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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

Inhabitants amongst the ruins after the fire of 1917
Black-and-white photograph of the inhabitants assessing the damage to the area of Thessaloniki destroyed by the fire, 1917, Thessaloniki, G. Megas archive.




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The fire of 1917 in Thessaloniki


Inhabitants amongst the ruins after the fire of 1917

From "Pages from an autobiography" by the poet Yiorgos Vafopoulos

"On the next day, August 6, the feast of Our Saviour, Thessaloniki made history, yet again. There where once the labyrinthine alleys of the Jewish district had spread out, were now only stones and smouldering ashes. In the other quarter, where the grand shops and hotels tower, tragic ruins reminded one of their former glory.

And all these sad remains of a rich big city were swathed in heavy clouds of smoke. Deep in their basements the embers glowed for several months after the fire and, as we discovered later, so great was the force of the fire that all the glassware melted and amidst the debris of the pastry shops one could make out the jars of sweets transformed into a mass of burnt sugar and glass. The tremendous expanse covered by this catastrophe took the name of the Kammena (burnt areas). The whole district had been transmuted into a new Pompeii, where by day teams of excavators labored and by night the bums, criminals and lovers found refuge".



Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.