Νεάπολις - Χριστούπολις - Καβάλα : διορθώσεις-προσθήκες-παρατηρήσεις στην οχύρωση και την ύδρευσηPart of : Αρχαιολογικόν δελτίον ; Vol.53, 1998, pages 387-454
Neapolis - Christoupolis - Kavala : corrections, additions, remarks and comments on the fortifications and water supply
This article consists of two parts. The first is devoted to a discussion of the fortifications and water- supply system of Neapolis-Christoupolis-Kavala. New theories are advanced, unpublished material is presented, and earlier views are subjected to criticism and corrected. In the second part, published or known material is assembled relating to the fortifications of East Macedonia and West Thrace. The fortification of Kavala is assigned to this context.The first part includes a summary of the data known from the present bibliography and of the new evidence that emerges from the present work. On it is based the following sketch of the history of the city fortifications.The peninsula of the Panayia was fortified for the first time in the 5th c. BC. Very little is known of this fortification. The nature of the terrain and some small sections of the defences by the sea suggest that this wall followed the course of the present one with a few deviations. With regard to the existing land wall, doubt is cast on the attribution of some sections of it to the 5th c. BC fortification, while some other parts of it, which used to be attributed to this fortification, are now considered certainly to be of later date. Some other sections do, in fact, belong to the Classical fortification.In the 3rd c. AD, the city walls were extended outside the peninsula of the Panayia, probably for the first time, in the direction of the modern town. During the 3rd and 4th c. AD, the wave of barbarian raids that afflicted the empire dictated the need to look to the city’s defences. To this period are attributed parts of the land and seawalls and the “exceeding Beautiful Tower” (πύργος νπέρκαλος). In the 4th and 5th c. a partition wall was erected on the hills to the east of Kavala to control the pass from Macedonia to Thrace at a site just as effective as the hills around the modern town. It has been suggested that some of the projects were carried ou t during the reign of Justinian I. Remains of it can be seen next to gate 1 and the gate of the katahystra in the citadel.Repairs were carried out on the fortifications during the last thirty years of the 9th c.; this work is directly associated with the presence in the city of a high-ranking imperial officer, and with the military operations and political intentions in the region.In 926, the supreme administrative official in the area, the strategos of Strymon, carried out some new work on the fortification. No part of the preserved fortification is dated by the author to 926. The interventions made in the 3rd/4th, 6th and 9th centuries can be identified in the existing walls. The hypothesis is advanced that the 10th c. repairs were carried out on parts of them that followed the same course.To the Middle Byzantine or Palaiologan period is assigned part of the fortification wall that separates the two parts of the acropolis. Between the 12th and 14th c. the single pentagonal tower i n the citadel was repaired or built for the first time. Certainly by the Late Byzantine period - if not also during the Middle Byzantine - the citadel consisted of two enclosures and had more or less its present shape.In 1307/8, the ‘wall by Christoupolis’ was erected on the mountains above Kavala to control the pass on the only ancient road leading from Macedonia to Thrace.In 1391 the town was finally captured by the Ottoman Turks and was destroyed and deserted. What remained of the fortifications was abandoned to the ravages of time.Just before 1425 the Ottoman Turks rebuilt the inner enclosure of the citadel, largely in its present form, with four towers at the corners (now demolished), the gate, and the round tower next to it. After the brief capture of the castle by the Venetians in 1425, the outer enclosure of the citadel was rebuilt, together with gate 8. This work is conceivably to be connected with the reconstruction of the city in the 16th c. During the 1620s work was carried out on the walls, using what had survived from previous periods. This gave the fortification the form it has retained to the present day. Just how extensive this intervention was, and to what extent the previous fortification survived, are matters requiring reconsideration. At the same time the fortifications extended outside the peninsula of the Panayia for possibly the second time in the history of the city, but with a new design. Henceforth, only maintenance work was carried out on the 15th and 16th c. enclosures. In addition to the three main gates of the city on the peninsula, which served primarily the needs of the inhabitants, there were two small gates used mostly for military needs. Various structures of the 17th and 18th centuries (and possibly also of the 19th) were designed to improve the defences of the town and adapt them, very belatedly, to the circumstances of war fought with gunpowder. In 1914, structures were erected along a wide perimeter around the town. These were to some extent associated with the defence of the town and surrounding area, but were primarily part of the defence plans for East Macedonia.The town may have been divided into two parts by a fortification wall in Byzantine times. The fortification underwent its last major intervention in the 1520s. The part on the peninsula preserved the form it acquired in the twenty centuries of its history. At the same time, the fortification was expanded into the plain beyond the rocky peninsula.During the Roman and/or the Middle Byzantine period the town was supplied with water from a spring in the mountains behind the hills surrounding the modern town. To bridge the neck of land separating the peninsula from the hills opposite, a large aqueduct with arches was constructed either in Roman times or in the Middle Byzantine period. In the 1530s there was major repair-work on the aqueduct throughout its full length and the Kamares (arches) underwent incessant repairs up to the last cent ury, before they received their present form.The second part of the work is an attempt to summarise mainly the published and widely known information about the defensive works in the region stretching from the Strymon to the Evros rivers. This is the comparative material that has made it possible to understand the fortification of Kavala (to the degree that such an understanding has been achieved). A variety of evidence is assembled for the fortifications (with emphasis on the masonry), which are classified in chronological groups.The greatest activity was in the period from the 3rd to the 6th c. AD, and the major part of this activity was directed to the defences of the towns. Very little fortification work was carried out in the 7th and 8th c. - mainly isolated repairs and maintenance work at Amphipolis, Topeiros, Didymoteichon, and Petrota in the Rodopi mountains. To the reign of Theophilos belong works at Christoupolis and Caesaropolis. In the late 9th, 10th and early 11th c. th e walls of a number of new towns were built, and there was a series of interventions in the fortifications of towns and smaller settlements, as well as on castles of a primarily military character. During the period of the Komnini there was renewed interest in the maintenance of earlier defence works. The Late Byzantine period and the eve of the Ottoman conquest saw continual care for town fortifications surviving from earlier periods and the erection of a series of castles and isolated towers to provide security for feudal lords and the inhabitants of monastic buildings.The Ottoman Turks showed a complete lack of interest in constructing fortifications on the territories conquered by them. It was only rarely that they maintained an existing fortification (Didymoteichon) or undertook any large-scale defence works (Kavala).
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