The Konak (also known as the Government House) is an Ottoman-era building in central Thessaloniki. Originally built in 1891 as the residence (konak) of the governor-general (vali) of the Salonica Vilayet and the seat of the Ottoman authorities, it now houses the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace.

The Konak was built in 1891 by Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli. The architect chose eclecticism as the main style for the building, which combines elements of various architectural styles such as neoclassicism. It sits on top of the ruins of the imperial palace of the Byzantine Emperor in Thessaloniki, of which some remnants have been found near the building. When it was completed in the late 1890s, it only had three floors. The fourth floor, in neoclassical style, was added in 1955.

In 1907, the building housed the Ottoman School of Law, and in 1911 the Sultan Mehmed V Reshad stayed here during his visit to the city. During the First Balkan War, it was inside this building that the documents of the surrender of Thessaloniki were signed, making Thessaloniki part of the Kingdom of Greece. From 1912 to 1929 the building housed the Governorate-General of Macedonia. During the fire of 1917, the building sustained no damage, despite widespread devastation in the area, which destroyed much of the old city centre.

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Founded: 1891
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Greece

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Royal Palace of Naples

Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.

In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.

During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.

In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.

The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.