Alexandroupoli is a city of Greece and the capital of the Evros Prefecture in Thrace. Names for the city in other languages include: Latin - Alexandropolis; Turkish - Dedeağaç.
Alexandroupoli is about 14.5 km (9 miles) west of the delta of the river Evros, 40km from the border with Turkey, 300 km (186 mi) from Thessaloniki on the newly constructed Egnatia highway, and 750 km (466 mi) from Athens. Around the city one finds small fishing villages like Makri and Dikela to the west, and suburban Antheia, Aristino, Nipsa, Loutra to the east, while north of the city are the ever closing Palagia, Abantas, Aissymi and Kirkas. At the 2001 census, the main city had a population of 48,885 and the municipality had a population of 52,720. The current metropolitan population is estimated at around 70,000 inhabitants, and its area covers the southwestern portion of the prefecture, and it runs approximately 40 km long and wide, its length shorter northward. Its boundary goes 70% of the way from the Rhodope Prefecture to the Evros Delta. The municipality has a land area of 642.245 km² (247.972 sq mi) and is the fourth largest in all of Greece. Besides Alexandroúpoli, its other largest settlements are the villages of Mákri (pop. 820), Ávas (497), Sykorráchi (309), Aisými (289), and Díkella (288).
Alexandroupoli houses part of the Democritus University of Thrace (based in Komotini), most notably the department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and also Medical and Primary Education Departments. Some highly specialised medical operations are performed in the new Regional University Hospital - Research center, currently the largest one in the Balkans.The city has a network of public schools, from nurseries to high schools, under the responsibility of the city council (though the student are subjects under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education). There are also many private lanquage schools, most of them offering European Languages courses. Like many other cities in Greece, Alexandroupoli now handles the integration of a large number of expatriates and immigrants from Russia, Central Asia and Middle East. Lanquages spoken by the citizens include: Greek, English, Russian, Bulgarian, Armenian, German, and Turkish. The city has a reputation of consistently exporting high number of students to attend national and international universities.
It began functioning on June 1, 1880. It has a height of 27 meters above the sea and includes a rotating light beam.
Visibility under normal weather conditions reaches 23 miles. It is entirely manufactured by boulders and in the interior there are stone covered stairs. Until 1973, the Lighthouse functioned with a combination of air and petrol. The older system was replaced by a newer one including gas and electricity.
One of the most important and oldest neo-classical buildings in Alexandroupolis, as well as an important monument is the Zarifeios Pedagogique Academy, which was named after its founder, George Zarifis, a wealthy businessman from Constantinople.
Holy Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Nicolas
The cathedral of St. Nicolas was first in stimulating the development of Alexandroupolis. Initially in 1850 a similar church was built in the same area with the contributions of the few navymen and fishermen of the coastal settlements. In the construction of today’s large church, the citizens of Ainos of Alexandroupolis for its aesthetic improvement transferred from the beautiful gate of the city of Ainos valuable icons, the gold-plated Sacred Icon which is used in the formal procession on Good Friday and other sacred items which today are located in the Ecclesiastical Museum. The Church was completed in 1900 and the formal inauguration occurred in 1901 by the Metropolitan Bishop Germanos of Ainos.