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hist5 copy.jpg (23020 bytes) Thessaloniki acquired its official Greek identity in 1912, after the First Balkan War. In the space of a decade, the city's national character and role and a large segment of its population changed, concurrently with its spatial pattern.The fire which in thirty-two hours devastated 120 ha of the most important part of the centre (leaving 70,000 homeless, three-quarters of them Jews) essentially wiped out the city's 'oriental' aspect, together with its traditional layout, which had steadfastly resisted all efforts at modernisation. The city's traditional image was fading and being replaced by a ‘modern’ homogenous space stripped of its former distinctive features. The plan proposed new extensions so that the city would be adequate for 350,000 inhabitants and cover 2,400ha.

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