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Sfagia, Aretsou

Sfagia and Aretsou are two areas that are not only geographically different, but also very different in terms of their urban physiognomy.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

  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 Aretsou and Sfagia (=slaughterhouses) areas are not only geographically different but also very different in terms of their urban physiognomy. Touring Sfagia, one can see listed industrial buildings (some in poor condition), port facilities, brothels, strip clubs and incomplete or poor urban infrastructure. However, Sfagia shows the old productive face of the city and acts as a time machine. On the other hand, Aretsou is a purely urban waterfront area. From the Interwar Years to this day, it has remained a thriving area with a popular beach, historic taverns, cafes and old country houses and mansions of neo-eclectic and Art Deco style. Nowadays, Aretsou has become more of a seaside park for activities rather than an organized beach, like in the 1960s.

What I can't see

The name Sfagia comes from the old municipal slaughterhouses in the area, which today house sporting activities. The Hirsch camp, the last concentration station for Jews, who were being transported to Nazi extermination camps was located here. Aretsou, on the other hand, is historically important for being the point from which the largest group of Greek refugees between 1922 and 1924 disembarked from. Aretsou was a deserted area and is now called the “Capital of refugees”.


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., (2006), Θεσσαλονίκης τοπιογραφία, [Thessaloniki’s landscape], Thessaloniki: Epikentro