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Thessaloniki


General information about the city



  1. Prefecture of Thessalonica
  2. History of Thessaloniki
  3. Monuments - Prefecture of Thessaloniki
  4. Churches - Thessaloniki
  5. What to see in the Centre of Thessaloniki
  6. Museums - Thessaloniki
  7. Beaches in Thessaloniki
  8. Halkidiki | Paradise for family
  9. A 4min Thessaloniki Tour | From Airport to InfoCenter ...




Prefecture of Thessalonica




The Prefecture of Thessalonica is a major administrative section of the Central Macedonia Region. A fertile land stretching around rivers Axios, Gallikos and Loudias, the lakes Koroneia and Volvi and the waters of Thermaikos and Strymonikos bay. The area has been inhabited since the prehistoric years and near its frontiers traces of life dating back to that period have been discovered.

Thessalonica is a big modern city with one million residents, the biggest urban agglomeration of the Prefecture.

Website of Thessalonica Prefecture: www.nath.gr

Reference : Prefectural Administration of Thessalonica
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History of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a big, modern city with 1 million inhabitants and the largest urban center of the Prefecture. It was founded in 315 B.C. by the king of  Macedonia, Kassandros, son of the general Antipatros who was left as a prefect of Macedonia by Alexander the Great, when he dared his great expedition in Asia.
 
In this way, Kassandros, having won the battle for succession, married the step-sister of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki, and founded the city in her honor, uniting 26 small settlements in the vicinity.

In less than two centuries from its establishment, Thessaloniki, just like all of Macedonia, was occupied by the Romans.

In 148 B.C. it was the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia.

A bit later the Macedonian Greeks support the Roman occupation together with whom they face the peoples who often arrived outside of her famous walls trying to gain occupation.
In 42 B.C., Thessaloniki is declared a free city (civitas libera) and begins a new age of peace and prosperity.

Half a century before the birth of Christ, the Roman orator, Cicero, lives in Thessaloniki. The large, famous Egnatia Road for travelers who went from Rome to the East or came back from the West, passes right next to it, uniting the Adriatic to Constantinople. The Roman Empire was finally coming to its end. Two large powers are created with Licinius in the West and Constantine in the East.

Constantine the Great chooses Thessaloniki from where he will engage in his great confrontation with Licinius. He builds the new port of the city and recognizes Christianity as the official religion of the state.

During that period, Thessaloniki acquires important Byzantine churches, many of which visitors will see today during their walks through the city. In the centuries that follow, Thessaloniki suffers from the raids of Goths, Persians, Arabs and Turks without ever losing its character. The city is saved by its great walls of which several of its parts still exist today crowning the city.

In 1185 the Byzantine Empire could not prevent the occupation of Thessaloniki from the Normans. A few years later come the Franks and in 1224 A.D. the city is occupied by Theodoros Doukas Komnenos and is declared the capital of the Bishop of Epirus.

Afterwards, the city will face the threat of the Catalans while from 1300 A.D. enters its golden age. The city experiences a singular autonomy and self-government. It is multi-membered with a strong economy, cultural and artistic life, brilliant monuments, skillfully decorated churches and all sorts of factories: copper, iron, lead, paper etc.

Its cultural renaissance is supported by a series of important orators, theologians, philosophers, lawyers and hagiographers with important works during that period. Grigorios Palamas, Nikolaos Kavasilas, the lawyer Constantine Armenopoulos, Thomas Magistros and the hagiographer Emmanuel Panselinos are all present in Thessaloniki creating their works.

In 1430 A.D., the Ottomans occupy the city and force all those inhabitants that survived the slaughter to abandon the city.

For several years, after the 16th century, the city develops again and its communities of which it is composed live in harmony. Thessaloniki is a populous city, exciting and a cosmopolitan center of the time.

The Greek middle class which gradually formed until the 18th century gave Thessaloniki the glory of the large commercial center.

At the end of the 19th century, Thessaloniki is connected via rail with Skopje and from there with Europe. Also, it is connected with present day Alexandroupolis and Istanbul. The first horse-drawn trams, industries and gas-light are established. Thessaloniki acquires the face of a cosmopolitan, European city. Greeks are now the overwhelming majority of its population.
Liberated Greece in the first years of the 20th century defends its national claims through many sacrifices with the Greek General Embassy of Thessaloniki as its center. However, word of the fall of the Ottoman Empire is evident.

