to the Cemetery.
Jewish women led what
today would be called a severely restricted social life. One of the few
places where they met freely to socialize, gossip, and wander as they
pleased, was the cemetery. The two women in the first photo appear to
be involved in some quite intense discussion whereas the woman in photograph
2 is intent on her task. It is not likely that she is arriving at the
cemetery as the captions states, however, as in the far background a number
of buildings can be identified that would suggest that she is in fact
leaving the cemetery.
Beyond the elevated brick tombs, typical of burials from the mid-19th
century onwards, can be made out the false drum of Hortaci Effendi Cami
(mosque). This was originally built in the 3rd century C.E. and intended
to be the tomb of the Emperor Galerius, though he was ultimately buried
elsewhere. Late in the same century, possibly just after the establishment
of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire, the rotunda
was converted to Christian usage and was one of the major churches of
Salonika. In 1590 it was converted to Islam by Gazi Fatih i Yemen, Sinan
Pasa and Hortaci Süleyman Effendi. The first two were oblates of
the Helveti order of dervishes and the latter was a sheikh of the order.
It remained the chief center of religious activity for the order until
1912. Not long after the Greek seizure of Salonika the rotunda was secularized
and today is known as the rotunda of St. George. This building was located
just within the east walls of the old city and to its left, though outside
of the walls, can be seen the Idadiye Mmektebe, (military school) that
was founded in 1887.
This structure was acquired by the University of Salonika in 1927 and
became the school of philosophical studies. The Jewish quarter lay to
the south (to the left of the photograph) and a bit beyond the school.
From these landmarks we can deduce that the woman shown in the picture
is in the northeast part of the cemetery which was relatively new and
is following a known path that cut across the cemetery to the southwest
and from there led into the city.