Drawing, 19th century
The 16th century was the golden age of the Jews in Thessaloniki, which at that time became the centre of Hispano-Jewish intellect and economic power. The houses in the Jewish quarters were tightly crammed into narrow, winding alleyways.
Simply constructed of unbaked bricks, with one or two storeys, painted, usually blue, but only in the interior, they exhibited many sanitation problems, indicative of the desperate economic plight of the vast majority of the Jewish community. Although no building from that period has survived, paintings of the district known as Las Incantadas (the enchanted; "Idols" to the Greeks) give us a picture of the Jewish houses of those days.