Thessaloniki's Attractions

Thessaloniki’s Attractions  
Thessaloniki is a city with a wide variety of monuments and attractions. As a cultural center, it is renowned for its number of monuments of Byzantine architecture as well as for some Ottoman, and Jewish structures. 
 

White tower

Nikis avenue, Thessaloniki
Tel: +30 2310 267 832

The white tower or Lefkos Pyrgos is the landmark of Thessaloniki, a monument and a museum on the waterfront of the city. Constructed in the 15th century this tower served as a defensive bulwark, a prison, a place of execution and nowadays represents a wonderful collection of interesting artifacts. The White Tower is a major new permanent exhibition containing various collections of sculptures, frescoes, fragments of mosaic floors and wall mosaics, icons, coins, inscriptions, pottery, glass and metal items.

 

The Arch and Tomb of Galerius, commonly known as the “Kamara” 

Egnatia odos, Sintrivaniou Square, Thessaloniki
The Arch of Galerius belongs to the Galerian group of buildings, in the SE part of the historical center of Thessaloniki. This archway was built in 305 AD and reliefs were sculpted with a reddish coloured stone on the surfaces of the arch depicting scenes from the battle, Through the latter, a connection to the Galerius Palace (to the south) and to the Rotonda (to the north) was possible.
Today, only a part of the monument still stands and there is no information on the period or the circumstances under which the rest of the arch was destroyed.

 

The Rotonda

Dimitriou Gounari Street
Tel: +30 2310 213 627
The Rotonda is one of the oldest churches of Thessaloniki. It is certainly the most important surviving example of a church from the early Christian period of the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire. It is now the Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Georgios, better known as the Church of the Rotonda or simply The Rotonda. The cylindrical structure was built in A.D. 306 on the orders of the emperor Galerius as a pantheon or mausoleum. After serving as a mosque for the Ottomans, the Rotonda now houses Christian art exhibitions.

 

The church of Agia Sofia

Agias Sofias & Ermou street, Agia Sofia square 
Tel: +30 2310 270 253   
The Byzantine church of Agia Sofia is one of the oldest churches in Thessaloniki still standing today. Built in the 8th century, is a beautiful Christian church modeled on the magnificent church of Agia Sofia in Istanbul. Agia Sofia is a must-see attraction with an impressively huge dome, a mosaic of the Ascension and various fine wall paintings.

 

The church of Agios Dimitrios – The crypt

Agiou Dimitriou street
Tel: +2310 270 591, +30 2310 270 008
St. Demetrius is the most important church in the entire city. A Byzantine church with an interesting history, some fine mosaics, and a crypt with a miraculous font. Thessaloniki is known as the city of St. Demetrius (the city’s Patron). The church was built in 324/313 AD and after the great fire of 1918 the church was restored with the aim of preserving the details of the original. Originally the church was built on the ruins of a Roman bath. Beneath the church is the crypt of the martyr St. Demetrius containing sculpture from the 3rd to 5th centuries and Byzantine artefacts.

 

The extensive city Walls and the Castra area

Ano Poli
“Ano poli”, the citadel, is what remains of Ottoman Thessaloniki.
The well preserved Walls, that protected Thessaloniki from enemy raids, were built by emperor Theodosius and surrounded the city from Democracy square through Eptapirgio to the later constructed “White Tower”.
Beautiful houses, small alleys and a beautiful view standing all the way up to the Eptapirgio.

 

The Roman market and theatre

Dikastiria
Roman market and the ancient theatre of Thessaloniki are dated at the second century AD and are located on the narrow side of the ancient agora (nowadays area of court).  Roman market was a valuable social, trade and government centre.

 

If you are interested in finding out about culture in the city of Thessaloniki, we suggest you check the following links:
http://www.thessalonikicity.gr/
http://travelthessaloniki.com/thessaloniki/Historical_monuments/
http://www.greecetravel.com/thessaloniki/museums.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thessaloniki