Thessaloniki, with the second largest population is the second largest city of Greece and one of the most beautiful! It”s a city with a long history and you will love it too when you’ll visit it. The city will cast a spell on you, it will make you want to learn more about it, to experience its daily life, to get to know its history and feel like you are time traveling through the centuries of its existence.
You have a lot to see and there are many places where you can hangout with your children in Thessaloniki! Among the dense and even graceless apartment buildings of the modern city you will find hidden treasures, like Byzantine temples, fortress walls, arches and roman buildings from past eras.
I tried to select the most important places that characterize my city from four different historic periods, the Roman, the Byzantine, the Ottoman but also the modern days. But you can choose to visit only some or just one of them.
In this second part I suggest you visit monuments and symbolic places of the city.
Suitable for Ages:
The White Tower
Built in 1535, the White Tower was part of the city’s walls. However, wasn’t always “white”. During the ottoman period, it was called “The tower of Blood”, because it was painted with blood, since it was a prison for long-term convicts and on it walls prisoners were hanged. In the 1890 the Ottomans wanted to paint the walls white and it is said that this job was done by a longterm convict in exchange for his freedom.
Today, the City’s History Museum is hosted there. Learn about the long history of Thessaloníki, gratefully presented through photographies, videos, the sound, the light and travel from the roman period to the city’s present days. The kids will surely be impressed with the interior of the White Tower!
We suggest you seat and relax in the coffee-restaurant on the top floor, but you can also enjoy the view from the city’s walls. From this point you can even see Mount Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain, that in antiquity was believed to be the home of the 12 Olympian gods.
The White Tower – The City’s History Museum
Tuesday-Friday: 8.00-17.00 – Saturday-Sunday 8.00-15.00
Tel.:+30 2310 267 832
Rotonda is famous for its round shape and was built based on the Pantheon of Rome in the 300 AD. We don’t know if during its initial use it was a temple dedicated to God Zeus or the Mausoleum of the Roman emperor Galerius. During the Byzantine period it was transformed into a church, during the Ottoman period it was turned into into a mosque and later it was a transformed into a Christian temple.
Its minaret is the only one still standing in Thessaloniki. It’s worth seeing its interior with the large dome and its wonderful golden mosaic.
Tuesday-Friday: 8.00-17.00 – Saturday-Sunday: 8.00-15.00
Tel.:+30 2310 204868
The Arch of Galerius
Another city symbol is located very close to Rotonda, the Arch of Galerius, or as people also call it Kamara, was built as a tribute for the victory the Roman Emperor Galerius when he defeated the Persians. Only one of Kamara’s three arches has survived to our days.