The White TowerThe White Tower

Thessaloniki, also known as Salonika, is a historical city with a constant presence of more than 2300 years. Here, on these roads walked Roman Caesars and philosophers, Byzantine emperors and simple people of a different origin and history.

Τhessaloniki is the second most populous city of Greece. The foundation of the city in the Hellenistic era coincides with a critical phase in the history of the Macedonian Kingdom, which starts from the untimely death of Alexander the Great and to claim the throne of Macedon king from his descendants.

General Κassander in order to claim the throne of Macedonia married his stepsister of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki, in honor of which founded the city bringing together 26 townships located around the Thermaikos Gulf.

 

The Galerius ArchThe Galerius Arch
The tour in Thessaloniki includes sights such as the White Tower, the Arch of Galerius (Kamara), the Government House Square with the archaeological site, the Byzantine church of Agios Dimitrios, the Rotοnda and the Upper Town (Old Town), with the Byzantine walls which include various attractions such as the  Vlatadon monastery, the Alatza Imaret, Eptapyrgio, the monastery of Saint David, etc.

Of course, the tour can be changed according to your own preferences.

 

Highlights of Thessaloniki 


White Tower : Built about 1430, it was used in the fortification of the city. The Turks used it as a prison for long term prisoners. It has a height of 34 m and the interior is really worth seeing. The city’s history is presented there in a very impressive way. 

The Byzantine WallThe Byzantine Wall

The wall and the citadel : From the very beginning Thessaloniki was fortified by strong walls. Today, half of the original 8 km have been preserved. The citadel’s interior (Eptapyrgion) was a Byzantine fortification and in more recent years was used as a prison. 

Ano Poli : The picturesque old city quarter is located right below the citadel with its small gardens and the old paved roads. 

Ancient Agora : For a long time it was the commercial, social and administrative centre of the city. It was once a large square surrounded by colonnades. At the south-east corner, near the modern entrance, the ancient baths, whose construction still shows the glamour and luxury of former times, can be found. 

The palace : Located at the modern Navarino square, near the Rotonda and the arch of Galerius, are the ruins of the palace of the emperor Galerius. 

The arch of Galerius : The arch of Galerius is located in the centre of the modern city. Originally it was a hall with a colonnade (stoa) which led, during the Roman period, from the Rotonda to the palace. Nowadays, its western part has been preserved. Impressive depictions of relief of the goddesses of victory, symposia and battles can still be seen there today. 

RotondaRotonda
Rotonda : The Rotonda is very likely one of the most famous monuments of the Roman period worldwide. It was built about 303 as a sanctuary or a mausoleum .In the early Christian period it was transformed into a church by the emperor, Theodosius. The wonderful mosaics were made during this period .When the Turks occupied Thessaloniki, the monument was used as a mosque. Its minaret, the only one in Thessaloniki, is still well preserved. 

 

Agios Demetrius : The church is dedicated to the patron saint of Thessaloniki and it’s one of its oldest churches. It was built on the ruins of extensive Roman baths, where saint Demetrius was incarcerated and died a martyr’s death in 303. In the 5th century an impressive basilica was erected and adorned with some beautiful mosaics, marble columns and splendid capitals. The restoration works started after a devastating fire in1917 destroyed a large part of Thessaloniki and the church. 


Agia Sophia : The church is dedicated to the wisdom of God and it is located in the city’s centre where, during the Byzantine period, was the administrative centre. It was built during the period of iconoclasm (when religious images were prohibited), in the beginning of the 8th century. It is believed that the mosaics were made some time between the 8th – 12th century .The most impressive is the mosaic found in the imposing dome, which is the Ascension of Christ of the 9th century. Some frescoes can be seen there as well, decorating the arches of the south wall and depicting regional saints and monks. 

Vlatadon-monastery : The Vlatadon- monastery was built near the citadel in the 14th century, occupying the place where Saint Paul preached. The old catholicon can be seen with the “bema”, the place of the sermon. It’s the only one of twenty monasteries of Thessaloniki to have survived to the present day. The library has a collection of valuable manuscripts. 

Achiropoiitos : The church is located in the Byzantine centre of Thessaloniki and it’s the oldest basilica of the East. Achiropoiitos means "not man made" and refers to an icon of the Virgin Mary. The basilica was built in the 5th century and the restoration works done during the 7th and the 14th or the 15th century. It was once dedicated to the Mother of God. The frescoes were made in the 13th century. 

Archaeological museum : You shouldn't miss out on a visit to the Archaeological Museum. It contains finds from the whole of northern Greece, such as prehistoric finds from Thrace and Macedonia, as well as vases, copper, tombs, jewelry from the geometric period, statues from the archaic and classical period, weapons, beautiful gold jewelry from Macedonia in general. Within each exhibition the visitor receives information about ancient art, economy, religion and more. 

Byzantine museum : The Byzantine museum impresses the visitor with its rich collection of precious icons, unique tomb constructions, funerary inscriptions, gold coins, pottery, glassware, mosaics, household crafts, liturgical items and manuscripts from different centuries covering the whole period of the Byzantine history. 

Byzantine cistern and baths : The building is located in Olymbiados Street. It's a rectangular building with thick walls. The domes of the roof have not been preserved. During the Byzantine period it was used as a cistern and provided the city with water. Not far away, in Theotokopoulou Street, another Byzantine public building has been preserved. Built at around 1300, the baths were in use until 1940. 

Mosque Hamza Bey : Erected in 1467/68 by the daughter of the military commander Hamza Bey, the small mosque was extended even before 1592, when the Turkish population increased. According to an inscription, the mosque was rebuilt in 1620 after an earthquake or a fire. Its original shape changed after a cinema and some other shops were housed in the building.

Aristotelous SquareAristotelous Square
Bey Hamam : In Aristotle Square, the oldest Ottoman building of Thessaloniki can be seen. Also known as "Bath of Paradise", it is the largest bath that survived in the city and was built in 1444 by sultan Murat II. It was in use until 1968 and nowadays it is used for cultural events and exhibitions. 

 


3-4 Hour Tour

  City tour at the Highlights of Thessaloniki.

Cost: Premium Taxi ( 1-4) 60 € / Minivan ( 5-8) 80 €


 

 

 

 

 

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