Thessaloniki - Greece's second city

About Thessaloniki - Greece's second city

A crossroads between East and West, Thessaloniki developed quickly after its foundation in 315 BC by the Macedonian King Kassandros; he called the city after his wife, Thessaloniki, who was the half sister of Alexander the Great. In 165 BC it was conquered by the Romans, who were later succeeded by the Byzantines. It was at that time when splendid churches were built, many of which still survive today. After a long succession of conquerors Thessaloniki became part of the Greek state in 1912.

Cultural life in Thessaloniki is rich, with year round cultural: concerts. theatrical plays, operas and cinematic festivals. Its museums revive the rich and multicultural past of the region showcasing finds from Classical, Roman and Byzantine times to contemporary folkloric and ethnological exhibits.

As the second biggest city of the Byzantine empire, Thessaloniki is like an open-air museum. In 1988 it was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site due to the number of Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches and monuments in the city. These unique Byzantine churches and archaeological sites co-exist with contemporary buildings, modern shops and numerous coffee shops. There are also ruins and monuments from the Ottoman period such as the White Tower, the city's symbol.


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