Dojran | history & culture

Dojran | history & cultureDojran | history & culture

Antiquity in Dojran

The Dojran area has been settled since pre-historic times. In the 5th century AD, the Greek historian Herodotus, writes of the Peons, people who settled the Dojran lake shores. According to his notes, they lived in dweller settlements accessible only by boats. These constructions can be seen in the present day, as well, on the west and the north shores of the Dojran lake, in between the cane zones and the peaceful lake waters. Fishing has always represented the basic economic activity of the citizens on the lake. Especially interesting for the tourists as mentioned is the traditional ancient fishing method used by the Dojran fishermen.

This area is very significant archeologically. The numerous findings of accidental or systematic excavations, have often attracted the attention of archeologists. These include lot of relief, marble plates with Greek inscriptions, remainders of walls, coins and tombs with epitaphs which all are witness to the settlement of the area since ancient times.

Middle ages and the Ottomans in Dojran

In 1431, Dojran was conquered by the Turkish invaders, led by the colonel Evrenos-bey. A legend still lives among the population, connected to the day when the Turks conquered Dojran. On that day, the Dojran lake was frozen and with snow. Everywhere around, there were fierce snow storms which made recognition of the roads almost impossible. Not knowing of the lake, the Turks actually passed over it. When the next day, Evrenos-bey found out that the soldiers had crossed the ice, he believed that Allah had taken his army under his protection. He ordered immediate preparations for a large feast. The memory of that feast and the joy named it: Dojurmak, or Dojaran - which translated means feast.

During the Turkish rule, Dojran developed following the typical Turkish model of an Islamic town. The upper part was Turkish-muslim, with narrow streets, and the lower part was Macedonian-christian, crossed with wide streets and modern public buildings. The houses were two-storeyed, arranged amphitheatrically, with a view onto the lake.

Such an appearance resembled Salonica, and therefore Dojran was called Little Salonica. Close to the lake shore, was the Bazaar with 300 shops and crafts workshops. Because of the beauty of Dojran, it was settled by many Turkish dignitaries.

Dojran during the 1st World war and after

During the First World War, the airplanes and the cannons of the Entente completely destroyed Dojran. The former beautiful Dojran with beautiful houses, restaurants and the vivid Bazaar, vanished for ever. The population, which during the terrifying bombardments, deserted Dojran, after the war returned to the town, and formed the new fisherman's village Nov Dojran.

Today, the two villages, Nov and Star Dojran, spillover in one urban entity. The newly built modern buildings, mainly for the purpose of developing the tourism, are located in Star Dojran. In Dojran, there are several cultural-historic monuments; what is left of those more numerous ones, destroyed during the First World War bombing.