A few months ago, I was walking in Thessaloniki, Greece when I noticed some really eye-catching “Open House Thessaloniki” posters all over the city. I wasn’t familiar with this particular project, so as soon as I returned home, I started looking for more information about it. Ten minutes later, and I had already sent in my application for a volunteer.
Open House is a program aiming to make citizens more aware of the history and architecture behind their city. It showcases noteworthy buildings for free, giving the opportunity to anyone interested to explore the intricate urban environment of a city. It is definitely a really powerful, resident-friendly project with great promise!
This year, the Open House program was organized for the first time in Thessaloniki. For 2 days (November 24th and 25th), 56 buildings were open to the public. Houses you would never otherwise get a chance to visit, architectural offices, churches and many other public buildings were supported by appropriately trained stuff and guides, most of them volunteers, who provided helpful information regarding the history and architecture of each building.
If I could find any flaw in this otherwise brilliant project, I would suggest that it should, perhaps, be a bit longer. Two days is unfortunately too short, especially if you intend to visit many venues.
Open House Thessaloniki was definitely a huge success this year, with more than 10,000 visitors. Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, have already confirmed that there is going to be an Open House Thessaloniki in 2013.
Does your city have its Open House? Would you get behind such an initiative?
Credits : Images and data linked to sources.