1917 AD

The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, leaving more than 70.000 homeless. The fire burned for 32 hours and destroyed 9.500 houses within an extent of 1 square kilometer. Half the Jewish population emigrated from the city as their livelihoods were gone. Rather than quickly rebuilding, the government commissioned the French architect Ernest H├ębrard to design a new urban plan for the burned areas Thessaloniki and for the future expansion of the city. His designs are still evident in the city, most notably Aristotelous Square.