The Old Town of Xanthi is situated at its north part being a historic core and cover 380.000 m2 of surface.
The town is built after 1829. It is the year when strong earthquakes destroy the former settlement. The town is built on the remains having as core the churches, which pre-existed from the Byzantine Xanthia, as the town was called in the ancient times.
During the 19th century, Xanthi is referred as a small country town having 8000 citizens. But there was economic prosperity due to the cultivation, processing, manufacturing and distribution of tobacco and its products, as well as due to the advantageous posit
ion of merchant routes.
The town is built by Ipirotes and Macedonian craftsmen, characterized by the labyrinth form of tilled alleys and filled with folk balcanic residences, inns, shops, typical churches of the last Ottoman period but at the same time west styled neoclassic mansions whose owners are mainly tobacco merchants.
The Old Town of Xanthi is a unique place. It is a valuable cultural chapter for the contemporary town and generally for the region of Thrace. It wouldn’t exist, if in 1976 it wasn’t declared as preserved settlement. This had as effect the curbing of the street plan from 1939 which made provision for the roads to be broadened and straightened.
The town planning study that is delegated by the Prefecture of Xanthi, in co-operation with the Municipality of Xanthi, in 1992, presents with excellency and suffiency the characteristics of the old town and points the value of the preserved settlement.
The ending of this study was the publication of the presidential decree in 1995 (O.G.F. 1037/11.09.1994, O.G.F. 1097/14.12.1995), which determines the allowed interventions and characterizes the list buildings.
In the Old Town there are 12000 buildings characterized as listed. From these, 140 are characterized as having of great value, 130 valuable, 260 are characterized interesting.
Espousing the traditional settlement and the historical values it stands for we ENVISAGE the rescue of the Old Town to be based on the evolvement of a “new” town within the old one.
The main problems and hazards of the Old Town are the following:
The Old Town of Xanthi makes us proud but at the same time it fills us with responsibilities for its preservation. For those who live in Xanthi as well as for the visitor that strands through the alleys, and the unexpected squares, melodies of the great Manos Chatzidakis are heard in our ears, the place he was born, raised and firstly played piano in Xanthi… “Diatiritea (listed)”.. as he used to call it.
A magical town, the Old Town of Xanthi, which anticipates visiting and living her, living with us a unique experience.