Thessaloniki Attractions Guide

Places to Visit: White Tower It is the most famous landmark of Thessaloniki, and is often compared to other famous landmarks in Europe. Originally constructed to strengthen defense for the Ottoman Empire, the tower became known as a prison cell and an execution site. It underwent a lot of reconstruction since then and the once white tower was no longer white. The Tower was also called the Lefkos Pyrgos and by other names. Nowadays, the tower is a historical landmark with a museum that houses a lot of Byzantine art, the Museum of Byzantine Cultures. Visitors will admire the top beautiful view of the tower with a café to rest and snack a little, after minutes of long walk through the steep stairs cases of the tower. Agios Dimitrios Church The church was built in order to commemorate the patron Saint Demetrius. It was built during the 3rd century after the early persecution of Christians. However, it was altered and replaced by a bigger church during the 4th century, which stood and overlooks the whole city. It is a three-sided chapel, which contains a crypt and a museum. The underground crypt is what interests its visitors. Served as an old Roman bath and Saint Demetrius prison chamber before, the crypt is now adjacent to the museum that houses articles that were important in the history of the church. The Arch and Tomb of Galerius This is an archaeological site that is also called the Kamara and was built in commemoration of Galerius’ victory over the Persians. The structure, which was red-stoned, contains scenes picturing what happened during the battle. The site also has the Ano Poli or the upper town where houses are hanged up the streets. This town features the Ottoman influences of the city. This site also contains the oldest and most significant churches. The Rotunda The place underwent a lot of changes, from rulers, to functions and to its name. The Rotunda was built from the ruins of the Greeks. Emperor Galerius had wanted it to become his mausoleum, hired it as a part of his kingdom, but it never happened. The Rotunda was vacant until Emperor Constantine converted it to a Christian church. During the Turkish settlement, the place became a mosque and a symbol stands as a remnant that tells people that this place was once conquered by them. Nowadays, it is called as the Church of Aghios Georgios or the church in honor of Saint George. It is considered the oldest church in Thessaloniki. Roman Settlements The site gives a view of the early settlement of the Romans. Famous places include the Kyvernion or the former residence of the King and Queen of Greece, roman public baths, Roman markets and theaters. Agia Sofia and other Churches If Turkey is proud of their Hagia Sophia, a little version of that was copied in Thessaloniki. It was built during the 8th century and was named after the unsurpassed one in Constantinople. Tourists who want to get a glimpse of the medieval churches can also visit Thessaloniki. Those worth of visits are the Agia Ekaterini, a 13th century church with beautiful frescoes or wall paintings, the Agfi Apostoli and Agios Nikolaos Orfanos, which are both built during the 14th century and are well-preserved, and Panagia Halkeon, a cruciform church. Such churches are among the significant places during the olden times.