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Monasteries

The Ottoman conquerors converted into mosques large monastery churches such as the splendid Church of the Panagia Kosmosoteira at Feres, once the gateway to the Evros region. Churches like the Kosmosoteira, which was built by the sebastokrator Isaac Komnenos as an earthly imitation and image of the world above, respire all the art, learning, and religious perception of Byzantium.

The large three-aisled basilica is a type that is still preserved in the monasteries of Thrace, though most surviving examples were rebuilt in the 19th century. Many of the more isolated monasteries and their churches were destroyed by the violent bands of brigands which infested the Thracian interior between 1770 and 1808. As a result of new perceptions in architecture, at the end of the 19th century churches became considerably higher, the colonnades were rendered light and ethereal, and the interior was unified. The church interiors in the urbanised centres were dominated by neoclassical forms. Church of St Nicholas, Alexandroupoli, built in 1900 on the foundations of an older church of 1850, Armenian Church of St John the Baptist (Karabet), 1875, Catholic Church of St Joseph, consecrated in 1914. Whichever period the churches of Evros prefecture belong to, they are places of mystery, veneration, and human invocation.