The symbol of Thessaloniki, the White Tower is a building of the 15th century and is part of the fortifications of its city.
The White Tower of Thessaloniki is the point where the walls of the sea defense meet the eastern part of the walls.
For years it served as a prison for convicted prisoners awaiting execution. The White Tower was rebuilt in the early 1980s and has been operating as a museum since 1985. Today it is used as an exhibition space of the Byzantine Museum of Thessaloniki. For the first months of 2002 it housed the "Byzantine Hours", an exhibition dedicated to daily life in the Byzantine years.
The first floor was a presentation entitled "Market Professionals", which is actually a presentation of tools and other items belonging to goldsmiths, cutters, shoemakers, glassmakers as well as a coin exhibition and a tiny model of its market Thessaloniki.
The second floor was dedicated to travel and trade. Objects and texts related to sea and land travel, exhibitions, spectacles and pilgrimages.
The third floor was a presentation of the Byzantine house and its interior design, decoration, dinner and neighborhood.
Upstairs there was an exhibition of home life with clothes and shoes, cosmetics, perfumes and jewelry, personal care and even the superstitions of the time.
The theme of the top floor covered burial and burial customs.
ARCH OF GALERIUS (KAMARA)
One of the most characteristic monuments of Thessaloniki is the Arch of Gallerios, located on the upper side of the Egnatia Road, a short distance from the Rotunda. (The Rotunda is a spherical building with internal niches, whose destination was worshipful).
Kamara is a brilliant monument, whose destination was not practical but commemorative and honorary. It is a triumphal arch built shortly before 305 AD to honor the Roman Emperor Galerius, after his final victory against the Persians.
The triumphal arch of Galerius was located vertically in ancient Egnatia, which crossed the city (west to east) as part of the complex of Roman Palaces of Galerius, which developed in the present-day squares of Navarino and Ippodromio.
The layout from Kamara Thessaloniki was such that the two major highways, the present-day Egnatia and the road starting from Kamara and ending at the southern gate of the Rotunda precinct, pass under it and intersect exactly in its center.
CHURCH OF SAINT GEORGE (ROTONDA)
The Rotunda is part of the imperial complex built in 306 AD. as the Pantheon (or Mausoleum) for the emperor Galerius. As the name of the monument suggests, it is a circular building with a dome with a diameter of 24 meters. Theodosius the Great turned it into a church during his reign and for many years it was the metropolitan church of Thessaloniki.
The church was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire in 1591, and a minaret was added to it, which survives to this day and is the only one in Thessaloniki. The Rotunda has excellent and naturally remarkable mosaics that adorn the church.
Today it functions as a museum and there are no services in the church (except for some very important dates).
(This monument is approached from the stop (Arch of the Gallery) Kamara and is 200 meters away)
CHURCH OF AGIOS DIMITRIOS
The church of Agios Dimitrios is dedicated to its patron saint and occupies a prominent place among all the churches in this city. The Church of Agios Dimitrios has a rich history. It was originally built in 313 AD. on top of an ancient Roman bath like a small chapel.
In the 5th century, Bishop Leontios rebuilt it into a large three-aisled basilica. This temple burned somewhere between 626 AD. and 634 AD. When it was rebuilt, it took the form of another five-aisled basilica, but in 1493 the Turkish conquerors turned it into a mosque! In 1912 it returned to the Christians but the great fire in 1917 completely destroyed it. It resumed its operation in 1949.
The temple is located above the ruins of the Roman Agora and is a basilica with five aisles, a transverse aisle and a narthex. It has a crypt located just below the aisle and the sanctuary. It has catacombs under the ground, among which is the prison room of Agios Dimitrios. The church has a museum and three chapels on one side.
On the southeast side of the church "Agios Dimitrios" is a smaller one of Agios Efthymios. The church of Agios Dimitrios before the catastrophic fires of 1917 was decorated with sculptures, murals and mosaics, most of which were destroyed and today are preserved a few remains that tell the glorious past of the monument.
