The White Tower of Thessaloniki is a reference point and symbol of the city. It stands on Thessaloniki’s waterfront as a symbol of strength and resilience for both locals and visitors. With a height of 33.9 meters (111 feet), it’s easy to see why the tower serves as a landmark for the entire city.
It was constructed around 1535 by the Ottoman Turks who conquered Thessaloniki in 1430. It replaced an older Byzantine fortification that dated back to the 12th century. The tower was originally part of the city walls that protected Thessaloniki from invaders. It was used as a prison, fort, and garrison during the Ottoman occupation. Because of the tortures and mass executions that took place there, it was also known as the Red Tower or Blood Tower. When Thessaloniki was liberated and reunited with the rest of Greece in 1912, the tower was whitewashed.
The White Tower is now a museum devoted to Thessaloniki’s history. There is a small entrance fee of 3€. Inside the tower, visitors can explore several exhibitions about its history and culture. Artifacts from ancient Greek civilization, such as pottery fragments discovered near Mount Olympus, and coins minted during Byzantine times, when Thessaloniki was part of their empire’s territory, are among the exhibits. The exhibits are spread across the six floors of the tower, which are linked by a series of spiral staircases. Climbing to the top floor will reward you with spectacular views of this lovely city, its harbor, Thermaikos Gulf, and even Mt Olympus itself!
Locals enjoy sitting in the area to watch the spectacular sunsets or walking along the city’s promenade. There are also many cafes and restaurants in the area that serve delicious food. Besides, Thessaloniki is a well-known gastronomic destination! The Thessaloniki White Tower is also beautifully illuminated at night, making it an ideal tourist attraction and meeting point.
It’s no surprise that this place draws thousands of tourists each year; not only does it provide great insight into Greek history, but it also provides incredible sights. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in Thessaloniki!
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