Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki

Overview
Thessaloniki historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the region of Macedonia. With a population of over 1.8 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica.- Administration :...

 as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace
Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace
The Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace is one of the seven decentralized administrations of Greece, consisting of the peripheries of Central Macedonia and East Macedonia and Thrace. With a population of almost 2.5 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after the...

. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally "co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or "co-reigning" city of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, alongside Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

.

According to the 2011 census the municipality of Thessaloniki today has a population of 322,240, while the Thessaloniki Urban Area
Thessaloniki Urban Area
The Thessaloniki Urban Area is the contiguous densely built-up urban area around the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, which is the second largest municipality by population in the country behind Athens. The contiguous built-up area consists of 13 municipalities and forms the urban core of the...

 (the contiguous built up area forming the "City of Thessaloniki") has a population of 790,824; making it the fifth largest and most populated city in the Balkans and the second most populated city that is not a capital.
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Encyclopedia
Thessaloniki historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the region of Macedonia. With a population of over 1.8 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica.- Administration :...

 as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace
Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace
The Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace is one of the seven decentralized administrations of Greece, consisting of the peripheries of Central Macedonia and East Macedonia and Thrace. With a population of almost 2.5 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after the...

. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally "co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or "co-reigning" city of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, alongside Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

.

According to the 2011 census the municipality of Thessaloniki today has a population of 322,240, while the Thessaloniki Urban Area
Thessaloniki Urban Area
The Thessaloniki Urban Area is the contiguous densely built-up urban area around the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, which is the second largest municipality by population in the country behind Athens. The contiguous built-up area consists of 13 municipalities and forms the urban core of the...

 (the contiguous built up area forming the "City of Thessaloniki") has a population of 790,824; making it the fifth largest and most populated city in the Balkans and the second most populated city that is not a capital. The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area or Larger Urban Zone is the complete area covered and directly influenced by Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki. The metropolitan area traditionally consisted of the municipality of Thessaloniki and its immediate surroundings, what is today referred to as...

 extends over an area of 1455.62 km² (562.02 sq mi) and its population in 2011 reached a total of 1,006,730 inhabitants.

Thessaloniki is Greece's second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port
Port of Thessaloniki
thumb|The Customs House, now passenger terminal, in the early 1900s.The Port of Thessaloniki is one of the largest Greek seaports and one of the largest ports in the Aegean Sea basin, with a total annual traffic capacity of 16 million tonnes...

 is also of great importance for Greece and the southeastern European hinterland. The city is renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general, and is considered to be Greece's cultural capital. Events such as the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has become one of the Balkans' primary showcases for the work of new and emerging filmmakers...

 are held annually, while the city also hosts the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora
Greek diaspora
The Greek diaspora, also known as Hellenic Diaspora or Diaspora of Hellenism, is a term used to refer to the communities of Greek people living outside the traditional Greek homelands, but more commonly in southeast Europe and Asia Minor...

. In 2014 Thessaloniki will be the European Youth Capital
European Youth Capital
thumb| [[Antwerp]] is the European Youth Capital for 2011.thumb| [[Rotterdam]] thumb| [[Torino]] thumb| [[Braga]] thumb| [[Maribor]] thumb| [[Thessaloniki]]...

.

Thessaloniki is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki
Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki
The city of Thessaloniki in northern Greece, for several centuries the second-most important city of the Byzantine Empire, played an important role for Christianity during the Middle Ages and was decorated by impressive buildings...

, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

, as well as several Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and Sephardic Jewish structures. With a history of over 2,300 years, it is one of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

's oldest cities. The city's main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and in the Balkans.

Etymology



All variations of the city's name derive from the original (and current) appellation in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: Θεσσαλονίκη, literally translating to "Thessalian
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 Victory" and in origin the name of a princess, Thessalonike of Macedon, who was named so because she was born on the day of the Macedonian victory at the Battle of Crocus Field
Battle of Crocus Field
The Battle of Crocus Field was a battle in the Third Sacred War, fought between the armies of Phocis, under Onomarchos, and the combined Thessalian and Macedonian army under Philip II of Macedon. In the bloodiest battle recorded in Ancient Greek history, the Phocians were decisively defeated by...

.

The alternative name Salonika or Salonica, derived from the variant form Σαλονίκη (Saloníki) in popular Greek speech, gives rise to several languages' form of the city's name and is formerly the common name used in some western European languages. Names in other languages prominent in the city's history include Салуники (Soluniki) in Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

, Salonika in Ladino
Judaeo-Spanish
Judaeo-Spanish , in Israel commonly referred to as Ladino, and known locally as Judezmo, Djudeo-Espanyol, Djudezmo, Djudeo-Kasteyano, Spaniolit and other names, is a Romance language derived from Old Spanish...

, Selanik (also Selânik) in Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 (سلانیك in Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

), Solun (also written as Солун) in the local
Slavic speakers of Greek Macedonia
Slavic speakers are a linguistic minority population in the northern Greek region of Macedonia who are mostly concentrated in certain parts of the peripheries of West and Central Macedonia, adjacent to the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. A smaller group exists in East Macedonia adjacent to...

 and neighboring South Slavic languages
South Slavic languages
The South Slavic languages comprise one of three branches of the Slavic languages. There are approximately 30 million speakers, mainly in the Balkans. These are separated geographically from speakers of the other two Slavic branches by a belt of German, Hungarian and Romanian speakers...

, Салоники (Saloníki) in Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

, and Sãrunã in Aromanian
Aromanian language
Aromanian , also known as Macedo-Romanian, Arumanian or Vlach is an Eastern Romance language spoken in Southeastern Europe...

. In local speech, the city's name is typically pronounced with a dark and deepL
Velarized alveolar lateral approximant
-See also:* Lateral consonant* Velarization* l-vocalization* Ł...

 characteristic of Macedonian Greek accent
Varieties of Modern Greek
The linguistic varieties of Modern Greek can be classified along two principal dimensions. First, there is a long tradition of sociolectal variation between the natural, popular spoken language on the one hand and archaizing, learned written forms on the other. Second, there is regional variation...

. The name is often written in the abbreviated form Θεσ/νίκη.

History



The history of the city of Thessaloniki is a long one, dating back to ancient Macedonia. Since the opening of borders in Southeastern Europe following the collapse of Communism in the Balkans in the early 1990s, it has experienced a strong revival.

From antiquity to the Roman Empire



The city was founded around 315 BC
315 BC
Year 315 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Cursor and Philo...

 by the King Cassander of Macedon
Cassander
Cassander , King of Macedonia , was a son of Antipater, and founder of the Antipatrid dynasty...

, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma
Therma
Therma or Thermē was a Greek city founded by Eretrians or Corinthians in late 7th century BC in ancient Mygdonia , situated at the northeastern extremity of a great gulf of the Aegean Sea, the Thermaic Gulf. The city was built amidst mosquito-infested swampland, and its name derives from the...

 and 26 other local villages. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great and princess of Macedon as daughter of Philip II
Philip II
-People:* Philip II of Macedon * Philip II Philoromaeus * Philip II of France * Philip II of Navarre * Philip II of Taranto * Philip II, Duke of Burgundy * Philip II, Duke of Savoy...

. Under the kingdom of Macedon the city retained its own autonomy and parliament and evolved to become the most important city in Macedon.

After the fall of the kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC
168 BC
Year 168 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Macedonicus and Crassus...

, Thessalonica became a free city
Free city (antiquity)
Free city was a self-governed city during the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial eras. The status was given by the king or emperor, who nevertheless supervised the city's affairs through his epistates or curator respectively...

 of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

. It grew to be an important trade-hub located on the Via Egnatia
Via Egnatia
The Via Egnatia was a road constructed by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. It crossed the Roman provinces of Illyricum, Macedonia, and Thrace, running through territory that is now part of modern Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, and European Turkey.Starting at Dyrrachium on the...

, the road connecting Dyrrhachium with Thessaloniki, which facilitated trade between Thessaloniki and great centers of commerce such as Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

. The city later became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia. Later it became the capital of all the Greek provinces of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 due to the city's importance in the Balkan peninsula. When the Roman Empire was divided into the tetrarchy
Tetrarchy
The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire...

, Thessaloniki became the administrative capital of one of the four portions of the Empire under Galerius Maximianus Caesar
Galerius
Galerius , was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sassanid Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299. He also campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300...

, where Galerius commissioned an imperial palace, a new hippodrome
Hippodrome
A hippodrome was a Greek stadium for horse racing and chariot racing. The name is derived from the Greek words "hippos and "dromos"...

, a triumphal arch
Triumphal arch
A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be...

 and a mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 among others.

In 379 when the Roman Prefecture of Illyricum
Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum
The praetorian prefecture of Illyricum was one of four praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.The administrative centre of the prefecture was Sirmium , and, after 379, Thessalonica...

 was divided between the East and West Roman Empires, Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum. With the Fall of Rome in 476, Thessaloniki became the second-largest city of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Medieval times and Byzantine era


From the first years of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, Thessaloniki asserted itself as the second city in the Empire, a status it held until it was finally transferred to Venice in 1423. The status of "second city" only to Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 was both in terms of wealth and size. In the 1300s the city's population exceeded 100,000, making it larger than London at the time.

The economic expansion of the city continued through the 12th century as the rule of the Komnenoi emperors expanded Byzantine control to the north. Thessaloniki passed out of Byzantine hands in 1204, when Constantinople was captured
Siege of Constantinople (1204)
The Siege of Constantinople occurred in 1204; it destroyed parts of the capital of the Byzantine Empire as it was confiscated by Western European and Venetian Crusaders...

 by the forces of the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
The Fourth Crusade was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire...

 and incorporated the city and its surrounding territories in the Kingdom of Thessalonica
Kingdom of Thessalonica
The Kingdom of Thessalonica was a short-lived Crusader State founded after the Fourth Crusade over the conquered Byzantine lands.- Background :...

 — which then became the largest vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 of the Latin Empire
Latin Empire
The Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople is the name given by historians to the feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261...

. In 1224, the Kingdom of Thessalonica was overrun by the Despotate of Epirus
Despotate of Epirus
The Despotate or Principality of Epirus was one of the Byzantine Greek successor states of the Byzantine Empire that emerged in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. It claimed to be the legitimate successor of the Byzantine Empire, along with the Empire of Nicaea, and the Empire of Trebizond...

, a remnant of the former Byzantine Empire, under Theodore Komnenos Doukas
Theodore Komnenos Doukas
Theodore Komnenos Doukas was ruler of Epirus from 1215 to 1230 and of Thessalonica from 1224 to 1230.-Life:...

 who crowned himself Emperor, and the city became the Despotat's capital. This era of the Despotate of Epirus is also known as the Empire of Thessalonica. Following his defeat at Klokotnitsa
Battle of Klokotnitsa
The Battle of Klokotnitsa occurred on 9 March 1230 near the village of Klokotnitsa . As a result, the Second Bulgarian Empire emerged once again as the most powerful state in Eastern Europe and the power of the Despotate of Epirus faded...

 however in 1230, the Empire of Thessalonica became a vassal state of the Second Bulgarian Empire
Second Bulgarian Empire
The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state which existed between 1185 and 1396 . A successor of the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th-early 15th century...

 until it was recovered again in 1246, this time by the Nicaean Empire. In 1342, the city saw the rise of the Commune of the Zealots, an anti-aristocratic party formed of sailors and the poor, which is nowadays described as social-revolutionary. The city was practically independent of the rest of the Empire, as it had its own government, a form of republic. The zealot movement was overthrown in 1350 and the city was reunited with the rest of the Empire.

In 1423, Despot Andronicus, who was in charge of the city, ceded it to the Republic of Venice in the hope that it could be protected from the Ottomans who were besieging the city (there is no evidence to support the oft-repeated story that he sold the city to them). The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was captured by the Ottoman Sultan
Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I , though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan...

 Murad II
Murad II
Murad II Kodja was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1421 to 1451 ....

 on the 29th of March, 1430.

Ottoman period


Murad II
Murad II
Murad II Kodja was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1421 to 1451 ....

 took Thessaloniki with a brutal massacre and enslaved roughly one-fifth of the city's native population. Upon the capture and plunder of Thessaloniki, many of its inhabitants escaped, including intellectuals such as Theodorus Gaza
Theodorus Gaza
Theodorus Gaza or Theodore Gazis also called by the epithet Thessalonicensis and Thessalonikeus was a Greek humanist and translator of Aristotle, one of the Greek scholars who were the leaders of the...

 “Thessalonicensis” and Andronicus Callistus
Andronicus Callistus
Andronicus Callistus was one of the most able Greek scholars of the 15th century and cousin of the distinguished scholar Theodorus Gaza.- Life :...

. However, the change of sovereignty from the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman one did not affect the city's prestige as a major imperial city and trading hub. Thessaloniki and Smyrna
Smyrna
Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey...

, although smaller in size than Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, were the Ottoman Empire's most important trading hubs. Thessaloniki's importance was mostly in the field of shipping
Shipping
Shipping has multiple meanings. It can be a physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo, by land, air, and sea. It also can describe the movement of objects by ship.Land or "ground" shipping can be by train or by truck...

