Thessaloniki is a city with a rich history. Other than Athens, where history is literally on the street, there is not much known about Thessaloniki. A big part of the historical center has gone lost because of a big fire in 1917. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing left to see. Our Dutch tour leaders take you with them along the most impressive sights of the city.
The White Tower
The White Tower is one of the best-known sights of Thessaloniki. On almost every picture you will see it as a symbol of the city. The tower is built in the 15th century by the Ottomans as a defense tower. Later it became a prison were mass executions took place. At that time the tower was better known as the Red Tower because of all the bloodshed. When the Greeks recaptured the city in 1912, they painted the tower white. These days, the White Tower is a museum along the boulevard.
From the White Tower it’s about a 15-minute walk to the Rotonda. This enormous building was built in the 4th century and was destined as a temple for Zeus. In the early days the building was one with the arch of Galerius and the old palace.
Architecturally it can be compared to the Pantheon in Rome. The Rotonda served as a cathedral of Thessaloniki between 1524 and 1591. After that it became a mosque for the Ottoman rulers. The Rotonda served as a mosque until the liberation in 1912. After that it became a church again. Recently the Rotonda was restored. It’s worth taking a look inside too, so you can admire the beautiful frescos.
The arch of Galerius
The arch of Galerius is the triumphal arch that was dedicated to the Roman emperor Galerius, who played an important role in the history of Thessaloniki. The impressive size of the arch reminds of how the city has changed in the course of time. Originally it were three arches, but only the middle one survived. The arch in the early days was connected to the Palace of Galerius.
The palace of Galerius
The palace is located at the Navarino square and was built in 300 before Christ. Pieces of the palace are clearly visible and give the city center a historical vibe.
Visiting the sights of Thessaloniki with a Dutch or English speaking tour leader?
Our bike and walking tours are perfect to kick off your city trip. Together with our enthusiastic English-speaking tour leaders you cycle or walk along all the famous sights of Thessaloniki: the White Tower, the Roman agora and the arch and palace of Galerius.
There is no need to look up any information because our tour leaders know all the interesting stories that you don’t find on the internet. Our bike and walking tours take place daily from February 2018. Bookings can be made through the reservation form on our website.