Komotini

Thrace

Komotíni, like Xanthi is a fascinating mix of influences, and even more Turkish in feel than its near neighbour. It is only about 100km (62 miles) from the Turkish border to the east, and even closer – 25km (15.5 miles) – to Bulgaria to the north. Both those countries add their colour to the Greek melting pot that is eastern Thrace. 

Komotini in eastern Thrace, Greece

Komotini

It is the Turkish influence that is most immediately visible, as several minarets and the domed roofs of mosques can be seen around the town: there are 14 of these that are still in use today. Komotíni was still part of Turkey until as recently as 1920, when the borders were changed, and it had been in the Ottoman Empire since 1363.

Little wonder that it feels as much Turkish as Greek, although it would not be tactful to express that view to the local people until you know where their affinities lie. Greek-Turkish relations are a touchy subject for discussion, and about half the population are of Turkish origin, with a number of Pomaks living here too.

Komotini Museums

Komotíni was founded in the 4th-century A.D., and its early history is told in its good Archaeological Museum. This also has some of the best finds from the nearby sites at Ávdira and Maróneia. There is some delightful gold jewellery recovered from graves, as well as examples of painted sarcophagi, gravestones, statues, ceramics and an extensive coin collection.

The town’s other main museum is the delightfully old-fashioned and jumbled Museum of Folk Life and History, which spreads through the rooms of an 18th-century mansion. Foraging around the museum provides many rewards, and it has a good selection of traditional folk costumes, domestic items and especially embroidery, for which the area is noted.

In keeping with the Turkish influence there is a good bazaar, with the eastern tradition of similar shops being clustered together, so that you will find, for example, a row of shoe shops all in line. You can find everything here from valuable antiques to the day’s fish catch, as well as the region’s best tobacco leaves.

Where is Komotini?

Try our other Thrace pages...

  • Avdira (or Abdera) and its ancient archaeological site in Thrace

    The village of Avdira, or Abdera, with its ancient archaeological site is close to Xanthi in Thrace, Greece, and has its own beach and nearby is Lake Vistonida.

  • Alexandroupoli in the Thrace region of Greece

    Alexandroupoli is a city in the Thrace region of Greece, in the extreme east of the country, the closest Greek city to the border with Turkey.

  • Northern Greece Guide

    The Bradt Guide to Northern Greece is a detailed guide to Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Thrace, The Pelion, The Sporades and the rest of Northern Greece.

  • Xanthi in Thrace, Eastern Greece

    The city of Xanthi in Thrace is a lively university town with several museums, old mansions, and one of the best markets in Thrace.

  • Philippi

    Philippi is an ancient archaeological site near Kavala in East Macedonia and Thrace and is famous for being the place where the apostle St Paul was imprisoned.

  • Macedonia and Thrace

    Macedonia and Thrace are the regions in Greece where travelers will find Thessaloniki, Mount Athos monasteries, Halkidiki and sites like Dion and Pella.

  • Evros Delta National Park in Thrace, Greece

    The Evros Delta National Park is one of the most important wetlands in the whole of Europe, and a magnet for birdwatchers, with nearby accommodation.

  • Dadia Forest Reserve and Ecotourism Centre

    The Dadia Forest in eastern Greece is famous for wildlife, especially birds, with accommodation and information available at the Dadia Ecotourism Centre.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Greek Recovery Funds to Go into Acropolis Upgrade Works

    Twelve projects including upgrade works on the Acropolis have been cleared for funding out of “Greece 2.0” – the country’s recovery plan approved earlier this month. Alternate Finance Minister Theodor…

    Read More

  2. US Keeps Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Due to Delta Variant

    The United States will keep all existing Covid-19 travel restrictions in place due to concerns over the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announce…

    Read More

  3. Chania, in Western Crete

    Chania is the main city in Western Crete with a lovely setting and a beautiful harbour as well as several museums.

    Read More

  4. Cyprus Obliges Travelers from Greece to Undergo Testing Before Arrival

    Greece has been placed on the Covid-19 orange list of Cyprus’ colour-coded country categorization travel system, based on a new epidemiological risk assessment of countries. The new changes come into…

    Read More

  5. Greece’s Indoor Restaurants, Venues Only for the Vaccinated

    Starting Friday, July 16, indoor venues such as restaurants, bars, and theaters will only be accepting vaccinated and seated-only customers until August 31, Development and Investments Minister Adonis…

    Read More

  6. AEGEAN Begins Operation of Seasonal Base on Mykonos

    Greek carrier AEGEAN has started the operation of its seasonal base on Mykonos, aiming to enhance its flagship quality services and improve the connection of the popular Cycladic island with major int…

    Read More

  7. UK Revises Advisory for Greece, Paves Way for Travel

    The UK’s FCDO revised its travel advisory for Greece after announcing on Thursday that as of July 19 travelers from amber-listed countries would not be required to self-isolate upon return.

    Read More

  8. Greece to Launch ‘Covid Pass’ App that Checks Customer ‘Safe’ Status

    Greece said this week that starting July 15, restaurant and F&B business owners would be able to download an application that will check whether the health/vaccination status information provided by c…

    Read More

  9. Authorities Recommend Self-test for Land Travel in Greece

    Travel by road domestically in Greece will not require a negative rapid test but the presentation of a negative self-test is highly recommended, said Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias d…

    Read More

  10. Covid-19: Greece Extends Rules for Domestic Flights to the Islands

    The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) has extended the travel rules for passengers of domestic flights traveling from the mainland to the islands, until 6am, on Thursday, July 15.

    Read More