Photograph 2

Arriving 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.