CHURCH OF SAINT SOPHIA
Saint Sophia's Church was the metropolis of Thessaloniki for many years.
Saint Sophia is a large basilica (with a dome).
It was built on the ruins of an older giant basilica (destroyed in the 6th century AD)
The church was built to remind the Saint Sophia Church of Istanbul.
Its construction began in the 7th century AD. but during the years it was under construction many modifications and additions were made. During the Ottoman Empire this church was also converted into a mosque but was destroyed by fire in 1890 to reopen in 1913.
The visitor of Saint Sophia will be able to realize the existence of impressive carved icons and decorations which are preserved from the 8th, 9th and 11th century.
The walls of Thessaloniki were the fortification of the Byzantine city and are of great interest and importance from an archaeological, architectural and artistic point of view. The borders of the Byzantine walls of Thessaloniki coincided with those of the Roman ones.
The walls of Thessaloniki were built of narrow zones of stones and wider bricks and stretched for a length of 7-8 km. The walls had a square plan (trapezoidal shape) and a height of 10-12 m. And their northern part was connected with the walls of the Acropolis of Thessaloniki.
Today only 3 kilometers are saved.
During the Turkish occupation, part of the walls of Thessaloniki was built with simple bricks. In some places a small part of the wall is saved at a distance of 4-6 meters from the main wall and is called a rampart. The rampart made it easier for the besieged and made it difficult for them to be attacked by the siege engines. In front of the wall there was a ditch with water.
The main wall of Thessaloniki was double and fortified at intervals with towers and gates in the most flat areas, with the inner main wall, the "inner" and the outer "wall" at a distance of 10 m.
Today about 60 towers survive. All have a square cross section except for the White Tower and the Triangle Tower. These two are believed to have been built on older towers in the 15th century. There were no gates in the sea part of the walls, while in the inner artificial port of Constantine the Great there was a low wall towards the city and a jetty, the "Jereboulon", towards the sea.
The great reconstruction of the walls took place in the early Christian years (late 4th-early 5th c.) By Ormisdas, while the frequent barbaric raids of the 5th and 6th c. made the need for continuous reinforcements of the walls imperative. In the western part of the walls opposite the Protestant cemetery, there is an inscription from bricks that has been named after Hormisdas. The inscription includes three rows, each of which is 9 meters long and of these three rows only the second has been saved in good condition and a few scattered letters from the third row.
At the bottom of the inscription are clearly visible, Latin crosses.
After the negligence that led to the easy raid of the city by the Saracens in 904, the walls were strengthened to face the Bulgarian danger.
The Byzantine fortifications
Serious repair work was done in the 13th and 14th century by the Palaeologans, both on the walls (gate of Anna Palaiologina) and in Eptapyrgio (Acropolis). The indifference of the Venetians (1423-1430) facilitated the conquest of Thessaloniki by the Turks who, after occupying it, fortified it with great care.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki was inaugurated in 1962, hosting finds from the area of Thessaloniki and the neighboring prefectures.
The Archaeological Museum presents exhibits of the culture of Macedonia from prehistoric times onwards.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki modified its building facilities, displaying in a different way its permanent and periodic collections.
The visitor has the opportunity to wander through the five sections that compose the new exhibition structure of the Museum, through which he comes in contact with the culture and people of ancient Macedonia.
The five sections of the Exhibition:
Section A: Prehistoric Macedonia.
Sketches of parts of the skull of the "Macedonian sky monkey", an early humanoid as well as a copy of the famous skull of Petralona (200,000 BC) are presented.
Section B: Towards the genesis of cities.
Evidence is presented for settlements and cemeteries of the Iron Age (1100 - 700 BC) in the area between Mount Athos and Olympus.
Section C: Macedonia from the 7th century BC. until late antiquity.
Aspects of the life of the Macedonians from the archaic years are presented, with the creation of the independent Macedonian kingdom, up to the imperial years (1st-4th century AD), a time when Macedonia was a province of the Roman Empire.
