Αno Poli is one of the few areas of Thessaloniki that was not destroyed by the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917. It is located north of Agios Dimitrios, on the highest point of the city and extends to the Byzantine walls. The residencies of the area with their narrow streets are authentic samples of the Macedonian and the Balkan architectural tradition and compose a picturesque peaceful atmosphere away from the urban rhythms of the city’s center. Ano Poli is a great way to get familiarized with the local tastes and enjoy a fascinating view of Thessaloniki from above.
Ladadika is the nightlife hotspot of Thessaloniki, attracting countless locals, students and tourists every night. Colorful neoclassical buildings surround bars, cafeterias, traditional taverns, tsipouradika and clubs in a unique mixture of the old with the new that will fascinate and satisfy everyone. The place was named ‘ladadika‘ after the first shops of the area that were focused on selling oil (‘ladi‘ in Greek) and oil products during the Ottoman occupation.
Τhe Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki was established in 1912 and it is located in a building that was designed by the Greek architect Patroklos Karantinos. It hosts findings from the wider area of Thessaloniki that represent the Macedonian culture from the prehistoric years until the later antiquity. Some of its most notable exhibits are the head of Serapis, the statue of Harocrates, gold medals and Medusa heads.
The living symbol of Thessaloniki is world famous and carries a rich history. The White Tower was constructed during the 15th century in the place of a previous Byzantine fortification and was later reconstructed by the Ottomans. Through the passage of time the Tower was used as fortification, but also as a famous prison (called ‘Tower of Blood’, for obvious reasons). It was named White Tower in 1891, when it was whitewashed. Nowadays, the tower is open to the public and the visitors have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing panoramic view from its top. Inside you will find a very interesting museum, which focuses on the history of Thessaloniki and the tower, plus there’s a gift shop.
White Tower of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, +30 231 026 7832
During the period of the Turkish occupation many Turkish baths (hamams) were constructed in the city of Thessaloniki. The most famous one is Yahudi Hamam (which means ‘bath of the Jews‘), dating back to the 16th century; it was still in use until recently, and is located in the area Louloudadika. Another famous hamam in Thessaloniki is Bey Hamam (which means ‘bath of paradise’), built in 1444 and is located along Egnatia street. It is the largest hamam ever constructed in Greek territory, with a rich decoration, many halls and impressive paintings. You should visit one (or both) of them, in order to exprience the fruitful cultural interaction that has taken place in this multinational city through the ages.
Nestoras and Alice Teloglou donated their collection of works of art and created the Teloglion Foundation of Art in 1972, which is set in a modern building in the north side of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The museum hosts the works of important Greek and European artists of the 19th and 20th century, from sculptures and aquarelles to oil paintings and drawing, as well a rich library that includes more than 15,000 books. The foundation aims to get its visitors familiarized with art, preserve and study the Greek cultural heritage and encourage children to engage with art through special interactive educational projects.
The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art was established in 1979 and nowadays it is located within the setting of the Thessaloniki International Fair. It hosts about 2,000 works of art by Greek and foreign artists, a scientific library with more than 2,500 books, a cafeteria and a shop. The museum often organizes interesting events, conferences and discussions on aesthetic issues and the history of art, presentations of works of art, meeting with artists, interactive projects and bazaars.
The top film festival of south-east Europe was established in 1960 as Greek Film Week and became international some decades later, in 1992. Since then, Thessaloniki International Film Festival has been a growing force on a global scale by presenting independent and professional film productions from all over the world.
The element of religion plays an important role in the city of Thessaloniki, shaping, along with other factors and traditions, the architectural identity of the place. The post-Byzantine churches are some of the most representative art samples from the period of the Turkish occupation. The orthodox religion was a dominant factor of the Greek identity during those hard times, as the Greeks of Thessaloniki found spiritual shelter in the orthodox churches. Some of the most interesting Christian churches date back to the period of the Turkish occupation are Agios Dimitrios, Agios Athanasios, Panagia Trani, Agios Antonios and Agios Minas.