The history of Kavala dates back to the seventh century BC when the Thassians set up a colony here and called it Neapolis. The Thassians ruled over their colony for more than a century till the end of the sixth century BC when NEapolic declared its independence. By 411 BC Neapolis was captured by the Spartans and Thassians but the populace owed its allegiance to Athens. Later Neapolis became a member of the Athenian League. Towards the mid second century BC the city became part of the Roman Empire and became an important base for Brutus and Cassius.
Justinian I renamed the city Christoupolis and the city existed as a part of the Macedonian empire. In the eighth and ninth centuries, the city bore the brunt of Bulgarian attacks and the Byzantine Empire fortified the city by building a strong garrison and a fort. Christoupolis was captured and razed by the Normans in 1185. By the time the Ottoman Turks took over the city in 1387, Kavala had partly regained its glory. The city became the seat of a territorial contest between the Ottoman Turks and the Bulgarians and in 1913 was annexed by Greece. Following World War I, the city of Kavala saw tremendous grown in trade and industry. The city became home to a huge immigrant population from Asia Minor. During World War II, the Bulgarians reoccupied the city till its liberation in 1944. The development of trade and industry, due essentially to the strategic location of the port, has made Kavala an important trade hub in the Balkans.
Among the prime attractions of Kavala, the castle is popular with tourists. Believed to have been constructed by the Byzantine emperors and subsequently reconstructed by the Turks the current structure is believed to have been constructed in the mid sixteenth century. The old Aquaduct or the Kamares dating back to the mid sixteenth century is believed to have been constructed by Suleiman the Magnificent. The Imaret built in the early nineteenth century is a fine example of Turkish architecture. Besides these monuments, the museums of Kavala are a treasure-trove of information. The Archeological Museum and the Folklore Museum are favorites with visitors. The Tobacco Museum and the Maritime Museum are must-visit attractions of Kavala.
A number of tourist destinations in and around Kavala make it for popular getaways. Fillippi, founded by Philip of Macedonia is a famous archeological and historic site. An exploration of the Paggeo Mountains and the forest settlements on the way from Eleftheropouli to Akrovouni are also popular with tourists who visit Kavala.
Festivals and Cultural Events
Kavala hosts a number of festivals and cultural events. The most popular among these is the Festival of Philippi. From July to September each year, a number of music and cultural events are hosted in the city. Kavala also hosts the Wood Water Festival, the Cosmopolis, and the Ilios ke Petra.
Proximity to Thrace and the vibrant culture of Kalava make the city a round-the-year favorite with tourists and visitors.