On 26 October, 1912, on the day its protector, St. Dimitrios celebrates, Thessaloniki is liberated by the Greek army and is united to Greece after five centuries of Turkish occupation.
A few years later, after the Asia Minor catastrophe in 1922, and the population exchange with Turkey, Thessaloniki receives the larger part of the refugees, many of whom were of Pontic Greek descent and later comprised significant factors in the economy and social development of the city.
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Monuments - Prefecture of Thessaloniki

The White Tower (Lefkos Pyrgos) of Thessaloniki is the symbol of the city. Located at the waterfront of the city, it is nowadays a museum, hosting amazing collections about the Byzantine history of Thessaloniki. It was built approximately in 1500 A.D. and formed part of the defense system of the city.

Heading to the center of the city you will sea the monuments built by Galerius, Caesar of the “Eastern part” of Macedonia after defeating the Persians (298 B.C.). His Arch (Kamara), his Palace, an imposing block of buildings the traces of which can still be seen today at Navarinou Square (Oktagono), as well as the Rotonda, an enormous round building, maybe a temple of Zeus or Kaveiros. The visitors can still admire the exceptional mosaics added two centuries later (395 B.C.) by Emperor Theodosios when he transformed Rotonda to a Christian church.

Several years earlier, the nowadays restored Roman Forum, a commercial, administrative and social center dating back to late 2nd century A.D. was built, as well as several other remarkable buildings and monuments, such as the Stoa of the Idols, the entrance to the Roman Forum, later named "Las Encantadas" (The Enchanted) by the Sephardic Jews. Nowadays, there are no remains of it in Thessaloniki; however, there is a part of it exhibited in the Louver Museum in Paris.

If you are in the city center, it is worthwhile paying a quick visit to the old Turkish baths, Bey Hamam, built during 15th century, by Sultan Murat II. Of course, then you can head to the Upper Town (Ano Poli) and see the castles and the view of the city they offer.

The castles are very well preserved, thus showing their usefulness during the years when Thessaloniki suffered attacks from the sea.

You will see the so-called Trigonio Tower, as well as the Eptapyrgio, the fortress with seven towers located at the internal part of the walls and which was used as a prison for many years.
In the outskirts of Thessaloniki (10 km NW) there is a region called Derveni. It is worth mentioning that about 50 years ago several tombs dating back to 4th century were discovered. They were full of a great variety of valuable funeral gifts, which you can admire in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

Sindos is a similar area near Thessaloniki, remarkable for the same reason. During the recent years valuable findings have been discovered here and they can be seen at the same museum.

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Churches - Thessaloniki

Aghia Sophia (7th century)
Aghios Dimitrios (7th century and later)
The Byzantine churches you will discover among the modern blocks of flats of Thessaloniki are also very interesting.

You should not miss the chance admiring:the mosaics and the catacombs of Aghios Dimitrios (7th century and later), the majestic Aghia Sophia (7th century) with an enormous mosaic representing the Ascension located at its vast central dome, Panaghia ton Chalkeon (11th century), the Paleochristian mosaics at Rotonta (3rd century), Acheiropoiitos (5th century), which is the oldest of the well preserved basilicas of the Orient surviving until today, the small church of Latomou Monastery, the church of Holy David (6th century) with a remarkable mosaic, Vlatadon monastery (14th century), where we can still see the podium from where Apostle Paul taught when he visited the city in 50 A.D., Aghios Nikolaos Orfanos church (14th century), which is the actual church of an older monastery, as well as the churches of Holy Apostles and Aghia Aikaterini, which are samples of the so-called “Palaiologos”-style of art that dominated during the 14th century, the golden age of Thessaloniki.
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What to see in the Centre of Thessaloniki

Start with Aristotelous Square, the city’s most central square boasting monumental mansions. The Ebrar Committee designed it after the devastating fire of 1917. It is one of the biggest and most impressive squares in Greece offering a view of Thermaikos Gulf. Under clear skies, you can see the Olympus massif in the far distance from the Square.

Stroll down Nikis Avenue across the seafront, extending from the city’s Port (to the W) up to the Statue of Alexander the Great (in the E), lined with many cafés, bars and stores. It is one of the most popular promenade areas for locals and visitors alike.

