History of the Prefecture of Kavala
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
The Prefecture of Kavala is located between the rivers Strymon and Nestos, which are the most important rivers in northern Greece, and constitutes the border between Macedonia and Thrace.
Several important settlements and archaeological sites in this area show signs of habitation even since the prehistoric times. The capital of the prefecture is Kavala, an also important city that has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age, though the foundation of the city is basically attributed to Thasian colonists in the mid-7th century BC. In the course of the history, the city obtained three different names: Neapolis, Christoupolis and Kavala. However, it has never lost the always-dominant position on account of its strategic and commercial importance.
Philippi is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. It is located to the northwest of the Prefecture of Kavala and includes monuments that bear witness to the habitation of the site from the late Classic to the Christian times.
The island of Thasos also belongs to the Prefecture of Kavala. It is situated to the SE of the bay of Kavala, just 8 km far from the Macedonian coast. Human existence is attested since the Bronze and Iron Ages and evidence show that it was inhabited by the Parians in the early 7th century BC. In this period, the Thasians founded several strong cities along the opposite coast, like Oisymi, Galipsos and Strymi, creating the “Thasian peraia”.
The important settlements of Chrisoupolis and Eleftheroupolis are located to the east and west of the city of Kavala respectively and belong to the same Prefecture, while ancient Topeiros was founded at the borders with Thrace in the 1st century AD. The towers scattered all along the Prefecture of Kavala are characteristic of the strategic importance of the region; the most noteworthy are the tower of Apollonia, the fortress of Anaktoroupolis, the castle of Orfani and the castle of Palaiochori.