Greece, Thessaloniki: attractions and photos
This article will be devoted to the wonderful Greek city of Thessaloniki. This is a significant port and resort of the country. In terms of size and population, Thessaloniki is second only to Athens. More than a million and two hundred thousand people live here. Thessaloniki is the main city of the Greek province of Macedonia. And in 1997 he was awarded a more honorable status - the cultural capital of the whole of Europe. After all, this locality has a long, more than 2500-year history. Antiquity, the Roman and Byzantine empires, the rule of the Ottomans - all eras left their mark on this city. But it is interesting not only the presence of various historical and cultural attractions. Thessaloniki is also a resort. Many believe that the best place to relax on the sea in a country like Greece is an island. Thessaloniki, though located on the mainland, can boast of beautiful beaches. But we will tell about everything in order.
The history of the city with the beautiful name of Thessaloniki (Macedonia, Greece) actually has more than two and a half thousand years. Just earlier it was called otherwise - Termi (probably due to the presence in the vicinity of healing hot springs). But even before this ancient settlement the lands around Thessaloniki were inhabited. Here they found the remains of Neanderthals - the oldest in Europe. In 315 BC, the Macedonian king Cassander established the city on the site of Termi and gave him a new name after the name of his wife (and Alexander Macedon’s half-sister) - Thessalonica. For a long time it was the capital of the powerful Macedonian kingdom. Even at the dawn of Christianity, there was a special community in the city, the Church, to which the Apostle Paul sent his message. Here was the residence of the Roman emperor Galerius. Legionary Dimitri received here a martyr's crown because of faith in Christ and became a saint revered in Orthodoxy. From Thessaloniki Cyril and Methodius went to evangelize the Slavic peoples.
How to get there
Thessaloniki (Greece), whose attractions attract tourists at any time of the year, can boast of their own international airport.It is called Macedonia and takes regular flights from Moscow and other large cities of the Russian Federation. In the summertime, the congestion of these air gates in Northern Greece increases dramatically due to numerous charters. Direct flight "Moscow-Thessaloniki" has a duration of three hours and twenty minutes. In the second largest city of Greece can be reached by sea. Ships and ferries to the islands depart from Thessaloniki. Greece has a well-developed railway connection. In Thessaloniki can be reached by train from Athens, as well as Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The journey from the capital of the country on a comfortable bus will take six hours.
Climate of Northern Greece
The city lies in the natural zone of the subtropics. Weather conditions here are such that they allow you to open the beach season in April. And although you can sunbathe and swim in Thessaloniki until mid-October, the tourist peak falls on the summer months. Precipitation during this period is extremely small, and the heat can reach the level of +35 degrees in the shade. The sea warms up to +25 in July-August.aboutC. All this makes Thessaloniki, the sights of which will be a pleasant bonus in addition to a beach holiday, a world-famous resort.In winter, there may be a short-lived snowball, although the average January temperature is kept at around 6 degrees. Most precipitation falls in spring and late autumn.
The capital of Macedonia was subjected to siege many times. The city was repeatedly destroyed by various warlike tribes, but each time Thessaloniki rose from the ashes even more beautiful. They even became grander than before. Therefore, now interesting for tourists Thessaloniki (Greece). The sights of the ancient period are very numerous here, despite the various disasters that the city experienced. The most fatal was a fire that occurred in 1917. Then virtually the entire city suffered. But ano-poly - the ancient part of Thessaloniki, located north of the modern center - miraculously escaped the fire. Now it is fully and completely included in the UNESCO List. What to see in Thessaloniki (Greece) to the connoisseur of antiquity? The lion’s share of artifacts is kept in its exposition by the local archaeological museum. The treasure found in the tomb of Philip II, king of Macedonia, is the gem of the collection. Quite a few remains from the palace of Emperor Galerius Maximian (in the northeast of the city). But tourists can still observe the majestic arch and the Rotunda (mausoleum).These buildings of the ancient period are also included in the treasury of the world heritage of mankind.
Sights of the Byzantine Empire
The Archaeological Museum already mentioned keeps in its exposition also invaluable artifacts dating from the early Middle Ages. A part of the surviving fortress walls testifies to the former fame of Thessaloniki during the reign of Palaeologus. On the site of the death of a Christian legionnaire, the Romanesque basilica of Agios Dimitrios now stands. It is the main church of Thessaloniki. Sights of the Middle Ages are more numerous than the ancient monuments. Among them stands the Tower of Lviv, also called White. It divides the city embankment into old and new parts. The tower was erected in the V century to protect against attacks from the sea. Now it is a museum. From the observation deck, where the cozy cafe is located, stunning views are opened.
