Log in
A+ A A-

John Phil Hellas ... the abandoned factory in Stavroupoli with a long history (video)

Featured John Phil Hellas ... the abandoned factory in Stavroupoli with a long history (video)

Through a bleak picture of abandonment, anyone can relive their own past, adding their own black-and-white images of another era. And if one is more observant, the memories will be lifted from the depths of the mind, while the colors that had once faded will take even for a while their own intense palette of memory. Marinos Charalampopoulos takes us on a tour of an abandonedd Greek factory with a long and interesting history.

The truth is that behind the image of the abandoned factory in Stavroupoli of Xanthi, there is a very long history concerning Greek industry. Funds, relocations of factories to remote areas, compensation, bankruptcies, and much more that few know and many ignore. So the story behind the factory JOHN-PHIL-HELLAS SA, is not much different from some others with the same course and especially the same epilogue. But reality does not cease to cause sadness.

Ioannis Filippidis - "Mr. John" for his friends - was a self-made businessman from refugee parents. He created various textile companies and pioneered making the first carpets in Greece with MARATHON carpet and JOHN-PHIL-HELLAS SA. in Tavros, Athens. Carpets in 7 different types, printed carpets, curtains, corridors of different colors with high quality for that time and of course competitive prices, with a remarkable growth until 1975. But in September of the same year, the fire that broke out in the factory in Tavros could not be put out by the fire department, since almost all of its forces were in Ilia where large fires had broken out.

The relatively small compensation from the insurance companies, the investment incentives of the then government for relocation to remote areas, led Ioannis Filippidis to create a new factory in northern Greece. The new jobs created in the remote Stavroupoli of Xanthi with its 400 permanent residents, at a time when even the movement of any vehicle required a military permit, gave new air to the area. Almost the entire village worked in the carpet factory, while the young children of the workers discovered new toys to spend their time, toys that the factory itself gave as a gift to the workers during the holidays.

But in the late 1980s, the factory's last bankruptcy act was played out. Who really went bankrupt since the closure of the factory is another chapter. But, thirty whole years later, the carcass of the Stavroupoli factory, in its darkness, still stands there, reminiscent of another era; in the past we were not able to understand such relics of Greece's industrial past, but today we understand how valuable they were…