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Folklife and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia-Thrace (Modiano Villa)

Nowadays, the Folklife and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia houses more than 18,000 objects from the pre-industrial traditional culture of Macedonia and Thrace.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1970 Established. The museum’s main collection was that of Macedonian Educational Fraternity association.

    1980 Listed as a protected monument.

    1995 Renovation and modernization works began. Completed in 2000.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    1906 Most likely period of construction.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The Folklife and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace is housed in the mansion of the Jewish family of Jaco Modiano. This eclectic building is influenced by the French school, where Eli Modiano –its architect and Jaco’s son– had studied. The design of its facades is based on the following triptych: base, body, crowning. A closer look at the building’s four levels, one notices that the sophistication of the design increases as we get higher. The central octagonal space is surrounded by rooms that have been built asymmetrically on each level. Moreover, the building has several art nouveau elements, especially on the metal railings and door panels of the main entrance. Nowadays, the museum houses more than 18,000 objects from the pre-industrial traditional culture of Macedonia and Thrace. On the ground floor, we have exhibits of the traditional architecture of Macedonian houses –from single houses to huts– and of energy sources (wind and water). On the first floor, exhibits centre around nutrition, –from cultivation and harvesting to the final product (bread, pickles, wine) and clothing (varieties and manufacturing), while a sound library with folk songs and tales is also exhibited.

What I can't see

The building’s use has changed many times. It started as the Modiano family mansion and later became property of the municipality (1913), which then donated it to the royal family as a palace. It eventually became the general governor’s headquarters. In later years, it was turned into the Military Medical School –then a higher education religious school– and, finally, a museum. The total surface of the building is 1,200 square metres, including a 2,500 square-metre garden, which is now half of its original size. The elite class of the time, used to build its eclectic villas on what is today Vasilissis Olgas avenue (the famous “Avenue of the Countryside”). The avenue stands out, in particular for its view of the Thermaic Gulf and Mount Olympus on the south side.


  • Address: 68 Vas. Olgas St.
  • Postal Code : 54642
  • Τηλέφωνο: +30 2310 830591, 889840, 889855
  • E-mail:
  • Website:


Zafeiris Ch., (1997), Θεσσαλονίκης Εγκόλπιον, ιστορία, πολιτισμός, η πόλη σήμερα, γεύσεις, μουσεία, μνημεία, διαδρομές, [Thessaloniki Handbook, history, culture, the city today, flavours, museums, routes], Athens: Exantas

Folklife and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia- Thrace, (2007), Το μουσείο μας, Ιστορικό, Εγκαταστάσεις- Κτήρια, [Our museum, History, Venues- Buildings]

Last visit 16/8/2014

Collective work, (1985), Νεώτερα Μνημεία της Θεσσαλονίκης, [Modern Monuments of Thessaloniki], Ministry of Culture