Landmarks of Greece: what to see in Thessaloniki - White tower
Greece is a country where there is always great weather, and plenty of interesting sights will impress anyone.
On its territory there are some of the best resorts in the world, so to choose where to go is no easy task. Many tourists choose Thessaloniki is a unique resort, which will impress a plenty of interesting places.
Tourism in Thessaloniki on the map
Resort Thessaloniki has a sufficiently large area – it is the second largest city in Greece.
Here is one of the most extensive coastal areas on the mainland, as well as many places to experience cultural and historical attractions of both the town and the country.
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A bit of history
The history of Thessaloniki incredibly eventful. The first mention of it relates to the year 315 BC, to the period of its Foundation by the king of Macedonia. The name of the future resort was named after the wife of king Athos – Thessaloniki. The city was formed in the Bay of the thermaic Gulf, making it a tasty morsel for the conquerors was the reason for the constant attacks of the Persians, Arabs and Turks.
Over the years, Thessaloniki managed to visit the capital of Macedonia, to enter the land of the Romans, Byzantines and Turks, to become the second most important city of Byzantium after Constantinople and finally go into the possession of Greece. During this time the buildings were constructed fortifications, stretching along the coast, and also built one of the largest ports, which charted the sea route between the Balkan Peninsula and Europe.
During numerous firesand military events various years a part of the cultural and historical legacy of Thessaloniki was lost. Until survived only a part of the Byzantine churches, a reminder that the city belonged to the Empire, as well as a few castles, a house in which was born the first President of Turkey and lots of objects with incredible rich history.
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The main sightseeing areas
In Thessaloniki several areas of interest from a tourist point of view. Many of them are not only the most striking sights of the city, but there are interesting contemporary objects.
Once in Thessaloniki, is to go to the historic areas of the city:
- ANO Poli – the area for Hiking along the winding narrow streets, along which are ancient architectural objects;
- The Ladadika district, where in addition to touring the historic sites, tourists have the opportunity to try traditional cuisine, and in the night to get into the club;
- Valaoritis-Sigros – an area popular with those tourists who prefer to combine sightseeing with rich cultural life.
Many historical and cultural sites located along the waterfront of the Bay – the place where occurred the most important event in the region. Also a lot of interesting things you can find in the outskirts of Thessaloniki, which is especially a lot of the natural attractions of the region.
All the attractions of Thessaloniki, you can work around leisurely in one day. Basically they all represent the architectural legacy of the Byzantines, Romans and Turks.
In Thessaloniki there are also cultural objects, which allows you to feel the centuries of life of the population.
In Thessaloniki you can meet several interesting monuments. They are all located in the city centre, and most of them dedicated to the great peoplewho lived here at different times.
On the city's waterfront near the White tower there is a statue of Alexander the great –the king, without which it would be difficult to imagine the existence of Thessaloniki as a historically important city. The sculpture of this great man reminds us that during the reign of great commander, the city has reached unprecedented heights.
Alexander the great is depicted on his favorite horse, the Bucephalus, and behind the king stand shields and spears, each of which depicts the symbols of the serpent – wisdom, the lion – courage, Medusa – cunning, the ox – the hard work and the Falcon is foresight. It is difficult to pass such a grandiose monument, which is visible here from any corner of the promenade.
In Thessaloniki are monuments to other famous people:
- Philip II – sculpture of the great king, who was born in one of the former villages that have become Thessaloniki.
- Aristotle a sculpture by the famous tutor of Alexander the great the king and the native;
- Nikolaos, Votsis bust of Lieutenant distinguished during the Balkan war of 1912;
- The Metropolitan Panteleimon II – a bust of a priest who was able to return the relics of St. Demetrius – patron of Thessaloniki from Italy.
A very remarkable sculpture of the "Saw" – a giant blade tool, the outstanding from the earth. The author of contemporary art is the Russian architect Andrei Filippov.
For his work he wanted to show people the confrontation countries and the split of West and East – the blade is exactly where split Roman Empire.
The temples and churches of Thessaloniki is an incredibly beautiful, interesting and unusual buildings, of which a large part was built in the VII-X centuries are Among the attractions of the city these religious buildings occupy a leading position in their number, and this is not surprising, since from Thessaloniki Christianity spread across Europe.
Primarily, attention is attracted by the ancient Church. Demetrios or Demetrius Basilica – Shrine, erected in honor of the patron Saint of the city. This monument was built in the VII century. His original appearance was a bit changed, and now he looks particularly monumental.
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Another religious landmark of Thessaloniki is the Church of SV. Sofia – ancient temple with an incredibly beautiful domed Basilica. This building was erected in the VIII century, like many other Byzantine churches that deserve equal attention. Particularly well the interior of the Church – ancient frescos and mosaics characteristic of the period.
Among the ancient churches in Thessaloniki are:
- Rotunda SV. George – a small temple built in the year 306;
- Church of Panagia Chalkeon temple, built around 1028, the;
- Temple Gregory Palamas – a beautiful temple built recently in 1914;
- Church. The apostles – VII century Shrine with exquisite mosaic inside;
- The Church of Agios Pavlos is a relatively young but incredibly beautiful temple constructed in 1997;
- The Church of the Transfiguration is a miniature temple of the beginning of the fourteenth century;
- The Church of Prophet Elias is an architectural structure XIV with a variety of decorative elements.
During the reign of the Turks, most of the temples were converted into mosques, but after the land is returned to the Greeks, the shrines were returned to their intended purpose. Many of them still being of service, and some were historical monuments or have been given over to museums. In any case, they continue to look incredibly expressive and very unusual.
