© Eastern Macedonia – Thrace Region
Drama is a place of human action since the Middle Paleolithic Period and has a rare architectural element based on the results of the archeological research: a representation of a Neolithic residence with findings of an excavation which describe the everyday life of the Neolithic man and are exhibited at the local archeological museum.
Architectural works of many historical periods exist in the town. Remains of Byzantine fortifications of the 10th century which include parts of towers, are saved at the historical center of Drama. The fortifications received interventions later. The last one was at 1206, during the Latin dominance. The temple of St. Sofia (Bei Tzami at the Ottoman period) with a central four sided room with pickets, connected with bows and a tall eight sided dome, belongs to the same Byzantine period.
The Byzantine chapel of the Taxiarches exists since the Paleologi (Byzantine emperors) period. It is an only spaced royal church with rectangular shape, enwalled Latin inscription and parts of wall paintings. The preserved part of the old metropolitan church (devoted to Madonna) that exists next to the former Cathedral is an architectural work made in 1834.
Residencies that are characteristic of the Northern Greek architecture and the latest aesthetic influences also exist at the historical center of the city. The most important is the mansion of the tobacco trader named Anastasiadis and built in 1876. Other major buildings are: the watermills, the old Muslim mill of Zonke with a preserved space of grinding, an underground mechanism, repositories and the miller’s residence. Abandoned tobacco store houses are also preserved. The most important is the multi leveled tobacco house of the Swiss – Jewish tobacco trader Erman Spirer, that was built in 1925. In 1907-1908 it hosted the schools of Drama and in 1913 it was used as the “Mega” cinematograph.
The architectural works of the Ottoman period are located mainly in the newest shopping center of the city. Except Eski Tzami (today’s church of St. Nikolaos), there is a temple with remarkable wall paintings that represent the city of Drama at the Ottoman period -possibly the Koursamli Tzami-, a temple connected with the Ak Mehmet Aga Tzami built in 17th century that consists one of a few samples of popular Muslim architecture with the old residency (orphanage of Drama during the Middle War).
In the rural area of the prefecture -mainly at the settlements of Perithori, Nevrokopi, Prosotsani, Pagoneri, Tichos, Kapnofito, Tholo, Krini, Sterna, Prasinada, Kalithea, Kokinogia, Kali Vrisi and Granitis- we find the cottages or tobacco houses of Thracian architecture along with the Macedonian house, shaped by the local habits.
At the second quarter of the 20th century the refugee type of house appeared. The same fact of startling change to the architectural physiognomy –especially during the 20th century- happened because of the general conditions and the level of development of the construction technology. It happened as it did in other important cities which continued to exist and grow in the same position during all historical periods and till today
Source: http://www.culture.gr Ch. Melkidi