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Old Customs

The Old Customs has symmetry in its composition, Neo-Renaissance and other eclectic elements on its facades.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1940 Severe damage from Italian and German bombings during a period of four years.

    1950 Repair works were held.

    1978 The 1978 earthquakes and marine erosion have caused significant static damage, which has lasted to this day, resulting in its evacuation.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    1896 "Societe anonyme ottomane de construction du port de Salonique" took over the operation of the port.

    1904 Construction of the historical building in the harbour and the Old Customs begins. The project was completed in 1910.

  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

This is the elegant building you see dominating the harbour. It has symmetry in its composition, Neo-Renaissance and other eclectic elements on its facades and, at 200-metres long, a generous size. The central part of the building is taller and its endings are tower-shaped. The almost vertical roofing of the central part, with ornate decorated openings, seems to replicate earlier European standards (see the buildings and monuments of Paris). Nowadays, Thessalonians know it as the “Passenger Terminal”.

What I can't see

The building was founded by the finance minister of the Young Turks, Cavit Bey. It was built in 1910, by architect Eli Modiano (in collaboration with Alex Vallaury), who adorned the city with many more interesting buildings. The French influences are evident in this work, since Modiano was a graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Paris. It is the first city building, built with reinforced concrete, a revolutionary technique of the 20th century. It suffered damages during the Italian bombing and the bombing of the harbour by the Germans in 1944. It was radically repaired in 1950. After 1978, there have been attempts to restore it, due to earthquakes and marine erosion. Unfortunately, the building faces static problems to this day, resulting in its desolation because of being hazardous. It is the only building that does not belong to the Port Authority but belongs instead to the Ministry of Finance. Its status became uncertain after it was transferred to the jurisdiction of an organization assigned with the privatization of public property.


  • Address: Port


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

Ζafeiris Ch., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η παρουσία των απόντων, η κληρονομιά Ρωμαίων, Μουσουλμάνων, Εβραίων, Ντονμέδων, Φράγκων, Αρμενίων και Σλάβων, [Thessaloniki, the presense of the absent, the heritage of Romans, Muslims, Jews, Doenme, Franks, Armenians and Slavs], Thessaloniki: Epikentro

Kolonas V., (2012), Η αρχιτεκτονική μιας εκατονταετίας: Θεσσαλονίκη1912-2012, [The architecture of a century: Thessaloniki 1912-2012] University Studio Press