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Spending a few days in Thessaloniki, Greece

 
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lindamura's pictureby lindamura review
added on 27th of August, 2008

A visitor approaching Thessaloniki from the sea will have a first glimpse of a modern metropolis, lots of blocks of flats and other modern buildings.

This sight was very different a few hundred years ago. A major change in the façade of the city took place after the 1917 fire destroyed a great part of it leading to a new infrastructure plan to be developed, but something was still left for example the old neighborhood of Kastra and other major Roman ruins and ottoman buildings. They were renovated and the city of Thessaloniki was named a European cultural capital.

History

The city was founded in 316 BC by king Cassander who named the city after his wife. The city developed during Roman times. Christianity flourished in the settlement under the Byzantine rulers who built new churches. Despite the many attacks, earthquakes, fires or epidemics, the city continued to prosper.

After 1500 many Jews came from Spain to settle here making up almost half of the city’s population. After the war, the Nazi took most of them to concentration camps and at present, there are less than one thousand Jews left. Lots of other refugees made up the city’s population giving it a multicultural feel and making the local cuisine a very rich one in flavors.

Attractions

- The International Fair that takes place every year in October makes the city an important commercial centre

- The Museum of Archeology boasts Macedonian, and Roman artifacts from the whole region. Verghina collection holds some magnificent treasures: jewels, household items made of gold, the king’s crown, and many other.

- Churches- here in the city more byzantine churches have survived the ottoman destruction than in other places. The earliest churches have been adapted from Roman basilicas, that were in turn built upon old Greek temples. You can visit Ahiropitos and Aghios Dhimitrios. The last one is the church that has been built short time after the death of Saint Dhimitrios on the place where he was kild. This is the biggest church in Greece, almost completely reconstructed after the 1917 fire.

- Osios Dhavid- is what is left of Latomos monastery and you can find it in the old Kastra neighborhood.

- Aghia Sofia – dating the 8th century was built to imitate the one with the same name in Constantinople

- Aghios Nikolaos Orfanos is the most beautiful church located in the northeastern part of Kastra

- The Byzantine Museum boasts an exquisite art collection, icons, ceramics, coins

- Modhiano covered market- bearing the name of the Jewish family who built it, sells fresh meat and fish

The surrounding area makes for a day trip and you can see the ruins of Dion and the beautiful Mount Olimp.

 

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1. Aug 27, 2008 Spending a few days in Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki)

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Recommended Thessaloniki Guide

Thessaloniki History

Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon, who named the city after his wife, a sister of Alexander the Great. At the time, the huge empire created by Alexander was fragmented among his successors. Macedon was only a small part of the empire, but it included all of Greece. In the Hellenistic period, the city grew and developed. By the time the Romans conquered Macedon, Thessaloniki was a flourishing city. The Romans recognized the commercial potential of the city and built an impressive port, as important as Kavala. Thessaloniki’s acropolis was also built by the Romans, to defend the city from Thracian raids. In... Read more »

 
 
reviews

Recent reviews for Thessaloniki

Nafplion is worth a stop - Apr 1, 2009, by Wazling
It's a normal greek city, mostly clean. It has got some nice beaches, surrounded by some camping places. If you go there on holiday seasons, you cant move, like canned fish. In the city center you can watch a medieval fort, but besides that... Read more »

Short visit in Corinth - Dec 13, 2006, by Wazling
Nice antique City. If you're interested in history you should go there and also visit the small museum, there are quite many rare and interesting findings. Also, don't forget to take as many pictures as possible both in the city and around... Read more »

Quick facts about Meteora, Greece - Apr 15, 2009, by cipristb
Meteora is the second best known monastic settlement on the Greece teritory afther Athos Montain. Meteora is situated on the north-west parte of The Tesaly Plain not far away from the city of Kalambaka. This trend was incurred due to a... Read more »

Short trip to Sparti - Apr 1, 2009, by Wazling
Well known city from the greek history. One of the biggest competitors of Athens, also in a military sense. The modern city is like most of the other greek cities with a middle size. There're some nice posibilities for bars and... Read more »

Climbing Mount Olymp with motorbike - Jun 29, 2009, by angel
For this trip we rented a motorbike. In Greece you don't need a specific driving licence for driving these scooters (it's not a real motorbike - you can see it on picture 5) you can drive them only having a driving licence for cars. We paid... Read more »

 
 

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