Maroneia -Thrace

Maroneia is a town of rich history build at the location of the ancient city with the same name, one of the most powerful city-states of Ancient Greece. It is located at the south of Rhodope Region and it is engulfed in large olive groves extending all the way to the sea. The ceramic roofs of the town houses are filling the foothills of Mount Ismaros all the way down to the Thracian Sea. Maroneia today is a large town that deserves a visit if only to attest to the lasting tokens of its once former glory. Historically the Maronites were revered as great merchants and bankers in central cities like Odessa, Tersest, Alexandria, and Istanbul bringing immense wealth back to their home town. The golden age of this area last up to end of the Ottoman Empire.
Modern Maroneia was founded as a village during the 16th century at the original location of the ancient renowned Maroneia, at a safe distance from the sea and pirates or other dangerous raiders of the time. Walk its beautiful narrow streets, check out the central plaza with the huge plane tree and enjoy some exquisite tokens of local architecture. A classic sample of that architecture is the 1908 public school. It is amazing how construction materials from the ancient Maroneia Theatre were re-purposed and used to build parts of the school.


According to the local lord, the Maroneia Cave was inhabited by the cyclopes Polyphymus. He was the captor of Odysseus and its crew, who managed to escape after they made him drunk on local wine, blinded his only eye and rode under the bellies of his sheep. The cave is one of the most importance spelunking experiences according to the Petrocheilos couple that mapped it. It is well over 1000 acres and apart from the usual stalactites and stalagmites, it has various small lakes, chamber and halls, and rare species of flora.