Thessaloniki: The metropolitan centre of Northern Greece with a history of 2,300 years. If Athens is the city of classical antiquity and its monuments reflect the spirit of ancient Greece, Thessaloniki resonates the wealth and magnificence of the Byzantine empire.
However, its age-old presence goes beyond this dimension. The city that is open to two worlds, the Orient and the Occident, has always been a stopover for the peoples that went through it; Byzantines, Franks, Ottomans, and Jews left their mark on its architecture, its cultural heritage, the histories and traditions of its people, but they also took something from the city ambience with them. Thessaloniki has been a crossroads of ethnicities and religions, whose remnants are reflected on the numerous monuments that are dispersed in the historic centre of the city.
As a cultural, economic and commercial centre, it has known significant development during the Roman and Byzantine times, and during the Ottoman rule. But especially after its liberation, in 1912, the multinational city of Thermaikos Gulf continued its rapid development so as to become the second city of the Greek state, with a population of over 1,000,000 inhabitants.
In the 23 centuries of its life, the city has known days of glory and prosperity, as well as periods of hardship and decline. And through its eventful history, it has formed its own cultural idiom, created its own intellectual and artistic life, and developed a special, and dynamic economic presence.