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Thessaloniki, a city of 2320 years of age

In 315 BC, Kassander, King of Macedonia, established a new city in the cove of the Thermaikos Golf. The city was named after his wife Thessaloniki, daughter of King Philip and step-sister of Alexander the Great. The site where Thessaloniki was built was so successfully chosen, that ever since the city became an important centre of the entire region.

Thessaloniki had a rapid development and, following the dominance of the Romans in 168 BC, it became the capital of a Roman province, an important stop on the great
imperial road (Via Egnatia) and the most crowded city of Macedonia.

In 50 AD, the Apostle Paul visits Thessaloniki and preaches Christianity. The Apostle addressed two important letters to Thessolonians and he is considered the founder of the Thessaloniki Church and of the Christian Community in Europe.

The Byzantine succeeded the Romans and Thessaloniki continued to flourish and develop: it is protected against invasions by strong walls and decorated by magnificent churches. Saint Demetrius is declared the patron saint of Thessaloniki.

In 1430 AD Thessaloniki is conquered by the Ottomans, who immediately realized its significance and saw to the reinstallation of Greek civilians in the city, as well as for the installation of Turks and Hebrews. From that point on, Thessaloniki became an administrative and military centre of vital importance in the Roman Empire. In 1912 Thessaloniki was liberated by the Greek army and constitutes ever since a most important administrative, economic and cultural centre of Greece as well as of the Balkans from 1989 onwards.

Contemporary Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a modern city of about 1.000.000 inhabitants. It is an Urban Complex composed of 15 Municipalities, the largest of which is the Municipality of Thessaloniki. It is the second biggest city in Greece and one of the bigger in the Balkan region and constitutes the economic and cultural centre of the entire Northern Greece as well as a crossroad between East and West, North and South.

Thessaloniki is a beautiful costal city, amphitheatrically spreading across the feet of mount Hortiotis and rich in Byzantine churches. Due to its churches and its glorious walls, Thessaloniki is considered the most important 'Byzantine' city of the East.

Thessaloniki hosts the central offices of the Hellenic Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace, whose jurisdiction expands throughout the entire Northern Greece, the Region of Central Macedonia and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.

There are two Universities, the Aristotle University, the bigger University in Greece, and the University of Macedonia, as well as numerous other academic and cultural institutions. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) as well as the international Black Sea Trade and Development Bank are also active in Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki is full of significant museums, whose exhibits demonstrate the history and civilization of the region from the pre-historic until the Byzantine era, the most important among which being the Archeological and the Byzantine Museum, as well as a variety of other museums attesting the city's overall cultural background.

Thessaloniki is a city of important perspectives and great expectations, a gate to the Balkans, a significant economic and cultural centre of the entire region. The
inhabitants are very proud of their city, famous for their hospitality and work for the development and prosperity of the region. [Arrival at Thessaloniki 11,5MB]