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Zeitenlik War Cemetery- Memorial of dead Serbians

At the Zeitenlik War Cemetery lie 20,500 soldiers killed in the Entente’s Macedonian front during the First World War.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1920 The land was purchased.

    1926 Construction works began and were completed 10 years later.

  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

Here lie 20,500 soldiers killed in the Entente’s Macedonian front during the First World War. The cemetery is divided into five national blocks: 1) French (8,089), 2) Serbian (7,500), 3) Italian (3,000), 4) British (1,600) and 5) Russian (400). Architecturally, it is a geometrical and symmetrical necropolis. The Serbian tomb stands out, a domed church divided into two levels and made from Serbian limestone. The French red chapel by architects Pleyber and Modiano is also impressive, featuring internal frescoes of Thessaloniki during wartime and of French saints, such as Joan of Arc.

What I can't see

The Zeitenlik cemetery is the largest military cemetery in the country. The land was purchased by the Greek State but was loaned to foreign countries, which are responsible for the maintenance of the premises. An interesting feature is that in the internal of the Serbian tomb, the names of Serbian divisions are written, while in the basement, there are labyrinthine corridors with an ossuary of 5,500 Serbs. Finally, the name Zeitenlik comes from the Turkish “zeytin” meaning “olive tree”, most likely implying the existence of an olive grove previously.


Mazower M., (2006), Θεσσαλονίκη. Πόλη των φαντασμάτων, χριστιανοί, μουσουλμάνοι και εβραίοι 1430- 1950, [Salonica. City of ghosts], Athens: Alexandreia Publications

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