Cities of the Dead

Time seems to slow down when you're enjoying the city's green enclaves.


As is the case with all cities possessing extensive pasts, the course of time has created gaps in the historical and urban development of Thessaloniki, producing islets where time has elapsed at a different pace.

The district around Evangelistria cemetery was once divided by the city walls. The spaces making up the area survived over the years as they never served as residential or trading centers. The enclaves here constitute largely unknown parts of the city, even for Thessaloniki residents. Although the city center for a century has borne no resemblance to its appearance in the 19th century, with the exception of certain monuments and archaeological sites, the opposite may be said of these aforementioned enclaves. This is a wider area directly connected with its past. The constructions, an old stone wall untouched by time, and Eleni Zografou St possibly represent the only spots in Thesssaloniki that have not changed over time.

Beginning from an elevated area, offering a generous coastal view, one may start off by enjoying a walk in the Gardens of the Pasha, a dense pine forest with a view of the city, serving as a fabulous example of the beauty of Greek nature. Aghios Dimitrios, an emblematic building constructed by the Ottomans as a state-of-the-art hospital 110 years ago, lies next along the route. Evangelistria cemetery and its archaeological site, as well as the Armenian and Protestant cemeteries, are all blessed with unspoiled nature. Following an ambitious revamp, the Axylithiotis engineering workshop has returned with a strong presence, ready to serve as an attraction for the wider area.

* Prodromos Nikiforidis is an architect.


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