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DramaArticles: The city of Drama


City of Drama

Below the mountain Falakro, running waters, tall trees covering the springs and streams, a tranquil lifestyle around the neighbourhoods and parks, hospitable pleasant people compose the image of the city. Drama developed rapidly in the 20th century and the changes in its appearance and architecture were great in order to adapt to the people’s needs and the increase of the population. Many neighbourhoods in the city’s historical centre renewed their character, while new ones were created in the suburbs.

In this modern city, visitors will be surprised to discover that many parts of the city have resisted time and change and remind us of another era, when the society was multiracial and multi-religious creating a human mosaic widely depicted on the city’s monuments.

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We’ll start our tour of the city at the Archaeological Museum next to the city park, which is a green area with running waters and – at the same time – a museum. There we’ll collect information about the history of the city from the prehistoric era to the Turkish occupation and the interwar period, and thus see the duration and variety of the local culture first hand.

The exhibitions of the Archaeological Museum of Drama depict the human presence in the district of Drama from the Middle Paleolithic Era (50000 years ago) to the recent history in 1913.

Our tour will continue with the huge park of Aghia Varvara, which has sealed the city’s identity and attracts many tourists since it highlights the rich waters of the city, as well as its recent history. There are many small lakes and waterfalls all around the park, right under the shade of the trees. It’s an idyllic location with beautiful colours all year long.



We should also see the traditional watermills and the tall tobacco storehouses. All around them there are many old houses that have been declared preservable, the most important of which is the mansion of the tobacco-merchant, Anastasiades, since 1876, dressed with local marble.

Today there are many visitors in the area, all year round and all during the day. There is also an outdoor little theatre and the art hall “Melina” at the municipal cultural centre. A perfect day to be in Drama is the 3rd of December (the day of Aghia Varvara), when hundreds of kids sail their small, lit-up boats in the lake right in front of the church, which is an unbelievable view to see at sunset.




Our next stop is at the small square near the city’s main church. Next to it, there is part of the old building from 1834 with beautiful wooden sculptures from the 19th century. Right across the street stands the restored building of the city’s old cinema from 1913, as well as urban houses from the beginning of the 20th century. Next to it stands the byzantine church of Aghia Sofia from the 10th century. This area is the city’s historical centre, the old Christian neighbouhood, and lies inside the ruins of the byzantine walls. Among modern and older houses, six towers from the walls have been preserved. They were originally built around the 10th century and have been restored twice since.

Moving towards the Eleftheria square, we’ll reach the city’s commercial centre. There are many small stores, both on the main street and around the small streets, traditional and modern, right on the spot where a wild stream used to cross.














Passing by the church of Aghios Nikolaos, we’ll find ourselves north of the square where the monument of Armen Kouptsiou lies on the spot where he was hanged. Now we’re at the modern commercial centre of Drama, however the Muslim mosques, marking the Turkish neighbourhood, remind us again of another era. In the same area, a Macedonian tomb from the Hellenistic Era has also been preserved.

On a short excursion to the north of Drama, we’ll visit the Korylovo hill, which is another landmark for the city. Inside the pine forest, at the foots of the hill, nature lovers can enjoy walking, jogging or hiking all year round. After driving or walking up the hill (4km, 600m height), you can admire the panoramic view towards the flatland of Drama and the surrounding mountains.

Today, the city of Drama is not only a financial and commercial centre – that also has the chance of promoting local products on the city’s annual commercial expo – but also an intellectual and recreational centre. There are literature and art events every year, with many exhibitions from artists all over the Balkans.

In the middle of September takes place the Short Film Festival of Drama, which has been enriched with the international section and many special features over the last few years. Sport lovers can also exercise in the National Stadium facilities or enjoy a walk around the parks of the city. There are also tennis courts, private mini football fields, paragliding facilities and a cart track.

However, Drama is also known for its nightlife, as the locals stand out for their livelihood and their flair for dancing and singing. There are many restaurants and taverns, offering exquisite local tastes, elegant cafés and a vivid nightlife all year long.

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