, but also in manufacturing, while most of the city's trade was controlled by ethnic Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

.

During the Ottoman period, the city's Muslim and Jewish population grew. By 1478 Selânik (سلانیك), as the city came to be known in Ottoman Turkish, had a population of 4,320 Muslims, 6,094 Greek Orthodox and some Catholics, but no Jews. Soon after the turn of the 16th century, nearly 20,000 Sephardic Jews had immigrated to Greece from Spain following their expulsion. By ca. 1500, the numbers had grown to 7,986 Greeks, 8,575 Muslims, and 3,770 Jews. By 1519, Sephardic Jews numbered 15,715, 54% of the city's population. Some historians consider the Ottoman regime's invitation to the Jews was a strategy to prevent the ethnic Greek population (Eastern Orthodox Christians) from dominating the city.

Selanik was the capital of the Selanik sanjak
Sanjak
Sanjaks were administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire. Sanjak, and the variant spellings sandjak, sanjaq, and sinjaq, are English transliterations of the Turkish word sancak, meaning district, banner, or flag...

within the Rumeli Eyaleti (Balkans) until 1826, and subsequently the capital of Selanik Vilayeti
Salonika Province, Ottoman Empire
The Vilayet of Salonica was an Ottoman province from 1867 to 1912. In the late 19th century it reportedly had an area of .The vilayet was bounded by the Principality , of Bulgaria on the north; Eastern Rumelia on the northeast ; Edirne Vilayet on the east; the Aegean Sea on the south; Monastir...

 (between 1826 and 1864 Selanik Eyaleti). This consisted of the sanjaks of Selanik, Serres
Serres
Serres is a city in Greece, seat of the Serres prefecture.Serres may also refer to:Places:* Serres, Germany, a part of Wiernsheim in Baden-WürttembergIn France:* Serres, Aude in the Aude département...

 and Drama
Drama, Greece
Drama , the ancient Drabescus , is a town and municipality in northeastern Greece. Drama is the capital of the peripheral unit of Drama which is part of the East Macedonia and Thrace periphery. The town is the economic center of the municipality , which in turn comprises 53.5 percent of the...

 between 1826 and 1912. Thessaloniki was also a Janissary
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 stronghold where novice Janissaries were trained. In June 1826, regular Ottoman soldiers attacked and destroyed the Janissary base in Thessaloniki while also killing over 10,000 Janissary, an event known as The Auspicious Incident
The Auspicious Incident
The Auspicious Incident was the forced disbandment of the centuries-old Janissary corps by Ottoman sultan Mahmud II in June 1826....

 in Ottoman history. From 1870, driven by economic growth, the city's population expanded by 70%, reaching 135,000 in 1917.

20th century onwards


During the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success...

, on 8 November(26 October) 1912 (Old Style
Old Style and New Style dates
Old Style and New Style are used in English language historical studies either to indicate that the start of the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January even though documents written at the time use a different start of year ; or to indicate that a date conforms to the Julian...

), the feast day of the city's patron saint, Saint Demetrius
Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki
Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki was a Christian martyr, who lived in the early 4th century.During the Middle Ages, he came to be revered as one of the most important Orthodox military saints, often paired with Saint George...

, the Greek Army accepted the surrender of the Ottoman garrison at Thessaloniki; after the Second Balkan War
Second Balkan War
The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Bulgaria had a prewar agreement about the division of region of Macedonia...

, Thessaloniki and the rest of the Greek portion of Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

 were officially annexed to Greece by the Treaty of Bucharest in 1913.

In 1915, during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, a large Allied
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 expeditionary force
Expeditionary warfare
Expeditionary warfare is used to describe the organization of a state's military to fight abroad, especially when deployed to fight away from its established bases at home or abroad. Expeditionary forces were in part the antecedent of the modern concept of Rapid Deployment Forces...

 established a base at Thessaloniki for operations against pro-German Bulgaria. This culminated in the establishment of the Macedonian Front
Macedonian front (World War I)
The Macedonian Front resulted from an attempt by the Allied Powers to aid Serbia, in the autumn of 1915, against the combined attack of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The expedition came too late and in insufficient force to prevent the fall of Serbia, and was complicated by the internal...

, also known as the Salonika Front. In 1916, pro-Venizelist
Venizelism
Venizelism was one of the major political movements in Greece from the 1900s until the mid 1970s.- Ideology :Named after Eleftherios Venizelos, the key characteristics of Venizelism were:*Opposition to Monarchy...

 Greek army officers and civilians, with the support of the Allies, launched the Movement of National Defence
Movement of National Defence
The Movement of National Defence was an uprising by Venizelist officers of the Hellenic Army in Thessaloniki in August 1916 against the royal government in Athens. It led to the establishment of a separate, Venizelist Greek government in the north of the country, which entered the First World...

, creating a pro-Allied temporary government
Provisional government
A provisional government is an emergency or interim government set up when a political void has been created by the collapse of a very large government. The early provisional governments were created to prepare for the return of royal rule...

 by the name of the "State of Thessaloniki" that controlled "new lands" (lands that were gained by Greece in the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

, most of Northern Greece); the official government of the King in Athens, the "State of Athens", controlled the "old lands" which were traditionally monarchist. The State of Thessaloniki was disestablished with the unification of the two opposing Greek governments under Venizelos, following the abdication of King Constantine
Constantine I of Greece
Constantine I was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, in which Greece won Thessaloniki and doubled in...

 in 1917.
Most of the old center of the city was destroyed by the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the quay in 1917.250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the [[Thermaic Gulf]].The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 was an accidental fire that got out of control and destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than...

, which started accidentally by an unattended kitchen fire on the 18th of August 1917. The fire swept through the centre of the city, leaving 72,000 people homeless; according to the Pallis Report, most of them were Jewish (50,000). As many businesses were destroyed, it resulted to 70% of the population being unemployed, while also a number of religious structures of the three major faiths were lost. Nearly one-quarter of the total population of approximately 271,157 became homeless. Following the fire the government prohibited quick rebuilding, so it could implement the new redesign of the city according to the European-style urban plan prepared by a group of architects, including the British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 Thomas Mawson, headed by French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 architect Ernest Hébrard
Ernest Hebrard
Ernest Hébrard was a French architect, archaeologist and urban planner who completed major projects in Greece, Morocco, and French Indochina. He is mostly renowned for his urban plan for the redevelopment of the center of Thessaloniki in Greece after its Great Fire of 1917.The majority of...

. It is indicative that the Jewish community's properties were reduced from a value of 6.5 million Greek drachma
Greek drachma
Drachma, pl. drachmas or drachmae was the currency used in Greece during several periods in its history:...

s to 750,000. Because of their losses and unable to wait for the rebuilding of the new plan, nearly half of the Jewish Greek population emigrated to France, the United States and Palestine.
After the defeat of Greece in the Greco-Turkish War
Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)
The Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, known as the Western Front of the Turkish War of Independence in Turkey and the Asia Minor Campaign or the Asia Minor Catastrophe in Greece, was a series of military events occurring during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May...

 and during the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, a population exchange took place between Greece and Turkey. Over 160,000 ethnic Greeks from the former Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 resettled in the city, changing its demographics. Additionally many of the city's Muslims were deported to Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, ranging at about 20,000 people. During the interwar period, Greece granted Jews full civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

, the same as all other Greek citizens.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Thessaloniki fell to the forces of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 on 8 April 1941 and remained under German occupation until 30 October 1944 when it was liberated by the Greek People's Liberation Army. The Nazis soon forced the Jews into a ghetto near the railroads and on 15 March 1943 began the deportation process of the city's 56,000 Jews to its concentration camps. They deported over 43,000 of the city's Jews in concentration camps, where most were killed in the gas chamber
Gas chamber
A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing humans or animals with gas, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. The most commonly used poisonous agent is hydrogen cyanide; carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide have also been used...

s. The Germans also deported 11,000 Jews to forced labor camps, where most perished. The city suffered considerable damage from Allied bombing as they began to move against the Germans. Only 1,200 Jews live in the city today.

After the war, Thessaloniki was rebuilt with large-scale development of new infrastructure and industry throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Many of its architectural treasures still remain, adding value to the city a tourist destination, while several early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki were added to the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage list
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 in 1988. In 1997, Thessaloniki was celebrated as the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

, sponsoring events across the city and the region, while in 2004 the city hosted a number of the football events as part of the 2004 Summer Olympics
2004 Summer Olympics
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. 10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team...

.

Today Thessaloniki has become one of the most important trade and business hubs in Southeastern Europe, with its port, the Port of Thessaloniki
Port of Thessaloniki
thumb|The Customs House, now passenger terminal, in the early 1900s.The Port of Thessaloniki is one of the largest Greek seaports and one of the largest ports in the Aegean Sea basin, with a total annual traffic capacity of 16 million tonnes...

 being one of the largest in the Aegean and fascilitating trade throughout the Balkan hinterland. The city also forms one of the largest student centres in Southeastern Europe, is host to the largest student population in Greece and will be the European Youth Capital
European Youth Capital
thumb| [[Antwerp]] is the European Youth Capital for 2011.thumb| [[Rotterdam]] thumb| [[Torino]] thumb| [[Braga]] thumb| [[Maribor]] thumb| [[Thessaloniki]]...

 in 2014, after it celebrates 100 years of union with Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 in 2012.

Geography



Geology



Thessaloniki lies on the northern fringe of the Thermaic Gulf
Thermaic Gulf
The Thermaic Gulf is a gulf of the Aegean Sea located immediately south of Thessaloniki, east of Pieria and Imathia, and west of Chalkidiki . It was named after the ancient town of Therma, which was situated on the northeast coast of the gulf...

 on its eastern coast and is bound by Mount Chortiatis
Mount Chortiatis
Mount Chortiatis or Hortiatis , known in Antiquity as Cissus or Kissos, is a mountain in Central Macedonia, Greece. It rises southeast of Thessaloniki, peaking at 1,201 metres...

 on its southeast. Its proximity to imposing mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 ranges, hills and fault lines, especially towards its southeast have historically made the city prone to geological changes.

Since midieval times, Thessaloniki was hit by strong earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s in 1759, 1902, 1978 and 1995. On 19–20 June 1978, the city suffered a series of powerful earthquakes
1978 Thessaloniki earthquake
The Great Thessaloniki Earthquake was an earthquake that occurred on 20 June 1978, at 22:03 local time, and registered 6.6 on the moment magnitude scale. It was felt throughout northern Greece, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. It was the largest seismic activity in the area since 1932....

, registering 5.5 and 6.5 on the Richter scale
Richter magnitude scale
The expression Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake....

. The tremors caused considerable damage to a number of buildings and ancient monuments, but the city withstood the catastrophe without any major problems. One apartment building in central Thessaloniki collapsed during the second earthquake, killing many, raising the final death toll to 51.

Climate


Situated next to the sea, the city's climate is directly affected by it. The city has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 (Köppen climate classification "Csa") that borders on a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification "BSk" or "BSh" depending on the system used) with annual average precipitation of 460 mm. Snowfalls are sporadic, but happen more or less every winter. Fog is common in the city, with an average of 193 foggy days in a year.

The city lies in a transitional climatic zone, so its climate displays characteristics of continental and Mediterranean climates. Winters are relatively dry, with common morning frost. Snowfalls occur almost every year, but usually the snow does not stay for more than a few days. During the coldest winters, temperatures can drop to −10°C (14F). The record minimum temperature in Thessaloniki was −14°C (7F). On average, Thessaloniki spends 32 days a year below 0°C (32F). The coldest month of the year in the city is January
January
January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and one of seven months with the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day...

, with an average 24-hour temperature of 6°C (42F). Wind is also usual in the winter months, with December and January having an average wind speed of 26 km/h (16 mph).

Thessaloniki's summers are hot with rather humid nights. Maximum temperatures usually rise above 30°C (86F), but rarely go over 40C° (104F); the average number of days when temperature was above 32°C (90F) was 32. The maximum recorded temperature in the city was 42°C (108F). Rain is seldom in summer, and mainly falls during thunderstorms. In the summer months Thessaloniki also experiences strong heat wave
Heat wave
A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity. There is no universal definition of a heat wave; the term is relative to the usual weather in the area...

s. The hottest month of the year in the city is July
July
July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of seven months with the length of 31 days. It is, on average, the warmest month in most of the Northern hemisphere and the coldest month in much of the Southern hemisphere...

, with an average 24-hour temperature of 26°C (80F). The average wind speed for June and July in Thessaloniki is 20 km/h (12 mph).

