Thessaloniki – A Multifaceted City
Thessaloniki – Greece’s relaxed and profoundly historic second city is both the gateway to something fascinating and a worthwhile destination in its own right. This city tells a story on every street and corner. It won’t be hard to notice it. Just walk around and lose your way without any fear – you will then find out all this culture that is hidden.
A century ago, Thessaloniki was the cultural and business center of Northern Greece and the Balkans. A cosmopolitan center where Greeks, Turks, Jews and Balkan people lived and traded actively. That is why buildings and monuments of every cultural interest can be found here. Byzantine churches, mosques and ottoman baths, roman sites and Jewish synagogues and villas prove unequivocally the wealth that once this city had.
This article will show you some of these buildings and monuments, in an attempt to guide you as if you were here!
This mosque was built in 1902 in the European district Hamidiye by the Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli, who at the time took over the design of some of the most important and beautiful buildings of Thessaloniki. The fund for the erection of the building was given by the Dönme (Jews who believed to Islam), and it was destined for religious purposes. Later, the Archaeological museum was operated there till it was transferred near the White Tower. Yeni Cami is a perfect example of combination of Muslim architecture and the trends of that era.
Another masterpiece from Vitaliano Poselli. It was built in 1888 and was the holiday home of the family Allatini, some very wealthy and socially active members of the Jewish society of Thessaloniki. At the time of rapid changes, due to the liberation of Thessaloniki from the Ottomans, Villa Allatini had different usage. Once residence and later prison of the city’s Sultan and in 1926 it housed the newly established Aristotle University. Today is housed there the Administration of the Region of Central Macedonia.
Old Philosophical School
Built in 1887 by Vitaliano Poselli. This building characterizes the architectural style of the last decade of the 20th century. It was meant to house the Ottoman School of Public Administration. After the liberation it was used as a military hospital and later the first department of the city’s university was relocated from Villa Allatini to this edifice.
Villa Ahmet Kapanci
Designed by Pierro Arrigoni between 1893-1895. An Art-Nouveau villa, inspired from Theophil Hansen’s villas, made for the Viennese bourgeoisie. It was the residence of Ahmet Kapanci. From 1954 till 1973 was used for the NATO services and now is a private property. An uncommon piece of architecture that shows, how important Thessaloniki was for the region during those years.
The Red House
In the heart of the city is located the known as ”Red House” (because of its vivid red colour). It is a typical sample of the architectural trends of the era that followed the end of 1st World War. An urban legend claims that this impressive building is cursed. The reasons behind this assertion are that, the construction company that made it bankrupted just after the delivery, and the family who owned it saw their successful business disappear because of a fire! On the ground floor used to operate the very popular back then Cafe ”Ermis” – a meeting point for the elite of the city.
If you would like to visit travel with us back in time on a different tour, where you can dig deeper in the history of Thessaloniki, feel free to contact us and we will organize a one-of-a-kind sightseeing for you.