The fair of Agios Mamas
Second half of 19th century
In the 19th century, many of the traditional trade fairs which had operated for centuries in Macedonia lost their importance, while the duration of others dropped to one to three weeks. The formation of the Balkan states and the steady development of the towns after 1850 gradually altered the market structure.
Thus, the business network in Thessaloniki after the mid-19th century came to depend much more on transactions with regional trade fairs in the Macedonian, Albanian and Bulgarian hinterland, while unobstructed shipping on the Danube (from 1835 on) decreased the importance of Thessaloniki's port.
The most prominent trade fairs of the century were those of Serres (in February) and Prilep (in August), where the major part of the annual trade that arrived at the ports of Thessaloniki and Kavala was handled. In 1859 the weekly traffic from Thessaloniki to domestic markets was 2,000 to 3,000 loaded pack horses.
A typical example of the changes taking place at that time was the market of the developing town of Monastir, which at first overshadowed and then gradually supplanted the Prilep trade fair.