Balkan Wars Museum in Thessaloniki

The Museum of Balkan Wars in Thessaloniki, Macedonia: The Balkan Wars Museum at Yefira, western Thessaloniki, is housed in a well-preserved mansion and was founded to commemorate the two Balkan Wars that took place in the 1910s. The museum first opened to the public on 26th October 1999.

The Balkan Wars took place in 1912-1913. The first Balkan War (October 1912-May 1913) included the alliance of the Balkan countries against the Ottoman Empire which was possessing territory over the Balkans. The second Balkan War (June- July 1913) included the war between the Balkan countries to share the territory gained from the Ottomans during the first Balkan War.

The Balkan Wars were very important for Greece because it gained parts that were for long in Turkish hands, including Macedonia, Thrace and the town of Thessaloniki, which was set free in October 26th, 1912, during the first Balkan War. That is the reason why the Balkan Wars Museum is housed in Thessaloniki. To be more precise, the museum is located in Yefira, a small village about 25km from the center of Thessaloniki, on the national highway from Thessaloniki to Edessa.

The two-storied building that hosts this museum is of great historical importance because this is where the negotiations between the Greek army and the Ottoman forces were held in 1912 before the town was regained by the Greeks. The museum includes photographs that depict scenes from the Balkan Wars, scenes that took place in the field of battles or in the negotiation processes.

There are also paintings made by Kenan Messare, the son of the Turkish commander who delivered Thessaloniki to the Greeks. The museum also hosts pieces of furniture and weaponry that belonged to the armies that participated in these wars, everyday tools used by generals or soldiers, letters sent from politicians to the generals, military uniforms as well as medals attributed to the army.

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