The White Tower (Lefkós Pýrgos) is the city's landmark.The 33.9 m. high fortified cylinder tower measuring 22.7 m. in diameter was built under Suleiman I the Magnificent in the 16th century. It was part of the city’s fortification and was later used by the Turks as a place of execution (it was called Kanli Kasteli which means "tower of blood"). It goes by its current name since the 19th century. Inside the Tower, there is an exhibition on Thessaloniki’s history, from its establishment until 1922. 

Visit the Palace of Galerius, comprising the Octagon (the throne chamber) and admire its renowned mosaics, the Galerius arch, known as Kamára, built in 305 BC and the imposing Rotunda, the circular dome roofed building with impressive Early Christian mosaics (late 4th century).

Another site worth visiting is the Ancient Agóra (Market place), a trading placefrom the 3rd century BC until the 5th century AD. Discoveries include the city’s Agora (Market place), the Mint, the Odeion, a hall beleived to have been housing the city archives, a part of Valaneio with baths, a tavern and a whore-house, along with many smaller finds. There is an ancient temple and Early Christian tombs (4th -7th century) located under 3rd September Street. 

Another interesting place to visit is the Byzantine Bath, close to Koule Kafe Square, dating back to the late 13th century, a rare discovery site of Byzantine Baths. There are also mosques worth visiting such as the Ishak Pasha Mosque (1484), situated close to Kassandrou Street and the Hamza Bey Mosque(1467) having been destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt in 1620. The latter is situated at the junction of Egnatia and Venizelou Streets. Bezesténi is located in the Market centre (Venizelou & Solomou Streets) and used to be the trading place for luxurious textiles. It is a rectangular building with four entrances, built in the late 15th century. The city’s turkish baths include Bey Hamam (1444) on Egnatia Street, Pasha Hamam(1520), Bazaar Hamam and Yeni Hamam. Go for a walk in Kapani and Modiano markets and experience the city’s scents, perfumes and colours.

Thessaloniki : Port - Λιμάνι - Limani [photos]
Don’t forget to visit the Harbour, the Customs house and the warehouses(1910). The buildings have been modified to be used as venues forthe International Film Festival and to house the Cinema Museum and the Photography Museum.

Another very interesting place to see is the Royal Theatre, a 1940 building, nowadays the seat of the National Theatre of Northern Greece. This three-storey building boasts luxurious halls and in it there is one of the most high-tech stages in Europe. It is located on the White Tower Square. Also, the Young Men’s Christian Association of Thessaloniki (XANΘ), on the YMCA square, and the OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation) Tower (1969) are located in the premises of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.The view from the top of the tower is magnificent. 

Thessaloniki : Ladadika [photos] 
Make sure to visit Ladádika, the historic neighbourhood, close to Aristotelous Square, that was saved from the 1917 fire.The renovated buildings have in the recent years been converted into restaurants and night clubs. 

The city’s central streets namely Mitropóleos, Tsimiski, Ermoú and Egnatia are lined with shops, awaiting customers. As you are visiting the city centre, notice theelite art nouveau buildings and mansions located there as well as the Holocaust Victims Monument dedicated to the memory of the Greek Jews of Thessaloniki who were exterminated by the Germans during the German Occupation.

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Museums - Thessaloniki

Archaeological Museum (6, M. Andronikou street, tel.: 2310 -831,037) An exciting tour of the history of ancient Macedonia through important findings dating back to the end of 6th century B.C. The museum was inaugurated in October 1962.

Byzantine Civilization Museum (2, L. Stratou street, tel.: 2310-868.570): one of the most important museums of the country, with valuable Byzantine exhibits dating back from the Early Byzantine period to the Turkish occupation. The museum often hosts modern art works and cultural events.
Museum of ancient Greek, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine instruments (12-14 Katouni street, Ladadika, tel.: 2310-555.263). More than 200 instruments dating from the Copper era until early 20th century are exposed in the three chambers of the restored building.

National Museum of Contemporary Art (Lazariston Monastery, 21, Kolokotroni street, Stavroupoli, tel.: 2310-600.123). Works made by Greek and foreign artists are exposed in the old building of the Monastery.

Municipal Art Gallery (162, Vassilisis Olgas street, tel.:: 2310-425.531). Housed in Mordoch mansion, it exposes Greek painters' works, placing the emphasis on artists from Thessaloniki.
Jewish Museum (13 Aghiou Mina street, tel.: 2310-250,406-7) Housed in a preserved building built in 1904, it presents the historical course of the Jews of Thessaloniki until their genocide by the Nazis during German occupation.

