Built at the northern part of the plain bearing the same name, Komotini is the seat as well as the administrative, financial and cultural center of the prefecture. It is also the seat of Eastern Macedonia – Thrace Region and a transport interchange. During the Turkish occupation, Goumoultzina or Gkoumourtzina (as Komotini was known at the time) was the most important settlement of the region and became very prosperous. During the second half of the 19th century it became major agricultural and breeding center of the area. It was liberated in 1913, but did not join Greece unitl May 1920 with the signature of the Treaty of Sevres. A great number of refugees settled in Komotini in 1922-1923. In the modern town the Christian and Muslim communities co-exist in peace as far as culture and every day habits are concerned. It is located 795 km NE of Athens and 281 km NE of Thessaloniki.