Exquisite artisanal decorations adorning the traditional Greek eighteenth century Schwartz Mansion in Ampelakia in Central Greece, one of the greatest mansions in the country, are restored to their former glory.
The Diachronic Museum of Larissa has shared new pictures of the unique wall paintings and wood carvings following preservation efforts.
The historical building was home to Georgios Mavros, founder and chair of the Ampelakia Cooperative—the first cooperative in the world—and also served as the organization’s headquarters.
Since he traded in Austria, Mavros also became known as Schwartz, from the literal translation of his surname in German. Hence, the monument is still called the Schwartz Mansion today.
Traditional Greek 18th century mansion
Construction of the Schwartz Mansion in Ampelakia took almost a decade, lasting from 1778 to 1787. It is a rare example of traditional Greek 18th century architecture.
Designed in an L-Shaped plan, it spans three floors with projecting balconies and is mostly famous for its sumptuous decoration with wall paintings and wooden paneling in every room.
The name of the artist who created these beautiful decorations remains unknown, as they were only signed with the initials L.L.. They feature an impressive wealth of subjects, ranging from geometric and floral patterns to detailed landscapes, testifying to the skill and quality of their painting.
The mansion was purchased by the Greek state in 1965 and has since been open to visitors as a monument.
Historic Greek village
Located near Larissa in Central Greece, Ampelakia is one of the most historic Greek villages in the municipality of Tempe and has been declared a traditional settlement. It is known for its well-preserved, traditional houses and stone fountains.
Although no official records of its foundation have survived, the village is considered to be one of the Thessalian settlements of the last Byzantine era.
Ampelakia was initially a poor mountainous village, but the community accumulated exceptional wealth once trading through its cooperative of merchants, craftsmen, farmers, and red yarn production laborers took off.
In the late eighteenth century, more than six thousand inhabitants worked and shipped thousands of local products to the rest of Europe.