Thessaloniki, Greece

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.

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