Local government


According to the Kallikratis reform, as of 1 January 2011 the Thessaloniki Urban Area
Thessaloniki Urban Area
The Thessaloniki Urban Area is the contiguous densely built-up urban area around the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, which is the second largest municipality by population in the country behind Athens. The contiguous built-up area consists of 13 municipalities and forms the urban core of the...

  which makes up the "City of Thessaloniki", is made up of six self-governing municipalities  and one municipal unit . The municipalities that are included in the Thessaloniki Urban Area
Thessaloniki Urban Area
The Thessaloniki Urban Area is the contiguous densely built-up urban area around the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, which is the second largest municipality by population in the country behind Athens. The contiguous built-up area consists of 13 municipalities and forms the urban core of the...

 are those of Thessaloniki (the city center and largest in population size), Kalamaria
Kalamaria
Kalamariá is a municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area, located about 7 km southeast of downtown Thessaloniki. It is the second largest municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area as well as one of the largest in Greece, with a population increase of 8% since the 1991...

, Neapoli-Sykies, Pavlos Melas
Pavlos Melas (municipality)
Pavlos Melas is a municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece. It was named after the Greek hero of the Macedonian Struggle, Pavlos Melas. The seat of the municipality is in Stavroupoli...

, Kordelio-Evosmos, Ampelokipoi-Menemeni, and the municipal unit of Pylaia
Pylaia
Pylaia is a suburb of the Thessaloniki Urban Area and was former municipality in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylaia-Chortiatis, of which it is a municipal unit...

, part of the municipality of Pylaia-Chortiatis. Prior to the Kallikratis reform, the Thessaloniki Urban Area
Thessaloniki Urban Area
The Thessaloniki Urban Area is the contiguous densely built-up urban area around the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, which is the second largest municipality by population in the country behind Athens. The contiguous built-up area consists of 13 municipalities and forms the urban core of the...

 was made up of twice as many municipalities, considerably smaller in size, which created bureaucratic problems.

Other



Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. It is an influential city for the northern parts of the country and is the capital of the Central Macedonia region
Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the region of Macedonia. With a population of over 1.8 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica.- Administration :...

 and the Thessaloniki regional unit. The General Secretariat for Macedonia and Thrace
General Secretariat for Macedonia and Thrace
The General Secretariat for Macedonia and Thrace , previously the Ministry for Macedonia and Thrace is a government agency of the Hellenic Republic that is responsible for the Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace...

 is also based in Thessaloniki, being that the city is the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 capital of the Greek region
Regions of Greece
The traditional geographic divisions of Greece were also the official administrative subdivisions of Greece until the 1987 administrative reform )...

 of Macedonia
Macedonia (Greece)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of Greece in Southern Europe. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region...

.

It is customary every year for the Prime Minister of Greece
Prime Minister of Greece
The Prime Minister of Greece , officially the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic , is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The current interim Prime Minister is Lucas Papademos, a former Vice President of the European Central Bank, following...

 to announce his administration's policies on a number of issues, such as the economy, at the opening night of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair. In 2010, during the first months of the 2010 Greek debt crisis, the entire cabinet of Greece
Cabinet of Greece
The cabinet of Greece , officially called the Ministerial Council , constitutes the Government of Greece. It is the collective decision-making body of the Hellenic Republic, composed of the Prime Minister and the Ministers...

 met in Thessaloniki to discuss the country's future.

Architecture


Architecture in Thessaloniki is the direct result of the city's position at the centre of all historical developments in the Balkans. Aside from its commercial importance, Thessaloniki was also for many centuries, the military and administrative hub of the region, and beyond this the transportation link between Europe and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel / Palestine).
Merchants, traders and refugees from all over Europe settled in the city. The need for commercial and public buildings in this new era of prosperity led to the construction of large edifices in the city center. During this time, the city saw the building of banks, large hotels, theatres, warehouses, and factories.

The city layout changed after 1870, when the seaside fortifications gave way to extensive piers, and many of the oldest walls of the city were demolished, including those surrounding the White Tower
White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki , is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia...

, which today stands as the main landmark of the city. As parts of the early Byzantine walls were demolished, this allowed the city to expand east and west along the coast.

The expansion of Eleftherias Square towards the sea completed the new commercial hub of the city and at the time was considered one of the most vibrant squares of the city. As the city grew, workers moved to the western districts, due to their proximity near factories and industrial activities; while the middle and upper classes
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

 gradually moved from the city-center to the eastern suburbs, leaving mainly businesses. In 1917, a devastating fire swept through the city and burned uncontrollably for 32 hours. It destroyed the city's historic center and a large part of its architectural heritage, but paved way for many modern buildings and changed the city into a thriving European city center.

City Center


After the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the quay in 1917.250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the [[Thermaic Gulf]].The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 was an accidental fire that got out of control and destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than...

, a team of architects and urban planners including Thomas Mawson and Ernest Hebrard
Ernest Hebrard
Ernest Hébrard was a French architect, archaeologist and urban planner who completed major projects in Greece, Morocco, and French Indochina. He is mostly renowned for his urban plan for the redevelopment of the center of Thessaloniki in Greece after its Great Fire of 1917.The majority of...

, a French architect, chose the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 era as the basis of their (re)building designs for Thessaloniki’s city center. The new city plan included axes, diagonal streets and monumental squares, with a street grid
Grid plan
The grid plan, grid street plan or gridiron plan is a type of city plan in which streets run at right angles to each other, forming a grid...

 that would channel traffic smoothly. The plan of 1917 included provisions for future population expansions and a street and road network that would be, and still is sufficient today. It contained sites for public buildings and provided for the restoration of Byzantine churches and Ottoman mosques.

Today the city center of Thessaloniki includes the features designed as part of the plan and forms the point in the city where most of the public buildings, historical sites, entertainment venues and stores are located. The center is characterized by its many historical buildings, arcades, laneways and distinct architectural styles such as Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 and Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

, which can be seen on many of its buildings.

The city center, or as its also called the historic center is divided into several districts, of which include Ladadika (where many entertainment venues and tavernas are located), Kapani (where the central city market is located), Diagonios, Nauarinou, Rotonta, Agia Sofia and Ippodromio (white tower), which are all located around Thessaloniki’s most central point, Aristotelous Square
Aristotelous Square
Aristotelous Square is the main city square of Thessaloniki, Greece and is located on Nikis avenue , in the city center. It was designed by French architect Ernest Hébrard in 1918, but most of the square was built in the 1950s...

.

The west point of the city center is home to Thessaloniki's law courts, its central international railway station and the port
Port of Thessaloniki
thumb|The Customs House, now passenger terminal, in the early 1900s.The Port of Thessaloniki is one of the largest Greek seaports and one of the largest ports in the Aegean Sea basin, with a total annual traffic capacity of 16 million tonnes...

, while on its eastern side stands the city’s two universities, the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center, the city’s main stadium
Kaftanzoglio Stadium
Kaftanzoglio stadium is a sports stadium in Thessaloniki, Greece. The stadium was built with money donated by the Kaftanzoglou Foundation, hence its name. At the time of its opening on 27 October 1960, the stadium was one of the highest quality stadiums in the Balkans...

, its archaeological and Byzantine museums, the new city hall and its central parklands and gardens, namely those of the Palios Zoologikos Kipos and Pedio tou Areos.
The central road arteries that pass through the city center, designed in the Ernest Hebrard
Ernest Hebrard
Ernest Hébrard was a French architect, archaeologist and urban planner who completed major projects in Greece, Morocco, and French Indochina. He is mostly renowned for his urban plan for the redevelopment of the center of Thessaloniki in Greece after its Great Fire of 1917.The majority of...

 plan, include those of Tsimiski
Tsimiski Street
Tsimiski Street is a major avenue in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city Greece. It starts from the area of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair grounds, between Aggelaki Street and Nikolaou Germanou Street and ends in the crossroad with Ionos Dragoumi Street, on the western side of the...

, Egnatia, Nikis, Mitropoleos, Venizelou and St. Demetrius avenues.

Ano Poli


Ano Poli (also called Old Town and literally the Upper Town) is the heritage listed district north of Thessaloniki’s city center that was not engulfed by the great fire of 1917
Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the quay in 1917.250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the [[Thermaic Gulf]].The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 was an accidental fire that got out of control and destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than...

 and was declared a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 heritage site
Heritage site
A Heritage Site is a location designated as important to the cultural heritage of a governing body such as a township, county, province, state, or country. It is a non-moveable object such as a historic site or national monument, but it may include several sites grouped together such as...

 by ministerial actions of Melina Merkouri, during the 1980s. It consists of Thessaloniki’s most traditional part of the city, still featuring small stone paved streets, old squares and homes featuring old Greek and Ottoman architecture.

Ano Poli also, is the highest point in Thessaloniki and as such, is the location of the city’s acropolis, its Byzantine fort, the Heptapyrgion
Heptapyrgion (Thessaloniki)
The Heptapyrgion , modern Eptapyrgio , also popularly known by its Ottoman Turkish name Yedi Kule , is a Byzantine and Ottoman-era fortress situated on the north-eastern corner of the acropolis of Thessaloniki in Greece...

 and the city's remaining walls, with many of its additional Ottoman and Byzantine structures still standing. The area provides access to the Seich Sou Forest National Park and features amphitheatric views of the whole city and the Thermaic Gulf
Thermaic Gulf
The Thermaic Gulf is a gulf of the Aegean Sea located immediately south of Thessaloniki, east of Pieria and Imathia, and west of Chalkidiki . It was named after the ancient town of Therma, which was situated on the northeast coast of the gulf...

. On clear days Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece, located on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, about 100 kilometres away from Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks. The highest peak Mytikas, meaning "nose", rises to 2,917 metres...

, at about 100 km (62 mi) away across the gulf, can also be seen towering the horizon.

Southeastern Thessaloniki


Southeastern Thessaloniki up until the 1920s was home to the city’s most affluent residents and formed the outermost suburbs of the city at the time, with the area close to the Thermaic Gulf
Thermaic Gulf
The Thermaic Gulf is a gulf of the Aegean Sea located immediately south of Thessaloniki, east of Pieria and Imathia, and west of Chalkidiki . It was named after the ancient town of Therma, which was situated on the northeast coast of the gulf...

 coast called Exoches, meaning ‘the countryside’. Today southeastern Thessaloniki has in someway become a natural extension of the city center, with the avenues of Megalou Alexandrou, Georgiou Papandreou (Antheon), Vasilisis Olgas, Delfon, Konstantinou Karamanli (Nea Egnatia) and Papanastasiou passing through it; and the area extending to Kalamaria
Kalamaria
Kalamariá is a municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area, located about 7 km southeast of downtown Thessaloniki. It is the second largest municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area as well as one of the largest in Greece, with a population increase of 8% since the 1991...

 and Pylaia, about 9 km (5.59 mi) from the White Tower
White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki , is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia...

 in the city centre.

Southeastern Thessaloniki is characterized by is modern architecture and apartment buildings, home to the middle-class and more than half of the municipality of Thessaloniki population. Today this area of the city is also home to 3 of the city’s main football stadiums, the Thessaloniki concert hall, the Posidonio aquatic and athletic complex and to many restored mansions of past affluent residents of the city, which today serve as museums or cultural centers. The municipality of Kalamaria
Kalamaria
Kalamariá is a municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area, located about 7 km southeast of downtown Thessaloniki. It is the second largest municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area as well as one of the largest in Greece, with a population increase of 8% since the 1991...

 is also located in southeastern Thessaloniki and has become this part of the city’s most sought after areas, with many open spaces and home to high end bars, cafés and entertainment venues, most notably on Plastira street, along the coast.

Northwestern Thessaloniki


Northwestern Thessaloniki had always been associated with industry and the working class because as the city grew during the 1920s, many workers had moved there, due to its proximity near factories and industrial activities.
Today many factories and industries have been moved further out west and the area is experiencing rapid growth as does the southeast. Many factories in this area have been converted to cultural centres, while past military grounds that are being surrounded by densely built neighborhoods are awaiting transformation into parklands.

Northwest Thessaloniki forms the main entry point into the city of Thessaloniki with the avenues of Monastiriou, Lagkada and 26is Septemvriou passing through it, as well as the extension of the A1 motorway, feeding into Thessaloniki's city center. The area is home to the Macedonia Central Bus Station (intercity buses terminal), the Zeitenlik Allied memorial military cemetery and to large entertainment venues of the city, such as Milos, Fix, Vilka (which are housed in converted old factories). Northwestern Thessaloniki is also home to Moni Lazariston, located in Stavroupoli
Stavroupoli
Stavroupoli is a suburb of the Thessaloniki Urban Area and was a former municipality in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pavlos Melas, of which it is the seat of it and is a municipal unit...

, which today forms one of the most important cultural centers for the city.

Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments (UNESCO)


Due to Thessaloniki's importance during the early Christian
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

 and Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 periods, the city is host to several paleochristian monuments that have significantly contributed to the development of Byzantine art
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

 and architecture
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

 throughout the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 as well as Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

. The evolution of Imperial Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

 and the prosperity of Thessaloniki go hand in hand, especially during the first years of the Empire, when the city continued to flourish. It was at that time that the Complex of Roman emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Galerius
Galerius
Galerius , was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sassanid Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299. He also campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300...

 was built, as well as the first church of Hagios Demetrios.

