Thessaloniki


               
From left to right. Upper row: The equestrian statue of Alexander the Great
Middle raw: The silver plated coin imitating the Macedonia shield and a club between the letters of MAKE…DONIA 4th century b.C. – Golden earrings showing Erotidea (The loving boy) – A toy-cock found in a child’s grave.
Lower row: A unique very large precious vase (stater) found just outside Thessaloniki in Derveni, called “Derveni stater” presenting a gift to an important marriage.

               

               
Thessaloniki as well as Pella are two historical cities of the Macedonian Empire related to Alexander the Great, his father Philip the second and the philosopher Aristotelis.

                Thessaloniki was founded on 315 b.C. by King Cassander, brother-in-law of Alexander the Great. Thessaloniki is the gate of NE Europe to the Aegean Sea, the Middle East and countries West, a very important touristic and strategic harbor. Before 315 there was a small town in the same place called Thermae.

                The promenade of the city starts about 4km long at the port, passes the White Tower, the statue of Alexander the Great, several beautiful gardens and ends before the Music Hall of the city.

Picture from the harbour of Thessaloniki

Aristotle’s Square – Hotel Electra on the left – Olympion on the right

               

             

             Aristotle’s square is the biggest and most picturesque square of the city under the name of the great philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great. The famous French architect Ernest Hebrard after the great fire of Thessaloniki in 1917 and just after the victory of the Greek Army in the “Eastern Front” of the 1st World War (1914-1918), designed the central part of the city totally burned and the University of Thessaloniki. North of the square is Aristotle’s street, first called “Avenue of Nations” in honor of the “Community of Nations” which stood as the “United Nations” of today. During the 1st World War Greece lost 2800 soldiers and officers.
             

             
The bust of Admiral N. Votsis, on the quay near the White Tower. He had set fire to the Turkish warship Fetih Bulend in 1912 a little before the liberation of Thessaloniki from Othoman Empire.

             

The White Tower is a Venecian Tower (1460), once on an island, surrounded by walls, protecting the city. Now is used as a City Museum (golden jewelry are shown on the right). The Greek flag is raised every day. A demonstration is shown supporting the view that our neighbor country following the decision of the United Nations, should be called FYROM.

               

The equestrian statue of Alexander the Great along the seaside of Thessaloniki

               

               

               After the White Tower, walking east by the seaside, we see the equestrian statue of Alexander the Great riding his horse Bucephalas, one of the highest statues in Greece. The word Bucephalas means: “The bull headed horse”. When Alexander was 17 years old he was the only one of the noble men of the palace, who in front of King Philip, managed to ride this wild horse. He did that after noticing that the horse was looking at his own shadow and was scared, so Alexander turned the horse opposite to the sun and was able to ride it. Bucephalas remained with Alexander till shortly before Alexander’s death in Babylon (Iraq). When Alexander was 20 years old, he was declared King of all Greek cities except one city in order to lead the Greek military forces against the Persians (336 b.C.). He was never defeated for 13 years. He tried to civilize nations by organizing theatrical performances, cultural and athletic events devoted to gods up to India and Afghanistan. Alexander saved Europe from an invader from Asia. Afghanistan remained for 290 years under the reign of Alexander’s generals. In India, Alexander asked Indian King Poros “What do you wish me to give you?” and he replied “My Kingdom” so Alexander gave him the power to reign again over his Kingdom. Indians still have good feelings for Greece and the Greek people. The Greek diplomatic vehicles in India were given the number: 1 (Cord Diplomatic one).

Syntrivani Square joins the roads to the University(N), the International Trade Fair(E) and to the
White Tower(S) with Egnatia street(W) and is one of the oldest squares of Thessaloniki.

               

The arch of the Byzantine Emperor Galerius and Rotonda -now St. George- (Mausolim-gravial monument of Galerius or place of worship)

Rotonda is one of the three places in Europe where golden mosaics were found (the other 2 are Ravena and Constantinople). Arch of Galerius is in Egnatia street and is decorated by inscriptions describing Galerius victory against the Persians.
               

Rotonda

               


               
Mosaics from Rotonda late 4th century a.D:
A christian saint.

               
Mosaic from the dome of Rotonda: A peacock.

               


               
The castles and the walls protecting the city. Built about 385 a.D.
               

               
Night view
               

                A part of the impressive Byzantine walls at night also dated from the 4th century a.D. The walls surrounded the city from the White Tower east to the Harbor and the Democracy Square west.

                St. Paul preached Christianity in 50 a.D. and here founded the second Christian community in Europe. His letters (epistles) to Thessalonikians are well known.
               


In Democracy Square we see the statue of Heir Constantine, in commemoration of his entrance freeing the city in 1912.
               

West of the city, through “Monastiriou Street” and the highway we go to Pella. Monastiriou Street was so called after the large city of Monastery (west, at a walking distance from Florina) inhabited mainly by Greeks but finally occupied by our allies the Serbs, in 1912. Now the city of Monastery also called Bitola, is in the country of Skopje (FYROM).
               

Items exhibited occasionally at the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Aristotle, the teacher of Alexander the Great

King Philip B’

King Philip’s son, Alexander the Great

Olympiad, King Philip’s wife


               
A unique very large precious vase (stater) found just outside Thessaloniki in Derveni, called “Derveni stater”
presenting a gift to an important marriage.

               

Golden mask and copper velvet helmet
of a Macedonian army officer. 5th century b.C.

A stone with five surfaces for issuing metallic jewelry,
7th century b.C. 

Golden jewelry on ivory,
3rd century b.C.

Macedonian marble table supported by a single
leg decorated by figures of Dionysos and a
panther.

 

The unique papyrus with greek letters found in Derveni outside NW of Thessaloniki.
Is a monument protected by UNESCO, because is considered the oldest book in Europe, 340-320 b.C.

               

               

Mosaics in a residency, about 3rd century a.D
               

               
Wall painting in a residency, about 3rd century a.D.
               

               
The empire of Alexander the Great within 13 years (336-323)

               

  • Police…100
  • First Aid – Hospitals…166
  • Tourism information office – Tsimiski 136 str… 2310 221100
  • Tourist Police of Thessaloniki … 2310 554871
  • Macedonia Airport… 2310 471170
  • Railway station… 2310 517517
  • Intercity bus station…2310595400
  • ELPA: Vas. Olgas 228 & Aigeou str. … 2310 426319-20
  • Road assistance ELPA… 10400
  • Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki… 2313 310201
  • Archaeological Museum of Pella… 23820 31160
  • Tourist information in Edessa…2381023101
  • Tourist information in Loutraki…2381020300