Next in the series “Unseen Thessaloniki” is a picture taken in the former camp “Pavlos Melas”, which happens to be one of my favourite shootning spots. The place has a big history and it deserves to be salvaged and have the best possible use in the future.
At the end of the 19th century, while Thessaloniki was still under ottoman domination, large barracks were being built outside the city’s walls. One of them was the cavalry’s barrack in the Pavlos Melas camp’s area, which was built between 1890 and 1905. In 1912, the camp was named after Pavlos Melas, an officer of the Greek army who is considered a hero. In 1931 the camp’s area was extended.
The older part of the camp is considered an historical site since 2003, because it dates back to the last years of the Ottoman empire and it is considered one of the first organized camps on greek territoty. It is also a place where many historical events from the recent history took place, with buildings that were built after 1830.
During the german occupation it was a german base and a place of executions. Every time there was an uprising or a hit from the resistance, the Germans picked prisoners from the camp and executed them for retaliation.
The camp stopped being used from the army some years ago and has since then been abandoned.
Until some years ago the buildings, which are part of the historical site, were saved with minor destructions. Today they have been almost completely ruined after fire broke out. The Pavlos Melas camp was recently given from the Greek army to the municipality of Pavlos Melas and its citizens. The camp’s buildings are now waiting to find their new use, as the citizen’s demand for a metropolitan park is imperative.