Thessaloniki Archaeological Sites
Thessaloniki is a city with a vast and rich history. Founded in 315 BC the city has endured through a lot of different historic periods and times like the Hellenistic, the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the modern era. All you need to do to experience Thessaloniki’s history is take a stroll around the city center since there are only few streets that don’t have archaeological remains. We are gonna narrow it down for you though and present you the most famous and historic sites that are worthwhile visiting.
The landmark of the city. Built on the waterfront of Thessaloniki, the White Tower is a sight that distinguishes itself among others in the city. It was build by the Ottomans during the 16th century, replacing an old Byzantine fortification, and was first used as a fortress. It has been also used as a garrison and a prison, notoriously known for the number of executions that took place there. When Greece occupied Thessaloniki the tower was whitewashed as a symbolic gesture of cleansing.
Nowadays, the tower operates as a musem.
Arch of Galerius
The Arch of Galerius (or as it widely known in Greece “Kamara”) is on of the most impressive monuments in Thessaloniki. It was built in 305 AD as symbol to celebrate General Galerius final victory against the Persians while also connecting the Palace and Rotonda.
Today, only parts of the masonry symbols of the arches survive and three of the eight pillars. Local residents use the arch as a meeting point.
Rotonda is a 4th century vaulted round building in Thessaloniki, similar to the Pantheon of Rome. It was intended to be used as a temple of Zeus. Due to its non-use, it was converted by Byzantines into a Christian temple, and after the Liberation of Thessaloniki, in 1912, it was dedicated to St. George. It is included in the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The earthquakes that hit the city of Thessaloniki in 1978 caused serious damage to the monument. The restoration work required major interventions in the building and its decoration, most of which were completed.
The Roman Market (or Agora) was the administrative centre of ancient Thessaloniki that occupied an area about two hectares in the heart of the city. Its construction began at the end of the 2nd century A.D. on the site of an older forum dating from early Imperial times. Remains of a theatre, a square, an arched street, a mint and a marketplace have been unearthed, while excavations and restoration works are being continued today.