© Eastern Macedonia – Thrace Region
The architecture of the mostly remote Pomak villages expresses unity, homogeneity and authenticity. The mountainous Pomak villages are primarily preserved residential sets keeping inalterable the traditional social structures. There are Machalades (neighborhoods) depending on the kind of production (fields, breeding grounds) of every family. They are characterized by rare building, stone houses and loose urban design. In eastern Rodopi we find scattered settlements with house units that are 500 to 3000 meters away from each other. There are also satellite sets of residencies around the central settlements of the ranges.
The Pomak construction skill is based on the deep Pomak tradition of construction art related to the many and big construction works of the Byzantine period in their area, like monasteries and fortressing units. This is why we find reminisces of such constructions. The skill is also based on the continuity of this experience during the Ottoman period and the Pomaks’ belonging to the craft guilds of the masons of Philipoupolis, where they also built important public constructions.
The Pomak architecture combines a simultaneous and diachronic use of primitive materials: roofs covered with straws, limestone shingles or tiles, sharp and without daubing stone walls or coated front, painted in intense indigo. Pomaks love blue color and you can find it everywhere, especially at cavities.
Pomak architecture is a part of the Northern Greek architecture, characterized by simplicity and verity and direct connection with the environment and the local character. Theses characteristics are apparent at the Pomak residence and the Pomak hutch.
Sources: M. Gianopoulou-Roukouni, “Pomak villages. Construction, materials and technology as reparative factors influencing the form of the residence”. Thrakika Chronika, v.38/1983, Xanthi.
Chr. Melkidi, Muslim monuments of Xanthi and their contribution to the evolution of urban planning of the city. PhD Thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Polytechnic School, October 1999. G. Kizis, “THRACE”, Traditional Greek Architecture, v.8: Macedonia B – Thrace. Melisa, Athens 1991.