Places you must visit before leaving Thessaloniki
White Tower Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki (Greek: Λευκός Πύργος Lefkós Pýrgos; Turkish: Beyaz Kule; Ladino: Kuli Blanka) is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece. The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification, known to have been mentioned around the 12th century, that the Ottoman Empire reconstructed to fortify the city's fortress after Sultan Murad II captured Thessaloniki in 1430. During the period of Ottoman rule, White tower became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions.
In 1912, Greece took again into custody the city of Thessaloniki and the White Tower was substantially remodeled and its exterior was whitewashed. White Tower has been adopted as the symbol of the city.
Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is one of the largest museums in Greece and the central museum of northern Greece. All visitors are welcome to experience its unique collections of ancient artefacts as well as its rich and extrovert cultural activities.
The Museum was built in 1962 by the architect Patroklos Karantinos and is considered a listed monument. Its staff consists of scientific, technical and administrative personnel who struggle to offer quality services.More details click here
Byzantine Castles of Thessaloniki
The Castle of Thessaloniki, also known as Heptapyrgion or Yedi Kule, is located on a hill above the Old Town (Ano Poli). Its location gives gorgeous views to the city, the port, and the Aegean Sea.
The Castle of Thessaloniki was built on the spot of the ancient Acropolis, founded by Cassander in 316 B.C. The walls of the castle, that are still visible today, date from the 4th century A.D. when the Byzantine emperor Theodosius I fortified the town. Many buildings and towers were constructed all along the Byzantine period, till the town was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430. A few years later in 1444, the castle was renovated, old buildings were destroyed and more towers were built. In fact, the Castle has ten towers in total, although its name Heptapyrgion means seven towers.More details click here
Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki
The building of the Museum of Byzantine Culture is considered one of the best works of public architecture created in the last decades in Greece. Off competition and after the death of Krokos, it was awarded a special distinction by an international committee at the ‘Awards 2000’ competition of the Greek Institute of Architecture, being characterized as “exemplary in its kind and a worthy example of public building, in the Public Works category”. In 2001 it was listed by the Ministry of Culture as a historical monument and work of art.
The year 2014 is a landmark as it represents the anniversary of twenty years since the Museum opened its doors for the first time on September 11th 1994 with the exhibition ‘Byzantine Treasures of Thessaloniki. The return journey’. This way the Museum of Byzantine Culture was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. That exhibition with the inspired title marked the return of the Byzantine antiquities, on the 14th of June 1994*, after eighty years in the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens where they have been transferred in 1916. The exhibition also marked the end of a long effort for the foundation of a Byzantine Museum in Macedonia and specifically in Thessaloniki which is connected with persons and events of the recent and contemporary history of the Greek state.More details click here
Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina)
The city of Aigai, the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, was discovered in the 19th century near Vergina, in northern Greece. The most important remains are the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.More details click here