Thessaloniki (520 km. north of Athens) is the second largest city of Greece and the most important centre of the area. Built near the sea (at the back of the Thermaïkos Gulf), it is a modern metropolis bearing the marks of its stormy history and its cosmopolitan character, which give it a special beauty and charm.
MANY STORIES, ONE HEART…
Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece. The Greeks call it co-capital. Today it counts a population of over 1,000,000 inhabitants and ever since the ancient years it has been a multi – cultural city. The international airport covers in addition to the needs of the city, many other touristic areas of Northern Greece as well. Thessaloniki is the metropolis of northern Greece. In recent years a special tourism product has been developed. The city provides many excellent hotels and several tourist agencies. It offers rich history, many monuments, traditional neighborhoods, a modern center, a lot of malls and shopping areas, many restaurants and cafes and a vibrant nightlife. It has much to offer to the visitor as year after year the tourist product gets further improved, increasingly becoming a much more attractive tourist destination to visitors from all around the world!
Visit Thessaloniki’s Archaeological sites
- The ancient forum (dated to the late 2nd or the early 3rd century AD) with squares, porticoes, additional buildings and odeum (293-395 AD), the palace complex of Galerius Maximianus (4th c. AD), the thermae, the hippodrome, the temples and other monuments and moveable finds (among them mosaics of exquisite art) brought to light in excavations and surveys. In the south square, is the famous Stoa of the Idols, which was two-storeyed and lavishly decorated.
- The Triumphal Arch of Galerius (Kamara), built in AD 305 to commemorate his military successes in general in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.
- The Rotunda is an early 4th century building which later was converted into a Christian church.
Visit Thessaloniki’s Byzantine monuments
Thessaloniki, with its host of Byzantine monuments (due to it’s significance during the Byzantine period), justifiably is considered an open-air museum of Byzantine art. Wandering through the city, it is worthwhile to see:
- The churches of Acheiropoietos (5th century) a three-aisled, timber-roofed basilica, the Holy Wisdom of God (Hagia Sophia) (7th century), the Panaghia (Virgin) Chalkeon (1028), Hosios David (12thcentury), St Panteleemon (late 13th or the early 14th century), is of four-columned cross-in-square type, Ayioi Apostoloi (1310-1314),Taxiarches (14th century), Panagouda a three-aisled basilica with significant icons, Agios Ioannis Prodromos (Nymphaion),Vlatadon monastery a 14th century foundation of which only the katholikon and two cisterns within the precinct survive, Ayios Demetrios a splendid basilica dedicated to the patron saint and protector of the city, etc.
- The byzantine walls of the city.
- The archaeological site in 3 Septemvriou St., with remnants of a cemetery basilica, a martyrion and Early Christian graves.
- The byzantine bathhouse (late thirteenth century).
- The Heptapyrgion castle was raised in stages, from the early years of the Byzantine Age into the Ottoman period.
Amazing Ottoman monuments
- The White Tower (15th century), the hallmark of the city.
- The Mosques of the Hamza Bey Cami (15th century), the Aladja Imaret Cami (1484) and the Yeni Cami (1902).
- Hamams (turkish bathhouses): The Pazar Hamam (15th century), the Pasha Hamam (15th century), Bey Hamam (16th century), Yeni Hamam and the Yahudi Hamam.
- Bezesteni, a rectangular building with lead-covered domes and four entraces was built in the late fifteenth century and operated as a cloth market.
Museums in Thessaloniki
- Archaeological Museum (6, M. Andronikou street, tel.: 2310 -831,037) An exciting tour of the history of ancient Macedonia through important findings dating back to the end of 6th century B.C. The museum was inaugurated in October 1962.
- Byzantine Civilization Museum (2, L. Stratou street, tel.: 2310-868.570): one of the most important museums of the country, with valuable Byzantine exhibits dating back from the Early Byzantine period to the Turkish occupation. The museum often hosts modern art works and cultural events.
- Museum of ancient Greek, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine instruments (12-14 Katouni street, Ladadika, tel.: 2310-555.263). More than 200 instruments dating from the Copper era until early 20th century are exposed in the three chambers of the restored building.
- National Museum of Contemporary Art (Lazariston Monastery, 21, Kolokotroni street, Stavroupoli, tel.: 2310-600.123). Works made by Greek and foreign artists are exposed in the old building of the Monastery.
- Municipal Art Gallery (162, Vassilisis Olgas street, tel.:: 2310-425.531). Housed in Mordoch mansion, it exposes Greek painters’ works, placing the emphasis on artists from Thessaloniki.
- Jewish Museum (13 Aghiou Mina street, tel.: 2310-250,406-7) Housed in a preserved building built in 1904, it presents the historical course of the Jews of Thessaloniki until their genocide by the Nazis during German occupation.
- Thessaloniki History Center (Ippodamiou square, tel.: 2310-264,668) was founded in 1983 by the Municipality of Thessaloniki. It exposes historical documents, plans and gravures of the city.
- Cinematography Museum (Port of Thessaloniki, tel.: 2310-508,398): It exposes rare machines, negatives, photos and films from cinemas dating back to the pre-war period.
- Aghios Dimitrios Crypt (Aghios Dimitrios Church, tel.: 2310-270.591):In the museum you will see Paleochristian sculptures dating back to 5th -7th centuries as well as Byzantine sculptures (11th-14th centuries) which have been found in the church.
- Macedonia-Thrace Folklore and Ethnological Museum (68, Vassilisis Olgas street, tel.:: 2310-812.343): It is housed in the preserved mansion of G. Modiano and exhibits about 15,000 items of special interest.
- Macedonian Museum of Contemporary art (International Fair of Thessaloniki, tel.: 2310-281.567). The museum houses, among other things, paintings, sculptures, engravings, photos and films made by Greek or foreign artists.
- Museum of the Macedonian Struggle (23, Proxenou Koromila street, tel.: 2310 229778). Housed in the neoclassical building of the 19th century, it hosts an exhibition of heirlooms associated with the Macedonian struggle and photos dating back to the period from 1900 to 1912.
- Design Museum (43 Mitropoleos Street, tel. 2310- 263.043). More than 3,500 items concerning the history of Design in the whole world and more than 6,000 books, lists, monographs and magazines are exposed here.
- Macedonian Studies Society Art Gallery (1, Nik. Germanou street, tel.: 2310-238.601). Houses an exhibition of Modern Greek art, including works of contemporary and older Greek artists.
- War Museum (4, Gr. Labraki street, tel.: 2310-249,803) For more info: www.warmuseumthessaloniki.com
- Telloglion Arts Foundation (159A, Aghiou Dimitriou street, tel.: 2310-991.610). The Foundation houses an exhibition of art works, as well as all the works possessed by Nestor and Aliki Telloglou, which they donated to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
- Photography Museum (Port of Thessaloniki, tel 2310-566,716) exhibiting a great deal of photos and negatives.