The city of Kavala, although it has changed names across the centuries, has always been inextricably connected to the sea through its port. The harbour which was founded by the Thasians, at the end of the 7th century B.C., was a natural cove at the western coast of the peninsula of “Panaghia” as it is called in recent years. That ancient harbour has disappeared under the modern embankments.
Nowadays, Kavala’s City Port (Boarding Station “Ag.Pavlos” (40.931802, 24.412338) located right underneath the peninsula of “Panaghia”, is the meeting point of two distinctive itineraries: The visitor can take the seafront promenade and get in the heart of the contemporary vibrant city centre or walk up to the peninsula of “Panaghia” and see the picturesque Old Town.
ITINERARY 1 (Approximate time needed: 150min. Μuseum visits included)
CENTRE OF KAVALA
1. Walking along the seafront, following Erythrou Staurou Str. to the north one can reach the ARCHAELOGICAL MUSEUM (40.935943, 24.403893)
Founded in 1965. The oldest part is a typical example of contemporary Greek modernism, and has an addition of the late 20th century. Its rich collections include finds from Amphipolis.
2. In the parallel Venizelos Street one can find the MUNICIPAL CONSERVATORY (40.936585, 24.402744)
The current Conservatory is a building with strong neo-classical features, built in 1884, the first outside the walls. Along with the adjacent abandoned building showing more eclectic elements, they constitute a typical ensemble of that era.
3. In the same area of the “Aghios Ioannis” neighbourhood, one can visit the CHURCH OF AGHIOS IOANNIS (40.937120, 24.401983)
A three-aisled basilica church built in 1867, during the late Ottoman period, with simple decor and a narrow dome. In the church one can see some beautiful icons of that era.
4. PRIVATE RESIDENCES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF AGHIOS IOANNIS (40.937478, 24.402445)
Around the church of Aghios loannis in the late 19th and early 20th century a prosperous neighbourhood developed. In the few buildings that survive one can see examples of trends ranging from neoclassicism to Art Nouveau and eclecticism.
5. Heading to the east, down Philippou Street one can find KYPROU STREET (40.937775, 24.408634)
Arguably, the most beautiful architectural ensemble of the city. The Grand Club, owned by the Kavala Ladies Charitable Society, displaying clear neo-Renaissance elements, next to the buildings of the Town Hall, representing typical examples of central European architecture.
6. TOBACCO MUSEUM (40.938243, 24.407039)
Perhaps the most comprehensive exhibition about tobacco in Greece, it presents an itinerary from the tobacco field to the cigarette kiosk. Lifestyles and processing phases, different tobacco varieties, technological developments, and unique packages of cigarettes and matches complete the exhibition.
7. THE DIOCESAN COMPLEX (40.937948, 24.406952)
The house of the bishop, the offices of the Diocese, and the adjacent old School for Girls (1891-1894, today 10th Primary School) is indicative of the strength of the Greek community during the Ottoman period.
8. Continuing westwards to Mitropoleos Street one can proceed along Dagli Street to find the TOBACCO WAREHOUSES SCHINAZI – LABOUR CENTRE (40.939467, 24.405849)
An authentic monument of industrial heritage of the early 20th century. It consists of a series of tobacco warehouses and administration buildings, built in the eclectic style; if one looks above its entrance, one can still recognize the name of the proprietor company with its headquarters in New York.
9. On the north – east of the Labour Centre, on Omonoias Street the CHURCH OF AGHIOS PAVLOS (40.939870, 24.408086) is situated.
This church, the work of Pericles Fotiadis, a renonwned Greek architect of Constantinople, provides evidence of the prosperity and the dynamism of the Greek Orthodox community in the early 20th century. The decorated dome and the minimalist décor still impresses.
10. Leaving the church of Aghios Pavlos, one may proceed along Omonoias Street, to the south-east, until one can encounter the MUNICIPAL TOBACCO WAREHOUSE – TOBACCO WORKERS SQUARE (40.938155, 24.409306)
An excellent example of Ottoman eclecticism, this building of the early 20th century, has a later monument dedicated to the tobacco workers who lost their lives in struggles during the strike of 1936, and now houses the collections of the Municipality.
11. PEDESTRIANISED STREET (40.938004, 24.410003)
In the bustling city centre there are public buildings (Bank of Greece), interesting restorations and new uses of tobacco warehouses. The lively streets are busy with cafeterias and shoppers.
12. Following the pedestrians’ street to the east one will find the LYCEUM CLUB OF GREEK WOMEN (40.939134, 24.412637)
The former Jewish school of the city, located in the centre of the former Jewish quarter, where one can see a house with an inscription of a Jewish date. Today it houses the Lyceum Club of Greek Women.
ITINERARY 2 (Approximate time needed: 90min.) OLD TOWN OF KAVALA
1. Once arriving in Kavala ’s City Port one will see turning to the north THE WALLS (40.934068, 24.412691)
One can read the history of the city by looking at its city walls. Various construction materials and techniques were used for building the walls along the coastline and inland as well as to the north during its Ottoman expansion (1520). Two gates and several towers are preserved.
2. Not far from the City Port, on the intersection of Koudouriotou and Ydras Street the CHURCH OF AGHIOS NIKOLAOS (40.935964, 24.413259) is situated.
In the early 16th century, on the space where an early Christian church probably stood, a mosque was built by the Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Pasha. After the population exchange in 1923, the building was returned to Christian worship with a few modifications.
3. At the point where Koudouriotou Street meets Theod. Poulidou Street one can proceed towards the meandering walk to the Old Town of Kavala, and the first building one will meet is OLD MUSIC (40.932682, 24.414976)
Known under this new name, formerly the Mosque of Halil Bey, it is itself a work of the early 20th century, but also a palimpsest of the history of Kavala: during its restoration, an early Christian basilica, with meso-Byzantine and post-Byzantine layers, was brought to light and can be glimpsed through its glass floor.
4. ACROPOLIS (40.934343, 24.415178)
Probably built on ancient and Byzantine foundations, Kavala’s Acropolis took its present form around 1425 for the upper section and in 1520 for the lower. It has a number of gates, towers and bastions. It was purchased by the Municipality of Kavala in the late 1960s and is open for visits and summer shows.
5. MEDIEVAL AQUEDUCT OF KAVALA (40.936450, 24.415366)
The Kamares or Arches, as the locals know it, some 280 metres long, is the most impressive part of the city’s extensive water network, built with local stone.
6. SHIPYARD (KARNAGIO) (40.936685, 24.416683)
Behind the Kamares, in a small bay, the tradition of the construction and maintenance of wooden vessels is kept alive. In the vicinity there are interesting warehouses of various periods.
7. Heading west one can find the MALE HIGH SCHOOL (40.938678, 24.416508)
It was built in 1909-1910 to house the Ottoman city school. An impressive building, typical of public buildings of the time. It was used as a hospital during the Balkan wars and even before the war and now serves again as a school.