Thessaloniki, capital of Norther Greece, has alwas been a crossroad of various civilizations: Classical Greece met here with Romanity; Byzantium gave its place to Ottoman empire. Thessaloniki has been the shelter of the Jews who fled Spain after the Reconquista in 1492 and came here to fertilize the city with their culture. Serbs, Bulgarians, Armenians, they all had a community in this commercial metropolis. The story of Thessaloniki is not simple to tell: roman ruins, byzantine churches, ottoman mosques and eclectical palaces in strict proximity form a fascinating puzzle, though sometimes difficult to decifrate.
Today, Thessaloniki is a vivid city: its universities attract students not only from all around Greece, but also from abroad many students choose Thessaloniki for their Erasmus courses, or to study greek language. Thessaloniki’s commercial port has always been the main sea-gate to inland Balkan countries, and the commercial traffic has granted great wealth and a multicultural environment. Homeland of Turkey’s National hero, Kemal Ataturk, Thessaloniki has always attracted turists from the neighbouring country.
Lately, Thessaloniki was honoured to see its name listed among the top destinations suggested by the National Geographic magazine. Despite its modern urban landscape, Thessaloniki perserves an old-fashioned easy going temper. With a brand-new, 5.5 km long waterfront, two among the most interesting museums in Greece (archeological and byzantine) a multitude of monuments, restaurants, taverns and pubs, it is quite sure that visitors never get bored. Moreover, Thessaloniki is the base for daily excursions to the archeological sites of Pella and Vergina, the centre of ancient Macedonian Kingdom, and to the splendid coasts of Chalcidica, if you prefer nature.
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