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by Archaeology Newsroom

Modern monuments of Thessaloniki

The continual daily destruction of traditional settlements, of the old, historic nucleus of the towns and of preservable monuments is to a certain degree due to the lack of a modern legislative framework that would potentially protect and exploit the cultural heritage.Immediate measures to be taken include modernization of legislation, motivation for owners of protected buildings, the full manning of the relevant service of the Ministry of Culture and Science and, last, but not least, the proper education of the population on the vital subject of the preservation of the architectural tradition of their city.

The Upper City

This used to be the Turkish quarter of Thessaloniki, presently spoiled form through irrational alterations that altogether neglected the distinct features of the area. However, some examples of representative buildings that belong to various architectural styles and range, chronologically, from the years of Turkish rule down to our days, have been preserved.

The Lower City

The increase in population, the very location of the commercial Centre and the fires of 1870 and 1917 have had their effect on the development of the form of the Lower City. The remarkable town-planning of Thessaloniki, that was worked out by an international committee was never fully realized and, until 1919, underwent a series of alterations. The area exhibits a wide variety of buildings that express the international trends and tendencies of architecture: commercial passages shops, offices, etc. are affected by the neoclassicism the eclecticism, the Art Nouveaux etc.

The Eastern Area

The destruction of the eastern walls and the economic boom resulted in the expansion of Thessaloniki towards the eastern districts, those of the “Countryside”. Villas and middle-class houses, among which prevail the “towers” that led their name to the area, are built. Also the buildings here do not belong to a certain architectural type but present a combination of neoclassical style with elements of eclecticism and often with Ottoman baroque decorations. Well-known architects create remarkable and impressive private dwellings, while at the same time hospitals and public buildings are erected in the area.