Thessaloniki City

Thessaloniki Town, close to Halkidiki, in Greece: Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. It was founded by King Cassander of Macedonia in 315 BC and was named after his wife Thessalonike, who was a half-sister of Alexander the Great. After the fall of the Macedonian Kingdom in 168 BC, the city came under Roman rule.

Architecture in Thessaloniki peaked while the city was part of the Byzantine Empire. The church of Agia Sophia is a brilliant Byzantine structure of detailed mosaics and elaborate gild works. The White Tower, a 16th-century edifice, is considered to be the symbol of the city. A major part of the ornate Arch and Tomb of Galerius still stands today. Known as the Kamara, this reddish-stone structure has withstood the damages inflicted upon it through centuries.

Time has swept away most of the ancient Greek constructions but one can see the Hippodrome Square, once a Greek chariot-racing stadium. Ravaged by fire and bombardment in 1917, Thessaloniki lost a lot of its architectural heritage. In 1978, a major earthquake damaged many buildings and Byzantine monuments.

Hints of Ottoman architecture are found in the Upper Town of Thessaloniki (Ano Poli). The extensive outer wall of the city, wooden houses and some of the city's oldest and most important churches have made Ano Poli a heritage site. The most important church is that of Agios Demetrios, the patron saint. The church has three chapels, a museum, and catacombs that include the dungeon where Agios Demetrios was imprisoned.

Thessaloniki is also home to many museums, such as the Byzantine Museum, housed in the White Tower, the Macedonia-Thrace Folklore and Ethnological Museum, the Cinema Museum and the Railway Museum, to mention a few. The waterfront of Thessaloniki is the main promenade of the city, through many cafes, restaurants, and shops. There residents and tourists use to walk along the waterfront or drink coffee in the many cafes by the sea. This is one of the most favorite activities in Thessaloniki.

Moreover, as for nightlife, the city offers a wide chance of possibilities, suitable for any preference. There are numerous bars and clubs that stay all night long, taverns, restaurants with any kind of cuisine (traditional or ethnic), theatres, cinemas, and sports centers. In a few words, there is anything you expect from a big city.

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