Section D: Thessaloniki, metropolis of Macedonia
Historical and archaeological information is presented about the city from its foundation in 315 BC, until the years of Roman rule.
Section E: The gold of the Macedonians.
Exhibits of exceptional art are presented from various places, mainly from cemeteries of archaic and classical times as well as the art of gold processing.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki also has a chronological narrative that begins with the section "Prehistoric Macedonia."
MUSEUM OF BYZANTINE CULTURE
The Museum of Byzantine Culture opened its doors to the public in 1994.
The idea behind the creation of a Byzantine Museum was to create the house of Byzantine culture in Macedonia, in general, and in Thessaloniki in particular, keeping the culture alive and offering the opportunity to students and society to research and study on the subject.
In the museum there are sculptures, murals, mosaics, icons, metalwork, coins, wall paintings, glass, ceramics and inscriptions from the Byzantine years.
It has permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibition halls, maintenance workshops, and storage areas.
Today, three permanent exhibitions are open, presenting the society and art of the early Christian period (4th-7th century AD) with emphasis on the transition from the ancient world to Christianity.
The theme of the first exhibition is "the early Christian churches" and the Architecture and decoration of the Christian churches in the first centuries.
The second exhibition is Early Christian Cities and Homes, the presentation of economic life, household crafts as well as details on food and clothing. In the center of the room dominates the reception area of a house with mosaic floor and very well preserved murals.
The third exhibition is called "From the Champs Elysees to the Christian Paradise", and focuses on the early Christian cemeteries.
The fourth exhibition is called "From the Iconoclasm to the brilliance of the Macedonians and the Komnenian dynasty". It presents the Iconoclasm, architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, lead bulls and coins in the mid-Byzantine churches, monasteries and the Christianization of the Slavs by the Thessalonian brothers, the monks Cyril and Methodius.
Future exhibitions will present the dynasties of the Byzantine emperors in chronological order from Heraklion (610-641) to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The "Byzantine castle" uses exhibits and information that describe a picture of daily life and production inside and outside the castle walls.
(Approach from the Archaeological Museum stop at a distance of 100 meters)
Aristotelous Square is a connecting link in the architectural history of Thessaloniki with its modern form.
Its historical significance stems from its emergence as a central point in the redesign of the city by the creator of Aristotle Square, the French architect Ernest Hébrard, after the 1917 fire.
Aristotelous Square is the point of contact with the sea and the starting point of an axis full of public spaces.
Aristotelous Square is characterized as a very vital space for modern Thessaloniki as it is identified with the largest open space in the city center which has become a host for many events throughout the year, a meeting place, recreation and promenade for citizens and visitors. of.
It is mentioned and is in fact a rare example of planned architecture and thanks to its careful orientation, it offers a stunning view of Mount Olympus.
A beautiful historical area, specially designed only for pedestrians, which is a favorite destination, both for locals and visitors as well as for the unique student community of the city.
Ladadika is one of the hottest places in the city in terms of entertainment! It is essentially a mixture of the old and the new, of tradition with today.
The colorful historical and neoclassical listed buildings exude the spirit and character of old Thessaloniki, while they are only five minutes away from Aristotelous Square for those who prefer walking.
The name "Ladadika" comes from the shops that existed in the area much earlier and sold food, oil, and various oil products. The whole area was used as a central market and bazaar during the Ottoman rule but also earlier.
Today Ladadika welcomes locals and foreign visitors of all ages combining their picturesque beauty with the many and quality options for both food and drink. Espresso bars, cafes, taverns, pubs and various clubs coexist at a short distance from each other.
Thessaloniki At the same time it is the most expensive shopping street in the city. The road existed in Thessaloniki before the Balkan wars. Only then it was called Second Parallel and when the city passed into Greek hands in 1913 it was renamed Ioannis Tsimiski Street.
It took its current form after the great fire of 1917. A person extremely important for the future of Thessaloniki undertook the redesign of the damaged areas. This was the French architect, archaeologist and urban planner Ernest Emprar.