Thessaloniki. A Paragon of the Byzantine Hospitality
Thessaloniki is an ancient city with hospitable folk and a number of beautiful places to see. It was founded centuries ago by the Macedonian king Kassandros. The past of the city was checkered, stained with never ceasing sieges laid by the Celts, Bulgarians, Arabs. At first, it was claimed by the Byzantine Empire, then became a subject of Venice. The Ottoman Empire was next on the list to lay a claim to the city. At the beginning of 1920s the city was claimed by the Greeks who opted for the preservation of the architectural legacy of the past. There are a lot of objects of architectural as well as historical value in Thessaloniki. For example, the famous Arc of Galerius that commemorates the victory over the Persians. Or the ancient Agora that still attracts tourists from all over the world. Who can resist the temptation to have a better look of its theater, arcs and underground galleries that have withstood the ravages of time?
There are plenty of museums and cathedrals in Thessaloniki as well. The most popular among them are the Church of Agios Georgios and The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. Once the so-called Roman Forum was the civic-and-religious center of the city, but now it lies in ruins. Very few parts have remained intact, offering a glimpse of the former beauty. Those remnants include some of the orator’s platforms, paving and mosaic floors.
There is one more place of interest not far from the city. It is Olympus, the famous residence of the Greek gods and goddesses. It looks like the heavenly neighborhood has taken Thessaloniki and its folk under patronage. Though the past of the city was anything but peaceful, it was not wiped away from the face of the earth. On the contrary, it grew and developed. Now Thessaloniki is more like a colourful tapestry made of restaurants with exquisite cuisine, aqua parks, nightclubs, gift shops, shopping malls and first-rate beaches framed with the sea so beautiful one will never forget it.