Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is the capital of the region of Macedonia. The city is over 2,300 years old and has a rich Roman and Byzantine history, examples of which are scattered about the city.

White Tower

The White Tower is an Ottoman era monument and has become a symbol of the city. It was constructed in the 15th century on the site of an older Byzantine tower, located where the eastern city wall met the sea wall. The tower is 33.9 metres high. It got its current name in 1890 when a convict whitewashed it in exchange for his freedom.

The White Tower
The White Tower
View of the city from the White Tower
View of the city from the White Tower
View along the harbour from the White Tower
View along the harbour from the White Tower

 

GALERIUS PALACE COMPLEX

There are several monuments or buildings that fall within the overall palace complex of the Roman Emperor Galerius Maximianus. These include the Rotunda, Galerius’ Triumphal Arch and the Palace building itself. The artist impression below shows how the complex was linked together. In the top left is the Hippodrome where chariot races, etc took place. To the right of the Hippodrome is Galerius’ palace (basilica). In centre-right is Galerius’ Triumphal Arch and in the bottom right quadrant is the Rotunda.

Artist impression of the Galerius Palace Complex
Artist impression of the Galerius Palace Complex

 

Rotunda

The Rotunda was built by Galerius Caesar around 306AD, either as a temple to Zeus or Kabeiroi, or as a mausoleum for Galerius. In the 5th century, the Rotunda was converted to a Christian church. In the 1500’s it was converted to a mosque, and the tower minaret from that period still stands.

The Rotunda, viewed from the Galerius Arch
The Rotunda, viewed from the Galerius Arch
The Rotunda - rear view
The Rotunda – rear view

 

Galerius Triumphal Arch

A sizeable section of the arch remains. In its day it must have been an impressive sight. It was constructed in 305AD to commemorate Galerius’ military successes in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

The remaining part of the Galerius Arch stands in the middle of a modern city
The remaining part of the Galerius Arch stands in the middle of a modern city
Galerius Arch - the guy standing underneath the arch gives a sense of scale
Galerius Arch – the guy standing underneath the arch gives a sense of scale
Galerius Arch
Galerius Arch

 

Galerius Palace

Built by Emperor Galerius Caesar in the early 4th century, it was his residence during visits to Thessaloniki. Records show that the palace was used by subsequent Roman emperors during the 4th and 5th centuries, including Theodosius I. The palace includes reception halls (Basilica and Octagon), a courtyard, baths and cistern.

The ruins of the Roman palace occupy a square in the centre of the city
The ruins of the Roman palace occupy a square in the centre of the city
The remains of a two-storied cistern that stored water for the baths in the palace
The remains of a two-storied cistern that stored water for the baths in the palace
The communal lavatory/toilet in the baths section of the palace
The communal lavatory/toilet in the baths section of the palace
A drawing of the lavatory
A drawing of the lavatory
The main room in the Baths
The main room in the Baths
The Octagon reception hall
The Octagon reception hall
Part of the marble-tiled floor of the Octagon
Part of the marble-tiled floor of the Octagon

 

Artist impression of the interior of the Octagon
Artist impression of the interior of the Octagon
Doorway to a small room
Doorway to a small room
Section between the Baths and the Basilica
Section between the Baths and the Basilica
Curved wall of the Basilica reception hall
Curved wall of the Basilica reception hall
Various sections of the palace ruins
Various sections of the palace ruins

 

Miscellaneous Photos

Church in Thessaloniki
Church in Thessaloniki
Church of the Nea Megali Panagia (New Virgin Mary) that was initially a 12th century monastery.
Church of the Nea Megali Panagia (New Virgin Mary) that was initially a 12th century monastery.
Suzuki GSX750 police bikes
Suzuki GSX750 police bikes
Buskers with a drum kit and a Dalmatian
Buskers with a drum kit and a Dalmatian
The Hagia Sofia - a 7th century Byzantine church
The Hagia Sofia – a 7th century Byzantine church
The Hagia Sofia - was converted to a mosque in the 1500's (note the addition of a minaret in one corner)
The Hagia Sofia – was converted to a mosque in the 1500’s (note the addition of a minaret in one corner)
An assortment of olives for sale in the market
An assortment of olives for sale in the market

 

Tomorrow I’ll be back on the road, heading for a campsite near to Meteora where I expect some great scenery.

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