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Xanthi Old Town | A Neoclassical Beauty and a Kaleidoscope of Cultural Blends

Updated: Mar 6

Authors

George P. Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI


Nestled in the northern part of Greece, with its narrow streets, vibrant buildings, and unique architectural styles, including neoclassical mansions of Greek merchants of the 18th century and Byzantine churches, Xanthi Old Town is waiting to be explored. In this article, we dwelve into the history, culture, and charm of this picturesque town, a journey through time.


Xanthi Old Town

Photo by: www.shinygreece.com | Panagiotis Papadellis

History of Xanthi Old Town

Xanthi Old Town dates back to the era of the Ottoman rule, which lasted from 1361 until 1912. During this period, Xanthi was a commercial center and a strategic location. The town was known for its thriving trade, diverse population, and rich cultural heritage. The Ottomans left their mark on the town's architecture, which is characterized by traditional houses with high walls, wooden balconies and colorful shutters. Many of these buildings have been preserved and restored, giving Xanthi Old Town a unique character and charm.


Mitropoleos Square Xanthi Old Town  |  Shiny Greece

Mitropoleos Square Xanthi Old Town | Photo by: Serge Traveler, Xanthi Palia Poli Plateia Mitropolews, CC BY-SA 4.0


Culture and Traditions

Xanthi Old Town is home to a diverse population, with Greeks, Jews and Ottomans living together for centuries. This has resulted in a unique blend of cultures, traditions, and customs. The town's rich cultural heritage is evident in its architecture, music, and cuisine. The annual Xanthi Carnival is a prime example of the town's cultural diversity. The carnival features traditional music, dancing, and costumes. It is one of the most vibrant and colorful events in Greece, attracting visitors from all over the world.


Xanthi Old Town  |  Shiny Greece

Xanthi Old Town | Photo by: Serge Traveler, Palia Poli Xanthi, CC BY-SA 4.0


Architecture and Landmarks

Xanthi Old Town is a treasure trove of architectural wonders. The town's central square, Plateia Eleftherias, is a perfect example of old architecture. The square is surrounded by traditional houses, some of which have been converted into cafes, shops, and museums. One of the most impressive landmarks in Xanthi Old Town is the clock tower, located in the heart of the town. The clock tower was built in the late 19th century and is one of the tallest buildings in the town. The tower is a symbol of Xanthi's past and present, and it offers a panoramic view of the town and the surrounding countryside. Another notable landmark in Xanthi Old Town is the Folklore Museum, which is housed in a traditional house. The museum showcases the town's cultural heritage, with exhibits on traditional crafts, costumes, and music.


Old Town of Xanthi

Old Town of Xanthi | Photo by: DocWoKav, Xanthi, Old Town 2, CC BY-SA 4.0


Exploring the Town

The best way to explore Xanthi Old Town is on foot, as the narrow streets and alleys are not accessible by car. Walking through the town's winding streets and alleys is like stepping back in time. You can admire the traditional houses, visit the museums and galleries, and enjoy the local cuisine in the town's cafes and restaurants.


House of Xanthi Old Town  |  Shiny Greece

House of Xanthi Old Town | Photo by: Maria Anna Kakava, Palia Poli Xanthis, cropped and rotated by Shiny Greece, CC BY-SA 4.0


A Glimpse into Past

Xanthi Old Town is a charming and picturesque town that offers a glimpse into the past. Its rich history, cultural diversity, and unique architecture make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in traditional culture. Whether you are a history buff, a cultural enthusiast, or a foodie, Xanthi Old Town has something to offer for everyone. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey through time in Xanthi Old Town.


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Old Town's cobblestone streets are lined with Byzantine Greek churches, Ottoman mosques, and neoclassical mansions of tobacco merchants!

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