Rhodope (regional unit)
|Region||East Macedonia and Thrace|
|• Total||2,543 km2 (982 sq mi)|
|• Density||44/km2 (110/sq mi)|
|Postal codes||69x xx|
|ISO 3166 code||GR-73|
Rhodope (Greek: Ροδόπη, Rodópi, [roˈðopi]) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Its name is derived from the Rhodope Mountains, which cover the northern part of its territory. Together with the regional units Evros and Xanthi, it forms the geographical region of Western Thrace. The capital of the prefecture is the city of Komotini. The second largest town is Sapes. Most of the Muslims of Thrace, the only officially recognized minority in Greece, are settled in this area, where they form around half of the population.
Rhodope borders on the regional unit Xanthi to the west and Evros to the east, and on Bulgaria's Kardzhali Province to the north. The Aegean Sea lies to the south. The eastern Rhodope Mountains cover the northern part of the regional unit. Apart from the mountainous areas, the territory consists mainly of farmland, forests and grasslands.
The southern and the central part have a mainly Mediterranean climate, and the northern part a mainly continental climate with cold winters.
The regional unit Rhodope is subdivided into 4 municipalities. These are (number as in the map in the infobox):
Rhodope was established as a prefecture in 1930 (Greek: Νομός Ροδόπης), when the former Thrace Prefecture was divided into the Rhodope and Evros prefectures. In 1944 Xanthi Prefecture was created from the western part of Rhodope Prefecture. Since the 1990s Rhodope cooperated with Evros in the Rhodope-Evros Super-prefecture.
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was transformed into a regional unit within the East Macedonia and Thrace region, with no change in its boundaries. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.
|New municipality||Old municipalities||Seat|
Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.