Floridotower

Floridotower by V-Light

  Exploring the neighborhood has been really fun and rewarding so far. I guess living outside of the city center has its advantages! 😉 I cannot get enough of the beautiful nature that surrounds the area and i already envision these scenes with snow! Floridotower is an office complex located in Floridsdorf (21st District of Vienna) and it reaches the height of 113 meters! More photos of the water park coming soon! 😀

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Cathedral of Saint Gregory Palamas

Cathedral of Saint Gregory Palamas by V-Light
A fine example of modern Byzantine art and architecture, located right in the heart of Thessaloniki

 

Hello my friends 😀

  You don’t know how many times i tried to take a photo of this Cathedral and miserably failed. It’s located on a very busy crossroad and it’s impossible to get a clear shot under normal conditions. In my last visit in Thessaloniki, it was too hot for most people to walk around and it was Sunday so anyone who has a car was probably enjoying his bath at a beach near by. So lucky me, finally got a decent photo of this beautiful building 🙂

 The Cathedral was built in honor of Saint Gregory Palamas who lived in Thessaloniki from 1325 to 1359. It was built in 1914, by the famous architect Ernst Moritz Theodor Ziller. On the exact same site there used to be a Basilica built in the last years of the 13th century and in the late 16th century it was established as the Metropolitan Church of Thessaloniki but was destroyed in 1890 after a great fire.

  By the way, i always thought that with the palm-trees this looks more oriental than Byzantine. I can envision myself walking in a desert in Maroko and coming across this place 😛 Maybe it’s just a mirage though, i’m kinda thirsty as we speak.

  Day 5 of the V-Light Art Sale and we reached 26% of the funding goal! Can we go to 50% now? With your help i’m sure it’s possible 🙂 I really appreciate any shares on social media and if you happen to know any people who like to support artists, maybe they could give some extra help. Thank you 😀

http://igg.me/at/VlightArtSale/

Architectural Fusion

Architectural Fusion by V-Light

  While doing my favorite thing, which is getting lost in every little alleyway i can find, i came across this view. One of my favorite contrasts is how totally different styles of architecture can co-exist in the same place. Thessaloniki has many such examples, where you can find neoclassic houses next to modern office buildings. There are very few buildings with a glass exterior so when i can find one, i’m a very happy girl 🙂

  Day 3 of my Art Sale. If you want a V-Light signed print, now’s your chance! 🙂 Visit the link below to check out all the sweet perks, even 1$ can get you something unique! Even if you cannot contribute anything, just sharing the campaign is greatly appreciated and can help a lot! Thank you 🙂

http://igg.me/at/VlightArtSale/

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Globe Head

Globe Head by V-Light

 

Hello friends 😀

  Continuing my street art posts with another beautiful wall mural in Thessaloniki. This is one of my favorites! I absolutely love the colors and it’s quite impressive in size 🙂 I think i do have some older photos of the whole mural but i cannot find them at the moment, will keep looking for them though 🙂

  Yesterday i started my Art-Sale, to fund part of my moving expenses to Austria. It’s already going overwhelmingly well, i couldn’t even sleep from all the excitement 😀  It’s been only 24 hours and i already reached 22% of my funding goal. But we cannot rest, it’s important to gain some momentum in the first days so i can have a better chance of reaching my goal 😀  To do that i’m gonna need all the help i can get, so please keep sharing! 😀 If you haven’t seen my campaign yet, please visit the link bellow to read all the details and check out the sweet perks 😉

http://igg.me/at/VlightArtSale/

it has begun

Thank you for your support 😀

One house and its secrets…

one_house_and_its_secrets_by V-Light
Abandoned mansion in Logothetou 1, Thessaloniki, Greece

 

  Another abandoned beauty in Thessaloniki, another house that we don’t know anything about…I tried researching online but i couldn’t find anything about it. So i decided to share what i learned from the house itself! It’s an old story but it still resonates within me. Let’s begin…

  Located in Logothetou street number 1, this beauty stands not too far from the seafront. I can imagine that back in the day it was one of the privileged mansions with a view to the sea, now the view is obscured by tall modern buildings. The last owner of the mansion was probably the architect/engineer, Menelaos Papadimas? I’m not sure for the last name as most of it is missing from the door bell tag.

one_house_and_its_secrets_3_by V-Light

  The mansion was build in 1922 as we can tell from the side entrance. There are so many beautiful details no matter what side of the building you are looking at…

one_house_and_its_secrets_2_by V-Light

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  And by now you might be wondering what’s the secret i’m talking about…One night back in 2010, i was out with my friends and we dared each other that no one would dare to go inside. It was known that there was an open window behind the wooden shutters. All we had to do was climb up to the balcony on the first floor without getting noticed. We all managed to get inside. It was completely dark and as we didn’t come prepared for an urbex adventure, no one had a flashlight. We used the little light we could get from the illuminated screens of our cellphones. Of course i had a camera with me and i managed to take some photos. They are not anything great as i couldn’t even see what i was aiming at…All of them were taken with the on-camera flash and the composition was mostly random…