Religious buildings in Thessaloniki so much that they are also called the Holy City. Some of the churches have a long history that goes back centuries and managed to visit both pagan temples and Muslim mosques.Such, for example, is the Cathedral of St. Gregory Palamas, in which the relics of the saint are kept. Once it was a temple at the palace of the Roman emperor Galerius. In the fifth century it became an Orthodox church, and in the sixteenth century it became a mosque. Late antiquity dates from the Church of St. Dmitry. The Church of Rotunda is a little younger than the Parthenon of Athens. Once it was the local temple of Zeus. And this is not all significant religious buildings of Thessaloniki. The sights of the early Middle Ages can be seen in the Church of the Hand-Made Icon (Achiropitos), the Prophet Elijah and the Church of St. Catherine. And the local Hagia Sophia is a complete copy of the eponymous cathedral in Constantinople (Istanbul).
The mosques of the city have long been turned back into Orthodox churches, but still something remained of the powerful Ottoman Empire in Salonika. Tourists should pay attention to the houses of Hamza-Bey and Alatsa, which are typical examples of Turkish style, and the jewelry market. Heptapirgion, or Edi Kule, is the hallmark of Thessaloniki (Greece). Sights, photos of which can be seen in any tourist avenue, are also represented by this citadel of the Ottoman Empire. Once it was the main defensive fortress of the ancient Acropolis.The Turks updated the walls and towers according to the rules of construction of the time. A garrison of Turkish troops was located there until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Then the fortress was turned into a prison and only in 1989 became a museum. Tourists can see fragments built in the late antiquity (the rule of Theodosius I) and read the inscription carved on the orders of Sultan Murad over the main gate of the citadel. The name Heptapirgion is translated as “eight towers,” although in reality there are ten. Bloody (later White), Grain and Prison later turned into separate forts.
In 1917, a huge fire destroyed most of the city of Thessaloniki, the sights of which died in the fire. But the French architect Ernest Ebrar recreated the main features of the old quarters, bringing modern notes to them. Traces of the centuries-long rule of the Ottoman Empire in Greece can hardly be seen in Thessaloniki. But Ebrar emphasized the rich ancient heritage and greatness of the Byzantine empire. The new city is the capital of shopaholics. The production of furs and articles of them originated in Thessaloniki in the fourteenth century.And now, even in winter, the city receives foreign guests arriving in Greece as part of “fur-coat tours”. But the discount season continues not only in the second half of January. The same low prices and noisy sales are observed in the city and at the end of June.
Beaches: Thessaloniki, Greece
The country is famous for its sandy coasts. In the capital of Macedonia, there are also well-groomed beaches with a developed tourist infrastructure and entertainment industry. All of them are municipal, that is, free. Money will have to pay only for the rental of umbrellas and sun beds. Within the boundaries of a large city, which is also a large port, the waters are not very suitable for swimming. But in the vicinity of Thessaloniki, in the Thermal and Strymonian Bays, the water is crystal clear. The best is the beach of Ayia Triada. It is located twenty-two kilometers from Thessaloniki. Sights, photos of which adorn many postcards about Greece, you will find on the coast in the vicinity of Perea. No less beautiful is the beach of Nea Mihanion, which is 17 kilometers south of Thessaloniki. This coast is chosen by connoisseurs of quiet rest. And fans of various types of surfing go to Angelohori.On this beach, which is 30 km from the center, it is always windy, and the sea is often agitated.
Entertainment in Thessaloniki
In this ancient European city, life is in full swing. Festivals and diverse cultural events replace each other. When the museums are closed, the townspeople go to the promenade on the embankment. From it you can admire not only the beautiful Thermaikos Gulf, but also the summit of Olympus. In Salonika there are as many as four water parks where you can relax with the whole family. In the parks of the city is always cozy and shady. Everywhere you can find numerous cafes, restaurants and fish taverns. The heart of the city, where life never stops, is Freedom Square and Aristotle.
The area around Thessaloniki
Reviews strongly recommend traveling around Northern Greece. Thessaloniki is the ideal starting point for independent day trips. The surroundings of the city are famous for their healing sources. Now they work hydropathic clinics, in which you can take a health course for people suffering from gynecological, skin diseases, arthritis and rheumatism.Inquisitive tourists can make trips to the archaeological excavations of Vergina and Pella - the capitals of ancient Macedonia. It will be convenient for pilgrims to get from Thessaloniki to St. Athos and the Meteors. You can go to Kastoria, Halkidiki, Stagira, Petralona Cave.