By the 8th century, the city had become an important administrative center of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, and handled much of the Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

's Balkan
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 affairs. During that time, the city saw the creation of more notable Christian churches that are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki
Hagia Sophia (Thessaloniki)
The Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki, Greece, is one of the oldest churches in that city still standing today. It is one of several monuments in Thessaloniki included as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO list.-History:...

, the Rotunda of Saint George, the Church of the Acheiropoietos
Church of the Acheiropoietos
The Church of the Acheiropoietos is a 5th-century Byzantine church in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. It is located in the city's centre, at Agias Sofias street opposite Makedonomachon square.-History and description:...

, the Church of Panagia Chalkeon. When the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 took control of Thessaloniki in 1430, most of the city's churches were converted into mosques, but have survived to this day. Travelers such as Paul Lucas
Paul Lucas (traveller)
Paul Lucas was a French merchant, naturalist, physician and antiquarian to King Louis XIV. He travelled extensively in Greece, Turkey, the Levant and Egypt, in three major voyages , and ....

 and Abdul Mecid document the city's wealth in Christian monuments during the years of the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 control of the city.

The church of Hagios Demetrios was burnt down during the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the quay in 1917.250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the [[Thermaic Gulf]].The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 was an accidental fire that got out of control and destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than...

, as did many other of the city's monuments, but it was rebuilt. During the Second World War, the city was extensively bombed and as such many of Thessaloniki's paleochristian and Byzantine monuments were heavily damaged. Some of the sites were not restored until the 1980s. Thessaloniki has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites listed than any other city in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, a total of 15 monuments. They have been listed since 1988.

Thessaloniki 2012 Program



In regards to the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Thessaloniki into Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, during 1912, the government announced a large-scale redevelopment program for the city of Thessaloniki, which aims in addressing the current environmental and spatial problems that the city faces. More specifically, the program will drastically change the physiognomy of the city by relocating the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center and grounds of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair outside the city centre and turning the current location into a large metropolitan park, redeveloping the coastal front of the city, relocating the city's numerous military camps and using the grounds and facilities to create large parklands and cultural centers; and the complete redevelopment of the harbor and the Lachanokipoi and Dendropotamos districts (behind and near the Port of Thessaloniki
Port of Thessaloniki
thumb|The Customs House, now passenger terminal, in the early 1900s.The Port of Thessaloniki is one of the largest Greek seaports and one of the largest ports in the Aegean Sea basin, with a total annual traffic capacity of 16 million tonnes...

) into a thriving business district, with possible highrise
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

 developments.

The plan also envisions the creation of new wide avenues in the outskirts of the city and the creation of pedestrian-only zones in the city center. Furthermore, the program includes plans to expand the jurisdiction of Seich Sou Forest National Park and the improvement of accessibility to and from the Old Town. The ministry has said that the project will take an estimated 15 years to be completed, in 2025.

Part of the plan has been implemented with the revitalization of half the eastern urban waterfront/promenade, Nea Paralia , with a modern and vibrant design. The municipality of Thessaloniki's budget for the reconstruction of important areas of the city and most notably the rest of the waterfront, is estimated to be around million ( million) for the year 2011 alone.

As of August 2011 work on the rest of the plan for the revilatization of the waterfront has began, stretching from the Thessaloniki yacht club to the White Tower
White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki , is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia...

. It is estimated that the new parks will be completed within the next two years at a total cost of over 20 million euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

. Once complete, the entire city's Nea Paralia (waterfront) will feature a total of 12 thematic gardens/parks and an uninterrupted promenade, spanning for 3 km (2 mi) along the coast.

Economy


Thessaloniki is a major port city and an industrial and commercial centre. The city's industries centre around oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

, steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, petrochemicals, textiles, machinery, flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

, cement
Cement
In the most general sense of the word, a cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. The word "cement" traces to the Romans, who used the term opus caementicium to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed...

, pharmaceuticals, and liquor
Distilled beverage
A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...

.

The city's port, the Port of Thessaloniki
Port of Thessaloniki
thumb|The Customs House, now passenger terminal, in the early 1900s.The Port of Thessaloniki is one of the largest Greek seaports and one of the largest ports in the Aegean Sea basin, with a total annual traffic capacity of 16 million tonnes...

, is one of the largest ports in the Aegean and as a free port
Free port
A free port or free zone , sometimes also called a bonded area is a port, port area or other area with relaxed jurisdiction with respect to the country of location...

, it functions as a major gateway to the Balkan hinterland. In the first six months of 2010, more that 7.2 million tons of products went through the city's port, making it one of the largest and most used ports in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

. As a result of this, the city is a major transportation hub for the whole of south-eastern Europe, carrying among other things, trade to and from the neighbouring countries. Recently Thessaloniki is also slowly turning into a major port for cruising
Cruising (maritime)
Cruising by boat is a lifestyle that involves living for extended time on a boat while traveling from place to place for pleasure. Cruising generally refers to trips of a few days or more, and can extend to round-the-world voyages.- History :...

 in the eastern Mediterranean. The Greek ministry of tourism considers Thessaloniki to be Greece's second most important commercial port, and companies such as Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian and American cruise line brand based in Miami, Florida and owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. With 42 ships in service under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 25.6% share of the world cruise market...

 have expressed interested in adding the Port of Thessaloniki to their destinations. A total of 30 cruise ships are expected to arrive at Thessaloniki in 2011.

In recent years, the city has suffered industrial restructuring and lost many jobs; while it is moving toward a more service-based economy. A spate of factory shut downs has occurred as companies take advantage of cheaper labour markets and more lax regulations in other areas. Among the largest companies to shut down factories are Goodyear
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery....

, AVEZ (the first industrial factory in northern Greece, built in 1926), and VIAMIL (ΒΙΑΜΥΛ). Nevertheless Thessaloniki still remains a major business hub in the Balkans, with a number of important Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 companies headquartered in the city, such as the Hellenic Vehicle Industry
ELBO
ELBO , is a Greek vehicle manufacturer based in Thessaloniki...

, the Macedonian Milk Industry
Mevgal
MEVGAL is a Greek a brand of dairy products company, the largest in Northern Greece and the third largest producer of fresh dairy products in the country. Its name is an acronym for Macedonian Milk Industry...

 and Philkeram Johnson. A considerable percentage of the city's working force is employed in small and medium-sized businesses, as well as in the service and the public sectors.

The GDP of the prefecture of Thessaloniki was billion ( billion) in 2004, and the GDP per capita of the prefecture was , which was above Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

's GDP per capita at the time .

Historical ethnic statistics


The tables below show the ethnic statistics of Thessaloniki during the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century.
Year Total Population Jewish Population Turkish (Muslim) Population Greek Population Bulgarian Population Roma Population Other groups
1890 118,000 55,000 26,000 16,000 10,000 2,500 8,500
around 1913 157,889 61,439 45,889 39,956 6,263 2,721 1,621

Population growth



The municipality of Thessaloniki is the most populated municipality of all the municipalities that are part of the Thessaloniki Urban Area
Thessaloniki Urban Area
The Thessaloniki Urban Area is the contiguous densely built-up urban area around the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, which is the second largest municipality by population in the country behind Athens. The contiguous built-up area consists of 13 municipalities and forms the urban core of the...

 and make up the "City of Thessaloniki". Although the population of the municipality of Thessaloniki has declined in the latest census, the metropolitan area's population is still growing. The city forms the base of the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area or Larger Urban Zone is the complete area covered and directly influenced by Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki. The metropolitan area traditionally consisted of the municipality of Thessaloniki and its immediate surroundings, what is today referred to as...

, with latest census in 2011 giving it a population of 1,006,730.
Population of Thessaloniki
Year Municipality Urban area Metropolitan area Rank
1348 150,000   2nd
1453 40,000
1679 36,000
1842 70,000
1870 90,000
1882 85,000
1890 118,000
1902 126,000
1913 157,000   2nd
1917 230,000   2nd
1981 406,413   2nd
1991 383,967   2nd
2001 363,987 786,212 954,027   2nd
2004 386,627 995,766   2nd
2011 322,240 790,824 1,006,730   2nd

The Jews of Thessaloniki



The Jewish population in Greece was the oldest in mainland Europe, and was mostly Sephardic. Thessaloniki became the largest center of the Sephardic Jews, who nicknamed the city la madre de Israel (Israel's mother) and "Jerusalem of the Balkans".
It also included the historically significant and ancient Greek-speaking Romaniote
Romaniotes
The Romaniotes or Romaniots are a Jewish population who have lived in the territory of today's Greece and neighboring areas with large Greek populations for more than 2,000 years. Their languages were Yevanic, a Greek dialect, and Greek. They derived their name from the old name for the people...

 community. During the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 era, Thessaloniki's Sephardic community comprised more than half the city's population; the Jews were dominant in commerce until the ethnic Greek population increased after independence in 1912. By the 1680s, about 300 families of Sephardic Jews, followers of Sabbatai Zevi
Sabbatai Zevi
Sabbatai Zevi, , was a Sephardic Rabbi and kabbalist who claimed to be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. He was the founder of the Jewish Sabbatean movement...

, had converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, becoming a sect known as the Dönmeh
Dönmeh
Dönmeh refers to a group of crypto-Jews in the Ottoman Empire and present-day Turkey who openly affiliated with Islam and secretly practiced a form of Judaism called Sabbateanism...

(convert), and migrated to Salonika, whose population was majority Jewish. They established an active community that thrived for about 250 years. Many of their descendants later became prominent in trade. Many Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki spoke Ladino, the Romance language
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 of the Sephardic Jews.

The great fire of 1917
Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the quay in 1917.250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the [[Thermaic Gulf]].The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 was an accidental fire that got out of control and destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than...

 burned much of the center of the city and left 50,000 Jews homeless of the total of 72,000 residents who were burned out. Having lost homes and their businesses, many Jews emigrated: to the United States, Palestine, and Paris. They could not wait for the government to create a new urban plan for rebuilding, which was eventually done.

After the Greco-Turkish War in 1922 and the expulsion of Greeks from Turkey, many refugees came to Greece. Nearly 100,000 ethnic Greeks resettled in Thessaloniki, reducing the proportion of Jews in the total community. After this, Jews made up about 20% of the city's population. During the interwar period, Greece granted the Jews the same civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 as other Greek citizens. In March 1926, Greece re-emphasized that all citizens of Greece enjoyed equal rights, and a considerable proportion of the city's Jews decided to stay.

World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 brought a disaster for the Jewish Greeks, since in 1941 the Germans occupied Greece and began actions against the Jewish population. Greeks of the Resistance and Italian forces (before 1943) tried to protect the Jews and managed to save some. By the 1940s, the great majority of the Jewish Greek community firmly identified as both Greek and Jewish. According to Misha Glenny
Misha Glenny
Misha Glenny is a British journalist who specializes in southeastern Europe and global organized crime.-Biography:Glenny is the son of the late Russian studies academic Michael Glenny...

, such Greek Jews had largely not encountered "anti-Semitism as in its North European form."

In 1943 the Nazis began actions against the Jews in Thessaloniki, forcing them into a ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

 near the railroad lines and beginning deportation
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

 to concentration and labor camps. They deported and exterminated approximately 96% of Thessaloniki's Jews of all ages during the Holocaust. Today, a community of around 1200 remains in the city. Communities of descendants of Thessaloniki Jews – both Sephardic and Romaniote – live in other areas, mainly the United States and Israel. Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i singer Yehuda Poliker
Yehuda Poliker
Yehuda Poliker is an Israeli singer, songwriter, musician, and painter.-Early life:Poliker was born in Kiryat Haim, a suburb of Haifa, Israel to a Greek Jewish family. Poliker is the son of Holocaust survivors deported to Auschwitz from Salonika, Greece.-Music career:Poliker's music combines rock...

 recorded a song about the Jews of Thessaloniki, called "Wait for me, Thessaloniki".
Year Total
population
Jewish
population
Jewish
percentage
Source
1842 70,000 36,000 51% Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer
1870 90,000 50,000 56% Greek schoolbook (G.K. Moraitopoulos, 1882)
1882/84 85,000 48,000 56% Ottoman government census
1902 126,000 62,000 49% Ottoman government census
1913 157,889 61,439 39% Greek government census
1917 271,157 52,000 19%
1943 50,000
2000 363,987 1,000 0.27%

Leisure and entertainment


Thessaloniki is not only regarded as the cultural and entertainment capital of northern Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 but also the cultural capital of the country. The city's main theaters, run by the National Theater of Northern Greece (Greek: Κρατικό Θέατρο Βορείου Ελλάδος) which was established in 1961, include the Theater of the Society of Macedonian Studies, where the National Theater is based, the Royal Theater, the first base of the National Theater, Moni Lazariston, and the Earth Theater and Forest Theater, both amphitheatrical open-air theatres overlooking the city.
The title of the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 in 1997 saw the birth of the city's first opera and today forms an independent section of the National Theatre of Northern Greece. The opera is based at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, one of the largest concert halls in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Recently a second building was also constructed and designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki
Arata Isozaki
Arata Isozaki is a Japanese architect from Ōita. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1954. Isozaki worked under Kenzo Tange before establishing his own firm in 1963. He was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986.In 2005, Arata Isozaki founded the Italian branch of his office: Arata Isozaki &...