Thessaloniki History Center (Ippodamiou square, tel.: 2310-264,668) was founded in 1983 by the Municipality of Thessaloniki. It exposes historical documents, plans and gravures of the city.

Cinematography Museum (Port of Thessaloniki, tel.: 2310-508,398): It exposes rare machines, negatives, photos and films from cinemas dating back to the pre-war period.

Aghios Dimitrios Crypt (Aghios Dimitrios Church, tel.: 2310-270.591):In the museum you will see Paleochristian sculptures dating back to 5th -7th centuries as well as Byzantine sculptures (11th-14th centuries) which have been found in the church.

Macedonia-Thrace Folklore and Ethnological Museum (68, Vassilisis Olgas street, tel.:: 2310-812.343): It is housed in the preserved mansion of G. Modiano and exhibits about 15,000 items of special interest.

Macedonian Museum of Contemporary art (International Fair of Thessaloniki, tel.: 2310-281.567). The museum houses, among other things, paintings, sculptures, engravings, photos and films made by Greek or foreign artists.

Museum of the Macedonian Struggle (23, Proxenou Koromila street, tel.: 2310 229778). Housed in the neoclassical building of the 19th century, it hosts an exhibition of heirlooms associated with the Macedonian struggle and photos dating back to the period from 1900 to 1912.

Design Museum (43 Mitropoleos Street, tel. 2310- 263.043). More than 3,500 items concerning the history of Design in the whole world and more than 6,000 books, lists, monographs and magazines are exposed here.

Macedonian Studies Society Art Gallery (1, Nik. Germanou street, tel.: 2310-238.601). Houses an exhibition of Modern Greek art, including works of contemporary and older Greek artists.

War Museum (4, Gr. Labraki street, tel.: 2310-249,803)

Telloglion Arts Foundation (159A, Aghiou Dimitriou street, tel.: 2310-991.610). The Foundation houses an exhibition of art works, as well as all the works possessed by Nestor and Aliki Telloglou, which they donated to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Photography Museum (Port of Thessaloniki, tel 2310-566,716) exhibiting a great deal of photos and negatives.
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Beaches in Thessaloniki


During the summer months you should combine your stay at Thessaloniki with a visit to the nearby beaches: Peraia, Neoi Epivates, Aghia Triada, Nea Michaniona and Epanomi from the side of Thermaikos Bay and Asprovalta, Vrasna beach and Stavros on the other side of the Prefecture at Strymonikos Bay.
Here, you can find clear blue waters and facilities for water sports.

There are every type of facilities, hotels, marines, courses, camping sites and picturesque traditional taverns right next to the sea, as well as various open-air places for entertainment under the starry sky. Several of these beaches have been awarded blue flags of the European Union for their quality and cleanliness.

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Halkidiki | Paradise for family

Kalithea

Cove after cove and hidden treasures in Halkidiki
The coast around Halkidiki is close to 500 kilometres in length. It is home to countless superb beaches, almost all of them blue flag winners. The area also has other hidden gems for you to discover.



Cosmopolitan Kassándra
Nees Fokies
According to mythology, Kassándra, the first peninsula of Halkidiki, was the site of the mythical Clash of the Titans. Today, Kassándrais one of Greece’s most modern tourist resorts. You can find some of the largest hotel complexes in the country here, with amenities of the highest quality, such as golf courses, marinas and spas. You can also enjoy gourmet meals prepared by renowned chefs.
If you like things a bit more organised on the beach, Cassandra is the place for you! It’s also home to some of Greece’s best known beach bars. Keep a note of these places: Floyitá, Áthytos, Kallithéa, Hanióti, Kryopiyi, Polýhrono, Pefkohóri, Palioúri, Posídi, Síviri, Sáni, Potidea! All of them have beaches to die for with the trendiest beach bars. If you need a bit of peace and quiet after a dancing session, hop in a car and discover some of the area’s untouched beaches. There’s no better way to recharge your batteries ready for the next party!
Those who are into hectic nightlife scenes might like to know that the Kallithéa area is home to some of the biggest best bars in Greece, while just about anywhere in Halkidiki you’ll find some nice quiet little bar which is just perfect to kick off your evening in.

