Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, as well as French and Russians, left their mark on the architecture of Alexandroupolis, which since its establishment until today is a crossroads and meeting point of peoples and cultures. The architectural jewels of the city, buildings that left their mark, not only in its image but also in its long history, are today attractions that the visitor admires with a walk in the streets.
Most of the architectural monuments of Alexandroupolis are constructed in the early 20th century, but there are also impressive buildings that date back to the second half of the 19th century when the city was established to become a hub of the Ottoman Empire. The Turks recruited French and Russian specialists to build mainly operational facilities at the port of the city, which has always been the driving force behing the city’s economy.
Lighthouse of Alexandroupolis
It is the trademark, the naval symbol of the city, manufactured by the French Society of Lighthouses and Lighting of the Mediterranean. Its operation started on June 1, 1880, and has been operating without interruption since then. It has a height of 18 meters and to get to the lamp cabin, at its top, it is necessary to climb the 98 steps, as well as the windows it has to illuminate the interior.
It is located west of the harbor and was built on a cylindrical podium – its total height from the surface of the sea is 27 meters, which gives its light beam the ability to be visible from a distance of 24 nautical miles (about 44 kilometers). Initially it was operating with acetylene and then with incandescent oil. In 1974 the Alexandroupolis lighthouse was connected to the grid and operated with electricity, and in 2002 it was supplied with state-of-the-art electrical equipment.
Zarifios Pedagogical Academy
It is the neoclassical building located in the National Independence Park in Alexandroupolis. It was built in 1923 and immediately operated as a Teaching School, and later became the Thrace Pedagogical Academy. Its name is due to the Alexandroupolis benefactor and politician Georgios Zarifis who continued to help the academy with logistical infrastructure and money until 1968, when the academies were abolished in the Greek state.
Today, the building houses the standard primary schools in the city. It is a three-storey building with the ground floor being 1/3 sunken on the ground and functioning as a semi-basement. It was declared a historical monument of the Greek state in 1979. The road that passes in front of the Academy also bears the name of the benefactor, while its marble bust, crafted by Perantino, is in the garden.
It is located in Mitropoleos Square, on the left of Agios Nikolaos, the metropolitan church of Alexandroupolis. It was built in 1909 at the site provided by Turkish Bey Hadjisafet in the Greek Community. It was built with the donation of, the born in 1865 in Maroneia, benefactor Antonis Leontaridis or Antonakis Efendis, from which she took its name. Originally, it exhibited Italian statues that featured the nine muses.
Today, these statues are at the entrance of the building that now functions as Ecclesiastical Museum. The Leontarideios School was repaired and restored in the early 1980s to accommodate more than 400 sacred relics of the Ecclesiastical Museum.
Warehouses of the Harbor
They are buildings of 1870 and were built by the East Railway Company, when the harbor of Alexandroupolis was constructed and the new city was built around it. The railroad brought too much commercial traffic in the small port of the Ottoman Empire and the Warehouses of the Harbor resolved the freight transport, which since then was made by train. Initially nine warehouses were built, depicted in all the photographs of the time.
They were divided into two complexes, one with five warehouses in the west and one with four in the east. The two complexes were communicating with iron bridges. The Warehouses of the Port of Alexandroupolis were destroyed by the English fleet and the Entente forces that bombed the port in 1915.
They were probably reconstructed around 1930, but not in their exact original form. During the 20th century, the Warehouses housed the services of the Customs Office of Alexandroupolis, the Evros Agricultural Service and the General State Laboratory. Today, only one building is used by Customs, while the rest have suffered serious damage.
It is a rectangular, three-storey, ceramic-roofed building built from 1930 to 1933 in Alexandroupolis. The owner was Georgios Masouras, who came from the Peloponnese and was involved in the flour industry. A large stone mill was the driving force of the Mill at the time of its construction. In 1940, with the outbreak of World War II, Masouras Mill was commanded by the Greek Army and in 1941 the occupation forces stopped its operation.
During the civil war, the third floor, whose floors were made of Swedish timber, was completely burned. It was repaired a little later and it worked again until 1967, when the heirs of George Massouras ceased the operation of the mill.
One of the most imposing buildings of the city. Almost throughout its history, it is the most iconic figure of the landscape, as it was built in 1892, when the new city was still being created and even called Dedajac. Although originally intended for a male school, the plans of the catholic community of Alexandroupolis that built it were overthrown by the great fire that destroyed it in 1904.
Nearly 20 years later, the abandoned building was bought by Agop Astarjan, an Armenian tobacco trader who renovated it, and the next year it function as a tobacco processing, storage and marketing area. It was then known as the Kapnomagazo (Tobacco Shop)and functioned as one until the outbreak of the Second World War. During the Occupation it was used as a prison, as in the civil war period. Restoration works begun in 1996 and completed in 2014.