Thessaloniki

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Thessaloniki at a glance

Thessaloniki is  the second largest city in the area, also called “co-capital” of Greece. Neighboring counties are the Prefecture of Imathia in the southwest, the Prefecture of Pella in the west, the Prefecture of Kilkis in the north, the Prefecture of Serres in the east and the Prefecture of Chalkidiki in the south.

The location of the city and its harbor were the natural gateway of the area to the sea and for millennia, it was a trade, transport and cultural crossroads of many peoples and cultures. Today’s Thessaloniki is a modern metropolis with many interesting choices for its guests. 

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Thessaloniki Sightseeing

European Emergency Number

Port Authority 2310593134

Traffic 2310250740

Trains 14511

KTEL 2310595400

TAXI 18300, 18180, 18288

Airport 2310985000

The White Tower

The churches of Hagia Sophia (7th century), the Savior (14th century) and the temple of Agios Dimitrios, the patron saint of the city and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Museum of Byzantine Culture of Thessaloniki

White Tower Museum

Museum of the Roman Agora

Folklore and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia-Thrace

Museum of Asia Minor Culture “Manolis Andronikos”

Thessaloniki Municipal Gallery (Kazia Bianca)

Rotunda (a circular building, covered by a hemispherical dome and was built in the early 4th century AD to be used as a temple or mausoleum of Galerius.) Today it is used as a museum space.

The Arch of Galerius, with reliefs, which is widely known as Kamara.

The Roman Agora

The well-known Bezesteni (the covered textile market)

The statue of Alexander the Great and much more

Organized beaches are Perea, Nei Epivates, Agia Triada, Potamos, Nea Miminiona, Epanomi, Stavros.

 

Thessaloniki is a lively history museum. Over the centuries, every period has left its markings with monuments and attractions that we find in every corner of the city. Those who choose Thessaloniki for their holidays have the opportunity to share and enjoy this city, which carries a history of 23 centuries.

Thessaloniki was a metropolitan center for the Macedonians, a capital city for the Romans, serving for the Byzantine, commercial and economic center of the Balkans during the Ottoman dominatio.

White Tower

The White Tower of Thessaloniki is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki.

Umbrellas Sculpture

George Zongolopoulos exhibited the Umbrellas for the first time in 1995 on the celebration of the Venice Biennale centenary.

Catacombs of St. John the Baptist

The Baptistery of St. John the Baptist of Thessaloniki, considered as the oldest early Christian baptistery.

The White Tower of Thessaloniki (Λευκός Πύργος;: Beyaz Kule; Kuli Blanka) is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki. The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification, known to have been mentioned around the 12th century, that the Ottoman Empire reconstructed to fortify the city’s harbour sometime after Sultan Murad II captured Thessaloniki in 1430. The tower became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions during the period of Ottoman rule.

The White Tower was substantially remodeled and its exterior was whitewashed after Greece gained control of the city in 1912. It has been adopted as the symbol of the city.

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George Zongolopoulos exhibited the Umbrellas for the first time in 1995 on the celebration of the Venice Biennale centenary. The sculpture was mounted on a floating platform at the entrance of the exhibition and received remarkable publicity internationally. Zongolopoulos felt particularly honored with the installation of the Umbrellas in Thessaloniki in 1997, the year that the city was the European Capital of Culture, without being able to imagine – at his 96 years of age – that this sculpture would be an important reference point for the public space of Greece.

The sculpture that lives in Thessaloniki’s Seafront, actively participates in the everyday life of both citizens and city visitors either through the enjoyment that a piece of art offers, or by informing and sensitizing citizens about various social actions and campaigns that take place in the city from time to time.

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The Catacombs of St. John the Baptist are located south of the Church of Hagia Sophia, underneath the street. Entering the gardens of the catacombs, one can see the ruins of the nymphaeum, a spring dedicated to the nymphs as well as the thermal baths dating from the Roman times. The nymphaeum was converted into a holy water spring during the Christian times and an underground worship place was built there, in honor of St. John the Baptist. Today the catacombs still retain their original structure but they also provide the appropriate facilities for weddings and baptisms.

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History of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a lively history museum. Over the centuries, every period has left its markings with monuments and attractions that we find in every corner of the city. Those who choose Thessaloniki for their holidays have the opportunity to share and enjoy this city, which carries a history of 23 centuries.

Thessaloniki was a metropolitan center for the Macedonians, a capital city for the Romans, serving for the Byzantine, commercial and economic center of the Balkans during the Ottoman dominatio.

Aristotelous Square

Aristotelous Square is the main city square of Thessaloniki, Greece and is located on Nikis avenue, in the city center.

Arch of Galerius

The Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda are neighbouring early 4th-century AD monuments in the city of Thessaloniki.

