CULTURE

A visual history of Volos, told in photographs

The new publication «Volos Then and Now» is the third in an attractive series from Olkos that contrasts the past and present of Greek cities in photographs. In a concise introduction, historian Aegli Dimoglou outlines the history of the city, which grew in the early 19th century around a natural harbor at the foot of Mount Pelion to become a dynamic financial center and port. Since then Volos, located about halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki, has seen growth, decline – accelerated by earthquakes – and revival. The black-and-white photographs taken in identical locations then (by Costas Diamantopoulous, Ippocratis Zimeris, Costas Zimeris, Nikos Stournaras and Stefanos Stournaras) and now (by Leon Mourtzokos) document that growth and the losses and gains that come with time. Volos, notes Dimoglou, «embraced the Modern Movement» in domestic architecture, and some of that legacy as well as some examples of neoclassicism have come down, little changed, sometimes even enhanced, to the present day. Other vistas are virtually unrecognizable. The once-handsome Beautification Club of Volos – saved from demolition and partially reconstructed, now surrounded by a crowd of multistory apartment blocks – is a case in point. Informative endnotes provide useful historical context. The book is available in Greek and in an English edition translated by Judy Giannakopoulou.