Thessaloniki (accent on the second to last syllable) is Greece’s second city, a bustling metropolis with an active port and large university culture. Its also a much disputed territory – a stronghold of Byzantine culture though it fell to te Ottoman Turks around the same time as Byzantium itself, it was not part of the original nation of Greece (formed in the 1820’s) and was a hotbed of secret rebellion and dramatic plots and was re-claimed by Greece a hundred years later. Its the birthplace of Turkish national hero, Mustafa Kemal, known as Ataturk (father of the Turks). Most of the city in the nineteen teens so the bulk of the main city is a wide grid with mid rise apartment blocks but I stayed in a hostel in the old city and was dazzled by the wooden residential buildings – the first I’ve seen in any numbers since arriving in the Mediterranean.
I wandered the city with no real agenda other than a stop at the excellent Byzantine history museum, photographing Greek Orthodox churches and modernist apartment buildings indiscriminately.
Mount Olympus from the hillside at sunset.
The most dramatic sea scape I’ve yet seen. The camera can’t capture it.
It was so surprising to see wooden buildings in this number.
The post modern Byzantine history museum makes subtle references to its content all over the form
Ancient water transport system made of interlocking pottery.
A byzantine era house found under a construction site – the style closely resembles the Roman houses of a few centuries earlier.
I loved that the signage in the museum was also mosaic tile. This one cracked me up completely.
I enjoy the Byzantine art form. The images of Jesus and Mary are consistent (to a fault) so it was wonderful to see a wider selection gathered here.
This saint was my favorite of the collection. Her austere clothing and dour expression hint at a dark end in martyrdom.
The museum spiraled up a shallow ramp which created interesting window mullion angles.
Greek orthodox churches of ….
…. various ages.
The roman forum is preserved in a park
Along with a small theater.
I really enjoyed the fusion of brick and stone work.
The chief Greek Orthodox church of the town (one of many).
I’d never seen carpet in a church before. This seems like it might be an idea borrowed from Mosque design?
I arrived at the church at 5 on a friday as people were gathering for prayer. There was no organized service but people cued up to cross themselves before and kiss the hands of many of the mosaid and frescod saints on the walls
I wondered if the tower next to this structure might indicate temporary use as a mosque.