Kavala

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Kavala (also seen as Kavála, Kavalla, Cavalla, and Cavalle Greek: Καβάλα, formerly: Καβάλλα), (2001 pop. 63,774), is a city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of Kavala prefecture. It is prettily situated on the Bay of Kavala, across from the island of Thassos.

History

It was originally founded by settlers from Paros in about the 6th century BC, who called it Neapolis ("new city"). Gold mines in the Pangaion hills nearby made it prosperous. It became a Roman civitas in 168 BC, and was a base for Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, before their defeat in the Battle of Philippi. The Apostle Paul landed at Kavala on his first voyage to Europe, and in Byzantine times the city was renamed Christoupolis.

Kavala was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1371 to 1912. Future King of Egypt, Mehmet Ali, was born here in 1769. His house is still a tourist attraction although all rugs, furniture and other items have been removed. Outside his house stands a statue of the King on horseback, created thanks to donations by Egyptian Greeks.

Much of its present-day population is descended from Asia Minor refugees. Prior to the Second World War, the city also boasted a large Jewish minority which has since become extinct.

Some of its most recognisable landmarks is a Venetian castle on the hill of Panagia, the "imaret" and an aqueduct built by Suleyman I during his reign. The later serves still today as a city logo.

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