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The Incantadas (the Enchanted) of Thessaloniki, Greece!

They were born by artistic hands at the end of the 2nd century AD, to decorate their home town! There are painted evidences that for thousands years they were a gem for Thessaloniki. They were forcibly detached from the monument of the city in 1864 and traveled to France as a loot. The original statues are still there till today. But the statues speak … and their language is Greek!

What are these Incantadas? . It’s about 4 two-sided statues that used to decorate the impressive Gallery of Idols at the ancient agora of Thessaloniki. The two-sided statues represented Mainada and Dionyso, Ariadne and Lyda, Ganymides and one of the famous Dioscouros twins, Aura and Victory.

They are dated from the late 2nd or early 3rd century AD and there are plenty of historical evidence about the beauty of the monument and the statues, which give a distinct identity in the city of Thessaloniki! Many called the Incantadas the Caryatids of Thessaloniki due to their special artistic style.

A fairy tale, a legend about a passionate love has marked the creation of the Incantadas. The legend says that King Alexander hosted in his palace in Thessaloniki, the king of Thrace and his wife. Alexander, however, fell in love with the beautiful married queen, the same she did and they start meeting each other. When the king of Thrace found out put the priests to cast spells to Alexander! Alexander informed by his beloved teacher, the philosopher Aristotle, decided to stay locked in his room for protection from spells! But the queen of Thrace could not stand away from her beloved, and she went to meet Alexander. Her jealous husband followed her ! The spell fall on them and their escort! They all freeze as marble. This is the beautiful legend of the Incantadas, a legend that accompanied the statues for centuries in Thessaloniki!

The Incantadas adorned the city from the 2nd m X century until the day they were stolen and taken forcibly to France. Les Incantadas like emigrants are asking for years now with their endless song to return to their place in the city of their birth!

The original statues are now in the Museum of Louvre. The museum was commissioned to make copies that are showcased at the ancient agora of Thessaloniki, yet the originals still remain under a foreign sky, not the sky of Greece where they belong! They will continue to mourn silently their lost country till the day they return to the city that gave birth to them, where they truly belong!


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Maria Athanssopoulos was born in the city of Tripoli, Greece, 1968. She has worked as a lawyer for almost 20 years. She writes interesting articles and takes photographs from the places she visits, since 2009. She run her own travel related web pages. She likes exploring new places and new cultures. She loves writing about her travel experiences. She also loves the art of photography. She has travelled almost all over Europe, but also in Turkey. Her plans for the future are to visit a lot more countries. Stay tuned!

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