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Thessaloniki

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About Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the capital of the region of Central Macedonia, and is, at about a million inhabitants, the second largest city in the country. More importantly, it is a city with a continuous 3,000 year history, preserving relics of its Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past and of its formerly dominant Jewish population. Its Byzantine churches, in particular, are included in UNESCO's World Heritage list.

 

Todays Thessaloniki

The city was rebuilt in the 1920s and today Thessaloniki is a lively modern city bustling with life and movement. Large avenues, parks and squares, lines of trees that frame commercial streets with showy shop windows. Old houses, neoclassical buildings, stand side by side with modern dwellings which makes a walk through any section of the city an interesting journey. The past and present merge at old taverns, "ouzeries", restaurants next to hotels and luxury bars, "bouzouki halls" (Thessaloniki is the cradle of modern Greek popular song, "rembetika"), cinema halls, theaters and sidewalk cafes on street pavements and squares. Small family run taverns and basement pastry shops offer a delicious variety of famous Macedonian specialties, next to stalls of ice-cream sellers for busy pedestrians.

 

Archeological sites in Thessaloniki

The ancient forum (dated to the late 2nd or the early 3rd century AD) with squares, porticoes, additional buildings and odeum (293-395 AD), the palace complex of Galerius Maximianus (4th c. AD), the thermae, the hippodrome, the temples and other monuments and moveable finds (among them mosaics of exquisite art) brought to light in excavations and surveys. In the south square, is the famous Stoa of the Idols, which was two-storeyed and lavishly decorated. The Triumphal Arch of Galerius (Kamara), built in AD 305 to commemorate his military successes in general in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. The Rotunda is an early 4th century building which later was converted into a Christian church.

Google map

 

Links:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Thessaloniki

http://www.greecetravel.com/thessaloniki/introduction.html

http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/main_cities/thessaloniki

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