One of the most beautiful Greek cities – Kavala, has a long history of existing. It was founded as Neapolis (which in Greek means ‘new city) in the 7th century BC as a Thassian colony. The aim of the Thassians was to obtain the gold and silver ledges from the numerous mines in this area but a century later, the city became independent. The period of Roman reign was advantageous for the city as Via Egnatia – a military Roman road, passed through it and thus it became the trade centre of the area. Kavala was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1387 to 1912 when the Bulgarians liberated it and the city passed into Greek occupation.
Nowadays Kavala is one of the major ports in Greece and a popular tourist destination. There are a lot of sights to see and visit in the city and we will divide them in three main categories so that you will be able to orient easier – landmarks and ancient monuments and musems.
The list of landmarks and ancient monuments includes:
– Kamares (or The Old Aqueduct) – the ancient Aqueduct is built during the Byzantine period, but it was reconstructed and repaired by the Ottomans in the 16th century. It connects the Panagian peninsula with the Lekani Mountain from where the citizens of Kavala used to obtain water. The Aqueduct is 280 metres long and consists of 60 differently sized arches.
– The castle of Kavala was reconstructed a lot of times by the Byzantines, the Venetians and the Turks. It is located at the top of the peninsula and is part of the Old Town. The castle is in the form of Citadel and the last alteration of its vision was performed in the 15th century.
– The Imaret is a large edifice built according to the traditions of the Islamic architecture. Mehmet Ali, the Kavala-born founder of the last Egyptian dynasty, built the largest part in the period 1817-1821. Now it is turned into a luxurious hotel.
– The Town Hall is built by a Hungarian trader, which explains that it is in the form of a Hungarian tower in 1895, but in 1937 the Municipality of Kavala managed to obtain it and turn it into a Town Hall.
– Another places of interest that are worth visiting are the Municipal conservatory, the Statue of Nike (the Greek Goddess of Victory), the Tokos mansion and the Municipal Tobacco Warehouse.
The next category includes the museums of Kavala:
– The archaeological Museum of Kavala was founded in 1934 but it today it is more complete and functional than ever. You can see finds from as early as the Neolithic period and there is a special room, devoted to the Neapolis period.
– The Folklore Museum of Kavala has functioned since 1988 and in 2008 it was moved in a new building. It consists of four departments – Ethnographic collection, Art collection, Historical archives, Museum education, Library, Natural History.
– The Tobacco Museum is devoted to the process of tobacco production and the tobacco trade and has an extremely rich collection.
– You can also visit the Folklore Museum of Kavala, the Maritime museum and the Cultural House of Nea Karvali.
The best time to visit Kavala is surely in the summer when you will be able to benefit from the unique subtropical climate of the city and enjoy the six beautiful beaches. Moreover, there are a few summer festivals that you can see – the Festival of Philippi, Cosmopolis, Ilios ke Petra and others.