I moved country! Well, temporarily at least. It’s been less than a week in Thessaloniki, Greece and I’m already completely fascinated and charmed by the hustle and bustle yet cultural and friendly ambiance of the city. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is located about 520km north of Athens, at the northwest corner of the Aegean Sea.
Thessaloniki is pretty easy to figure out and many archaeological sites, museums and points of interest can be accessed from the city centre, on foot. This was my first adjustment as coming from Kampala, I’m used to getting around with a car, Uber or boda boda. Walking around the city as a newbie is a wonderful experience though, that I wouldn’t trade, as each turn and every corner offers a unique and amiable view. Narrow streets, flower shops, lots and lots of coffee shops and eating places, a mixture of very old historical buildings existing right in the middle of contemporary ones. Thessaloniki is very easy to fall in love with.
Within my first week in Thessaloniki I got to see The Arch of Galerius, The Rotunda and the popular White Tower of Thessaloniki, all within walking distance of where I was staying.
The Arch of Galerius and Rotunda
The Arch of Galerius and The Rotunda are neighbouring monuments right in the heart of Thessaloniki. Built in the years 298 – 299 AD, The Arch of Galerius was originally an octopylon (eight pillared gateway) however, today only three of the eight pillars remain. Its pillars consist of elaborate, artistic mouldings that I found to be quite intricate and interesting. Take a look.
Meanwhile, The Rotunda was built in the year 306 AD and was once a church which was later converted into a mosque and then converted back to a church again. The Rotunda is now a historical monument and is the oldest of Thessaloniki’s churches. In fact, some sources claim that it is the oldest Christian church in the world.
The White Tower of Thessaloniki
My favourite monument of them all is The White Tower of Thessaloniki, built in the 15th century. It’s my favourite mostly because it’s located on the waterfront of Thessaloniki, offering vast views of the sea. Today, The White Tower serves as both a monument and a museum and has been adopted as the symbol of Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki has presented so much of itself to me in a just a few days, making me even more curious about all that the city, and the country, has to offer. I have barely scratched the surface, more travel stories from Greece, and hopefully more of Europe, will be coming soon (make sure you’ve subscribed to this blog if you haven’t already – such that you don’t miss a post) ?
Have you visited Thessaloniki before? Where in Greece, or Europe, would you love to visit and why? Let me know in the comments below. Xx.