The architecture of the city
The architecture of the city
Alexandroupoli is a relatively new city. It was "born" at the end of the 19th century and the first buildings belong to the period when its geographical position, both as a port and as a crossroads of the Thessaloniki - Constantinople axis, but also as the end of the railway line from Andrianople, gave it a settlement worthy of its commercial and economic prospects. In this context, the buildings belonging to it, its first era, are also the oldest in the city. The warehouses of the port, the railway buildings, the places of worship of every denomination of the thousands of people who moved to the city in the years of its transformation into the economic centre of the region, seeking work in the construction, commercial and diplomatic activities that multiplied as the city grew and became stronger.
Among the first railway buildings, the old 'French Station' was built in 1874 by the Eastern Railway Company and remains in use by the Greek Railway Company, as does the 'Direxion', the residence of the director of the French Railway Company during the 19th century. A little further away, the two buildings of the so-called 'Military Station' now house a kindergarten.
The Metropolitan Church of St. Nicholas was built at the end of the 19th century, as were the Catholic Church of St. Joseph and the Muslim Mosque, three places of worship that still retain their function today. Next to the Catholic Church is the building where the Vicar of Vikarios lived, which also served as the Commercial School, the Economic High School and the headquarters of the Scout System. Slightly older is the Church of St. John the Baptist ('Surp Garabet'), the Armenian Orthodox church on Adrianople and 14th May Streets.
At the same time, in 1890, the Kapnomagazo was built, which houses the Municipal Library of Alexandroupolis, as well as several buildings of the then Ottoman administration, which are preserved and house functional structures, such as the stone-built buildings of the First Children's Station and the Courts of Justice. The current Post Office of the city is one of the most beautiful buildings of that period, when it is estimated that the Old Hospital was also built, originally functioning as a school in Ottoman times.
Equally interesting are the buildings of the Municipal Conservatory (1933), the "House of Antoinette" which houses the Greek-French Friendship Association, the Mill of the Masoura flour mill, built in the early 1930s and now owned by the Municipality of Alexandroupolis. An excellent example of the architecture of its time (1923) is the "Zarifeios Pedagogical Academy", which today houses the 1st Experimental Primary School of Alexandroupolis.
The appearance of the city, along with all the urban settlements of the country, began to change after the Second World War and, especially since the 1960s, with the construction of the first apartment buildings, began to take its current form. The visitor will wander (ideally by bicycle) and admire the monumental buildings, among modern, tall buildings, but also "humble" houses that retain the charm of their romanticism, remaining in the architectural past before the residential transformation of the peripheral cities of Greece. Clearly, it will end up in the most symbolic of all the city's buildings, the Lighthouse by the Sea, which has been standing since 1880 and characterizes the whole of Alexandroupolis with its special construction and historical value.