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Despite the slow but steady change in the physiognomy of the old Fragkogeitonia, until today the cosmopolitan flavour of the old glory bears obvious signs of the rich history of Thessaloniki. Where the “Gabrinus” (known as Czech beer) is now and “Poppy”, which was the residence of the family Allatini, one of the richest families in Thessaloniki in the early 19th century, who later moved to the famous “Villa Allatini (now a municipal building ).
But such was the influence of the family that Syggrou str. was named as such before her current name. In 1906, in the gardens of the house, the Malakopi Lodge was built (the site where the “Poppy” bar is today). This housed the Bank of Greece and several other stores and banks, where all the trades took place.
That is why the area also became known as “stock market square”. In Frangon str. the Ottoman Bank was housed (today’s State Conservatory) which was blown up by the boatmen or Gemitzides in 1903. In the same area there were many small Jewish properties, shops, hotels, inns, workshops, and several Muslim shops. Paikou Street, where the “4 Seasons” bar is today, is characteristic, because it shows how narrow the roads were at that time.
The fire of 1917 completely destroyed the whole area but the Bank of Greece was saved. Venizelos’s government announced the reconstruction of the city under the plan prepared by the then Transport Minister Al. Papanastasiou along with the formation of the “International Committee of the New Plan of Thessaloniki”, which was chaired by Ernest Hebrard. The project was implemented, unfortunately only in Aristotle str. In 1926 the Allatini building was renovated by the engineer Max Rubens and the date of the renewal is maintained until today, on the iron door, on Syggrou road. With the occupation of the Nazis and the final extermination of the Jews began the decline and the multicultural dimension of Fragkogeitonias .
Over the years it has turned into a trade area with countless clothing outlets, particularly shirts. In the 60s and 70s it flourished, as it was near the entrance of the city and frequently visited by merchants. The crisis that hit the trades in the early ’90s led to economic stagnation of the region. Now we are left with few clothes shops, and abandoned warehouses converted slowly into bars and eateries, giving old Fragkogeitonia another character.