Nineteenth-century reforms in the Ottoman Empire fostered the rise of a new middle class whose growing prosperity and influence is reflected in the architecture of the time.
In his fascinating account, based on meticulously documented research, Vassilis Colonas traces the work of Greek architects in three Ottoman cities with significant Greek populations – Constantinople, Smyrna and Thessaloniki.
With old building restrictions lifted, modern urban planning implemented for the first time, and a new openness to trends from Western Europe, architects responded to the cosmopolitan tastes of their clients in these multiethnic cities.
The neoclassical style was popular, especially in hospitals, seminaries, churches and orphanages funded by philanthropists, but eclecticism – with its charms and occasional excesses – was the keynote.
Lavishly illustrated with plans, maps and photographs – many of buildings that have since disappeared – this book charts an era of tremendous architectural vigour.
The excellent English translation is by Chris Markham.
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