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki

Aristotelous Square (Greek: Πλατεία Αριστοτέλους,  Aristotle Square) is the main city square of Thessaloniki, Greece and is located on Nikis avenue (on the city’s waterfront), in the city center. It was designed by French architect Ernest Hébrard in 1918, but most of the square was built in the 1950s. Many buildings surrounding the central square have since been renovated and its northern parts were largely restored in the 2000s.

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The Arch of Galerius (Gr.: Αψίδα του Γαλερίου) or Kamara (Gr.: Καμάρα) and the Rotunda (Ροτόντα) are neighbouring early 4th-century AD monuments in the city of Thessaloniki.

The 4th-century Roman Emperor Galerius commissioned these two structures as elements of an imperial precinct linked to his Thessaloniki palace. Archeologists have found substantial remains of the palace to the southwest. These three monumental structures were connected by a road that ran through the arch, which rose above the major east-west road of the city.

At the crux of the major axes of the city, the Arch of Galerius emphasized the power of the emperor and linked the monumental structures with the fabric of 4th-century Thessaloniki. The arch was composed of a masonry core faced with marble sculptural panels celebrating a victory over the Sassanid Persians. About two-thirds the arch is preserved.

The Rotunda was a massive circular structure with a masonry core that had an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome. It has gone through multiple periods of use and modification as a polytheist temple, a Christian basilica, a Muslim mosque, and again a Christian church (and archaeological site). A minaret is preserved from its use as a mosque, and ancient remains are exposed on its southern side.

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The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios (Greek: Άγιος Δημήτριος), is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki (in Central Macedonia, Greece), dating from a time when it was the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

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Jewish museum

The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki is a museum presenting the history of Sephardic Jews and Jewish life in Thessaloniki.

Modiano Market

Modiano Market is an enclosed market in Thessaloniki.

Museum of Byzantine Culture

The Museum of Byzantine Culture is a museum in Thessaloniki, which opened in 1994.

 

The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki (Greek: Εβραϊκό Μουσείο Θεσσαλονίκης) (Judaeo-Spanish or Ladino: Museo Djidio De Salonik) is a museum in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece presenting the history of Sephardic Jews and Jewish life in Thessaloniki.

It is also known as: “Museum of Jewish Presence in Thessaloniki”, “Jewish History Museum”, Greek: “Κέντρο Ιστορικής Διαδρομής Εβραϊσμού Θεσσαλονίκης”, “Μουσείο Εβραϊκής Παρουσίας στη Θεσσαλονίκη”.

The museum is being run by the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki.

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Modiano Market is an enclosed market in Thessaloniki, Greece. It was built between 1922 and 1930, in the center of the city and forms the central point of the city’s market which encompasses over several blocks. It took its name from the architect Eli Modiano, a member of the well known Italian–Jewish Modiano family of the city.

Inside the market there are fish markets, butcher shops, tavernas and bars. It is a place of social meeting and historical significance for the city.

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For many the most important of the city’s museums, as Thessaloniki is arguably the city that has the most intense Byzantine character and beauty.

The museum is housed in modern facilities that include advanced, well-organized conservation laboratories and storerooms. Hundreds of unique exhibits and artifacts throughout the entire Byzantine period are displayed in several different rooms.

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The Gastronomy of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki has one of the largest varieties of food and sweets that impress with their taste and appearance.

The time that the Thessalonians will devote both to the preparation and consumption of food is an entire ceremony, with the ultimate goal of satisfying or better the enjoyment of their tasteful glands and the enjoyment of both those involved in this process.

This unique relationship of Thessaloniki with food, cooking and confectionery, respectively, can be found in the restaurants of the city that combine international cuisine with a northern Greek flavor.

Museum of Photography

The museum’s mission is to collect photographs, especially historical and artistic photographs of Greece.

Science center and Museum

The museum’s main objective is to offer to the public an environment that facilitates the familiarization with and the understanding of science and technology.

Panagia Chalkeon

According to the founder’s inscription above the west entrance, the church was built in 1028.

Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki is located in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece. The museum was founded in 1987 by Aris Georgiou, Apostolos Maroulis and Yiannis Vanidis but it was not until 1997 that it was legally established and until 1998 that it opened with Giorgos Makris as its president and Aris Georgiou as its first director. It is currently housed in Warehouse 1 at the Port of Thessaloniki, next to the Cinema Museum of Thessaloniki.

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The museum’s main objective is to offer to the public an environment that facilitates the familiarization with and the understanding of science and technology. The foundation is also actively engaged in the protection of the Greek Technological Heritage. NOESIS has a 150-seat digital planetarium, a 300-seat Cosmotheatre with the largest flat screen in Greece, a 200-seat amphitheatre, as well as a motion simulator theater with three platforms, 3-D projection, and 6-axis movement. Elena Paparizou, a Greek pop singer, filmed part of a videoclip for her song “Number One”, that won the Eurovision Song Contest 2005.

