Kavala: Pictures from the village Rooms at the foot of Pangaios with arched bridges and rich history

The Rooms outside, at the foot of Pangaios, are full of surprises. Over the last few years, more and more people have discovered… The first sunny days of March, as the Spring oozes cowardly behind the crickets of Winter, is an ideal opportunity for an excursion to the villages at the foot of a mythical mountain, Pangaios. Undoubtedly, the once gold-bearing Pangeo is a destination, “provokingly” beautiful and equally“ challenging” accessible to its peaks, causing someone to wonder how nature can be so close to man but unfortunately he is leaving further and further away. Its small and larger villages located on the foothills and also a little higher are as interesting as the hiking and mountaineering routes that one can discover and enjoy on the mountain. In some cases the natural and architectural beauty of these villages is almost riveting. Such a village, small, but full of surprises are the Rooms. After Eleftheroupoli, which is the administrative seat of the municipality of Pangaios, the route by car becomes uphill. You pass the Kipia (a necessary stop at the unique wax museum of Thodoris Kokkinidis), Chrysokastro (a small stop for a visit to the holy monastery of Agios Pantelemon to admire from above the magnificent view), Messia, Court, Beeshouse, Pyrgohori and reach the Rooms. A refugee village with arched bridges At an altitude of about 160 meters, this traditional village hides many beauties. It is a purely refugee village, named after the Domatia of Asia Minor, in the wider area of Sokia, where the majority of its inhabitants come from. By 1926 the village was called Samakovo. Following the exchange of populations some 200 refugee families settled in it. What characterizes it and makes it unique are the many arched stone bridges it has, which the visitor can discover and admire by walking in the neighborhoods of the village. Almost all bridges were constructed in the period of the Turkish occupation from semi-laxable stones and have now been described as preserved monuments. Some were fully restored and continue to be perfectly functional as they unite the village neighborhoods. The sound of running waters is dominant throughout the settlement and it really travels you. However, the lack of rainfall significantly reduced water volume. In Spring and Summer the beautiful natural landscape within the settlement full of plane trees and fruit trees rewards the visitor. It is no coincidence that hikers choose the area, who visit it all year round. Also, a walk on the chapel on the hill gives a unique panoramic view of the whole plain. The village is full of old mansion houses some of which abandoned and ruined, mute witnesses of the refugee and Ottoman past, but also witnesses of another thriving era. There are of course some new houses, some restored mansions that cause admiration. Discovering its rich history The impressive stone-built church of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni built by the refugees in 1936 dominates the traditional village of Rooms, along with the very picturesque chapel dedicated to Panagia Pantanassa. Following the main road of the village and after admiring the first bridges, the folklore museum and the small guesthouse of the village belonging to the Pantanassa Hospital. In the years of the Turkish occupation the residence was Hoja’s residence, but with the installation of the refugees was given for the residence of the village’s first priest. In recent years the active priest of the village p.Alexios Michaelidis along with the members of the Association worked tirelessly to highlight the traditional architecture of the neoclassical building and turn it into a hostel and folklore museum. Church heirlooms, useful objects of the past century and a handmade carpet brought by the refugees from Pontos are kept and exhibited in the museum.

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