Orestiada has a medical center, an orchestra, and a choir as well as a sugar factory, outside the city which processes locally grown sugar beets. Asparagus, 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 Europe.
It is also the site of the Fylakio detention center for refugees seeking asylum in Greece. In November 2010, the European Union sent Frontex forces to Orestiada to help Greek police patrol the local section of the border with Turkey. Some 31,400 people crossed just that portion of the border in the first nine months of 2010.
Orestiada lies in the plain of the river Evros, at 40 metres above sea level. Orestiada is only 6 km west of the banks of the Evros, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey. Orestiada is located 17 km north of Didymoteicho, 19 km south of Edirne, 28 km southeast of the Greek-Turkish-Bulgarian tripoint, 40 km southeast of Svilengrad, 91 km northeast of Alexandroupoli, and 212 km west of Istanbul.
The Greek National Road 51/E85 passes 1 km to the west of Orestiada.
The city is served by two railway stations, the larger Orestiada railway station, and a smaller station Sakkos, both on the Alexandroupoli–Svilengrad line. Historically the city was on the İstanbul Sirkeci-Svilengrad line, since 1971 a parallel railway line that runs exclusively over Turkish territory so that the Orestiada station is now touched only by regional traffic.
In 1999, Orestiada became the fourth town to host university departments (faculties) of the Democritus University of Thrace. The faculties based in Orestiada are the Department of Agricultural 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.
Orestias hosts two sports club with presence in the higher national divisions, Orestis Orestiadas F.C. a football club and A.C. Orestias a volleyball club, playing in A1 Ethniki.
|Sport clubs based in Orestiada|
|Orestis Orestiadas F.C.||1927||Football||Earlier presence in Gamma Ethniki|
|A.C. Orestias||1970||Volleyball||Presence in A1 Ethniki, finalist of Greek championship and European CEV cup.|
|Climate data for Orestiada|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.3|
|Record low °C (°F)||−16.9|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||47.9|
|Average precipitation days||11.8||10.1||10.9||10.4||10.5||8.9||6.2||4.0||4.7||7.9||9.3||11.8||106.5|
|Average snowy days||3.5||3.0||1.6||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.4||2.0||10.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82.0||78.0||72.0||66.0||65.0||60.0||56.0||55.0||61.0||72.0||80.0||82.0||69.1|
|Source: Orestiada Weather|
The municipality Orestiada was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 4 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
The municipality has an area of 955.591 km2, the municipal unit 256.898 km2.
The municipal unit Orestiada is subdivided into the following communities (constituent settlements in brackets):
The province of Orestiada (Greek : Επαρχία Ορεστιάδας) was one of the provinces of the Evros Prefecture. It had the same territory as the present municipality. It was abolished in 2006.
|Year||town||municipal community||municipal unit (Kapodistrias)||municipality (Kallikratis)|
The population of the settlements within the municipal community of Orestiada at the 2011 census was:
Evros 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. Its capital is Alexandroupoli. Together with the regional units Rhodope and Xanthi, it forms the geographical region of Western Thrace. The population density was 34.77 per km2 (2011).
Didymoteicho is a town located on the eastern edge of the Evros regional unit of East Macedonia and Thrace, in northeastern Greece. It is the seat of the municipality of the same name. The town sits on a plain and located south east of Svilengrad, south of Edirne, Turkey and Orestiada, west of Uzunköprü, Turkey, about 20 km north of Soufli and about 90 km north of Alexandroupoli. The municipality of Didymóteicho has a land area of 565.4 km² and a population of 19,493 inhabitants.
Kastanies is a town located in northern part of the regional unit of Evros, Greece, and is part of the municipal unit of Vyssa. It is situated at the border with Turkey.
Amorio is a village in the municipal unit of Orfeas, northeastern Evros, Greece. It is situated at 2 km from the right bank of the river Evros, that forms the border with Turkey here. Amorio is 6 km northeast of Lavara, 7 km southwest of Didymoteicho and 21 km west of Uzunköprü (Turkey). The Greek National Road 51/E85 and the railway from Alexandroupoli to Didymoteicho pass through the village.
Orfeas, named after the mythical musician Orpheus, is a former municipality in the Evros regional unit, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Soufli, of which it is a municipal unit. Its land area is 643.266 km² and its population was 4,761 inhabitants at the 2011 census. It is located in the north-central part of Evros, and borders both southeastern Bulgaria and northwestern Turkey. The seat of the municipality was in Lavara. Much of the land is mountainous and forested to the west, extending up to the Rhodope regional unit. It is linked with GR-51. The town of Lávara sits on a plain. It is located SE of Svilengrad, S of Edirne, Turkey and Orestiada, and 13 km N of Soufli and 78 km N of Alexandroupoli. The municipality's next largest towns are Agriani, Mega Dereio and Amorio.
Tycheró is a town and a former municipality in the Evros regional unit, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Soufli, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 220.411 km2. Population 4,010 (2011). Tychero is situated near the river Evros, which forms the border with Turkey here.
