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Nymphaio

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The Tsirlis mansion at Nymphaio
The facade with its 'sachnisi' (projecting balcony) and the pediment over the central section, 1937-1938, Nymphaio, Th. Tsirlis mansion.

The 'Pyramids', in the Tsirlis mansion in Nymphaio
Wall-painting with the pyramids of Egypt, 1937-1938, Nymphaio, Th. Tsirlis mansion.

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The Tsirlis mansion at Nymphaio


The 'Pyramids', in the Tsirlis mansion in Nymphaio

According to tradition, the Vlach village of Nymfaio (Neveska), which was one of the headquarters in the Macedonian Struggle, was founded in the 14th century. Its merchants and silversmiths had brought considerable wealth to the village as early as the 17th century. The famous travelling jewelers ('chrysikoi') from Neveska plied their wares all over the Balkans.

From the 19th century the wealthy residents of Nymfaio were involved in trading cotton from Egypt and tobacco from eastern Macedonia and Thrace. These prosperous emigrants (e.g. Tsirlis, Sossidis) financed public buildings in their birthplace (churches, schools).

They built their grand mansions around the end of the 19th and in early 20th century according to the neoclassical style in fashion (a porch in front of the house crowned with a pediment and closed with a glass-in entrance).

Painters from Kleisoura and Drosopigi embellished the interiors. Ancient gods and goddesses (Athena, Ares, Demeter), Alexander the Great, philosophers, and landscapes reminiscent of the owners' places of work (e.g. the Pyramids of Egypt), allegorical representations of the four seasons, copies of Renaissance works (e.g. the Dance of the Muses by Giulio Romano) formed the impressive interior decoration together with lavishly ornamented frames and ceilings.

See Also
Civilization - Jewellery (1430-1913)
Late period of Ottoman rule (1700-1913)
Letters in the Modern period
Travelling - Modern Thessaloniki
Kavala
Siatista
Kastoria
Eratyra
Kozani
The region of Grevena
Samarina
In Focus - The Macedonian Struggle


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.