. Thessaloniki is also the seat of two symphony orchestras, the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of the Municipality of Thessaloniki.
Olympion Theater, the site of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has become one of the Balkans' primary showcases for the work of new and emerging filmmakers...

 and the Plateia Assos Odeon multiplex are the two major cinemas in downtown Thessaloniki. The city also has a number of multiplex cinemas in major shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

s in the suburbs, most notably in Mediterranean Cosmos
Mediterranean Cosmos
Mediterranean Cosmos is a shopping mall located in the east side of Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city. It opened in October 2005 and claims to be the largest retail and entertainment development in the Balkans....

, the largest retail and entertainment development in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

.

Thessaloniki is renowned for its major shopping streets and lively laneways. Tsimiski Street
Tsimiski Street
Tsimiski Street is a major avenue in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city Greece. It starts from the area of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair grounds, between Aggelaki Street and Nikolaou Germanou Street and ends in the crossroad with Ionos Dragoumi Street, on the western side of the...

 and Proxenou Koromila avenue are the city's most famous shopping streets and are among Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

's most expensive and exclusive high streets. The city is also home to one of Greece's most famous and prestigious hotels, Makedonia Palace
Makedonia Palace
Makedonia Palace is a 5 star hotel located in Thessaloniki, Greece and is regarded as one of Greece's most famous and prestigious hotels. The hotel is located on Megalou Alexandrou Avenue, by Thessaloniki's eastern urban waterfront....

 hotel, the Hyatt Regency Casino and hotel (the biggest casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and one of the biggest in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

) and Waterland
Waterland (water park)
Waterland is a waterpark in Thessaloniki, Greece. It opened in 1994 and it is the largest waterpark in south-eastern Europe, covering an area of approximately 150,000 square metres.-Attractions:...

, the largest water park in southeastern Europe.

The city has always been known between Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 for its vibrant city culture, including having the most cafe's and bars per-capita than any other city in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

; and as having some of the best nightlife
Nightlife
Nightlife is the collective term for any entertainment that is available and more popular from the late evening into the early hours of the morning...

 and entertainment in the country, thanks to its large young population and multicultural feel. Only recently has the city been exposing itself to the world and becoming more known for what it is, with Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world. The company is owned by BBC Worldwide, which bought a 75% share from the founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 2007 and the final 25% in February 2011...

 listing Thessaloniki as the world's fifth-best ultimate party city.

Parks and recreation


Although Thessaloniki is not renowned for its parks and greenery throughout its urban area, where green spaces are low, it has several large open spaces around its waterfront, namely the central city gardens of ΧΑΝΘ/Palios Zoologikos Kipos (which is recently being redeveloped to also include rock climbing facilities, a new skatepark and paintball range), the park of Pedio tou Areos, pulling in crowds throughout the year, and the parks of the Nea Paralia (waterfront) that span for 3 km (2 mi) along the coast, from the White Tower
White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki , is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia...

 to the concert hall.

The Nea Paralia parks are used throughout the year for a variety of events, while they open up to the Thessaloniki waterfront, which is lined up with several cafés and bars; and during summer is full of Thessalonians enjoying their long evening walks (referred to as "the volta" and is embedded into the culture of the city). Today half of the waterfront has been revitalised, while works have already started for the revitalisation of the rest, to include a further 8 thematic gardens with the large modernisation overhaul.

Thessaloniki’s proximity to places such as the national parks of Pieria and beaches of Chalkidiki often allow its residents to easily have access to some of the best outdoor recreation in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, however the city is also right next to the Seich Sou forest national park, just 3.5 km (2 mi) away from Thessaloniki’s city center; and offers residents and visitors alike, quiet viewpoints towards the city, mountain bike trails and landscaped hiking paths.

Other recreation spaces throughout the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area or Larger Urban Zone is the complete area covered and directly influenced by Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki. The metropolitan area traditionally consisted of the municipality of Thessaloniki and its immediate surroundings, what is today referred to as...

 include the Fragma Thermis, a landscaped parkland near Thermi
Thermi
Thermi is a municipality in the Thessaloniki regional unit, Greece.-Municipality:The municipality Thermi was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 3 former municipalities, that became municipal units:*Mikra*Thermi...

 and the Delta wetlands west of the city center; while urban beaches that have continuously been awarded the blue flags
Blue Flag beach
The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that a beach or marina meets its stringent standards.The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE which is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries in Europe,...

, are located along the 10 km (6 mi) coastline of Thessaloniki's southeastern suburbs of Thermaikos
Thermaikos
Thermaikos was a municipality of the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Greece. It compirised of the suburbs of Peraia, Neoi Epivates and Agia Triada, of which had a population of 20,253...

, about 20 km (12 mi) away from the city center.

Museums and galleries



Due to the city's rich and diverse history, Thessaloniki houses many museums dealing with many different eras in history. Two of the city center's most famous museums include the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Museum of Byzantine Culture
Museum of Byzantine culture
The Museum of Byzantine Culture is a museum in Thessaloniki, Greece, which opened in 1994.-History:To design the museum, a nationwide architectural competition was announced in 1977. The competition was ultimately won by the entry of Kyriakos Krokos. Construction of the building began in March...

.

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki was established in 1962 and houses some of the most important ancient Macedonian
Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

 artifacts, including an extensive collection of golden artwork from the royal palaces of Aigai
Aigai
Aigai or Aegae may refer to:*Aegae, first capital of ancient Macedon*Aegae, or Aigai, ancient settlement near Aigeira, in Achaea...

 and Pella
Pella
Pella , an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.-Etymology:...

. It also houses exhibits from Macedon
Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

's prehistoric past, dating from the Neolithic to the Bronze age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. The Prehistoric Antiquities Museum of Thessaloniki has exhibits from those periods as well.

The Museum of Byzantine Culture
Museum of Byzantine culture
The Museum of Byzantine Culture is a museum in Thessaloniki, Greece, which opened in 1994.-History:To design the museum, a nationwide architectural competition was announced in 1977. The competition was ultimately won by the entry of Kyriakos Krokos. Construction of the building began in March...

 is one of the city's most famous museums, showcasing the city's glorious Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 past. The museum was also awarded Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

's museum prize in 2005. The museum of the White Tower of Thessaloniki
White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki , is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia...

 houses a series of galleries relating to the city's past, from the creation of the White Tower
White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki , is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia...

 until recent years.

One of the most modern museums in the city is the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum
Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum
Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum is located at the outskirts of Thessaloniki, Greece.The museum's main objective to offer to the public an environment that facilitates the familiarisation with and the understanding of science and technology. The foundation is also actively engaged...

 and is one of the most high-tech museums in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and southeastern Europe. It features the largest planetarium
Planetarium
A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation...

 in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, a cosmotheater with the largest flat screen in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, an amphitheater, a motion simulator
Motion simulator
A motion simulator or motion platform is a mechanism that encapsulates occupants and creates the effect/feelings of being in a moving vehicle...

 with 3D projection and 6-axis movement and exhibition spaces. Other industrial and technological museums in the city include the Railway Museum of Thessaloniki
Railway Museum of Thessaloniki
The Railway Museum of Thessaloniki is a museum in Eleftherio-Kordelio, a municipality of the city of Thessaloniki, Greece. It was founded in 2001 and is housed in the old Military Railway Station A of the Thessaloniki-Constantinople Railway , near the current TX-3 signalbox...

, which houses an original Orient Express
Orient Express
The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train service originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. It ran from 1883 to 2009 and is not to be confused with the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train service, which continues to run.The route and rolling stock...

 train, the War Museum of Thessaloniki
War Museum of Thessaloniki
-See also:*Athens War Museum*War Museum of Chania*Military and war museums in Greece-External links:*...

 and others. The city also has a number of educational and sports museums, including the Thessaloniki Olympic Museum
Thessaloniki Olympic Museum
Thessaloniki Olympic Museum, the unique Olympic Museum of Greece, is situated at Thessaloniki, Greece. The museum is located on the confluence and educational, athletic and cultural routes of the city...

 and the Sports Museum of Thessaloniki.

The Atatürk Museum in Thessaloniki is the historic house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

, founder of modern-day Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, was born. The house is now part of the Turkish consulate complex, but admission to the museum is free. The museum contains historic information about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

 and his life, especially while he was in Thessaloniki.
Other ethnological museums of the sort include the Historical Museum of the Balkan Wars
Historical Museum of the Balkan Wars
Historical Museum of the Balkan Wars is a museum in Yefyra, of the Thessaloniki Prefecture, in Greece.-External links:***...

, the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki
Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki
The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki is a museum in Thessaloniki, Greece showing the history of Sephardic Jews and Jewish life in Thessaloniki....

 and the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle
Museum of the Macedonian Struggle
The Museum for the Macedonian Struggle occupies a neo-classical building designed by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller and built in 1893. In its six ground-floor rooms the museum graphically illustrates the modern and contemporary history of Greek Macedonia. It presents the social, economic,...

, containing information about the freedom fighters in Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

 and their struggle to liberate the region
Greek Struggle for Macedonia
The Macedonian Struggle was a series of social, political, cultural and military conflicts between Greeks and Bulgarians in the region of Ottoman Macedonia between 1904 and 1908...

 from the Ottoman yoke.

The city also has a number of important art galleries. Such include the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art
Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art
Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art is a contemporary art museum in Thessaloniki, Greece.-History:The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki was founded in 1979 by a group of visionary citizens of Thessaloniki...

, housing exhibitions from a number of well-known Greek and foreign artists. The Teloglion Foundation of Art
Teloglion Foundation of Art
The Teloglion Foundation of Art was established in Thessaloniki in 1972. It was named after Nestor and Aliki Telloglou, who donated their art collection and their entire property to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki...

 is part of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the largest Greek university, and the largest university in the Balkans. It was named after the philosopher Aristotle, who was born in Stageira, Chalcidice, about 55 km east of Thessaloniki, in Central Macedonia...

 and includes an extensive collection of works by important artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by prominent Greeks and native Thessalonians. The Thessaloniki Museum of Photography also houses a number of important exhibitions, and is located within the old port of Thessaloniki.

Festivals


Thessaloniki is home of a number of festivals and events. The Thessaloniki International Trade Fair is the most important event to be hosted in the city annually, by means of economic development. It was first established in 1926 and takes place every year at the 180000 m² (215,278.21 sq yd) Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center. The event attracts major political attention and it is customary for the Prime Minister of Greece
Prime Minister of Greece
The Prime Minister of Greece , officially the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic , is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The current interim Prime Minister is Lucas Papademos, a former Vice President of the European Central Bank, following...

 to outline his administration's policies for the next year, during event. Over 250,000 visitors attended the exposition in 2010.

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival is established as one of the most important film festivals in Southern Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

, with a number of notable film makers such as Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

, Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway is an American actress.Dunaway won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Network after receiving previous nominations for the critically acclaimed films Bonnie and Clyde and Chinatown...

, Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve is a French actress. She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof and mysterious beauties in films such as Repulsion and Belle de jour . Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1993 for her performance in Indochine; she also won César Awards for that...

, Irene Papas
Irene Papas
Irene Papas is a Greek actress and occasional singer, who has starred in over seventy films in a career spanning more than fifty years.-Life:...

 and Fatih Akın
Fatih Akin
Fatih Akın is a German film director, screenwriter and producer of Turkish descent.- Personal life :Akın was born in 1973 in Hamburg to parents of Turkish ethnicity...

 taking part, and was established in 1960. The Documentary Festival
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century is a film festival specialising in documentary films which takes place every March in Thessaloniki and is affiliated with the International Thessaloniki Film Festival.-History:...

, founded in 1999, has focused on documentaries that explore global social and cultural developments, with many of the films presented being candidates for FIPRESCI
FIPRESCI
The International Federation of Film Critics is an association of national organizations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world for "the promotion and development of film culture and for the safeguarding of professional interests." It was founded in June 1930 in...

 and Audience Awards.
The Dimitria festival, founded in 1966 and named after the city's patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of St. Demetrius, has focused on a wide range of events including music, theatre, dance, local happenings, and exhibitions. The "DMC DJ Championship
DMC World DJ Championships
DMC World DJ Championships is an annual DJ competition hosted by Disco Mix Club which began in 1986. The most recent instance of this competition will take place in New Orleans and in Denver TBA.-World DJ Champions:*1985 - Roger Johnson...

" has been hosted at the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki and has become a worldwide event for aspiring DJs and turntablists. The "International Festival of Photography" has taken place every February to mid-April. Exhibitions for the event are sited in museums, heritage landmarks, galleries, bookshops and cafés. Thessaloniki also holds an annual International Book Fair.

Between 1962–1997 and 2005–2008 the city also hosted the Thessaloniki Song Festival
Thessaloniki Song Festival
The Thessaloniki Song Festival , originally the Greek Song Festival was a Greek song festival hosted between 1959–1997 and 2005–2008. The host city of the event was initially Athens but the contest was later moved to Thessaloniki, from which it got its name.The festival was usually hosted at the...

