History and Mundane in Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece, October 2006

One of the things that really fascinated me in Greece was how history seemed to be so integrated in the current life. Of course, there are all those famous touristy places like in Athens or Meteora (yes, before linking Park released an album with this name, some monks built hundreds of years ago some monasteries on the top of some very strange looking peaks in a place bearing this name), for example, swarming of, of course, tourists from all over the world. There are also the other places where the traces of history are also very visible, but they are just parts, or even objects, of a daily, normal life of the today people living there. One of these places is Thessaloniki.

In the image there’s a part of an old construction (don’t remember exactly if it were a tomb or a house), dating from the very early Middle Ages. There are many such places in the town, where ancient ruins are peeking through modern apartment buildings, between the graves of a cemetery or even in a small “museum” organized under a busy road crossing the city. It’s also fascinating how proud the people are of their heritage and how they try to preserve everything, even if there are only a couple of bricks still standing, remains of a once highly visited temple or church or such. And these places, these small ruins and monuments are even put on the visitors map. So, next time you’re visiting Thessaloniki make sure you visit not only the white tower on the sea shore, but also wander a bit on the streets of the old town and spot yourself some not so popular, yet interesting traces of history too.

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