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Ottoman Heritage in Southern Balkans: The Multicultural Port Town of Kavala

  • Velika IvkovskaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 26)

Abstract

Multiculturalism is one of the keystones in understanding the complexity of the Ottoman civilization. Especially in the provincial areas of the vast empire established by the Ottomans in almost six hundred years, it is possible to observe how multiculturalism and multi-ethnical components were a fundamental tool to glue together such diverse of populations and religions, in which each community had the possibility to maintain their distinctive collective identities, culture, rituals and practices. In the case of the town of Kavala in the Southern Balkans, that passed from Byzantine into the hands of the Ottoman rule after its conquest in 1391, it is possible to track how the town—through the centuries—became more and more a multicultural center, due to the economic and social dynamics in the society itself, up till the dramatic events of the Balkan Wars in 1912. The Ottoman town developed rapidly around its harbor and the trade activities and this paper wants to outline the urban environment of Kavala and its growth in the Ottoman time, from the conquest until its annexation to Greece. In a contemporary perspective, today it seems significant to widen the perception of how a vast tangible heritage left by the Ottoman civilization, crossing the borders of different nations, religions, customs and cultures, especially in the Balkan context, could be analyzed and incorporated in a bigger system to redefine the importance of such multicultural asset in a global manner.

Keywords

Ottoman heritage Vernacular architecture Provincial architecture Balkans 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to recognize the important contributions to the understanding and appreciation of the Ottoman presence and heritage, particularly remarkable in the researchers conducted in the past years by scholars like Professor Heath Lowry whose work has covered most of the territory of Northern Greece from historical aspect, including here the built public and religious structures, documenting the Ottoman monuments in Kavala as well as providing us with important archival documents. Maurice Cerasi who worked mainly with the formation of the Ottoman town in the Levant and in the Balkans was able to understand and interrelated the multi-faced cultural expressions of such varieties of populations in those lands studying their architecture and the urban history. The extensive work of the Greek scholars like Stedanidou, Renentzi, Bakirtzis, Papazoglou, Lichounas, Ageloudi etc. among which many natives of Kavala have given an invaluable contribution to the knowledge, preservation, revitalization and protection of the architectural heritage of the town of Kavala.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureBahçeşehir UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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