  Most rooms were empty…But two things caught my attention right as we entered. One was the sofa, that seemed to be in a very decent shape and second was a very creepy looking Christmas tree. It really made you wonder for how many years it was left there…Was it Christmas when the house was abandoned or was it placed later perhaps by a homeless person that found a temporary refuge in the mansion?

one_house_and_its_secrets_9_by V-Light

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  As we continued to explore, a few of my friends mentioned that they felt weird, as if we were not alone in the mansion. I’m not one to get scared easily, so i ignored their remarks about spirits and angry ghosts. We continued our way upstairs. Most rooms were empty again, until we reached the office room. Inside there was a desk, a big pile of books on the floor and some cylinders for carrying architectural designs. The books were a study on architecture written by the supposed owner of the mansion and they were either waiting to be sold or they were leftovers. I was really tempted to grab one of the books as a souvenir but then one of my friends started to act hysterically and they all left running downstairs leaving me with no time to take a proper photo of the office. I took a quick one as i left the room…

one_house_and_its_secrets_11_by V-Light

As i found my friends ready to leave, i tried to convince them that we still had to go to the basement. I had a feeling that this house had a lot more to be found and i was not afraid. I thought i might never get the chance to get inside again, so i wanted to fully explore it. Two of my friends said they didn’t want to see anything more and that it was too much for them, so they left and waited for us outside. We followed the stairs to the basement…

one_house_and_its_secrets_14_by V-Light
  The door you see was locked tight but on the right hand side there was an open door that lead to something that looked more like a storage-room.  There was no paint on the walls, you could see bare stone and the room seemed to extent further than the base of the mansion, it gave me the impression as it was continued under the area of the front garden. I noticed two big chests, one of them was open and empty and the other locked and probably contained something because it was too heavy to lift…On the faded paper etiquette the only thing i could make out was the last name Schmidt and Griechenland (Greece in German). Schmidt is also a German name, so this chest was probably send from Germany to Greece…Who knows what there was inside…Your mind can only make assumptions…

 

one_house_and_its_secrets_15_by V-Light
  There was an old flashlight in front of the chest, too bad it was not in working condition because the storage-room seemed to go on a lot further and i could see there were some big objects ahead. At that point i started to feel overwhelmed and that i shouldn’t be down there. I don’t believe in ghosts so i was not afraid like my friends who just begged me to leave but i was starting to get the chills when realizing that this basement was larger than the house itself. I suddenly had the gut feeling that something was wrong about this place…I wanted to stay and find out what that was but i decided that it was time to leave. We left almost running and it took a while to shake off the negative energy i had accumulated all of sudden. Other people might call it fear but for me it was the feeling of being somewhere i didn’t belong and maybe uncovering something that should be left a secret…

 

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Door to majesty

door to majesty by v-light
Ano Poli, Thessaloniki | 24.01.2014

 

Detail of the building shown in the “Road to majesty” photo

Prints are available on Redbubble: www.redbubble.com/people/v-light

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Road to majesty

Road of majesty by V-Light
Ano Poli, Thessaloniki | 24.01.2014

 

  I finally managed to visit my beloved Thessaloniki. I walked more than 15km in a single day just because i wanted to see and shoot as many things as i could…It was a very refreshing visit and i’m very happy to have some new images to show 😀

Prints are available on Redbubble: www.redbubble.com/people/v-light

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Sunset at the Concert Hall

Sunset at the Concert Hall by V-Light
Thessaloniki Concert Hall | 20.10.2013

 

  I remember when i first saw this building, i wasn’t very impressed. I even thought it looked kinda ugly and maybe too modern for this city but one afternoon i discovered all its brilliance. I’m no architect so perhaps i’m not able to appreciate all the aspects of it, so when i was hearing about the Japanese architect (Arata Isozaki) who designed it and how innovative it was and blah blah…I must admit i was like “that’s all crap”…But now i see it. The way it was designed and placed near the waterfront was all intentional. With its glass exterior it manages to merge with the surrounding landscape. It looks like you can see right through it but the continuation of the sea and the horizon is only a reflection…If that’s not genius i don’t know what is!

Prints are available on: www.redbubble.com/people/v-light

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OTE Tower: A story of neglect

OTE Tower by V-Light
The OTE Tower in Thessaloniki, Greece

  The OTE Tower is the second most recognizable building in Thessaloniki after the famous landmark the “White Tower”. At 70 meters height, it’s certainly a unique building with a very modern design considering that it was build in 1965. It was designed by Greek architect A. Anastasiadis and was opened in 1966. It was mainly used for broadcasts on a Greek Television network. Today it is used by the Cosmote cellular mobile telephone network.

