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Written by Nigilesh on May 22, 2020 Share on

White tower in Thessaloniki: A must-visit

The white tower is without a doubt the iconic monument of the city Thessaloniki in Greece. This has a history of operating as a prison and a place of execution. Apart from history, this attracts more people due to its massive nature and is also located in a prominent position. It is 34m high and has 7 floors and a balcony as well.  In recent times, the tower is one of the major players in driving the cultural scenes of Thessaloniki.

White tower in Thessaloniki
Image source: Pixabay

The history behind this tower :

For the most part, this has served as a guard to strengthen the port and improve the coastline’s defences. It is built on top of a Byzantine fortification around the 15th century. Before the Ottomans took over the throne it was called as the Lion Tower, then it was renamed in the honour of Ottomans military victory in 17th Century.

Repurposed as a military base at the beginning and then was again changed into a prison, it then took on the name of the Tower of Blood. The tower got its current name the White Tower in 1891, and it was painted white.

The defensive walls were destroyed in the 20th century. The tower was used as a communication centre for the allied forces in the First World War. Many ancient artefacts were also stored inside during the conflicts. The ideal positioning of the tower in the city, enabled it to house the Thessaloniki air defence from 1912 to 1983.

What to expect on each floor?

There is a particular theme for every single floor and every single evidence related to the history of the tower has been very well organized within the 7 floors.

Ground floor :

Theme: Founding of Thessaloniki. 

  1. Vertical banner with the names of personalities who played an important role in the history of this monument.
  2. Splendid infographic timeline of the whole journey of this monument in history.
  3. Virtual tour of the tower.

First floor :

Theme: City planning and infrastructure of Thessaloniki

  1. A 3-D graphic composition that depicts the wall masonry and the different architectural forms in different eras. 
  2. The process of urban development across the timeline. 

Second Foor :

Theme: History of Thessaloniki

This is the only floor which is solely dedicated to letting people know about the other famous monuments which played a vital role in the history of the city. The presentation is done simultaneously in 7 screens, one for each monument.

  1. The Golden Gate 
  2. The Roman Agora.
  3. The Galerian complex 
  4. The Church of Saint Demetrius (Agios Demetrios)
  5. The Church of the Twelve Apostles
  6. The Church of the Acheiropoietos
  7. The Heptapyrgio
view from the interior of the white tower
Image source: Google Images

Third floor : 

Theme: A homeland of people

This has always been a land that welcomed people. This floor is to show the people’s migration to this place at different times of history. It is presented to the travellers in the form of a graphic movie or projected on the front door of the floor, which is big enough to be used as a screen. 

Fourth Floor:

Theme: On the routes of commerce

The People of Thessaloniki were the pioneers of trade. They were unbelievably sound in the trade routes linking the other major cities of the world at that time. This floor has the conclusive evidence in the form of archaeological objects that were used in trading back in the days.

Fifth floor:

Theme: Leisure and culture

Entertainment and artistic lifestyle was always a necessity for the people of this city. Apart from this, Thessaloniki press, Aristotle University, the city’s schools and educational foundations, literature, theatre, the cinema, and music are the few other fields where they were ahead of time.

Sixth floor:

Theme: Flavours

Finally, coming to the most interesting part that all of you were waiting for, the recipes. Yes, you’ll be able to learn the food and sweet recipes of these people. You will also be able to get information on the different spices used to get the authentic feel. So, you can now surprise your neighbours with some of the recipes, once you’re back home!

After all is said and done, this will give you a complete picturization of how the city was in ancient times. You’ll get to know some bit of history as well. How many of you want to teleport back to the time when Spartans and titans use to fight for glory? Well, you can discover all that and much more once you embark on that vacation. Check out our Greece vacation packages and get ready for one amazing historic experience with Pickyourtrail!

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