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The Church of Panagia Chalkeon (Greek: Παναγία τῶν Χαλκέων) is an 11th-century Byzantine church in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

The church is located at Dikastirion Square, north of the Via Egnatia at the point where it crosses the Aristotelous Avenue, which leads to the Aristotelous Square. The archaeological site of the city’s Roman forum is located northeast, while its name, which translates as “the Virgin of the Copper-smiths”, derives from its proximity to the area traditionally occupied by the city’s coppersmiths.

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HOLIDAYS IN THESSALONIKI

Thessaloniki as a tourist destination is the city with the thousand faces.

  • The city’s walks start from the White Tower, towards the east with 3.6 km of the coastal front and ten theme parks of Nea Paralia as you gaze at the residence of the gods, Mount Olympus.
  • In the center of Thessaloniki lies Aristotelous Square, the jewel that was bequeathed to us by Ernest Empard.
  • On the west side of the city center, Ladadika, rescued from the fire of 1917, shows the image of Thessaloniki before the rapid reconstruction, while the renovated neoclassical buildings host restaurants and entertainment centers.
  • Finally, if you choose the uphill route to Upper Town with the ultimate destination of Eptapyrgio and Yedi Koule, somewhere in between you will find the Ancient Roman Agora and the church of Agios Dimitrios, the patron saint of the city on the homonymous street. Upper City(Ano Poli) fascinates the visitor with the special architecture of the low houses, the blooming courtyards, the numerous Byzantine temples and monasteries and the magnificent view. The tour of the Upper Town is a unique trip to the past and the history of the city that remains unforgettable.
  • The visitors of Thessaloniki have two more reasons to choose for their holidays. These are the good food with Oriental flavors and intense nightlife.
  • Several of the city’s attractions are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum of Thessaloniki is the ancient Roman-era forum (or Agora) of the city, located at the upper side of Aristotelous Square.

Rotunda Yard

The Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda are neighbouring early 4th-century AD monuments in the city of Thessaloniki.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki was founded in 1979 by a group of visionary citizens of Thessaloniki.

The Roman Forum of Thessaloniki is the ancient Roman-era forum (or Agora) of the city, located at the upper side of Aristotelous Square.

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The 4th-century Roman Emperor Galerius commissioned these two structures as elements of an imperial precinct linked to his Thessaloniki palace. Archeologists have found substantial remains of the palace to the southwest. These three monumental structures were connected by a road that ran through the arch, which rose above the major east-west road of the city.

At the crux of the major axes of the city, the Arch of Galerius emphasized the power of the emperor and linked the monumental structures with the fabric of 4th-century Thessaloniki. The arch was composed of a masonry core faced with marble sculptural panels celebrating a victory over the Sassanid Persians. About two-thirds the arch is preserved.

The Rotunda was a massive circular structure with a masonry core that had an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome. It has gone through multiple periods of use and modification as a polytheist temple, a Christian basilica, a Muslim mosque, and again a Christian church (and archaeological site). A minaret is preserved from its use as a mosque, and ancient remains are exposed on its southern side.

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The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki was founded in 1979 by a group of visionary citizens of Thessaloniki.

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Religious Tradition

Tourists from all over Greece and abroad choose Thessaloniki for their holidays to get to know and admire the rich religious tradition of the city.

Thessaloniki was named “Golden Gate” for its contribution to the spread of Christianity in the Balkans and the West.

The tour of the Byzantine monasteries and the churches of Thessaloniki shows the visitor how important the city was during the Byzantine period.

Exquisite examples of ecclesiastical art are the temple of the city’s patron saint of Agios Dimitrios, the Vlattas Monastery, St. Nicholas the Orphan, Saint David and Hagia Sophia, Acheroupita, Saint Catherine, Saint Minas and numerous churches and monasteries that can to visit someone on his vacation and to satisfy his spiritual quests.

Concert Hall

Concert Hall is a centre for the performing arts in Thessaloniki.

Byzantine Walls

The Walls of Thessaloniki are the city walls surrounding the city of Thessaloniki during the Middle Ages.

Olympic Museum

The aim of the museum is to collect, conserve, record and establish the sport history and to promote it in an active and vivid place.

Thessaloniki Concert Hall (Greek: Μέγαρο Μουσικής Θεσσαλονίκης) is a centre for the performing arts in Thessaloniki, Greece. It opened in 2000 on land donated by the Greek state. The complex has two main buildings: M1, with an auditorium that seats 1400; and M2, in more contemporary style by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, with a number of smaller performance spaces.