, Greece's most important music festival, at Alexandreio Melathron.

Sports


The main stadium of the city is the Kaftanzoglio Stadium
Kaftanzoglio Stadium
Kaftanzoglio stadium is a sports stadium in Thessaloniki, Greece. The stadium was built with money donated by the Kaftanzoglou Foundation, hence its name. At the time of its opening on 27 October 1960, the stadium was one of the highest quality stadiums in the Balkans...

 (also home ground of Iraklis FC), while other main stadiums of the city include the football Toumba Stadium
Toumba Stadium
Toumba Stadium is a football stadium in Thessaloniki, Greece, owned by the multisports club A.S. PAOK. It was built in 6 September 1959 as the club's prime sporting venue and served the home ground for the club's football team, which was participating in the then national football league. The...

 and Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium, home grounds of PAOK FC
PAOK FC
P.A.O.K. F.C. is a Greek association football club based in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is the largest supported football club in Macedonia.PAOK FC is the football department of Pan-Thessalonian Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans , a multi-sport club. Since its formation in 1926 the football club...

 and Aris FC respectively, all of whom are founding members of the Greek league
Super League Greece
The Superleague Greece is the highest professional football league in Greece. It was formed on July 16, 2006 and replaced Alpha Ethniki at the top of the Greek football league system. The league consists of 16 teams and runs from August to May, with teams playing 30 games each...

.

Being the largest "multi-sport" stadium in the city, Kaftanzoglio Stadium
Kaftanzoglio Stadium
Kaftanzoglio stadium is a sports stadium in Thessaloniki, Greece. The stadium was built with money donated by the Kaftanzoglou Foundation, hence its name. At the time of its opening on 27 October 1960, the stadium was one of the highest quality stadiums in the Balkans...

 regularly plays host to athletics events; such as the European Athletics Association event "Olympic Meeting Thessaloniki" every year; it has hosted the Greek national championships in 2009 and has been used for athletics at the Mediterranean Games
Athletics at the Mediterranean Games
Athletics is one of the sports at the quadrennial Mediterranean Games competition. It has been one of the sports competed at the event since the inaugural edition in 1951.-Editions:-See also:*List of Mediterranean Games records in athletics...

 and for the European Cup in athletics
European Cup (athletics)
The European Cup is a now defunct athletics competition, replaced by the European Team Championships from 2009 onwards. The Europa Cup saw most of the major nations of Europe compete. Originally known as the Bruno Zauli Cup, it first took place in Stuttgart and Kassel , Germany in 1965...

. In 2004 the stadium served as an official Athens 2004 venue, while in 2009 the city and the stadium hosted the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final
2009 IAAF World Athletics Final
The 7th IAAF World Athletics Final was held at the Kaftanzoglio Stadium in Thessaloniki, Greece on September 12 and September 13, 2009. The competition represented the culmination of the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Tour, a selection of athletics meetings which began on September 20, 2008 at the...

.

Thessaloniki's major indoor arenas include the state-owned Alexandreio Melathron, PAOK Sports Arena
PAOK Sports Arena
P.A.O.K. Sports Arena is located in Thessaloniki, Greece and it hosts the P.A.O.K. B.C. and P.A.O.K. V.C. departments of P.A.O.K. It was opened in the year 2000 and in the same year it hosted the Euroleague and Greek Cup final-fours. It is built on land donated by Ioannis Dedeoglou, for which...

 and the YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

 indoor hall. Other sporting clubs in the city include Apollon FC based in Kalamaria
Kalamaria
Kalamariá is a municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area, located about 7 km southeast of downtown Thessaloniki. It is the second largest municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area as well as one of the largest in Greece, with a population increase of 8% since the 1991...

, Agrotikos Asteras FC based in Evosmos
Evosmos
Evosmos is a suburb of the Thessaloniki Urban Area and was a former municipality in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Kordelio-Evosmos, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It has a land area of 9.927 km²...

 and YMCA. Thessaloniki has a rich sporting history with its teams winning the first ever panhellenic football, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, and water polo
Water polo
Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores more goals. Game play involves swimming, treading water , players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing into a...

 tournaments.

The city played a major role in the development of basketball in Greece. The local YMCA was the first to introduce the sport to the country, while Iraklis BC won the first ever Greek championship. From 1982 to 1993 Aris BC
Aris BC
Aris Basketball Club is the professional basketball team of the Thessaloniki-based Greek sport club Aris Thessaloniki. Aris BC was founded in 1922, eight years after the founding of Aris Thessaloniki....

 dominated the league, regularly finishing in first place. In that period Aris won a total of 9 championships, 7 cups and one European Cup Winners' Cup. In volleyball, Iraklis has emerged since 2000 as one of the most successful teams in Greece and Europe. In October 2007, Thessaloniki also played host to the first Southeastern European Games.

The city is also the finish point of the annual Alexander The Great Marathon
Alexander The Great Marathon
The Alexander The Great Marathon is an annual marathon race which is held between Pella and Thessaloniki, Greece, in Mid-April.First held in 2006, the race begins at the birthplace of Alexander the Great and finishes in what was the last capital of Ancient Macedonia, Thessaloniki. It received IAAF...

, which starts at Pella
Pella
Pella , an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.-Etymology:...

, in recognition of its Ancient Macedonian heritage.
Main sports clubs in Thessaloniki
Club Founded Venue Capacity
Iraklis
G.S. Iraklis Thessaloniki
Gymnastikos Syllogos Iraklis , commonly referred to as Iraklis, is a Greek sports club based in Thessaloniki. The club was founded in 1908 and is named after Heracles, the mythical Greek demigod...

1908 Kaftanzoglio National Stadium
Kaftanzoglio Stadium
Kaftanzoglio stadium is a sports stadium in Thessaloniki, Greece. The stadium was built with money donated by the Kaftanzoglou Foundation, hence its name. At the time of its opening on 27 October 1960, the stadium was one of the highest quality stadiums in the Balkans...

 
27,770
Aris 1914 Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium 22,800
1922 Alexandreio Melathron (Palais des Sports) 5,500
PAOK
PAOK
The Pan-Thessalonian Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans , abbreviated P.A.O.K. , is a Macedonian sports club in Thessaloniki, Greece. The club is home to several teams, including football, basketball, volleyball, handball, water polo, swimming, wrestling, hockey and weightlifting. P.A.O.K. was...

1926 Toumba Stadium
Toumba Stadium
Toumba Stadium is a football stadium in Thessaloniki, Greece, owned by the multisports club A.S. PAOK. It was built in 6 September 1959 as the club's prime sporting venue and served the home ground for the club's football team, which was participating in the then national football league. The...

28,703
PAOK Sports Arena
PAOK Sports Arena
P.A.O.K. Sports Arena is located in Thessaloniki, Greece and it hosts the P.A.O.K. B.C. and P.A.O.K. V.C. departments of P.A.O.K. It was opened in the year 2000 and in the same year it hosted the Euroleague and Greek Cup final-fours. It is built on land donated by Ioannis Dedeoglou, for which...

8,700
YMCA Thessaloniki (ΧΑΝΘ)
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

1921
Apollon
Apollon Kalamarias
Apollon Kalamarias is a Greek association football club based in the district of Kalamaria, in southeast Thessaloniki, Greece.The club was suspended from playing in the Second Division for the 2009-10 season, due to unsettled debts...

1926 Kalamaria Stadium
Kalamaria Stadium
Kalamaria Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Kalamaria, a district of Thessaloniki, in Greece.It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Apollon Kalamarias....

6,500
MENT 1926
VAO 1926
Makedonikos
Makedonikos F.C.
Makedonikos Football Club is a Greek professional football club, based in Neapoli, Thessaloniki.-History:The association was founded in 1928 and the name means 'Macedonian'. In 2008, they were promoted to Football League 2 after a fourteen year absence from the National Leagues...

1928 Makedonikos Stadium
Makedonikos Stadium
Makedonikos Ground is a football stadium located in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is home to Makedonikos FC football club....

8,100
Agrotikos Asteras 1932 Evosmos Stadium

Media


Thessaloniki is home to the ERT3
ERT3
ET3 is the third television network of the ERT, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation. It broadcasts nationwide from Thessaloniki. It has regional studios operating in various cities across the country, including Florina, Komotini and Alexandroupolis and on the islands of Paros, Mytilini and...

 TV-channel and Radio Macedonia, both services of Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) operating in the city and are broadcast all over Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

.
The municipality of Thessaloniki also operates three radio stations, namely FM100, FM101 and FM100.6; and TV100, a television network which was also the first non-state-owned TV station in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and opened in 1988. Several private TV-networks also broadcast out from Thessaloniki, with Makedonia TV being the most popular.

The city's main newspapers and some of the most circulated in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, include Makedonia
Makedonia (newspaper)
Makedonia is a Greek daily newspaper published in Thessaloniki. Being one of the oldest newspapers in Greece, it was first published in 1911 by Konstantinos Vellidis. The present owner is the company Makedoniki Ekdotiki Ektipotiki AE. Currently, director of the newspaper is Dimitrios Gousidis, the...

, which was also the first newspaper published in Thessaloniki in 1911 and Aggelioforos. A large number of radio stations also broadcast from Thessaloniki as the city is known for its music contributions.

Notable Thessalonians



Throughout its history, Thessaloniki has been home to a number of well-known figures. It is also the birthplace of various Saints and other religious figures, such as Cyril and Methodius, creators of the first Slavic alphabet, Saint Mitre
Saint Mitre
Mitre was a Catholic saint, who was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and died in Aix-en-Provence.-Biography:According to the legend, Mitre, a field worker living in Aix-en-Provence with Arvendus, was charged with witchcraft for making a miracle come true. He was beheaded...

, Patriarch Philotheus I of Constantinople and Archbishop Demetrios of America. Many of Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

's most celebrated musicians and movie stars were born in Thessaloniki, such as Zoe Laskari
Zoe Laskari
Zoe Laskari , is a Greek film and theatre actress, one of the most popular in Greece.-Life:Zoe Laskari was born Zoe Kouroukli in Thessaloniki, from a middle class family which had a long tradition of service to the Hellenic Army. At an early age she lost both her parents and was raised by her...

, Costas Hajihristos
Costas Hajihristos
-Biography:He was born in Thessaloniki to a large family, which later moved to Pagkrati.The young Kostas studied mainly at the Military School in Syros and finished his studies in Kavala. He worked in a variety at the Missouri Theatre in Piraeus and at the Nitsa Gaitanaki company where he plauyed...

, Antonis Remos
Antonis Remos
Antonis Remos , is a Greek laïko singer.-Early life:Antonis Remos was born in Düsseldorf, West Germany. He was raised there by his Greek parents, and later his family moved back to their native Thessaloniki, Greece, where he finished school. During his childhood he got involved with music and...

, Paschalis Terzis
Paschalis Terzis
Paschalis Terzis is a popular Greek singer.-Biography:Terzis was born in Pylaia, a suburb of Thessaloniki in the region of Northern Greece. In his early teens he began to sing with friends, some of whom helped him in his career...

, Natassa Theodoridou
Natassa Theodoridou
Natassa Theodoridou , born October 24, 1970 in Thessaloniki, is a well-known Greek singer and the only female Greek artist to have her first three albums achieve platinum status. She has been certified for a total of at least 432 thousand albums and 20 thousand singles sales by IFPI Greece...

, Katia Zygouli
Katia Zygouli
Ekaterini Zygouli , born July 4, 1978, is a Greek fashion model and occasional actress.-Career:Zygouli is considered as one of the highest-paid Greek models...

, Kostas Voutsas
Kostas Voutsas
Kostas Voutsas is a famous Greek actor, director and writer.-Biography:Voutsas was born in Thessaloniki, in 1931. He studied drama at the Drama School of the Macedonian Conservatory of Thessaloniki and made his stage and screen debut in 1953...

, Stavros Damianides
Stavros Damianides
Stavros Damianides was a musician . He was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and died in Perth, Western Australia....

, Marios Iliopoulos
Marios Iliopoulos
Marios Iliopoulos, born December 16, 1969 in Thessaloniki, Greece is an acclaimed Greek heavy metal guitarist and founder of the Greek/Swedish melodic death metal band Nightrage, and a former member of Exhumation....

 and Marinella
Marinella
Marinella is one of the most popular Greek singers whose career has spanned several decades. She has sung professionally since 1957. Since the beginning of her career, she has released 66 personal albums and has been featured in albums of other musicians.-Early life:She was born Kyriaki...

. Additionally, there have been a number of political leaders born in the city Evangelos Venizelos
Evangelos Venizelos
Evangelos Venizelos is a Greek politician, currently Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Greece since 17 June 2011...

, the current Minister of Finance of Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Haris Kastanidis, current Minister for the Interior, Christos Sartzetakis
Christos Sartzetakis
Christos Sartzetakis is a Greek jurist and former supreme justice of the Court of Cassation , who served as the fourth President of the Third Hellenic Republic from 1985 to 1990. He was born in Neapoli, Thessaloniki in 1929...

