Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe / Via Anatolia


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About the site

Corridor: Via Anatolia
Country: Turkey, Balikesir
Type: Vernacular Architecture
Epoch: Middle Ages
Theme: Vernacular Architecture
World Heritage:
Middle AgesVernacular ArchitectureVernacular Architecture

The settlement dates from the Antiquity with Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine evidence. It was founded by immigrants from nearby islands, escaping from pirate attacks. A small port until the 18th century, the town later saw a period of economic development based on olive oil production and Mediterranean trade connections. The population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1926 caused socio-cultural alterations. One of the earliest monuments is the Taksiarhis Church dated 1844. Building types include olive oil and soap factories and store-houses along the waterfront and two-three-storey traditional stone masonry houses in rows or with small gardens. The commercial zone has a grid plan whereas the residential hills show an organic street pattern, along which houses with the characteristic windows form vivacious and colorful vistas. The local community has heritage consciousness, securing the sustainability of this urban site.

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