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Culture Architecture Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Xanthi Municipality of Vistonida

Tobacco warehouses of Greek merchants in the 19th century
(Photo: CETI)
The Moustafa Pasa mosque, a work built in the 17th century at Genisea.
(Photo: CETI)
The inside of the Moustafa Pasa mosque at Genisea.
(Photo: CETI)

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Item Coordinates
Íï coordinates       
Folklore -Customs
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Municipality of Avdera
Municipality of Alexandroupolis
Municipality of Vistonida
Municipality of Drama
Municipality of Thasos
Municipality of Iasmos
Municipality of Komotini
Municipality of Maronia
Municipality of Metaxades
Municipality of Myki
Municipality of Xanthi
Municipality of Pangeo
Municipality of Samothraki
Municipality of Soufli
Municipality of Pheres
Municipality of Philippoi
Prefecture of Drama
Prefecture of Evros
Prefecture of Kavala
Prefecture of Xanthi
Prefecture of Rodopi
Under Construction: Subtopics All topics
Neoclassic Architecture
Traditional Architecture


Chrisa Melkidi
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Eastern Macedonia – Thrace Region
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Genisea was created by the Osmanlides (Yenitze Kara sou = the newer city of Nestos correspondingly to Yenitze Vardar = the newer city of Axios, which is contemporary Yanitsa in Thessaloniki’s prefecture) after the Ottoman conquest. In the end of the 15th century it was the capital of the homonymous Ottoman kaza (administrative division in the Ottoman empire, county) where Xanthi belonged in. It was established as a city according to the traditional Ottoman social system and this why it had a market from the beginnings. According to witnesses in 1667, it was an active city with 400 houses, 50 stores and many impressing public buildings, having an urban design component to the Ottoman cities, contrary to the rural settlements. In the middle of the 19th century it had 4000 habitants after the settlement of a big number of people from Xanthi who left it because of the big earthquake and the fire that followed in 1829. In 1870 it had 230 workshops and a customs, since it was the center for collecting and trading the tobacco products of the area. During the flourishing of tobacco trade, many Ipirotes (habitans of western Greece) arrived at the city and developed an important economic activity. During the Ottoman reformations in the of the 19th century, the capital of the county moved to Xanthi because of the development of tobacco’s cultivation and elaboration, the appearance of an economy with a trading physiognomy and the passing by of the railroad connecting the cities of Thessaloniki and Constantinople. Some of the public Ottoman buildings of Genisea’s economically flourishing period are preserved: the mosque of the 17th century, established by the Moustafa Pasa, admiral of the Ottoman navy and veziris (minister) during the establishment and the Kasaba or Tsarsi mosque that is closed after a fire in 1873. There are also important samples of the presentation and action of Ipirotes reflected to the stone and sculptured mansions.

Sources: P. Georgantzis, A contribution to the history of Xanthi, Xanthi, 1976. A. Karadimou Gerolibou. Between East and West: Cities at Northern Greece in the Ottoman reformation period, Trochalia 1997. 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. Holy Church of Xanthi and Perithorio and Mufti of Xanthi, Religious monuments in Xanthi’s prefecture. Publications of the Eastern Macedonia – Thrace region, Xanthi 2005. G. Kizis, “THRACE”, Traditional Greek Architecture, v.8: Macedonia B – Thrace. Melisa, Athens 1991.