Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedonia. It rapidly became a very important center and one of the major cities of the kingdom during the Hellenistic Era. Today, mostly a student city and a gateway to the Halkidiki peninsula. Here are some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about the city.
The name comes from Kings Cassander’s wife – Thessaloniki, who as also the sister of Alexander the Great!
Thessaloniki is the city of sweets. You will find a patisserie, gelateria, or a baklava store almost every 500m.
Out of 19 monuments Greece has in the UNESCO World Heritage, 15 of them are located in Thessaloniki. You can find the full list here.
Some of the marble sidewalks in the city were made by the Natzis. They destroyed an old Jewish graveyard and used the stones to pave the roads.
The buildings around the Aristothelus Square represent the history of the city. When you look closely you can see that the base floor is made in Roman style, the first floor has Turquish balconies and the last floor has Middle Eastern Arches, representing the Jewish history of the city.
Thessaloniki was once called the Jerusalem of Europe, as it had the largest Jewish community outside of Israel.
The famous Rotunda, that is a Mausoleum that the Emperor Galerius built for himself. It is built in a way to face the Mount Olymp, the place where the Greek Gods resided. On a clear day, if you look beyond the sea, you can see it. Unfortunately, Galerius died outside of the country, so he wasn’t buried there.