History of the city of Kavala
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Kavala is the capital of the Prefecture under the same name and the most important city in Eastern Macedonia. It is built on the slopes of mount Symbolon overlooking the sea.
The existence of a small settlement on the east end of the city gives account of the earlier habitation of the area in the Neolithic Age (6500 3200 BC). Around the mid 7th century BC, Thasian colonists founded Neapolis on the rocky peninsula located in the old quarter of Panaghia. Very soon, the city acquired fortification walls and became important owing to its prominent geographical location. A sanctuary dedicated to the prevailing cult of the deity of Parthenos in the area was built around 650 625 BC and later replaced by a celebrated Ionic temple in the early 5th century BC.
In the mid-5th century BC, Neapolis joined the 1st Athenian League and served as the port for Philippi throughout the Hellenistic (323 30 BC) and Roman (30 324 BC) times. In 49 AD Apostle Paul visited the city on his way to Philippi and for the commemoration of this event, the Monastery of Saint Silas was founded a short way outside the city. In the first half of the 9th century AD, the city was given the name Christoupolis and the castle with the strong walls and the tower dominated in the area during the Byzantine times. Under the reign of emperor Andronicus II Paleologus (1282 1328 AD), the castle was reinforced by a long wall for the defence of the city against the incursions of the Catalans and the Ottomans.
The present name (Kavala) was given to the city after the Ottoman capture. The name of the great sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1521 1566 AD) was associated with the new state; he built the citys new enclosure, erected the imposing Aqueduct (known as Kamares) on the remains of Byzantine fortifications and set the foundations of the Muslim mosque of Ibrahim Pasha Dzamisi. In 1817, under Mehmet Ali, a building complex was erected known as Imaret that served as a parochial school and a poorhouse.
On October 12, 1912 the Bulgarians occupied the city overcoming the Turks, who showed no resistance, and remained here until June 1913; then it was liberated by the Greek military forces. In the First World War (1916 1918) the city was occupied by both the Bulgarians and the Germans. In the Second World War the Germans ceded the city to the Bulgarians and finally it was liberated in 1944.
The important finds from various periods and locations of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace are kept in the Archaeological Museum of the city.