Παρασκευή, 28 Δεκεμβρίου 2018

Aristotelous Square, The Jewel of Thessaloniki





View of AristotelousSquare in Thessaloniki

Aristotelous Square is the main city square of Thessaloniki, which is Greece’s second largest city and the capital of Macedonia.
Located along Nikis avenue, near the city’s waterfront (the paralia), Aristotelous is right in the center of it all in Thessaloniki.
The famous square was designed by the French architect Ernest Hébrard in 1918, but most of it was built decades later, in the 1950’s, following debates and arguments between the local authorities, the people of the city and the government. Questions were continually raised about the funding and the size of the project.
Many of the buildings which surround Aristotelous Square today have been renovated, and its northern areas were largely restored in the 2000’s. But how does the modern look of the famous square compare to its original plans?


The original plans for Aristotelous Square included a massive statue of Alexander the Great — and a different name.

The history of Aristotelous Square began just after the immense destruction of the great fire of 1917, which ruined a great deal of the city.
Before the fire, Thessaloniki lacked much of what was considered to be essential and characteristic in European architecture, namely large squares and monumental buildings.
During the years of Ottoman occupation, the city grew without having a general plan of expansion, leading to most of the city becoming overcrowded, with very narrow streets.
Following the unexpected destruction of 1917, the Greek state decided to ask the famous French architect to completely re-plan the city center of Thessaloniki.
Hebrard’s original name for the plaza was ”Alexander the Great Square”, with a huge statue of the Macedonian leader being planned for the middle of the open space, something that unfortunately did not come to pass.
Hébrard decided to build imposing facades on buildings, something that had been missing from the pre-fire architecture of the city.
His well-thought plans actually incorporated a mixture of Byzantine and western European elements, which would give Thessaloniki its totally unique architectural style.


What is known today as Thessaloniki’s Roman Agora was planned to be the Civic Square, the administrative center of the city.

The French architect intended to create another monumental space, the Civic Square, where the administrative center of the city would be, but during its construction, ruins of the Roman Agorawas unearthed, which led to the architect’s plans remaining unfinished.
Despite the fact that Hébrard’s plans were never fully implemented, with Aristotelous Square being built to a more modest scale compared to its rather extravagant original ideas, it is still Greece’s most recognizable square. It is a striking symbol of the city and it plays an important role in the country’s cultural and political life.


Aristotelous Square at Christmastime

Massive political rallies during the decades of 1980’s and 1990’s, along with cultural events such as huge Christmas celebrations and other festivities continue to take place in Aristotelous Square, making it one of the most famous and beloved public spaces of Greece.
Already decided to go to Thessaloniki but don’t know where to stay? If you are looking for a modern, well-equipped and luxurious hotel with surprisingly affordable prices, the Capsis Hotel is the ideal place for you.
As the largest city hotel in northern Greece, the Capsis offers comfort, professionalism and a superb level of services. The modern and recently-renovated Capsis is one of the most famous and centrally-situated hotels in Thessaloniki.
It offers an ideal choice for business meetings, conference receptions, and tours around the city.
The Capsis Hotel’s central position makes it a perfect choice for those who wish to explore  Thessaloniki’s vast historic and cultural heritage, its renowned nightlife, and the everyday life of its citizens.
The best way to visit Thessaloniki and find the best offers is to book HERE  
SOURCE : Greek reporter 

Κυριακή, 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2018

Why Greeks Traditionally Decorate a Boat Instead of a Christmas Tree


Thessaloniki cristmas ship 

Greece, a nation closely related to the sea since Ancient times
Naxos Beach.
To Karavaki

The most traditional symbol you will find in Greece during the holidays is a small boat decorated with lights, usually placed in the main square of a town and close to the more international Christmas tree.
The Christmas boat in the old Venetian port of Chania, Crete.
The Christmas boat in the old Venetian port of Chania, Crete.
To karavaki, or small boat is rooted in the traditions of a country with a symbiotic relationship with the sea. In fact on the many Greek islands the Christmas boats remain the most popular ornament of the holiday season.

Agios Nikolaos

Different legends explain the tradition of the Christmas Greek boat. One of them is related to Saint Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos), the Patron Saint of Sailors.
Greek Christmas traditions, the boat
Saint Nicholas.
This saint is celebrated on December 6, the day when many households start decorating their houses for Christmas. Some agree that this is why boats are decorated, in order to honor the saint.

Greek Identity

Greece, a nation closely related to the sea since Ancient times
Greece, a nation closely related to the sea since Ancient times.
It’s also true that Greece is proud os the large amount of sailors, fishermen and intrepid captains the country has, which makes them as a symbol of local identity. Men would often be away for months at a time, and those back home would be anxiously waiting for their return.
On the islands, the wives, mothers, and daughters of seaman used to spend the cold and dark winter months with their heart and mind at sea. There, their men were battling the stormy seas during the holiday season. These were months of expectation, hope, and prayer for their safe return.
The Christmas boat, greek tradition for Christmas
The joy of seeing the boats coming back, approaching the shores, made the women celebrate in relief. The boat is a symbol to honor those brave men coming back home.

Small wooden boats

Boats are part of the Christmas tradition in Greece
The tradition wanted the small wooden boats placed inside close to the fireplace and pointing towards the center of the house, never towards the door. They were also lovingly decorated to give a warm welcome to the men of the household.
Even kids prepared their own boats with paper and chips of wood, and on Christmas Eve, they used these little boats to collect the treats they had received when singing the carols (kalanda) from house to house.
SOURCE :REPORTER
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