Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander, the King of Macedonia. He named the city after his wife, the sister of Alexander the Great. Its strategic location made it a prominent city during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times. Today, the modern city of Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece after Athens. It serves as a commercial hub for the northern side of Greece. It is a city steeped in history and culture.
Apostle Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, came to Thessaloniki on his second missionary journey. He preached in the city’s synagogue. His ministry was strong, and Paul established a church. When Paul faced great persecution at the hands of the mob, he fled to Berea but Thessalonians eventually forced him to leave.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thessaloniki has many monuments that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessloniki. There are 15 monuments included in the UNESCO list, including the city’s Byzantine Walls, the Rotunda, the church of St Demetrios, the Byzantine baths, amongst others.
- During its heydays in the Byzantine period, Thessaloniki was the second most important city, after Constantinople, the “First after the First” as Byzantine writers called it.
- Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments are a group of religious monuments known for their mosaics and distinct architectural typology.
- The monuments of Thessaloniki inscribed on the UNESCO list are public edifices of various functions, religious, secular, military including the 4km long city walls.