The island Thassos in Northern Greece possesses mineral wealth which has already been exploited in the ancient years. Especially the eastern side of the island is full of ancient tunnels, known only to the locals, which indicate the economic interest of this wealth. My own peregrination to the island begun from the small harbor of Limenaria almost one century after the first mines commenced work and almost 40 years after the last labourer left the old installations.
Walking around Limenaria area, I visited the Old Bridge, steelwork, leading to the Palace, headquarters of Speidel, the first owner of the mines. Near the Palace there are the remains of the old Stables, currently used as a makeshift folk-art museum (Photo 2). At the foot of the hill where the Palace stands there is the picturesque beach of “Metalia” (Mines) where the old ore-enrichment installations lie (Photo 3). The old buildings cover the slope and along with a heap of old rust dominate the scenery (Photo 4). The floors and walls are left naked, since all metal parts and machinery have been looted and sold as scrap (Photo 5).
The only installations preserved are the kilns (furnaces), part of the ore process, which in the early 1900s was performed by the company “Speidel-Pforzeheim” and later on by its successor “Veille-Montagne & Societe Hellenique Metallurgique et Miniere”. After the 1930s recession, the mines worked under the joint venture “Apostolu AE-SCHMIDT-KRUPP”, but the ore-processing was stopped and the great furnace-ramp was used only for the haulage of unprocessed ore to barges.
Several other buildings complete the set of installations around Limenaria area.