The most famous building in Thessaloniki – the White tower – a historic building in the city, built by the Turks in the XV century. In total there were constructed three towers, and their purpose was the strengthening of the fortification wall.
The name "white", the tower received after the city managed to free from the influence of the Turks. In honor of this momentous event the tower was repainted white.
To our days the paint of the tower did not survive – it is almost all washed away, and now a landmark you can see exactly how it was under Turkish rulers.
At the ancient architecture of Thessaloniki you can see in the Old town – ANO Poli. Unlike the rest of the city, here the fire had spared many of the structures extant in its original form.
In the heart of Thessaloniki is Aristotelous square, the place became beautiful architectural project by the architect Hébrard. After the terrible fire of numerous buildings in this part of the city fell into disrepair. The architect planned to rebuild most of the center, but the project was abolished, leaving the beautiful building of cream color in the style of "Neoclassicism" as well as boardwalk leading to the Park and the Roman forum.
Thessaloniki remained part of the fortress wall(Castres), which was built immediately after the founding of the city in IV century. This structure saved the city many times from the attacks of the Celts, Bulgarians, Mongols, Arabs and Normans. While protecting the wall has clearly been damaged, but they began to recover, so this design amazes with its greatness.
Among the historical objects it is worth noting the arch and tomb of Galerius monument adorning one of the areas in Thessaloniki. According to research, this structure was built in 306 ad, but its purpose is not yet known. Scientists suggest that she was a part of the structure, connecting the Palace of the monarch Gaius Galerius and the mausoleum.
Fans of antiquities will be interesting to see:
- The Acropolis is part of the ancient fortress wall;
- The tombs of the Macedonian kings , a place where Philip II was buried;
- The Roman Agora , the ruins of the ancient market square.
A unique historical monument, the ancient city of Dion , the place where Alexander the great began his last campaign. Scientists are still exploring these ruins, finding artifacts here. The city represents the remains of buildings of residential quarters, houses and villas belonging to the nobility of the time, and very interesting examples of ancient architecture – temples, baths, running water and toilets.
Former luxury in Thessaloniki preserved only in small remnants. Earlier in the Acropolis was the castle Eptapyrgio, but it was a small ruins.
Also partially survived the Palace of Gaius Galerius, but looking at it, you can get an idea what he was luxurious and ambitious for that time.
Inside the building is best preserved mosaic floors and a few galleries, halls and corridors.
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The real pride of the city – its numerous museums with exhibits worthy of special attention. Over a long period of existence of Thessaloniki, where there were many important historical events, which can explain the relics, the scientists found.
With the ancient history of the city can be found by visiting the White tower and its collection of exhibits dedicated to the Byzantine time. Far from it there is the Museum of Byzantine culture with a similar exposure.
Especially interesting is going to be a visit to the local Archaeological Museum – the place where a large number are unique pieces of art: ancient statues, columns, architectural objects and jewelry.
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Central location for exploring Thessaloniki promenade – luxury pedestrian area, along which are located many attractions: scenic and exciting parks, monuments, various sculptures and of course, incomparable views of the Bay. Once upon a time this place was strengthening, but was demolished to build a Mall.
For those who prefer a familiarity with the natural attractions in Thessaloniki has several scenic features worthy of attention. In addition to one of the most beautiful bays in Greece, near the city are the following objects:
- Mount Olympus – the legendary place, on top of which, according to the epic, the gods lived;
- The waterfalls of Edessa is a luxurious streams of water, lush greenery;
- Prespes lakes – two lakes, between the States of Albania, Greece and Macedonia;
- Alistrati cave – cave formation fantastic beauty.
At the foot of mount SV. George is the eponymous cave, inside which you can see the stalactites and stalagmites of odd forms. Over time, they change, but those that have, have their own names.
What else to see?
Thessaloniki tourist popular not less than Athens. This city, whose appearance said that he and locals had to go through many important historical events, not inferior to many of the attractions of European capitals.
The convenience of sightseeing in Thessaloniki is that all the most interesting objects are located on the seafront, Aristotelous square and in the Upper town – ANO Poli.
Several objects can be found, walking through the modern quarters of the city.
According to the most famous attractions of Thessaloniki, you can take a bus on route 50. He should be on the Central part of the city, making stops at 15 locations. The route itself starts at the waterfront and ends at the White tower. The sightseeing tour takes about 50 minutes.
Finally, to see Thessaloniki from the bird's eye view you can climb the observation deck of the tower of OTE (telephone service). Here are cafes in which to relax between sightseeing.
For young travelers in Thessaloniki there are also manyinteresting. Here is Waterland, which is one of the largest not only in Europe but throughout the world. Inside the Park there are many attractions: water slides, pools, a mountain stream with a waterfall, where vacation with a child will be unforgettable.
Thessaloniki is located in several museums, children and adults there will add to their knowledge about the ancient city:
- Museum of photography – exhibition of photographs by Greek and foreign photographers;
- The cinema Museum is a small repository of old films, cameras and photographs related to cinema of Greece;
- Museum of the Macedonian struggle – a collection of objects that belonged to leaders of the Macedonian struggle;
- Ataturk Museum – interesting exhibition dedicated to the Turkish President.
Weekend and holidays in the main squares of the city you can catch concerts and festivals, accompanied by a colorful show and fireworks.
Attractions in Thessaloniki are distinguished for the amazing variety. Everyone who came here gets the opportunity to get acquainted with the historical and cultural heritage of this region. And from most coastal hotels are opened absolutely stunning views.
Romantic and picturesque Thessaloniki is the perfect venue for weddings, it is with a view here come the newlyweds. How much is a wedding abroad, read here.
Watch the video on the sights of the ancient city of Thessaloniki: