White Tower (1,6km)
It is the symbol-building of Thessaloniki and one of the most famous buildings in Greece. It is located in a prominent position at the beginning of Nea Paralia and has a height of 33,90m and a diameter of 22,70m.
Its original name was “Tower of the Leo”, according to a Turkish inscription of 1535-1536 which was at the entrance of the tower’s outer yard. Since the 17th century, it has been named ‘Fortress of Kalamaria’ and ‘Janissaries Tower’.
The White Tower was built by the Ottomans in the late 15th century when Sultan Murad II prevailed on Thessaloniki. The famed Mimar Sinan is likely to be the architect of the White Tower. The Tower was for centuries part of the walls of the old city of Thessaloniki that separated the Jewish quarter of the city from the cemeteries of Muslims and Jews. The Ottomans used the White Tower in the following order. Originally, as a fortress, then as a guard and finally as a prison.
After the dissolution of the Order of the Janissaries in 1826, it acquired the name ‘Tower of Blood’ because of the massacres by the Janissaries. The name is preserved even after 1826 because of its operation as a prison of long-term convicts and a place of tortures that was often performed filling the walls with blood. In one version, its modern name appears to be given when a Jewish convict, Nathan Guidili, painted it white in exchange for his freedom in 1891. Another historical source states that the current name of the building was given between 1883 and 1884 as per the request of Sultan Abdul Hamit II.
In 1985 the restoration of the monument was completed and the building was turned into a museum and exhibition center.
The view from the balcony where the blue-white flag is waving is panoramic and the visitor can gaze at Thermaikos Gulf, Mount Olympus, the Upper Town or East Thessaloniki.
Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki (1,9km)
The Archaeological Museum is located at the H.A.N.TH. Square, next to the Thessaloniki International Exhibition and Conference Center. It was founded after the liberation of the city in 1912 and the current building was inaugurated in 1962 when the city celebrated the 50th anniversary of its liberation. The architect was Patroklos Karantinos. The exhibits that are hosted in the museum come from the excavations that took place in the city of Thessaloniki and in the wider region of Macedonia.
Ιn particular, the museum houses the findings from the excavation research of the Archaeological Service of the Antiquities acovering the prefectures of Thessaloniki, Kilkis, Pieria, Halkidiki. For a long time the museum hosted the findings of the excavations of Manolis Andronikos at the Royal Tombs of Vergina. Inside its halls, guests can admire the findings from the Sindos cemetery. Οbjects of the Neolithic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman period are exhibited in the external rooms. On the lower floor, the prehistoric collection is exhibited, presenting the diachronic image of the cultural evolution, not only in Thessaloniki but also throughout the region of Central Macedonia.
Museum of Byzantine Culture (2,2km)
The Museum of Byzantine Culture is located on the Stratou Avenue, behind Thessaloniki’s town hall on an area of 3,430sqm. Its operation began in 1994 and was honored in 2005 with the European Council’s ‘Museum Prize’, while the building is considered to be one of the best samples of public architecture in Greece.
The 11 chambers of the museum host many exhibitions presenting the architecture and decoration of churches in the Early Christian period, aspects of everyday life, housing equipment, clothing and nutrition elements, burial of dead in early Christian cemeteries, tribute to the civilization of the Middle Byzantine period (8th-12th AD), tribute to Byzantine emperors, engraving collections, presentation of the Byzantine heritage after the Fall of the Ottomans, and finally presentation of the course of archaeological objects starting from the excavation until their transfer to the museum.
The visitor has the opportunity to understand the cultural and socio-political facts that influenced the lives of people during the Byzantine and post-Byzantine era.
Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki (0,1km)
The Jewish presence in Thessaloniki is long and intimately linked to the history of the city. The mission of Thessaloniki’s Jewish Museum is to highlight the rich history of the Jewish community, to preserve the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and to search for the over 2000 years presence of Jews in the city. It was founded in 2001 and it is housed in one of the few surviving buildings since the great fire of 1917.
Among many exhibits the guest can see collections of tombstones from the destroyed Israeli Cemetery, building parts of synagogues that were demolished by the German authorities, religious objects, old and rare books in the Jewish language, family heirlooms, ketubot (marriage contracts), public and private documents related to World War II, traditional outfits, fabrics, tablecloths, books and bank account booklets (until 1940). Also, the museum has in its possession the only existing collection of surviving prewar family and school photographs, which has been formed by continuing donations; last but not least, the Museum keeps an important digital collection of business documents pertaining to the Jewish companies of Thessaloniki. Finally, a special exhibition space refers to the Holocaust as it affected the entire Israelite Community of Thessaloniki.
Ethnographic and Folklore Museum of Macedonia – Thrace
The Ethnographic and Folklore Museum of Macedonia-Thrace is located on Vassilissis Olgas Street in a beautiful, well-preserved historical building of the 20th century, known as Modiano Villa, home of the banker Yiako Modiano and his family. Τhe museum’s mission is to discover and study the traditional culture of recent years in several areas of Northern Greece.
The collections consist of objects from the pre-industrial era, mainly from the regions of Macedonia and Thrace. They represent all aspects of people’s everyday life during the last centuries to the middle of the 20th century, both in the countryside and in the city. In terms of quantity and variety the museum hosts one of the richest collections throughout Greece.
In particular, the objects that the Museum hosts come from markets and donations and include local costumes, jewelery, fabrics and embroideries, craftsmen tools, agricultural tools, household utensils, furniture, musical instruments, toys, church equipment and early forms of machines (cameras, sewing machines).
Ataturk Museum of Thessaloniki (1,7km)
The Ataturk Museum of Thessaloniki is a historic house museum in Thessaloniki. The house is the birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was born here in 1881 and spent his youth. It is located behind the Turkish Consulate at Apostolou Pavlou street, number 75.
The building has three floors and a courtyard. It was repaired in 1981. Most of the furniture is authentic. Any missing items were replaced with furniture from Kemal’s mausoleum and from Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. There are photographs on all the walls of Kemal at various periods of his life.
Among others, the visitor can see personal objects of the Turkish leader and various papers.
The fact that thousands of Turks visit the home of the founder of the Turkish Republic depicts the inspiration that Kemal Ataturk’s personality still holds today.
Thessaloniki Museum of Photography (0,5km)
The Thessaloniki Museum of Photography is the only museum in the country devoted to the art of photography. It is supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports while it organizes an international photography festival every two years. The museum opened its gates in 1998 and since 2001 it is housed in Warehouse 1 at Thessalonik’s harbor.
Its mission focuses on designing and presenting a series of exhibitions, creating files and collections of photographic material, and publishing books and directories.
At the same time, it organises a variety of educational programs and has taken important initiatives to promote Greek photography on an international level.