Guide to SKOPJE

Photographer who captured the incredible beauty of Greek villages



A voice coming from within your soul calling you to visit the birthplace of your ancestors. At first, it is a quiet whisper, gradually becoming louder and louder and your desire to do that grows by the minute. Should you decide to listen to the call and set off on a journey looking for your roots, it can turn into an amazing, life changing experience. Constantine Manos, a US citizen of Greek origin, listened to stories about the village where his parents came from, stories of fishermen and life in a magical place where time seems to have stopped.

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Fifty years ago he went in quest of his roots, a feat that contributed to the best collection of photographs of Greek villages ever made.

-My parents are Greeks who lived in a village on a small island in the Sea of Marmara in Turkey. They were refugees. During my whole childhood I listened to stories about the “chorio”, the village. In 1961 I finally felt obliged to visit their birthplace. – says photographer Constantine Minos for Balkon 3.


When he first set foot on Greek territory he didn’t immediately find inspiration for photography. He had to look for it. 

-It was in the beginning of 1962 when I realized that I could take the best photographs in poor, isolated villages, so I decided to take photos only in the villages where there was no electricity. – explains Constantine Minos.MAC64009W00253/22A

We asked how his famous “Greek Portfolio” would look like, if he visited modern Greece.

-One cannot make such a collection of photographs now. The villages of 1962-1963 are a very different place today. If I decided to take photographs of this country now, I would go to Athens. It is a mirror of modern Greece. – says the photographer.


He recalls the most unique and authentic Greek village he visited. It was the village of Olympos situated on top of the mountain on the island of Karpathos.

-It was an ideal village, frozen in time. The women wore traditional garments every day, and those garments were perfectly preserved. I remember that they lived in a world of their own. – says Manos. 


He has travelled the world together with his favourite “Leica” camera, but he admits he hasn’t taken photographs of any other place in the Balkans except Greece.

-I always choose to work in places where there is a personal, emotional connection. I have had many exciting moments in my career and many photographs have passed through my camera lens, still the most emotional moment was when I photographed a funeral procession in the south of Peloponnesus. For a moment I felt as if I were in ancient Greece. – he remembers.  


Photographs by this renowned artist are exhibited as permenent exhibitions in several prestigious museums in New York, Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Paris, Athens…


In a series of articles Balkon 3 is presenting the most dramatic and most interesting collections of photographs by Constantine Minos – the photographer whose works capture the beauty of Greek villages.