Municipality of Traianoupoli
© Region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace
The Municipality of Traianoupoli is situated in the southern section of the Prefecture of Evros and it includes the villages of Anthia, Aristinos, Loutro, Doriko, Nipsa, Aetochori and Pefka and covers a total area of 178 km2. The municipality’s total population is 3,390. Geothermal energy is the municipality’s great advantage, particularly with respect to agriculture. Geothermal energy is a mild and renewable source of energy that may provide a solution to the imminent ecological disaster and the energy problem. Energy self-reliance and the development of spa tourism are the main objects of the Municipality of Traianoupoli.
In the municipality’s mountainous area traces of human life have been found that date back to the Iron Age. Megalithic monuments and geometric and anthropomorphic designs sculpted out of rocks have been found in the vicinity of the village Nipsa.
During the Roman period emperor Trajan appreciated the site’s advantages and built Traianoupolis; although it was built by a Roman, it was declared a “free and independent Greek city”, which spoke the Greek language and had Greek institutions. As testified by the martyrdom of Aghia Glykeria, who was born and died a martyr in Traianoupoli in 161 AD, Christianity expanded at an early stage. The town became very important during the Byzantine years. During the Fourth Crusade, it was occupied by the Franks; its decline continued due to other raids until it fell into the hands of the Turks in 1371. The Turks established a monastery for the Bektashi dervishes at the acropolis of Traianoupoli. Numerous facilities were built around the thermal springs at the beginning of the Turkish domination, which survive to date.
The area possesses rare attractions and natural wealth: the Evros Delta, thermal springs, a Park at Nipsa, a number of monuments dating from the 14th century (Hana), an important number of sites from the Early Iron Age (rock paintings, etc.) at Nipsa, and ecclesiastical monuments. In spite of human interventions, the Evros Delta remains a dynamically evolving eco-system that attracts many bird species every year, particularly during the winter months.
The spa town of Traianoupoli is situated 14 km east of Alexandroupolis. The spa facilities are in the vicinity of the archaeological site under the same name. People have been attracted to the hot springs since antiquity. Their healing properties are recognised and they are regarded as the most important springs in Greece. They contain hydro-sulphur-chloride-sodium elements and their waters reach a temperature of 52oC. The waters are suitable for taking baths and performing drinking therapies. The facilities are operated by the intermunicipal Spa Company of Traianoupoli – Alexandroupoli. Spa services are made available in modern hotel facilities and a fully renovated and enhanced hydrotherapy clinic (new individual baths, water massage, inhalation therapy, drinking therapy, etc.). The Women’s Production Cooperative of Loutro runs a modern restaurant inside the spa facilities that serves local traditional cuisine.
The chapel of St Constantine and St George is located at the top of the hill of Aghios Konstantinos. Two of the most important recreation sites in southern Evros are situated in Nipsa and Profitis Ilias. Age-old sycamores and crystal clear running waters provide unique moments of rest to visitors. The picturesque small chapel of the Transfiguration is located to the south of the village of Aristinos; here on the eve of the respective feast (6 August) the locals take part in musical and dance events that are organised by the area’s cultural associations. The Sotiras beach is ideal for swimming and fishing, whereas there are many traditional cafes, restaurants and café-bars that provide an opportunity for brief escapes.
Every year the Municipality of Traianoupoli organizes the National Festival of Traditional Dances, which is held in the 1st ten days of August. Moreover, on 19 May every year events commemorating Hellenism of Pontus are held. The Holy Monastery of Aghios Ioannis of Theologos is situated 11 km far from Alexandroupoli and it affords visitors with boundless views. Among the Monastery’s relics are included an icon painting of the Yperaghia Theotokos of 1786, fragments of the holy relics of the five neo-martyrs, a fragment of the remains of Aghios Charalambos, Aghios Panteleimon, etc.