Tekirdag or Tekir Dagh, referred to historically as Rodosto (Greek name: Redestos or Rhaedestos), is a city of European Turkey (Eastern Thrace), which during the period of the Ottoman Empire (before the treaty of Sevres in 1920) belonged in the vilayet of Adrianople. The city's population was in (1905) about 35,000, of whom half were Greeks who fled to Greece after the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 and the creation of the Republic of Turkey. Today the city (population: 107,082 in 2000) is the capital of Tekirdağ Province with a population of 623,591 (2000). It is situated on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, 135 km. W. of Istanbul (Constantinople). The picturesque Bay of Rodosto is enclosed by the great promontory of Combos, a spur about 2000 ft. in height from the hilly plateau to the north. The church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Rheumatocratissa contains the graves, with long Latin inscriptions, of the Hungarians who were banished from their country in 1686 by the Habsburg conquerors of Buda. Rodosto was long a great depot for the produce of the Adrianople district, but its trade suffered when Dedeagatch (present day Alexandroupolis) became the terminus of the railway up the river Maritsa (Greek: Evros). Rodosto is the ancient Rhaedestus or Bisanthe, said to have been founded by Samians (people from Samos, Greece). In Xenophon’s Anabasis it is mentioned as in the kingdom of the Thracian prince Seuthes. Its restoration by Justinian I in the 6th century A.D. is chronicled by Procopius. In 813 and again in 1206 it was sacked by the Bulgarians, but it continued to appear as a place of considerable note in later Byzantine history.
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