Georgios Lambakis: A pioneer scholar and photographer
Georgios Lambakis (1854–1914) studied Theology in Athens and Christian Archaeology in Germany. He was one of the founders of the Christian Archaeological Society (ChAE) in 1884 and worked with admirable zeal to the preservation of the Christian Monuments, to the advancement of the study of Christian archaeology, and to the foundation of a Museum of Christian Archaeology. His most important project was the creation and academic documentation of the Collection of the ChAS —the artefacts were found during his Journeys in many places of Greece or in other centres of Greek and Christian Civilization. A pioneer of photographic documentation and also an excellent photographer himself, Lambakis photographed Christian monuments with academic thoroughness, intelligentsia, romanticism and religiosity.
The travel to Thrace and Constantinople
On 26 July 1902, Georgios Lambakis embarked on a tour of Macedonia, with instructions from the Ministry of Religious Matters and Public Education to undertake the preservation “of the mosaic in the Metropolis of Serres, which was at risk”. On the scholar’s own initiative, the journey continued into Thrace, where Xanthi was the first town he visited. After this he went on to Abdera, Alexandroupoli (then Dedeagaç), Ainos and Adrianople, and finally Constantinople. His entire journey was recorded in detail in his travel diaries, which were later published in the Bulletin (Deltion) of the Christian Archaeological Society, accompanied by photographs of the monuments he visited —most of them taken by Lambakis himself.