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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

Refugee family
Black-and-white souvenir photograph of 1928 with a refugee family,Thessaloniki, D. Lazaridis archive.

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The refugees in Thessaloniki

Refugee family
Thessaloniki, D. Lazaridis archive

"The arrival of the refugees," relates novelist Yiorgos Ioannou, "took the shape of three circles or rather semicircles: town, suburbs, villages. The middle and lower middle classes clung eagerly to the city itself. The labourers, skilled workers, even the gardeners were drawn to the suburbs. The farmers, wine growers and fishermen took to the villages. In the centre, especially in the Pyrikafstos district, we have the various city dwellers: from Smyrna, Constantinople, Adrianople, Raidestos and a thousand and one others, with signs of refinement and gentility very much in evidence. As soon as these people recovered, right after they started going to church and school, they began the songs, the parties, and the masquerades, those so sweet ways of theirs that distinguished them. Their wives, with the cleverness and the delightful fancy language that set them apart, flustered everyone with their high-flown praises for their former life, and their refined drawing-room manners, somewhat dissipating the hopeless poverty and gloom that surrounded their lives...

Those who remained in the city lost their distinction from every point of view, it is true, somewhat rapidly. A special culinary tradition was all they had left. In particular, those from Thrace and further north, the well-placed and well-educated ones from Rumelia, assimilated with the locals very easily. In essence, there was no barrier -- neither linguistic, I mean regarding dialect, nor cultural; it was all one space".

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.