Beautiful Sithonia
Porto Carras Grand Resort
The second leg of Halkidiki, Sithonía, is home to the ancient city of Olynthus with its unique mosaics. It also has beaches that will take your breath away! The vegetation on Sithoníais dense. The forests – pine chiefly – reach down to the beaches –a real treat for the senses.
There is a good balance of facilities for tourists in Sithonía. There are plenty of campsites but, in addition, visitors will also find superb major hotel complexes. Most beaches offer facilities such as umbrellas but there are plenty of others hidden away which have escaped any residential development. Wander from beach to beach, beating your own well-worn path. You’ll find creek after creek with turquoise water, white sand and stunning underwater landscapes. Akti Kaloyriás, Spathiés, Eliá, Lagomándra, Marmarás, Toróni, Tristiníka, Porto Koufó, Kalamítsi, Platanítsi, Kavourótrypes, Armenistís, AktíZográfou, ÓrmosPanayiás, Vourvouroú and Pyrgadíkiaare just some of the unique beaches you will find in Sithonia.
Take a look at some of the beaches further east in Halkidiki too in the Ouranoúpoli area at the start of the third “leg” and don’t forget the outstanding beaches at NéaRóda and Ierissós.

Check out:
The refreshing red and white wines
Tsipouro - the intoxicating (in all senses of the word!) local spirit
Delicious locally produced cheese
Scrumptious jams
Honey (it does you good too!)
Wherever you decide to spend your holiday in Halkidiki, one thing’s certain – you will admire the area’s beauty and character. Its unique landscape combined with its traditional villages and the welcoming hospitality of the locals will win you over for sure.

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Okay, we’re cheating here! Halkidiki isn’t actually an island. It’s a peninsula on the mainland jutting out into the sea. But with so many superb beaches, it feels like an island!!!

Where: a peninsula in northern Greece, part of Central Macedonia

Why: Halkidikí is home to countless superb beaches, almost all of them blue flag winners, lush green forests and a rich gastronomic and cultural heritage.

Must visit: Mount Athos (unfortunately, no women allowed), the cave of Petrálona, one of the most important caves in Europe, Stágeira, the home land of Aristotle.

Where to stay: Rent a room in a traditional seafront guesthouse, or choose from a wide selection of major hotel complexes. There also hotels that offer specially organised activities for youngsters of all ages (from 4 months to16 years old), so that parents can enjoy spa treatments while their kids are being looked after by specialist child minders. Special prices depending on your child’s age are also on offer.

Join in with: Open-air festivals that feature world-class jazz, classical, ethnic and folk music.
An extra tip for kids: Enjoy pool games and water polo in pools specially designed for you!

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Source:  www.visitgreece.gr




Thessaloniki [photos]




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A 4min Thessaloniki Tour | From Airport to InfoCenter ...









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Weekly schedule of the Championship

12.07.2013


18.00 Referees Meeting at Nikolaos Germanos Convention Center

19.00 Technical Meeting at Nikolaos Germanos Convention Center

 

See also : Directions Service [Driving-Walking-Transit]

13.07.2013


09.00 First game starts

18.00 Meeting

19.00 Opening Celebration at Alexandrion Sports Hall


13.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

14.07.2013


09.00-21.00 Games


14.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time, Gym)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

15.07.2013


09.00-21.00 Games


15.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time, Gym)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

16.07.2013


09.00-17.30 Games


16.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time, Gym)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

19.30 Social Party at Aretsou Beach (Kalamaria)

 

See also : Directions Service [Driving-Walking-Transit]

17.07.2013


09.00-17.30 Games


17.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time, Gym)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

12.30 FIMBA Game at Alexandrion Sports Hall

20.00 Mayor’s Reception at the City Hall of Thessaloniki

 

See also : Directions Service [Driving-Walking-Transit]

18.07.2013


09.00-21.00 Games – First Final Game


18.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time, Gym)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

09.00 FIMBA Congress at Makedonia Palace Hotel

20.30 VIP Dinner King’s Palace – Karabournaki

 

See also : Directions Service [Driving-Walking-Transit]

19.07.2013


09.00-21.00 Games


19.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time, Gym)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

20.07.2013


09.00-21.00 Games


20.07 PROGRAMM (Schedule order by Time, Gym)


Results and Standings [Women] : Women GameCenter

Results and Standings [Men] : Men GameCenter

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