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Thessaloniki, a hospitable cosmopolis

If cities and languages are man's greatest works of art, and if urban planning and grammar set their rules, it is life's privilege, in times of stress, to break them. As happened with Thessaloniki, when the large metropolitan park that was to be established around its walls, according to the new city plan, made after the fire of 1917, changed course and became urbanized to accommodate the refugees of 1922-1924, the "foreigners" of that time.

In this city, in 1957, a poet, Zoe Karelli, breaks the rules of language and, giving the human condition the feminine article in the poem «‘Η 'Άνθρωπος» [‘Man, Feminine Gender'], invites half of the population of the city, woman, the familiar "foreigner", onto the city scene.

Except the tragic years of the Occupation, Thessaloniki has assimilated "foreign" presences and passed the milestone of its first post-liberation
century, from 1912 to the present day, as a hospitable city, the title bequeathed to it by Hellenistic ecumenism, a city also shaped by its patron saint, Demetrios.

 

 
 
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