«THESSALONIKI’S COMMERCE 1870-1970» at the Piraeus Bank Conference Centre in Thessaloniki (Salonica)

«THESSALONIKI’S COMMERCE 1870-1970» at the Piraeus Bank Conference Centre in Thessaloniki (Salonica)

Inauguration of an exhibition at the Piraeus Bank Conference Centre
in Thessaloniki (Salonica)

The Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) inaugurated the temporary exhibition “THESSALONIKI’S COMMERCE 1870-1970” on Thursday 23 November (at 8pm) at the Piraeus Bank Conference Centre in Thessaloniki (Salonica). A rich collection of photographs and archival material brings to life the production history of the town’s old commercial centre during the period of 1870-1970. Based on the research programme carried out by Dr Evánghelos Hekímoglou, the exhibition is held under the auspices of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

View of Venizélos Street, archives of N. Polítis.

From its founding through to the present, and despite the inevitable reorganisations, for large periods of time Thessaloniki was the economic centre of an extensive range of production. Even during the turbulent one hundred year span of 1870-1970, the town experienced periods of economic growth, mainly thanks to trade and commerce. The part of the town lying to the northeast of the port and to the southwest of the crossroad junction of Egnatía and Venizélos streets corresponds to the old commercial centre of Thessaloniki. The area gradually encompassed other uses, activities and needs, which altered its traditional functioning and its original nature. During those years, numerous businesses, in which thousands of people worked, tended their wares. Victuals, clothes and services constituted the backbone of the town’s commercial activity, both before and after the Second World War. The particular traits of these professions led to the creation of covered markets in some cases, and shops and workshops in others.

The covered market of Venizélos Street, archives of the Thessaloniki History Centre.

It is this story that the exhibition aspires to narrate by shedding light on twelve streets around two squares, two shopping districts and two markets. Mentally, visitors will walk around the historical centre, acquaint themselves with its successive professional uses over this whole period and eavesdrop on the town’s multicultural nature. The first of the exhibition’s two modules identifies important milestones in Thessaloniki’s economic history, while simultaneously examining the space, its infrastructure, industry and people – in other words, the interacting forces of its commercial activity. The second module presents the old commercial centre and showcases the commercial activities that prevailed in each street, based for the very first time on the registers of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the registrations in commercial directories.

Grocer’s shop in Thessaloniki in the 1950s, archives of A. Papatzíkas.

The photographic material presented in the exhibition comes from the photographic archives of the Hellenic Literary and Historical Archive–Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece (ELIA-MIET), from the postcard collection of Angelos Papaïoánnou/ ELIA-MIET of Thessaloniki, the Thessaloniki History Centre, as well as from private collectors Aléxis Lapoúrtas, Aris Papatzíkas, Níkos Polítis and research workers Efrossíni Roúpa and Evánghelos Hekímoglou. Projections of excerpts from the series “Panorama of a century”, directed by Fótos Lambrinós and kindly provided by “ERT Archives S.A.” to PIOP, also liven the exhibition.

Shops selling cashmere and headscarves in Thessaloniki, in 1932, archives of A. Lapoúrtas.


The exhibition runs from: 24 November 2017-31 March 2018

Opening hours: Monday-Friday  10am-5pm
Saturday-Sunday  10am-4pm

Admission to the exhibition is free of charge.

During the exhibition, and in collaboration with the cultural group Dot2Dot, PIOP organises special thematic itineraries and alternative guided tours in the town’s old commercial centre starting on Saturday 18 November and proposed every second Saturday of the month (at 11am). Participation is free, booking is mandatory.

Piraeus Bank Conference Centre
Katouni 12-14, GR-546 25 Thessaloniki
T: (+30) 2310385662 | www.piop.gr