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Subjects in FocusThessaloniki from the 18th  to the 20th century

Thessaloniki from the 18th to the 20th century

Thessaloniki in the First World War
Vardaris Square at Thessaloniki
The cityscape of Thessaloniki
Travelling in Thessaloniki with N. G. Pentzikis
The inhabitants of Thessaloniki
Professions and trades
The Jews of Thessaloniki
The refugees in Thessaloniki
Entertainment in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki in the Balkan Wars
The fire of 1917 in Thessaloniki

Images on this page

The wreckage of the zeppelin
Picture postcard with the wreckage of the zeppelin shot down by the Allied Forces in the Vardari neighbourhood, 1914-1918, Thessaloniki, G. Megas archive.




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Thessaloniki in the First World War


The wreckage of the zeppelin
1914-1918, Thessaloniki, G. Megas archive

The First World War brought Thessaloniki a new, colourful population: English, French, Italian, Scottish, Indian and African troops wearing their characteristic uniforms poured into the city.

"In the streets" wrote Vafopoulos, "the French were singing 'Madelon', a very popular tune in those days... Some artists, it appears, set up their portable easels in the middle of the street to paint watercolours of an old picturesque house...The Greeks liked the French, but the Jews liked them even more... The fact that they spoke a common language helped forge strong ties between them... The English were the other much loved branch of the army... The only song they had learned to sing was 'Tipperary'. And this, together with 'Madelon', had become a symbol of the war... On Sundays, in the square in front of the White Tower, an excellent Italian band used to play whole concerts of symphonic music."

The stroll to the White Tower centred around a curious spectacle: an enormous Zeppelin that had been shot down on the outskirts of the town. The numerous pictures of it constitute the most characteristic image of Thessaloniki during the war.



Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.