Πολεμικό Μουσείο Θεσσαλονίκης (War Museum of Thessaloniki)


Welcome to the War Museum of Thessaloniki,
our city’s War Museum. The building was constructed in 1900 and was designed by the Italian
architect Vitaliano Poselli for the needs of the Ottoman Army. In 1912, the Greek Army entered
Thessaloniki as a liberator and the building was incorporated
into its dominance. The building hosted military units and several other military services. In 1993, the political and
military leaders decided that the city of Thessaloniki
should have its own War Museum. As a result, the necessary reconstructions
and restorations took place and the building operated
in 2000 as a War Museum. Nowadays, it hosts in its
showrooms more than 10,000 relics, reformulating Greece’s
modern history. In the museum’s exterior area,
the visitor meets weaponry belonging to branches of all armed forces. Consequently, tribute is paid
to the contribution of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force
in all Greek struggles. Among the weapons we will see tanks,
artillery, antitank and anti-aircraft weapons, vehicles, an aircraft of the Air Force that
adorns the museum’s exterior area, as well as a collection about our Navy. A visitor crossing the Museum’s
front entrance will first encounter an exhibition of Medals
and Orders of Excellence. This is an integrated collection
that belongs to Vasilios Nikoltsios. The moral rewards in general,
reflect upon the officers’ contribution in the campaign,
in the battlefield. In time of peace they are rewarded
for their consistency in their administrative and tactician duties. Citizens are also rewarded for
their distinction in public life domains: science, education, art and trade. For researchers and historians,
medals constitute a tool for investigating the action
and the contribution of a person. They constitute a moral reward
and a research tool. Pursuant to the Medal Exhibition,
we distinguish ten displays that contain weapons used by the Greek Army,
its rivals and allies throughout history from the Pre-Independence period
(early 1800s) until today. The exhibition in which we
find ourselves is entitled: ”Memories from Greece’s modern history” and attempts to make a
record of the Greeks’ route from the Pre-Independence
period until these days. This exhibition by Vasilios Nikoltsios,
exceptionally designed, gives us the right to say that it
constitutes an educational program for our young and elderly visitors, since it begins with
the Greek Enlightenment and the Greek Revolution of 1821, continues with the
Greek – Turkish War of 1897, makes an important reference to the
Macedonian Struggle and the Balkan Wars and continues with World War I,
the Asia Minor Campaign, and World War II. The exhibition concludes with the
peacemaking missions and the contribution of our Cypriot brothers to all of our
struggles throughout time. A different, important element that the
specific exhibition offers us, are the wonderful paintings
that can be found. Apart from the fact that they adorn the
showroom, thereby giving color and breath, they transfer us to the
character of another era and they introduce us through
faces and highlights, the manner and the means
that the Greeks utilized to win and maintain their
freedom throughout history. ”This is how we fought: 1940-41” This is Konstantinos Gioulekas’ exhibition
title that constitutes a detailed feature to Greece’s contribution and
participation in World War II. Here, the timeline of the War is recorded,
day by day, through dioramas, costumes, weaponry and paper relics such as:
newspaper headlines, proclamations, letters, other important documents,
battle orders and maps. The Greek-Italian War is described,
the German attack, the triple occupation from Germans,
Bulgarians and Italians, the Resistance and the Liberation The astonishing dioramas in this exhibition
send us several messages: voluntarism and giving, from two
emblematic female figures of the time, the woman of Pindos and
the woman of the Red Cross, messages of valor and
determination from the Evzones, who constituted the Greek Army’s
tip of the sword. Also an important message from the diorama
of the National Resistance: that Greeks remain focused
on their principles and values about social justice, democracy and freedom They do not negotiate their freedom. This area is a tribute to Sofia Vembo, the singer that connected her name
with the Epic and the glory of 1940. The War Museum of Thessaloniki
dedicates this unique exhibition to the top performer with authentic
relics that belong to Katerina Petridou. Katerina Petridou admired Sofia Vembo
and they developed a friendship for the last 28 years
of Sofia Vembo’s life and this feeling comes out
in this exhibition. Here we can discern moments
with her family, her favorite objects, her dresses, chapters with her contributions
to singing, theater and the armed forces. ”Sofia Vembo would sing Greece
and Greece would sing with her”. This is the title of the exhibition hosted
within the War Museum of Thessaloniki. We now are at the building’s 1st floor foyer. Here, along with the opportunity to celebrate
the 100 years of liberated Thessaloniki we gathered certain important relics that
signal the year of Thessaloniki’s liberation. As a result we named this collection
”The liberation of Thessaloniki”. This area hosts important exhibits such as
the Thessaloniki Protocol of Surrender, which, up until recently had been stored in
the Military History Department, and the table on which
the Protocol was signed. It is a donation of the Flokas family. Moreover, another important relic is
the Greek flag that the Greek Army witnessed marching in the city of
Thessaloniki as a liberator. It finds itself opposite to
the building’s entrance, welcomes our visitors daily
and fills us with optimism. There is also a fresco painting by Polykleitos
Regkos at the showroom’s upper part. It signals the specific era, because it
depicts the Greek Army entering the city. Right behind me is an anniversary flag,
because it is the flag that was raised at the White Tower on the 27th of October, 2012
by the Ministry of Macedonia – Thrace and from the III Army Corps It was a brilliant ceremony
for the flag’s celebration. The War Museum of Thessaloniki
finds itself at the heart of our city, a few meters from the Byzantine and
Archaelogical Museum, supplementing thematically
the history of our country. We believe that the War Museum
of Thessaloniki is worth the attention of our city’s visitors
and of our co-citizens, because getting to learn our
history gives us confidence. We feel proud, we learn to appreciate
our national heritage and to respect all nations’ cultural achievements. With the faith that the War Museum gives
its visitors the field for study, research, education and entertainment,
we invite you to visit it. The Museum operates daily, except
Mondays, from 9am until 5pm in the winter and from 9am until 7pm in the summer. We will be waiting for you.

2 thoughts on “Πολεμικό Μουσείο Θεσσαλονίκης (War Museum of Thessaloniki)

  1. Πανέμορφη ξενάγηση , ήταν κάτι που έλειπε.
    Συγχαρητήρια !!!

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