, fourth President of Greece
President of Greece
The President of the Hellenic Republic , colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The office of the President of the Republic was established after the Greek republic referendum, 1974 and formally by the Constitution of Greece in 1975. The...

, Kostas Zouraris
Kostas Zouraris
Kostas Zouraris is a Macedonian Greek political scientist and writer.He studied law in Thessaloniki and political science in Paris, where he was involved in the May 1968 movement. He has taught political science at Vincennes-Paris university since 1969...

 and Ioannis Passalidis. Sports personalities from the city include Eleni Daniilidou
Eleni Daniilidou
Eleni Daniilidou is a Greek tennis player born in Chania, on the island of Crete.As of 2011, she has won five WTA singles titles and three doubles titles. In 2003, she reached the Australian Open mixed doubles final. Her highest singles ranking has been 14th...

, Dimitris Salpigidis
Dimitris Salpigidis
Dimitris Salpigidis Dimitris Salpigidis Dimitris Salpigidis (Greek: Δημήτρης Σαλπιγγίδης, (born 18 August 1981, Thessaloniki) is a Greek football striker. He plays for PAOK FC and the Greek national team.-Playing career:...

, Traianos Dellas
Traianos Dellas
Traianos Dellas is a Greek international footballer currently playing as a centre back for AEK Athens in the Greek Super League...

, Kleanthis Vikelidis
Kleanthis Vikelidis
Kleanthis Vikelides was a star footballer for Aris Thessaloniki in the 1930s and 1940s.Vikelides was born in 1916 in Thessaloniki and was the youngest of the three Vikelides brothers that played for Aris...

 and Ioannis Tamouridis
Ioannis Tamouridis
Ioannis Tamouridis is a Greek cyclist, from Thessalonika, Greece. He started cycling in 1995 and he competes in Road and Track races. Some of the highlights of his career are two medals in world track championships, in Points Races and Scratch...

. Ioannis Papafis
Ioannis Papafis
Ioannis Papafis was a Greek Macedonian merchant and entrepreneur, considered a national benefactor of Greece.Papafis, after venturing shortly in Smyrna and Alexandria, established his fortuitous enterprise working as a broker in Malta, a place he later considered his second home...

 and Elias Petropoulos
Elias Petropoulos
Elias Petropoulos , who was born in Greece but spent much of his life in France, holds a unique place in the intellectual life of Europe...

 were also born in Thessaloniki.

The city is also the birthplace of a number of important foreign personalities, which include ethnic Macedonians (Dimo Todorovski
Dimo Todorovski
Dimo Todorovski , , was a prominent Macedonian artist and a first generation Macedonian sculptor. His works are part of the national collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje. During his life he realized a number of sculptures of different formats, portraits, and many public monuments...

), Bulgarians
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

 (Atanas Dalchev
Atanas Dalchev
Atanas Hristov Dalchev was a Bulgarian poet, critic and translator. He is an author of poetry that brightly touches some philosophical problems. He translates poetry and fiction from French, Spanish, English, German and Russian authors...

), Turks (Nâzım Hikmet
Nazim Hikmet
Nâzım Hikmet Ran , commonly known as Nâzım Hikmet , was a Turkish poet, playwright, novelist and memoirist. He was acclaimed for the "lyrical flow of his statements"...

, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

, Afet İnan
Afet Inan
Ayşe Afet İnan was a Turkish historian and sociologist. She was one of the adopted daughters of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk....

, Cahit Arf
Cahit Arf
Cahit Arf was a Turkish mathematician. He is known for the Arf invariant of a quadratic form in characteristic 2 in topology, the Hasse–Arf theorem in ramification theory, Arf semigroups, and Arf rings.-Biography:Cahit Arf was born on 11 October 1910 in Selanik , which was then...

, Mehmet Cavit Bey
Mehmet Cavit Bey
Mehmet Cavit Bey, Mehmed Cavid Bey or Mehmed Djavid Bey was an Ottoman Sabbateaneconomist, newspaper editor and leading politician during the last period of the Ottoman Empire. A member of the Committee of Union and Progress , he was part of the Young Turks and had positions in government after...

, Salih Omurtak
Salih Omurtak
Salih Omurtak was a Turkish general and the fourth Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces.-Biography:He was born 1889 in Salonica , then within the Ottoman Empire. He graduated from the Military College in 1907 with the rank of a lieutenant...

, Sabiha Sertel
Sabiha Sertel
Sabiha Derviş Sertel was the first professional female journalist and one of the first feminist writers in Turkey with Donmeh ancestry. Educated in a progressive high school, Sertel began writing essays at the age of sixteen on women's rights and social issues...

, Halil Rifat Pasha
Halil Rifat Pasha
Halil Rifat Pasha , was an Ottoman statesman and a grand vizier for six years between 1895 till his death 1901, under the reign of Abdülhamid II.- Education :...

) and Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

s (Moshe Levy
Moshe Levy (chemist)
Moshe Levy is an Israeli professor of Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.-Birth and Education:Moshe Levy was born on December 8, 1927 in Thessaloniki, Greece. In 1933 his father, Eliyahu, decided to immigrate to Palestine, then under British occupation...

, Daniel Zion
Daniel Zion
Daniel S. Zion, , ,, was an Orthodox rabbi, Kabbalist and a political activist. He was one of the two senior rabbis of Sofia, Bulgaria during the Second World War....

, Samuel ben Joseph Uziel
Samuel ben Joseph Uziel
Samuel ben Joseph Uziel was a rabbi and physician of Spanish extraction who officiated as rabbi at Salonica, where he also practised medicine.- References :...

, Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz
Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz
Shlomo ha-Levi Alkabetz, also spelt Alqabitz, Alqabes; was a rabbi, kabbalist and poet perhaps best known for his composition of the song Lecha Dodi; sources differ as to when he wrote it .- Biography :Alkabetz studied Torah under Rabbi Yosef Taitatzak...

).

Thessaloniki in popular culture



The city is viewed as a romantic one in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, and as such Thessaloniki is commonly featured in Greek songs
Music of Greece
The music of Greece is as diverse and celebrated as its history. Greek music separates into two parts: Greek traditional music and Byzantine music, with more eastern sounds...

. There are a number of famous songs that go by the name 'Thessaloniki' or include the name in their title.

Education


Thessaloniki is a major center of education for Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Two of the country's largest universities are located in central Thessaloniki: Aristotle University and the University of Macedonia
University of Macedonia
The University of Macedonia is located in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece. It is the second largest university in Thessaloniki...

. Aristotle University was founded in 1926 and is currently the largest university in Greece by number of students, which number at more than 80,000 in 2010, and is a member of the Utrecht Network
Utrecht Network
The Utrecht Network is a network of European universities. The network promotes the internationalisation of tertiary education through summer schools, student and staff exchanges and joint degrees.- Utrecht Network member universities :...

. For the academic year 2009-2010, Aristotle University was ranked as one of the 150 best universities in the world for arts and humanities and among the 250 best universities in the world overall by the Times QS World University Rankings, making it one of the top 2% of best universities worldwide. Leiden ranks Aristotle University as one of the top 100 European universities and the best university in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, at number 97. Since 2010, Thessaloniki is also home to the Open University of Thessaloniki, which is funded by Aristotle University, the University of Macedonia
University of Macedonia
The University of Macedonia is located in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece. It is the second largest university in Thessaloniki...

 and the municipality of Thessaloniki.

Additionally, a TEI (Technological Educational Institute) is located in the western suburb of Sindos
Sindos
Sindos is a suburb of Thessaloniki, Greece. It is home to the Alexandrio Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki and the Industrial Zone of the city. The suburb is part of the municipality of Delta.In antiquity, Sindos was noted by Herodotus Sindos (Greek: Σίνδος, Latin: Sindus, South...

, home also to the industrial zone of the city. Numerous public and private vocational institutes
IEK
I.E.K. or IEK is a public or private Institute of Vocational Training in Greece.-Public and private I.E.K.:Public and private I.E.K...

  provide professional training to young students, while a large number of private colleges offer American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and UK academic curriculum, via cooperation with foreign universities. In addition to Greek students, the city hence attracts many foreign students either via the Erasmus programme for public universities, or for a complete degree in public universities or in the city's private colleges. the city's total student population was estimated around 200,000.

Bus transport


Public transport in Thessaloniki is served by buses. The bus company
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 operating in the city is the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization  (OASTH) and is the only public means of transport in Thessaloniki at the moment. It operates a fleet of 604 vehicles on 75 routes throughout the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area or Larger Urban Zone is the complete area covered and directly influenced by Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki. The metropolitan area traditionally consisted of the municipality of Thessaloniki and its immediate surroundings, what is today referred to as...

. International and regional bus links are provided at the Macedonia Central Bus Station (intercity buses terminal), located west of the city centre.

Railways


The city is a major railway hub for the Balkans, with direct connections to Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

, Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

, Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, alongside Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 and other destinations in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. It is the most important railway hub of Greece and has the biggest marshalling yard in the country.
Thessaloniki's railway passenger station, is called the "New Railway Station" and was completed in 1961, remaining largely unchanged ever since. Currently it features large waiting areas, a central hall, cafes, restaurants and a shopping center. Discussions are underway for the expansion of the station and a general modernisation overhaul, which will also include a hotel and a revamp of the central offices of the Hellenic Railways Organization for northern Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. A metro station is currently also under construction at the station.

Commuter rail services have recently been established between Thessaloniki and the city of Larissa
Larissa
Larissa is the capital and biggest city of the Thessaly region of Greece and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transportation hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the city of Thessaloniki and Athens...

 (the service is known in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 as the "Proastiakos
Proastiakos
Proastiakós , is the name used for the suburban services of TrainOSE, servicing Greece's three largest cities: Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras; providing them with modern commuter rail links, towards their suburbs and also towards other cities and towns located around them.The service, operated by...

", meaning "Suburban Railway"). The service operates using Siemens Desiro
Desiro
The Siemens Desiro is a family of diesel or electric multiple unit passenger trains. The main variants are the Desiro Classic, Desiro ML, Desiro UK and the future Desiro City and Desiro RUS. The trains are mostly used for commuter and regional services, and their rapid acceleration makes them...

 EMU trains on a modernised electrified double track
Double track
A double track railway usually involves running one track in each direction, compared to a single track railway where trains in both directions share the same track.- Overview :...

 and stops at 11 refurbished stations, covering the journey in an 1 hour and 33 minutes. An additional commuter rail service has also been established, although with the use of regional trains, between Thessaloniki and the city of Edessa
Edessa, Greece
Edessa , is a city in northern Greece and the capital of the Pella regional unit, in the Central Macedonia region of Greece. It was also the capital of the defunct province of the same name.-Name:...

. The train service within Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, including the Proastiakos
Proastiakos
Proastiakós , is the name used for the suburban services of TrainOSE, servicing Greece's three largest cities: Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras; providing them with modern commuter rail links, towards their suburbs and also towards other cities and towns located around them.The service, operated by...

, is operated by TrainOSE
TrainOSE
TrainOSE S.A. is a railway company in Greece which currently operates all passenger and freight trains on OSE lines. The company, formerly a subsidiary of the Hellenic Railways Organisation , has been from 2008 an independent state-owned company...

, the Hellenic Railways Organization's train operating company. As of 2011, due to the financial crisis international services have been suspended.

Thessaloniki Metro


The construction of the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Railway began in 2006 and is scheduled for completion in late 2014. The line of Phase 1 is set to extend over 9.6 kilometres (6 mi), include 13 stations and it is expected to eventually serve 250,000 passengers daily. Some stations of the Thessaloniki Metro
Thessaloniki Metro
The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Railway , or Thessaloniki Metro , is an underground rapid transit system under construction in Thessaloniki, Greece.-The project:...

 will house a number of archaeological finds.

Discussions are already underway for future expansions, in order for the metro network to also serve major transport hubs of the city, notably the Macedonia Central Bus Station (intercity buses terminal) and Macedonia International Airport. For the expansion towards the airport, the Attiko Metro company is considering the construction of an overground network or a monorail
Monorail
A monorail is a rail-based transportation system based on a single rail, which acts as its sole support and its guideway. The term is also used variously to describe the beam of the system, or the vehicles traveling on such a beam or track...

. The expansion to Kalamaria
Kalamaria
Kalamariá is a municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area, located about 7 km southeast of downtown Thessaloniki. It is the second largest municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area as well as one of the largest in Greece, with a population increase of 8% since the 1991...

, a southeast borough of Thessaloniki, has already become part of the initial construction phase, while future expansions are considered and planned for Efkarpia
Efkarpia
Efkarpia is a suburb of the Thessaloniki Urban Area and a former municipality in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pavlos Melas, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 6,598 ....

 to the north and Evosmos
Evosmos
Evosmos is a suburb of the Thessaloniki Urban Area and was a former municipality in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Kordelio-Evosmos, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It has a land area of 9.927 km²...

 to the west. The strategic plan for the construction of the Thessaloniki Metro
Thessaloniki Metro
The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Railway , or Thessaloniki Metro , is an underground rapid transit system under construction in Thessaloniki, Greece.-The project:...

 envisions that the city will have a system of 3 lines by 2018 or 2020 at the latest.