Komara is a village in the northwestern part of the Evros regional unit in northern Greece. Komara is in the municipal unit of Trigono. Its population was 628 in 2011. Komara is situated on the left (northern) bank of the river Arda, near the border with Bulgaria. It is 2 km north of Kyprinos, the nearest larger village. It is 20 km south of the Bulgarian town Svilengrad, 27 km northwest of Orestiada and 29 km west of the Turkish city Edirne.
Ptelea is a village in the northern part of the Evros regional unit, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of Trigono. In 2011 its population was 441. It is located on the right bank of the river Evros, where it forms the border with Bulgaria. It is bypassed by the Greek National Road 51/E85. The town was formerly known as Karagatsoudi (Καραγατσούδι) and El-Karakas (Ελ-Καράκας), its Turkish name was Karaagaç. The nearest villages are Dikaia to its east, and Ormenio to its northwest.
Ormenio is the northernmost place in all of Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of Trigono in the Evros regional unit of Thrace. It is situated near the right bank of the river Evros, which forms the border with Bulgaria here. On the other side of the Evros, 6 km to the north, lies the Bulgarian town Svilengrad. Nearby villages in Greece are Ptelea to its southeast and Petrota to its southwest.
Dikaia is a village in the northern part of the Evros regional unit in Greece. Dikaia was the seat of the former municipality of Trigono, and is part of the municipality Orestiada since 2011. In 2011 its population was 561 for the village and 834 for the community, which includes the villages Dilofos, Krios and Palli. It is located on the right bank of the river Evros, where it forms the border with Bulgaria. It is about 15 km southeast of Svilengrad, Bulgaria, and 25 km west of Edirne, Turkey.
Greek National Road 51 is a single carriageway road in northeastern Greece. It connects the Greek National Road 2 near Feres with the Bulgarian border near Ormenio. The main towns on the GR-51 are Didymoteicho and Orestiada. The entire GR-51 is part of the European route E85. Its length is about 128 km. It runs from south to north, parallel to the river Evros.
Nea Vyssa is a village in the northeastern part of the Evros regional unit in Greece. It was the seat of the municipality of Vyssa until 2011. In 2011 its population was 2,805. It is situated near the border with Turkey and the river Evros, about halfway between Orestiada and Edirne in Turkey. The nearest villages are Kavyli to the southwest, and Kastanies to the northwest.
Orestias was an ancient Greek settlement next to the Maritsa river, near or at the site of present-day Edirne, and close to the current border between Turkey and Greece.
The Alexandroupoli–Svilengrad railway is a 178.5 kilometres (110.9 mi) long railway connecting Alexandroupoli in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece with Svilengrad in Bulgaria, via the village of Ormenio. Despite its name, as of 2020 there is only passenger service on the section on Greek territory, between Alexandroupoli and Ormenio, as the international services to Sofia and Istanbul have been suspended as of 2011.
Pythio railway station is a railway station and junction where the railway to Ormenio and Bulgaria branches off the main line from Thessaloniki to Istanbul through Alexandroupoli and Uzunköprü, that serves the village of Pythio, Evros in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Located southeast of the village of Pythio, it is unmanned, however there are waiting rooms available, if in a dilapidated state. The station is the final stop in Greece before crossing the border into Turkey. There is another railway stop closer to the village, Στάση Πυθίου.
Dikaia railway station is a railway station that serves the village of Dikaia, Evros in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Located less than 900 metres (3,000 ft) east of the center of Dikaia, the station opened in 1874 by the Chemins de fer Orientaux. Today TrainOSE operates just four daily regional trains to Alexandroupoli and Ormenio. The station is unstaffed however there are waiting rooms available. It is one of the northernmost operational railway station in Greece, close to both the Bulgarian and Turkish borders.
Feres railway station is a railway station that serves the town of Feres, Evros in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Located 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) west of the town center, the station opened in 1896 by the Chemins de fer Orientaux,. Today TrainOSE operates just 4 daily Regional trains to Alexandroupoli and Ormenio. The station is unstaffed however there are waiting rooms available, if open. Feres is the first stop after Alexandroupolis, as the railway heads north.
Ormenio railway station is a railway station that serves the village of Ormenio, Evros in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Located around 900 metres (3,000 ft) north of the center of Ormenio, the station opened by the Chemins de fer Orientaux,. Today TrainOSE operates just 4 daily Regional trains to Alexandroupoli. The station is unstaffed however there are waiting rooms available. Ormenio is the northernmost railway station in Greece, and the final stop before crossing the border into Bulgaria.
Feres railway station is a railway station situated halfway between Dikaia and Ormenio that serves the nearby village of Ptelea, Evros, in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Located 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) north of the center of Ptelea, the station opened by the Chemins de fer Orientaux,. Today TrainOSE operates just 4 daily Regional trains to Alexandroupoli. The station is unstaffed however there are waiting rooms available. It is one of the northernmost operational railway station in Greece and 500m from the boulder with Bulgaria. The station is the last stop before arriving at Ormenio.
Xeimonio railway station is a railway station that serves the village of Neo Cheimonio, Evros in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Located on the eastern edge of the village, the station was opened in 1874 by the Chemins de fer Orientaux. Today TrainOSE operates just four daily regional trains to Alexandroupoli and Ormenio. The station is unstaffed; however, there are waiting rooms available. It is one of the northernmost operational railway stations in Greece and is close to the Turkish border.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Orestiada .|