Meet the 15 sites on UNESCO map
Surrounded by walls and castles and yet extroverted, Thessaloniki has written its history on the walls, sometimes even on the inscriptions preserved in various parts of the fortifications, witnesses successive repairs and reconstructions in the course of the centuries that followed. From the sea side, the city was protected by a low sea wall.
Northeast of the city walls, the highest and most privileged spot of the Acropolis, Eptapyrgio is also known with its Ottoman name “Yedi Kule”. It consists of a Byzantine fortress composed of ten towers and of the new buildings of the prison, which were transferred in 1989. The charming complex of different construction phases of the Early Christian-Early Byzantine period until the Turkish occupation is open today to visitors and hosts cultural events.
The circumcenter domed building of the 4th century has been for many people the most important monument of the city, which this year has officially opened its doors to visitors. Rotunda axis was the terminal point of a processional route linking the triumphal arch of Galerius with the palace complex, which has been excavated south of Egnatia Street. Rotunda was initially intended to be the mausoleum of Galerius or the temple of Zeus or of Kaveires. In early During Christian times it was transformed into a Christian church with excellent quality mosaics. The preserved paintings are of the 5th century.
Osios David (Latomou Monastery)
The visitor will find the small church at the Upper Town (Ano Poli) at the end of Aghias Sophias Street. It was built in the late 5th century at the type of a cross inscribed in a square niche in the east. Today, only the eastern half of the original plan survives. The church is especially known for the mosaic with the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel in the niche, one of the major mosaic works of the early Christian period.
Saint Sophia Cathedral
The temple of the God’s Wisdom was built in the 8th century on the place of a large early Christian basilica. Cathedral of the City (1246-1523 / 24), which became a mosque, it offers visitors with an exquisite mosaic decoration inside, while its icons belong to the most important painting sets of the Iconoclasm period (780-788). At the same time Ascension of Jesus on the dome was also created.
Basilica of Agios Dimitrios
North of the ancient market, the church was built on the ruins of the Roman bath where Saint Dimitrios was imprisoned and killed. Prefect of Illyricum Leontius erected there a large basilica, during the 5th century. After it was burned, around 620, a five-aisled basilica was built with rich paintings and marble decorations and mosaics. The church burned down in the fire in 1917 and was restored again.
Beneath the church of Aghios Dimitrios, the visitor shall find the crypt where the latter was imprisoned, martyred and buried. During the late Byzantine years, holy water and myrrh was springing from the fountain of the Saint. During the Ottoman rule, the area was forgotten and abandoned, to be detected due to the fire of 1917. The space hosts a permanent exhibition of early Christian and Byzantine sculptures, coins and ceramics.
Aghios Efthimios Chapel
The church is full of wall paintings inside, painted in 1303 at the expense of protostrator Michael Tarchaneiotes Glavas and his wife Maria. The paintings, an artwork of a gifted artist, convey the high aesthetics and dynamics of Palaiologan regeneration.
Panagia Acheiropoietos Basilica
In the city center, on Aghias Sophias Street, the visitor can find the Great Church of the Virgin Mary. Inside the church stand the wonderful architectural sculptures.
Church of Panagia Chalkeon
South of the ancient market, is the church of Virgin Mary. It is a precisely dated monument, with an inscription on the marble lintel of the west entrance.
On the outskirts of the Upper Town, on Theotokopoulou Street is the only public Byzantine bath preserved today in Thessaloniki. It is a small building, which probably dates back to the 13th century and maintains all necessary for a bath spaces: anteroom, warm and hot room and pool.
Church of St. Panteleimon
At the junction of Arrianou and Iasonidou Streets, at a short distance from the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda, is the Byzantine church of St. Panteleimon. A few examples have been preserved from its original wall paintings.
Church of the Holy Apostles
At the beginning of Olympou street, and very close to the west Walls is the church of the Holy Apostles. Inside, extraordinary mosaic decoration is saved, characteristic of the last period of Palaiologan art.
Aghios Nikolaos Orfanos Church
It is located in the Upper Town, between the streets Herodotus and Aghiou Pavlou, close to the east Walls. Its masterpiece frescoes are one of the most complete sets of paintings preserved in Thessaloniki.
St. Catherine Church
Above Olympiados Street, at the foot of the Upper Town and at the confluence of Oedipus and Tsamadou streets, near the northwest Walls the visitor shall find the church of St. Catherine, a former Byzantine Catholic monastery. The church dates back in the late 13th – early 14th century.
Church of the Savior’s Transfiguration
At the junction of Egnatia and Palaion Patron Germanou, is the temple of the Savior. It was built after 1340 probably as a funerary chapel Byzantine monastery and was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The only monastery of the city serving as today is located just outside the Acropolis walls, on the Acropolis Street.
Prophet Elias Chapel
The temple of Prophet Elias is on Olympiados street, at its junction with Prophet Elias Street, on an outcropping natural rock. The temple is unique in Thessaloniki for its architectural type.