70 meters tall, 4 levels
70 meters tall, 4 levels

 

  It’s has 4 compartments and each was designed for a specific use. There is an elevator in the center of the structure that makes it easy to access each floor. Of course there are stairs too but you must be feeling really brave to take them. There’s not much info about the usage of each level,  so i’ll quote what i remember. The lower level is used as storage space, the second level was supposed to be used for exhibitions but that rarely happens, the third level was the broadcast studio and the fourth level was always the most appealing one.

  On the fourth and highest level there’s a cafe/restaurant that has a rotating floor offering a 360 degree view of the city. It completes a full rotation in about 45 minutes if i remember correctly. While the view is really amazing and everyone should experience it at least once, there’s a big debate about the quality and the prices of the cafe/restaurant. The place seems to be dirty and is in a serious need for renovation. When it comes to prices paying 11 dollars for a cappuccino will certainly make you think twice about coming again. Most people won’t even think about it again…

The White Tower from the OTE Tower
The White Tower from the OTE Tower

 

View of the upper part of the town
View of the upper part of the town

 

  It’s a shame to see such a beautiful and unique building lose the charm it should have. But then again…It’s not the only building in Greece that is not treated as deserved…We have so much beauty and we let it fade away… People need to change and realize what they are wasting…Wasting a bright future is not something we should take lightly and i’m not only talking about buildings here. Wake up people…

"If i now know what love is...It's all your fault" I dedicate this to the city i love the most and i'll always come back no matter where life takes me...
“If i now know what love is…It’s all your fault”
I dedicate this to the city i love the most and i’ll always come back no matter where life takes me…

 

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All about the Salem Mansion

 

Introduction

 

front view on a snowy day
front view on a snowy day

  I had just moved to Thessaloniki and was eager to explore the city. At first sight it seemed like a gray and ugly place, so unfriendly and even scary. Having grown up in a small village that was surrounded by nature this city looked like a really bad idea to me. But i had to stay there as i was going to study what i loved the most (photography that is) and i should be grateful for that. Later on i would find that this city has given me some of the best experiences in my life, some of the most beautiful memories. So many sunsets at the seafront and i could never get enough. I always arranged my afternoon walk just before sunset. I never got bored walking around, discovering new places, old places looked different under a changed mindset. The city is alive, transforming, showing it’s glory to those who believe in it, to those who believe in magic.

  And then i saw it…The most beautiful building in this town. Abandoned, unattractive and waste of commercial space as most people would say. But still it stood there, weathered but majestic, standing tall after all this time, in the heart of a concrete city, surrounded by some “modern” 70’s apartment buildings. I just stood there in awe… Looking at the broken windows, absorbing the energy from its core, i was taken back in time. Suddenly everything around me was quiet and all the buildings around had disappeared. I could hear voices…i swear i could see people walking around, taking their hats off to greet each other, dirt roads and horse carriages passing by. A loud car honk, violently shook me back to the present time. For a moment there i had traveled back in time…and that’s how i fell in love…

History

 

   It was initially built in 1878 by famous architect Xenofon Peonidis, for a wealthy Jewish merchant named Jeborga. Located at Vasilisis Olgas 20 street, this majestic building was then part of the wealthy and multi-ethnic “Exoches” suburb, outside the city walls and was actually right next to the sea like all the luxury mansions in the area. Now there’s more than 200 meter distance from the water and that’s because in 1959 the promenade was extended into the sea in order to create a new front for the city. Also there is little left of the walls and this area is now considered to be part of the city center.

  So why is it called the “Salem Mansion”? In 1887, Emmanuel Salem bought the mansion from Jeborga and it would remain his family’s house for 30 years. The Salem family was part of the huge wave of Jewish refugees from Spain. Emmanuel Salem was a well-known lawyer and eminent member of the Jewish Community. His contribution to the city was immense as he founded many major infrastructure enterprises and corporations. As a result he was one of the most important personalities in Thessaloniki at the time and was awarded many honors for his involvement in post-WWI negotiations. During WWI and more specifically in 1915, the Salems leave the city and the mansion is being used as the Consulate of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for a little while. Then it becomes the base for the Italian Consulate, until the great 1978 earthquake hits the city and the Consulate is moved to another location.

  Since 1978, it’s been abandoned. The mansion remains a property of the Italian State and though there have been many studies and suggestions for renovation, nothing has gone through. All the doors have been barricaded, some even with brick walls from the inside and a tall fence with barbed wire ensures that no one enters. Entrance is sometimes granted to municipal staff in order to cut the grass which can grow really tall. The only inhabitants of the once majestic courtyard, are stray cats and birds who lend their songs and give life to a long dead place.

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An abandoned house in the heart of the city, still standing tall when time has shown no pity
And if you ever stop and stare…It will capture a part of your soul, so beware…

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Sit back and enjoy a little slideshow with a selection of 30 photos i took since 2007

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Check out my Redbubble store for a selection of Salem Mansion prints: www.redbubble.com/people/v-light

 

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