External view
 
Address: Yefira, Thessaloniki prefecture, Macedonia, Greece
Opening Hours: Temporarily closed
 

 

Yefira is a village on the Thessaloniki-Edessa national highway, 25 km from Thessaloniki and 500 km from Athens. A museum dedicated to the history of the Balkan Wars opened in the village on 26 October 1999.

The museum occupies a two-storey building, which was built at the end of the nineteenth century, near the entrance to the village. It is known as the Villa Topsin and it was here that the negotiations between the Greek and Ottoman forces were held when Thessaloniki was surrendered to the Greek army.

All the furniture in the museum is authentic and has been supplemented by furniture which the army had previously kept in storage. The room in which Commander-in-Chief Constantine spent the night contains all the furniture which he actually used.

The exhibits consist of photographs and lithographs of the wars of 1912-13. Of particular note are four paintings by Kenan Messare, who was the son of the Pasha of Thessaloniki who surrendered the city to the Greeks, and went with Constantine on the Epirus campaign and into the Second Balkan War. They depict scenes from the Battle of Lahanas during the Second Balkan War.

There are also the entire sets of the military decorations awarded by the Greek, Turkish, and Bulgarian armies; a display of medals, the most important of which is an extremely rare Bulgarian medal depicting the heads of the four kings of the Balkan states, symbolising the alliance against the Ottoman Empire; many everyday objects used by officers and men; cards sent from here by Eleftherios Venizelos; and Greek and Bulgarian uniforms, the most important of which is the one worn by Lieutenant-Colonel Papakyriazis, who was killed at the Battle of Lahanas.

The museum also boasts a very large collection of Greek, Bulgarian, and Turkish weapons, including Greek and Bulgarian Mannlicher rifles, a Turkish Mauser, a Greek Mannlicher pistol, Turkish Mauser and Smith & Wesson pistols, a Greek Schwarzrose M1907/12 machine-gun, and the whole range of swords used by the Greek and the Bulgarian army.

The museum will remain closed until repairs to the building have been completed, and it will soon be open to the public.

Central hall
Central hall
Room of HRM Constantine
Room of HRM Constantine
Uniform of Papakyriazis
Uniform of Papakyriazis
Greek uniform
Greek uniform


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