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The Mansions of Siatista, true architectural gems.
The Old Aristocratic Mansions of Siatista are the gems of the city, they will take you a trip to the city's past and history and will motivate you to explore them.
Magnificent buildings, whose face reveals their origin from the fortified houses and the evolution of their architecture, richly decorated, blend western and post-Byzantine style.
The mansions of wealthy merchants of Siatista were built by special building teams of Epirotes and Macedonian artisans passioante about their work, the so called "isnafia ', traveling from one place to another, ordered to built these particularly demanding structures.
This two-level or three-level buildings whose thick walls and turrets were made of stone were made to look like castles ready to withstand the attacks of enemies. The lower floor has a basement, and a few small windows with iron railings and the top floor has lots of windows. Typical are the large enclosed balconies.
The courtyards are paved and you can see at the edges small kitchens, laundries, bakeries etc. The big houses are interconnected by ports and in time of need can be a fort building complex, with a huge and of robust construction door which serves to protect the house and close down in case of emergency.
The decoration is based on the common architectural style of mansions, having elements and influences from West and East. The ceilings are carved with geometric shapes and the walls are painted with themes of nature and representations of animals, plants, landscapes and states.
The colors are vivid creating wonderful combinations, despite the passage of so many years and the abandonment of some of them on several occasions. The use of vegetable dye (saffron) explains the vitality and conservation of colors.
The bloom of woodcarving becomes apparent at the ceilings and the doors, which are made of small pieces of wood in various geometric shapes combined in such way that the end result delivers harmony and cohesion.
You may enjoy the multicolored glass skylights, the fireplaces with colorful marbles at their base, the embroidery, the woven beautifully carved wooden furniture and painted ivory chests and the many furniture and fixtures reminding small works of art.
Words: Liza Kokkidou Photographs: Giorgos Chasparis