150 Old Photos From Greece [1900] by Fred Boissonnas

Last updated on February 22nd, 2022 at 11:06 am

Black & White Greek Photos – 100+ years ago

Greece old photos – Pic of the Parthenon at 1908
Greece old photos – Pic of the Parthenon at 1908
This is a photo of whatever remained of Parthenon in 1908. Over the centuries, warfare and other atrocities almost disappear this symbol of our national heritage.
Thus we see why all restoration was necessary even with their faults, thanks to this, a monument now stands upright with all his majesty over the Acropolis.

The Philhellene Swiss photographer Fred Boissonnas(1858-1946) was the first foreign photographer who traveled so much in the Greek land from 1903 and for nearly three decades following.

Fred Boissonnas was born in 1858 in Geneva from a family that moved from Marseilles in southern France to Switzerland.

Due to the origin of the family, Fred believed that he was a descendant of Greek navigators, this may explain his interest and love for the Greeks, especially those of the countryside …

Fred Boissonnas first stepped foot in Greece at 1903 in Corfu, from where chronologically his first photos are, after this he went to Athens which had visited numerous times and from there he wandered across the entire Greek territory and also in the new under Greek unification countries as Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, Aegean islands, etc..

Generally, he did not leave an inch of Greek soil without recording it with his camera.

Towards the end of his Greek adventure shortly before 1930, he spends some time in Mount Athos where he photographed many details of monastic life and the monasteries.

He died in Geneva in 1946.


His work was innovative and proved decisive in the development of Greek photography during the 20th century.

Through photos and albums, he presents a panorama of Greece during the interwar period, also helping to shape the European public opinion of Greece for the same period.

The work of Fred Boissonnas, although known in Europe in the early 20th century, now needs a second showing.

Progress in technical issues, the discovery of color, easy to use cameras, plus the ease with which we travel, may make the project appear obsolete, but to the historical glance it has great value and it also shows modernism in comparison with other photographers who wandered in Greece at that time.

The artist has recorded things that have disappeared, but also gives us a picture of Greece that extends beyond simple ethnographic pieces of evidence.

His great faith and admiration for this country are transmitted through his work with tenderness and love which can be seen through his work even today after so many years.

These characteristics give soul to these pieces of paper, which otherwise could remain simple pictures …

Old Photos from Greece

Streets of old Athens. Pictures from Athos showing the difficult life of monks. Rural in Greece of another era. Corfu as Fred’s first stop. Peloponnisos with places like Akrata, Korinth, and Andritsaina. Crete and Epirus. All Greece regions are here.

More old photos

Panorama with Photos and Landscapes from Greece of 1900 – 1930

Last updated on February 22nd, 2022 at 11:22 am

Here are some elder Greek pictures from 1900 to 1930, photos from the period before the first world war.

Even more old photos

Benitses of 1950, the Harbor, the Fishing Boats and the Celebrities

Last updated on January 9th, 2022 at 01:09 pm

Benitses of 1950

In the following photos we can see what Benitses like in 1950.

We can see the two characteristic creeks, the Port and Koutsomaroula bay, as they appear from the hill of Agios Stefanos.

We also see the beach, the boats with the lamps, and generally how early tourism coexisted along with other economic activities since we see hotels and water sports and on the other side residents continuing to fish professionally.

Fishing with purse seine – gri gri

In Benitses in the 50s, there were several fishing boats which we called gri gri.
Two of them were the larger, Saint Demetrios or “red” because of it`s red color and the Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) which also had the name “Binitsiotiko” or “grey” due to its grey color.

Every evening they left the harbor, towing behind them their large utility boat called “pisino” followed by the small boats with the lamps (pyrofania).
Fishing was as follows, the small boats were scattered in prominent locations to enable their lights to attract the fish when sufficient fish were in the area of light, the small boats called the mother ship, which arrived in the spot and surrounded the area with nets.

Depending on the size of the shoals of fish, there were some nights when the nets were being cast and pulled in several times.
In these two fishing boats, most of the people worked who were involved in fishing and also other fishermen from neighboring villages.
Of course, there were also many other boats too that were operated by their owners.

The grey gri gri Agia Triada had a stocky shape and was bought by the residents with resources from the Marshall plan for reconstruction after World War 2.
These fishing ships finally stopped their operation just before 1980, by which time most of the inhabitants worked in the tourist industry.
In the following photos, we see scenes of the departures of these ships, also there are scenes showing how other fishermen landed the catch on the shore.

Celebrities of the 50s in Benitses

At this time, famous actors and several wealthy foreign visitors had started to visit Benitses, the island of Corfu after all was always attractive to the international elite, long before any other part of Greece.

And who has not been here then, read about on the page for tourism development.

There are no pictures of most of them because only a few people had cameras at that time.
But the wealthy Manessis family had cameras and so thanks to them we have a few pictures of celebrities of the 50s, regular visitors to Benitses as the older residents remember.
See below some photos, mainly with Vivien Leigh and the English artist and set designer Roger Furse, pictures were taken in 1960.

Beekeeping in Benitses of the past

Among the economic activities, it was also beekeeping.
Many residents had hives scattered in various parts of Benitses.

On the farm of San Stefano, among other agricultural activities, there was a well-organized beekeeping unit with several hives.
Occasionally, the residents gathered to learn new methods and the secrets of the bees, that were almost seminars on beekeeping.
In the following photos, Stefanos Manesis explains to people new methods and also helps the youngsters to learn the job.

Mouse island at 1950

Mouse island in the 1950s, the islet guarding the entrance of Chalikiopoulos lagoon, where the port was in ancient times.

Thanks to these old photos we see why it has become the trademark of Corfu, a beautiful and magical virginal scene without hotels and buildings in the surrounding area, only the sky, the sea, and the endless green of the landscape.

All Benitses old photos

Benitses Old Photos (9th Group)

Last updated on January 9th, 2022 at 01:09 pm

This is the ninth group on old photographs with some people and landscapes from Benitses of the past, most in black and white.

Benitses of 1950

Benitses Old Photos from the 70s (8th Group)

Last updated on January 9th, 2022 at 01:09 pm

This is the eighth group on old photographs with some people who were young in the 80s, there are also some old pictures from exotic places of the west coast of Corfu during the 50s, photos of Mirtiotissa nudist beach, Paleokastritsa and more.

The photographs have not been processed like the other groups and they have all scratches and signs of time…