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Stavroupoli

Stavroupoli is standing on the western entrance of the city. Archeological findings confirm that the territory has been inhabited since the Neolithic era. Very few is known for the history of Stavroupoli ever since, though there are several references in historical texts to the territory. What is certain is that Stavroupoli has always been a suburb outside the city walls. During the Byzantine ages, historians describe the area as a dream- land, a lowland full of gardens, farms and rivers. At the beginning of the 20th century Stavroupoli is almost an abandoned place. The grounds were not cultivated and the rivers flew to the sea unexploited. The only marks of life were the Monasteries of Lazaristes and Kalogrees and the Pavlos Melas military base. The scenery began changing with the arrival of the first immigrants from Asia Minor and Thrace in 1914. The inhabitants named the place Lebet, borrowing the name from a farm few kilometres on the north. In 1964 Stavroupoli becomes a municipality and very slowly, during the 1960’s the first attempts for bigger developing steps are made. “Agno”, which is a company that produces dairy products, settles its establishments here. Tobacco industries also settle their establishments here, creating working positions for the immigrants. The municipality gained an industrial character that fortunately was not to last forever. All of the industries moved away, the territory was upgraded and the quality of life became even better. Nowadays, Stavroupoli is the most culturally active municipality in Thessaloniki. The inhabitants created a cultural center (Cultural Center Christos Tsakiris) in which every form of art is sheltered. Photography, sound, theatre, dance, music workshops are active and sharing their art with the public. Moni Lazariston (which used to be a Catholic Monastery) was rebuilt and is now sheltering the State Drama School and State Classical Orchestra of Northern Greece, along with two theatrical stages of the State Theatre of Northern Greece. To the same complex of buildings, coffee- shops, restaurants and hotels are to the services of the public. This almost invisible area of Thessaloniki managed through the ages to come in light and become the nursery for many developing artists.

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