Macedonia International Airport


Air traffic
Air Traffic
Air Traffic was a British alternative rock band from Bournemouth. Formed in 2003, the band consists of Chris Wall , David Ryan Jordan , Tom Pritchard and Jim Maddock ....

 to and from the city is served by Macedonia International Airport for international and domestic flights. The short length of the airport's two runways means that it does not currently support intercontinental flights, although a major extension, lengthening one of its runways into the Thermaic Gulf
Thermaic Gulf
The Thermaic Gulf is a gulf of the Aegean Sea located immediately south of Thessaloniki, east of Pieria and Imathia, and west of Chalkidiki . It was named after the ancient town of Therma, which was situated on the northeast coast of the gulf...

 is under construction, despite considerable opposition from local environmentalist groups. Following the completion of the runway works, the airport will be able to serve intercontinental flights and cater for larger aircraft in the future. A master-plan, with designs for a new terminal building and apron have also been released; and is seeking for either public and private funding.

Motorways


The city is bypassed by a C-shaped ring road
Ring road
A ring road, orbital motorway, beltway, circumferential highway, or loop highway is a road that encircles a town or city...

. The western end of the route begins at the junction with the A1/A2
Egnatia Odos (modern road)
Egnatia Odos is the Greek part of the European route. It is a motorway in Greece that extends from the western port of Igoumenitsa to the eastern Greek–Turkish border at Kipoi. It runs a total of...

 motorways in Lachanagora District. Clockwise it heads northeast around the city, passing through the northwestern suburbs, the forest of Seich Sou and through to the southeast borough of Kalamaria
Kalamaria
Kalamariá is a municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area, located about 7 km southeast of downtown Thessaloniki. It is the second largest municipality of the Thessaloniki Urban Area as well as one of the largest in Greece, with a population increase of 8% since the 1991...

. The ring road ends at a large junction with the ΕΟ67
Greek National Road 67
The Greek National Road 67 is a highway or route that links the city of Thessaloniki with Nea Moudania and southern Chalkidiki...

 (in the near future to be expanded as A25) motorway, which then continues south to Chalkidiki, passing through Thessaloniki's
Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area
The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area or Larger Urban Zone is the complete area covered and directly influenced by Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki. The metropolitan area traditionally consisted of the municipality of Thessaloniki and its immediate surroundings, what is today referred to as...

 outer southeast suburbs. This route is labeled as the Esoteriki Peripheriaki Odos of Thessaloniki and is generally accepted as the "boundary" between the city proper (Thessaloniki Urban Area
Thessaloniki Urban Area
The Thessaloniki Urban Area is the contiguous densely built-up urban area around the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, which is the second largest municipality by population in the country behind Athens. The contiguous built-up area consists of 13 municipalities and forms the urban core of the...

) and its suburbs.

The speed limit on this motorway is 90 kilometres per hour (55.9 mph), it currently has three traffic lanes for each direction and forms the city's most vital road link. Although the large efford that was made in 2004 to improve the motorway features, it still does not feature an emergency lane. New plans have surfaced to upgrade the motorway to address the current issues, while also adding one more lane in each direction.

An outer ring road
Ring road
A ring road, orbital motorway, beltway, circumferential highway, or loop highway is a road that encircles a town or city...

 known as Eksoteriki Peripheriaki Odos is planned, with its west part already built and running as part of the A1/A2
Egnatia Odos (modern road)
Egnatia Odos is the Greek part of the European route. It is a motorway in Greece that extends from the western port of Igoumenitsa to the eastern Greek–Turkish border at Kipoi. It runs a total of...

 motorways, passing through the outer northwestern suburbs of the city.
  • Motorways:
    • A1/E75
      European route E75
      European route E 75 is part of the International E-road network, which is a series of main roads in Europe.The E 75 starts from Vardø, Norway in the Barents Sea and runs south through Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Republic of Macedonia to Sitia, Greece on...

       W
      (Republic of Macedonia
      Republic of Macedonia
      Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

      , Athens
      Athens
      Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

      , Larissa
      Larissa
      Larissa is the capital and biggest city of the Thessaly region of Greece and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transportation hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the city of Thessaloniki and Athens...

      )
    • A2
      Egnatia Odos (modern road)
      Egnatia Odos is the Greek part of the European route. It is a motorway in Greece that extends from the western port of Igoumenitsa to the eastern Greek–Turkish border at Kipoi. It runs a total of...

      /E90
      European route E90
      European route E 90 is an A-Class West-East European route, extending from Lisbon in Portugal in the west to the Turkish-Iraqi border in the east.-Itinerary:...

       N
      ' (Turkey
      Turkey
      Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

      , Alexandroupolis, Kavala
      Kavala
      Kavala , is the second largest city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of Kavala peripheral unit. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala, across from the island of Thasos...

      , Xanthi
      Xanthi
      Xanthi ; is a city in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the Xanthi peripheral unit of the periphery of East Macedonia and Thrace.-History:...

      , Igoumenitsa
      Igoumenitsa
      Igoumenitsa , is a coastal city in northwestern Greece. It is the capital of the regional unit Thesprotia. Its original ancient name used to be Titani....

      , Ioannina
      Ioannina
      Ioannina , often called Jannena within Greece, is the largest city of Epirus, north-western Greece, with a population of 70,203 . It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 meters above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis . It is located within the Ioannina municipality, and is the...

      , Kozani
      Kozani
      Kozani is a city in northern Greece, capital of Kozani regional unit and of West Macedonia region. It is located in the western part of Macedonia, in the northern part of the Aliakmonas river valley...

      )
    • A25(ΕΟ12
      Greek National Road 12
      The Greek National Road 12 is a highway or route that links the towns and cities of Thessaloniki, Lachanas, Serres Drama and Xanthi. It also serves traffic heading towards the north, to the Greek/Bulgarian border...

      )/Ε79
      European route E79
      European route E 79 is a road part of the International E-road network. It begins in Miskolc, Hungary and ends in Thessaloniki, Greece, also running through Romania and Bulgaria...

       Ν
      (Serres
      Serres
      Serres is a city in Greece, seat of the Serres prefecture.Serres may also refer to:Places:* Serres, Germany, a part of Wiernsheim in Baden-WürttembergIn France:* Serres, Aude in the Aude département...

      , Bulgaria
      Bulgaria
      Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

      )
    • A25(ΕΟ67
      Greek National Road 67
      The Greek National Road 67 is a highway or route that links the city of Thessaloniki with Nea Moudania and southern Chalkidiki...

      ) S
      (Airport, Nea Moudania
      Nea Moudania
      Nea Moudania is the seat of the municipality of Nea Propontida, Chalkidiki, Greece and its main town. The town is located 60 km south of Thessaloniki and is considered to be the financial and commercial center of the peripheral unit of Chalkidiki...

      )

  • National Roads:
    • ΕΟ12
      Greek National Road 12
      The Greek National Road 12 is a highway or route that links the towns and cities of Thessaloniki, Lachanas, Serres Drama and Xanthi. It also serves traffic heading towards the north, to the Greek/Bulgarian border...

      /Ε79
      European route E79
      European route E 79 is a road part of the International E-road network. It begins in Miskolc, Hungary and ends in Thessaloniki, Greece, also running through Romania and Bulgaria...

       Ν
      (Serres
      Serres
      Serres is a city in Greece, seat of the Serres prefecture.Serres may also refer to:Places:* Serres, Germany, a part of Wiernsheim in Baden-WürttembergIn France:* Serres, Aude in the Aude département...

      , Drama
      Drama, Greece
      Drama , the ancient Drabescus , is a town and municipality in northeastern Greece. Drama is the capital of the peripheral unit of Drama which is part of the East Macedonia and Thrace periphery. The town is the economic center of the municipality , which in turn comprises 53.5 percent of the...

      )
    • ΕΟ16, SW (Polygyros
      Polygyros
      Polygyros is a town and municipality in Central Macedonia, Greece. It is the capital of Chalkidiki.-Geography:Polygyros town is built in the shape of an amphitheatre on a plateau on the south west side of the mountain Cholomontas. It is south of Greek National Road 16...

      , Ouranopolis
      Ouranopolis
      Ouranoupoli is an ancient city and a modern village in Chalcidice. It was founded by Cassander and his brother Alexarchus in the late 4th century BC. The village is today called Ouranoupoli.-Location:...

      )
    • ΕΟ65
      Greek National Road 65
      Greek National Road 65 is a national highway of Greece. It connects Thessaloniki, Kilkis and Loutra at the junction with Greek National Road 57....

      , Ν
      (Kilkis
      Kilkis
      Kilkis is an industrial city in Central Macedonia, Greece. As of 2001 there were 17,430 people living in the city proper, 24,812 people living in the municipal unit, and 56,336 in the municipality of Kilkis. It is also the capital city of the regional unit of Kilkis.-Name:Kilkis is located in a...

      , Doirani
      Doirani
      Doirani is a former municipality in the Kilkis regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Kilkis, of which it is a municipal unit. It is situated on the shores of Dojran Lake, which marks the border between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. It...

      )

International relations



Twin towns — Sister cities



Thessaloniki is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:

Towns

Hartford
Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960, it is the second most populous city on New England's largest river, the Connecticut River. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 since March 5, 1962 Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, since July 12, 1993 Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since October 20, 1984 Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, since April 23, 1986 Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, Germany, since May 3, 1988 Constanţa
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, since July 5, 1988 Akhisar
Akhisar
Akhisar is a county district and its town center in Manisa Province in the Aegean region of Western Turkey...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, since August 25, 1988 Kolkata
Kolkata
Kolkata , formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it was the commercial capital of East India...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 since January 1, 2005 Korçë
Korçë
Korçë is a city in southeastern Albania and the capital of the Korçë District. It has a population of around 105,000 people , making it the sixth largest city in Albania...

, Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 since October 14, 2005 Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, since October 17, 1984 Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

, Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, since June 30, 1984 Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 since March 19, 1984 Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, since March 20, 1992 Plovdiv
Plovdiv
Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, since February 27, 1984 San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, United States since August 6, 1990 Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, since November 24, 1994 Amasya
Amasya
- History :Its location in this steep valley makes the city a mountain stronghold, easy to defend, and thus Amasya has had a long and prominent history.-Antiquity:...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, since August 25, 2001 Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

, China since March 4, 2002 Dongguan
Dongguan
Dongguan is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong province, People's Republic of China.An important industrial city located in the Pearl River Delta, Dongguan borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the north, Huizhou to the northeast, Shenzhen to the south, and the Pearl River to...

, China since October 24, 2008 Busan
Busan
Busan , formerly spelled Pusan is South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million. The Metropolitan area population is 4,399,515 as of 2010. It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world...

, South Korea since March 8, 2010

Collaborations

Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 since April 21, 1996 Brooklyn Center
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,104 residents in Brooklyn Center. The racial makeup of the city was 49% White, 26% African American, 1% Native American, 14% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 5% from other races, and 4% from two or more races...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 since July 5, 1992 Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Hungary since April 5, 1993 Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipropetrovsk or Dnepropetrovsk formerly Yekaterinoslav is Ukraine's third largest city with one million inhabitants. It is located southeast of Ukraine's capital Kiev on the Dnieper River, in the south-central region of the country...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 since April 18, 2003 Gyumri
Gyumri
Gyumri is the capital and largest city of the Shirak Province in northwest Armenia. It is located about 120 km from the capital Yerevan, and, with a population of 168,918 , is the second-largest city in Armenia.The name of the city has been changed many times in history...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 since November 23, 2000 Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, since June 4, 1991 Philadelphia, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 since April 1, 2004 Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, since 2003 Shenyang
Shenyang
Shenyang , or Mukden , is the capital and largest city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Currently holding sub-provincial administrative status, the city was once known as Shengjing or Fengtianfu...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 since March 23, 2000 Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 since September 5, 1986 Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since July 17, 2003 Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, since June 23, 2007 İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, since February 6, 2009

See also


  • History of Greece
    History of Greece
    The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern state of Greece, as well as that of the Greek people and the areas they ruled historically. The scope of Greek habitation and rule has varied much through the ages, and, as a result, the history of Greece is similarly...

  • Macedonians (Greeks)
    Macedonians (Greeks)
    Macedonians are a regional population group of ethnic Greeks, inhabiting or originating from the region of Macedonia, in northern Greece. Today, most live in or around the regional capital city of Thessaloniki. Many have spread across the whole of Greece and in the diaspora.-Preface:Greek...

  • Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
    Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
    250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the quay in 1917.250px|thumb|The fire as seen from the [[Thermaic Gulf]].The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 was an accidental fire that got out of control and destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than...


Government


Tourism

  • You in Thessaloniki: Official promotional video for Thessaloniki by the Greek National Tourism Organization

  • Thessaloniki The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation

Cultural