Don’t be misled by its intriguing name. Drama is nowhere close to any dramatic scenario.
The only dramatic thing about it, is its awe-inspiring beauty, dominated by vast areas of vivid green and running waters. This relaxing, yet vibrant city, is built at the foot of the imposing Falakro Mt. Its former name was Hydrama. No wonder since the area has abundant water sources. Beautiful, hospitable and as green as it gets, the city boasts picturesque neighbourhoods, spacious squares, and well-preserved neoclassical mansions.
Archaeological finds show that in the area there used to be a settlement, that was a place of worship for many Gods of the Greco-Roman Pantheon. During the Byzantine years, there was a city possibly named Draviskos in the same area. In the late 19th century, tobacco production and trade, the operation of the railway (1895) and improvement of the road network towards the Port of Kavala, led to an increase in the population of the city. In the early 20th century Drama was occupied by the Bulgarians and participated in the Macedonian Struggle, but was liberated by the Greek Army on July 1st 1913.
In Drama’s Old Town one can enjoy an interesting mix of old and new, with an array of architectural influences from northern Europe. The city’s rich history (including periods of Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman rule) lead to the composition of its unique style. Visitors can admire the Byzantine walls and the Church of Agia Sofia date from the 11th century, while the fans of history should not miss the city’s Archaeological Museum.
The most astonishing part of the city, quite popular among visitors and locals alike, is Agia Varvara springs. A huge green zone interrupted by springing water, dotted with cafes, restaurants and bars, where one can enjoy unique moments.
Drama’s movie festival in Northern Greece
Drama is a vibrant and lively city all year round. Still, it is every September, when it reaches its peak, as it hosts its renowned International Short Film Festival. Established in 1978, the festival brings together cinema lovers from all over Greece and abroad. And to make things even more interesting, there are also exhibitions of photography, painting and sculpture, book presentations, concerts, and cinema workshops.
The hidden gems
The wider area of Drama is popular for many attractions. From Kato Nevrokopi, known for its potato production, and a record of low temperatures that has rightfully offered it the title “Greek Siberia”, and the spectacular Angitis Cave, a partially unexplored cave, where one can admire the underground river – the only one of its kind within Greece, all the way to Karantere, as in 70.000 hectares of vivid red fir forest, boasting some 60m high trees, Drama’s province is nothing short of incredible.