Thessaloniki’s Tiny Places: Ladadika

I decided to make goals on my blog and one of them is to find and post about the “tiny places” in Thessaloniki. I am still discovering the city I now live. And it’s a mix of everything from anything! Its history is too vast for my brain to handle, but I am trying my utmost best to remember its past through enormous readings. Sometime ago, I was walking on the little aisles of this city, finding little places within its old and historic walls. The uniqueness of Thessaloniki is not always appreciated, but I will point them out, slowly, and will highlight these “tiny places” worth visiting. BUT Ok, you might find them not interesting, but as a saying goes: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” By the way speaking of this saying, I found something about its origin: HERE

Yesterday, I happen to go out with Mr. Hubby in Ladadika. As a result, I took few photos of our short walk as we were waiting for his students to finish their speaking exam in Michigan ECPE. As of the moment, these photos won’t justify the beauty of this little area in Thessaloniki city, but to me, this little area when I first discovered it in 2009, (I think) is one of the most important places not to miss when you are in Thessaloniki center. I will be adding more photos in near future. Though I have old photos of Ladadika but they were taken with bad camera lens so it’s good to start anew with my Olympus VR-340. 🙂 Between the photos below, you will read a bit of history of this place. 

Ladadika is a quaint area in Thessaloniki city center and a few meters away from the port. Its recent history is not very nice to hear as not so long ago, it was a red light district. It opened as such place during WWII. But the old folks of ths city knows of its glorious days before the warring era were traced back to its name,  as it was a trading district of oil and spices. Ladadika rooted from “Ladi”  (say it as “la-dhi”) which means “Oil” in Greek. As you know, Greece is famous for its olive oil. It has something to do with how the olives were processed to become the finest extra virgin olive oil. It is sold expensively outside Greece and they are mostly used for restaurant consumption. But to the locals in Greece, it is part of our everyday diet. It is always in our salad. But when used in cooking, heating it produces a strong aroma, which I honestly do not like. Despite of this, extra virgin olive oil in Greece is another normal consumption of our daily life.

Walking in cobblestones in Ladadika, while one is checking out the quaint taverns and entertainment establishments.

Ladadika is one of the oldest areas in Thessaloniki center. It survived the fire in 1917 and after the earthquake in 1978, the Ministry of Culture took a step to revive it to its radiant days. The red light district was eradicated – and Ladadika was brought back to life again as one of the city’s entertainment district – offering authentic food, traditional taverns and boozokia clubs, as well as modern bars and cafes.
(Although the remains of the Red Light district still linger to these days. You will see tall, ugly, non-quaint buildings in a corner. Just like the one in the background of the photo above.)

Looking back at one of the aisles in Ladadika. As summer approaches, the locals and businessmen had  filled the flower pots on the road with colorful and vibrant flowers.

One of the old buildings in Ladadika.

In Ladadika, you will also see fascinating buildings that have French and Jewish influence. During its vigorous days as center of  merchandise trading (oil, spices, etc), French and Jew merchants built their houses around the area. I learned recently that French were the first merchants to establish their quarters in Ladadika, followed by the Jews.

TO END THIS FIRST GOAL, anyone wants to have a take out beer? ^__^

At a corner in Ladadika, I found this small bistro-bar place. I was tempted to try the Greek beer they’re offering, but I stopped myself since we still have to meet Mr. Hubby’s students after the short walk.

I will be posting more of Ladadika; my own photos and my own discovery of this “tiny place” in Thessaloniki City. Hope to see you soon!


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