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Starting from the Pashas’s Gardens one of the most famous and strange monument of city, we yearn to connect all places, spaces, streets, buildings, baths and market with the Ottoman whiff in the city. Walk around through in visible and invisible traces of the Othoman stories, everyday life, religious rituals, traditions and great moments in the old flea markets. We walk in the Upper town and in the center of Thessaloniki and we visit and admire the city’s Othoman monuments.
Just imagine the scene. It’s the year 1430 and Sultan Murat II has a dream in which God reaches out to him with a rose. The Sultan asks “Can I take it?” God answers “Yes.” This vision emboldens the Sultan. Thessaloniki – with its fortifications, its fertile plains by the Axios River, with the Bay of Thermaikos for a harbor and, just for show, Mount Olympus majestic in the distance – is the rose of his dream. He takes it.
We start out tour from Pasha’s Gardens. The Pasha’s Gardens were constructed in 1904 and they are the only integrated creation of the architectural trend of visionary architecture in Thessaloniki. The name of the garden suggests the pleasant feeling the position of the garden gives to visitor, with children’s corners for recreation and a seating area to admire the views of the city.
Then we are heading to The Yeni Hamam (Turkish for new hamam i.e. public bath) building was built during Thessaloniki’s Ottoman occupation, on what is now the corner of Kassandrou and Agiou Nikolaou Streets. It is believed that the building was constructed during the last quarter of the 16th century by Hüsrev Kethuda, owner of several properties in Thessaloniki, and likely a “Kehayia” (administrator) in the service of grand vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha. It functioned as a double public bath, which featured separate chambers for men and women, and followed the usual layout associated with hamam buildings. In contrast with other public baths in the city, the Yeni Hamam closed down after Thessaloniki’s annexation from the Ottoman Empire. In 1919, the building became property of the Greek State, while, on 1937, it was bought by a private investor, who turned it into a warehouse. Today, the building is still privately owned, and functions as a cultural event space, under the name “Aigli”.
Next stop is Alatza Imaret Mosque. This is a remarkable Ottoman building, which operated – except as a muslim mosque – as an imaret (poors’ house) and a Medrese (ieratical school). According to a dedicatory inscription that survives above the entrance of the building, its construction was made in 1484 by İshak Paşa, who was the Grand Vizier and Governor of the city. For this reason, the monument is also known with the name «İshak Paşa Mosque.” Today, the area belongs to the municipality of Thessaloniki and is used for cultural events and temporary exhibitions.
Bring sunglasses, swimsuit, hat, sunscreen and comfortable clothes during summer months. Have your ticket (electronic or printed) with you & your ID/PASSPORT (or copy).
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