A city steeped in history and synonymous with nobility, wealth and rapid development. The Volos of the bourgeoisie with its great social “fireplaces”, but also of labor with the presence of thousands of refugees from Asia Minor. A mosaic of people who for decades could coexist harmoniously and create in a place that wanted to beautify and move towards the future.

Volos in essence is a city that took shape and developed after the liberation of Thessaly in 1881 and developed rapidly in an area that was until then uninhabited with vast coastal fields, far from the Turkish-occupied area of ​​Palaia, inside the rudimentary castle.

The development of the city was spectacular and the first to build his mansion in today’s Volos was Nikolaos Gatsos, the so-called first settler. He was followed by other local Greeks, but also by wealthy Peliorians, and magnificent houses and theaters and clubs and factories began to be built.

At the beginning of the last century Volos was “the big city” for all of Thessaly and beyond and the buildings were wonderful and well preserved, until the 7.2 Richter earthquake of 1955 destroyed almost everything leveling the city. Few of the famously beautiful mansions remained standing in Volos.

Today some of those architectural masterpieces are admired and preserved as the apple of the eye such as the “Volos Beautician Club”, the “Achilleion” cinema, the Courthouse, the “Papastratos” building, the Cathedral of Agios Nikolaos (center photo) and several yet.

The Volos Courthouse occupies an entire building block, between Iolkou, A. Gazi, Koutarelia and Frances streets. It is a two-story stone-built building, which began to be constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, with the costs of the legacy of Andreas Syngrou, and was completed in the 1920s. In its original form, it was richly decorated, with marble decorative elements, many of which were destroyed by the earthquakes of 1955. In 1974, two additions were made to the back side of the building, the same height as the old building, in order to cover the increased needs of the courts for operational spaces, but additions that altered, to a certain extent, the original architectural composition.

The Ministry of Culture, with its final decision, classified the Volos Courthouse with its surrounding area at the boundaries of its property as a “historic preserved monument, because it is a remarkable and representative example of the architecture of a public building of the interwar period, important for the study of history of architecture in the region”.

THE “Beautician Club of Volos Society» is still a wonderful architectural monument that reflects the wealth and prosperity of the city. It was originally a house of the Sarafopoulos family at the intersection of Dimitriados and I. Kartalis, built in 1890 with plans by a French architect. It was a masterpiece of architecture, baroque style with a lot of rococo elements. Its exterior coloring was beige and red and crimson was the decoration that looked like a real embroidery. The founder of the house was Ioannis Sarafopoulos who died a few years after the completion of the building. However, his descendants were not fortunate enough to inhabit it for long. Etem Pasha lived in the magnificent building during the Turkish occupation of Volos during the ill-fated war of 1897. It is said that he used the elegant third floor for a theater and entertainment center. (Information from the book Volos Through the Mists of Time » – Eleni G. Triantou).

With the new century, the building passed into the hands of the citizens of Volos who housed their club there and it was the Club where important meetings and events took place at that time.

In the earthquakes of 1955, the great building “lost” its third floor, which collapsed into a pile of rubble along with thousands of other buildings in Volos.

The “Achilles» is a temple of the Seventh Art since its construction. It dominates the central beach of Volos since 1928 when it was built, with its magnificent facade and it is the oldest cinema in Volos. An innovative element for those years was the fact that it had an opening roof. “Achillion” was the creation of the architect Constantinos Hatziargyris and owned by the Spais family. For several years it was owned by the important cinematographer Kostas Tzerzailidis from Larissa until in 1998 the building was bought by the Municipality of Volos.

The famous “Papastratos Building” is a reference point of the beach of Volos with the two characteristic domes on its facade and it was the Papastratos tobacco warehouse which consisted of a complex of two warehouses. The construction of the first warehouse (not preserved today) in 1926, sparked a long-term legal dispute between the Port Committee of Volos and the tobacco industry of the Papastratos brothers since the Port Committee claimed that the site belonged to it as it had been embanked twenty-five years ago at the expense of the Port Fund. The Municipality had also expressed interest in the site for the construction of the City Hall there. The second warehouse, the one with the domes that survives today, was added in 1935.

In 1985 it became the property of the University of Thessaly, it was renovated and houses the faculties of Human Sciences as well as the rector’s authorities of the University since Volos is the seat of the Educational Institution.

The Byzantine cathedral church of Agios Nikolaos it began to be built in 1928 and was inaugurated on December 2, 1934 by the then Metropolitan Dimitriados Germanos and is the work of the great architect Aristotle Zachos on the foundations of an older church that had burned on June 21, 1898 but within 53 days a small stone small and temporary one was built, which operated until 1934.

The unique art bell tower of Agios Nikolaos in Rococo Baroque style was built between the years 1886 – 1890 by Italian craftsmen with designs by the Italian engineer Evaristo De Chirico, father of the well-known great Italian painter Giorgio De Chirico who was born and raised in Volos. The bell tower, a reference point for the city of Volos, suffered serious and extensive damage from the earthquakes of 1980 and was restored as a preserved monument with the same marbles in 1999.

The architect Triantafyllos Papageorgiou also pointed out that “fortunately we managed to preserve what remained after the earthquakes. In Volos we must not forget that there are great buildings with the signatures of leading engineers. The complex of the former tobacco factory “Matsagos”, which today houses the University of Economics of Volos, is an excellent example of an industrial building in the heart of the city. The hotel “Domotel Xenia” with the signature of the great architect Aris Konstantinidis. The town hall of Volos with Pelionian architecture by Dimitris Pikionis. The university library that was demolished by the earthquakes and literally restored by the University of Thessaly. The church of the Holy Trinity with hagiographies by the leading painter Giorgos Gounaropoulos who came from Eastern Romilia as well as dozens of other urban buildings and even more from the industrial era.”

All the buildings of Volos that were saved are monuments of cultural heritage and have been declared preserved by the Ministry of Culture.