Thessaloniki history

Thessaloniki is worth a visit

Thessaloniki, situated in Northern Greece has a population of 1,1 million inhabitants. Because of its neighborhood to Balkan countries, the city has attracted the last 25 years many people of these countries to live. So it is developing into a multicultural city, as it has been in the past when its population of about 158.000 inhabitants - after a cencus in 1913 - consisted only to 25% of Greek Orthodox and the rest were Greek Hebrews (39%), Muslims, mainly Ottomans (29%), Orthodox Bulgarians (4%) and others (3%). The co-existence between Greeks, Turks and Jews offers to the city its unique multiculturalism, a feature that defined its character for many centuries until the early years of the last century.

The city was founded in 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon. Cassander married Thessaloniki, the half-sister of Alexander the Great and gave her name to the city.  After the fall of the Kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC it became part of the Roman Republic.  During the first century AD and afterwards, the city became one of the first early Christian centers while during the Byzantine era it became the second most important city of the empire after Constantinople (now Istanbul) itself. All these periods in its history are still visible in the town by the many monuments. 

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