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The Walls of Thessaloniki (Greek: Τείχη της Θεσσαλονίκης) are the city walls surrounding the city of Thessaloniki during the Middle Ages and until the late 19th century, when large parts of the walls, including the entire seaward section, were demolished as part of the Ottoman authorities’ restructuring of Thessaloniki’s urban fabric. The city was fortified from its establishment in the late 4th century BC, but the present walls date from the early Byzantine period, ca. 390, and incorporate parts of an earlier, late 3rd-century wall. The walls consist of the typical late Roman mixed construction of ashlar masonry alternating with bands of brick. The northern part of the walls adjoins the acropolis of the city, which formed a separate fortified enceinte, and within it lies another citadel, the Heptapyrgion (Seven Towers), popularly known by the Ottoman translation of the name, Yedi Kule.

Thessaloniki Olympic Museum, the unique Olympic Museum of Greece, is situated at Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece. The museum is located on the confluence and educational, athletic and cultural routes of the city. It stands next to the Kaftanzoglio National Stadium and the Aristotle University.

The museum was established in 1998 with the name “Sports Museum” – being the unique sports museum in Greece – with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Special Secretariat for Sports of Macedonia–Thrace, Athletic Unions and Associations of Local Authorities.

The aim of the museum is to collect, conserve, record and establish the sport history and to promote it in an active and vivid place, having a mainly educative character. Since its establishment and until 2004 – year of Athens Olympic Games – the Museum was housed on the floor of a neo-classical building, where the limited space – that was accorded by the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) – of 300m2, constrained its exhibitional and educational activities.

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Something is happening in Thessaloniki

Throughout Thessaloniki there are numerous events and festivals, which can be enjoyed by both adults and children.

The Thessaloniki International Fair is organized every year since 1926 in the early days of September in the city center. It is an international trade fair in which many cultural events take place.

The “Dimitria” takes place every year from September to December and is an institution coming from the ancient trade fair dedicated to the patron saint of Agios Dimitrios. The events taking place in the framework of Dimitrios are hosted in various places of culture, including dance and theatrical performances, concerts, paintings etc.

The Thessaloniki Film Festival opens its doors every November. The cinema holidays will be perfectly combined with all-day and overnight movie projections from all over the world.

The Book Festival is held each year on the beach in Thessaloniki late May or early June and has its own fanatical fans and of course its own myth.

Events organized by organizations or the Municipality of Thessaloniki have taken the form of an institution in recent years such as  the Night Marathon, The Great Marathon, The Naked Cycling, Thessaloniki Pride and the Reworks Festival.

Throughout the year, concerts, theatrical performances and festivals are organized, sometimes for charity and sometimes for entertainment, with the result that the city maintains its cosmopolitan character indefinitely.

Folk Art Museum

The museum collects, researches, and studies the remnants of traditional culture in Macedonia and Thrace and presents them to the public in temporary exhibitions.

Atatürk Museum

The house is the birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

The Waterfront of Thessaloniki

Residents and visitors can enjoy a walk or a run along the Waterfront of Thessaloniki, which is about five kilometers in length, from the Concert Hall to the port.

The Folk Art and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace is located in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece. It was founded in 1973 by the Macedonian Educational Association and is housed in the building known as Old Government House or Villa Modiano, which was built in 1906 by the architect Eli Modiano, on a 5 hectare plot of land by the sea, for the banker Jacob Modiano. The museum is on four levels, with a semi-basement, two floors, and an attic. Architecturally it is an eclectic structure strongly influenced by Art Nouveau. Particularly impressive is the double loggia with a view of the sea.

The museum collects, researches, and studies the remnants of traditional culture in Macedonia and Thrace and presents them to the public in temporary exhibitions. The museum’s collections consist of some 15,000 objects (woven textiles, embroidery, local costumes, tools, weapons, domestic articles, musical instruments and woodcarving, woodworking and metalworking equipment). It also has a specialized library, a photographic archive, a record library and a sound library.

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The Atatürk Museum (Greek: Μουσείο Ατατούρκ, Mousío Atatúrk, Turkish: Atatürk Evi Müzesi, Atatürk House Museum) is a historic house museum in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece.

The house is the birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was born here in 1881. It is a three-floor house with a courtyard on 24 Apostolou Pavlou Street, next to the Turkish Consulate. Before the capture of Thessaloniki by the Greek Army in 1912, it was known as “Koca Kasım Paşa district, Islahhane street”. It was built before 1870 and in 1935 the Thessaloniki City Council gave it to the Turkish State, which decided to convert it into a museum dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Until the Istanbul pogrom of 1955, the street in front of the house was named “Kemal Ataturk”.

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Residents and visitors can enjoy a walk or a run along the Waterfront of Thessaloniki, which is about five kilometers in length, from the Concert Hall to the port.

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