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by Archaeology Newsroom

The traditional architecture of Mount Pelion

Twenty four villages, known from the itineraries of Greek and foreign travellers, were created and developed on Mount Pelion during the years of the Turkish occupation.

Many of them still preserve sufficiently their original features, therefore they number among the most important traditional settlements of Greece.

Their old, impressive manors date from the second half of the eighteenth and mainly from the early nineteenth century. These are two and three-storied edifices, built with stone, besides certain parts of the upper storey that display a lighter construction (tsatmas). This construction by its gradual projection in all directions creates the typical elements known as sachnisia (= oriels), which are pierced by windows and skylights. A great number of these manors are richly decorated with wall-paintings, wood and stone carvings of such a quality and craftmanship that makes them unique art works of their kind. A new type of house exhibiting a combination of neoclassical and traditional architectural elements appears in the middle of the nineteenth century and remains in use until the liberation of Thessaly, in 1881 – Such houses belong to rich Greeks from Egypt, who returned and settled down on Mount Pelion during these years. From 1881, when Thessaly once again became part of Greece, neoclassical architecture is established as the official building style and so remains until the first quarter of the twentieth century.