North Greece

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki was the sister of Alexander the Great thus her husband Kassander named the city after his wife. The city itself was founded 315 BC on the site of the Ancient town Thermo.
Thessaloniki stands at the crossroads between Western Europe and the Eastern provinces. For many centuries has been an international trading center, and to this date accommodates the international fair each September.
The second largest city and port in Greece presents a surprising contrast between its new districts on the seafront its Roman and Byzantine monuments and its popular neighborhoods with their brightly painted houses.
Thessaloniki presents a very different aspect from Athens , spreading towards the sea surrounded from hills covered with pines, speckled with colored houses.
The pace of the city is slower than Athens '.

Worth visiting in Thessaloniki :

- St. Demetrios' church is the tomb of St. Demetrios a martyr and patron of the city. The church was completely restored at 1917 to reproduce the 7C Basilika.
- Arch of Galerios was a monument erected 4C BC in honor of the Roman Emperor Galerios.
- The Palace of the Galerios built of brick by Emperor Galerius around a rectangular courtyard.
- Lefkos Pirgos ( White Tower ) originally incorporated in the city's defense system which surrounded the city.
- The Roman Agora (Shopping area).
- The church of Agios Georgios (Rotonda Style) erected in 4C AD intended to be a mausoleum for Emperor Galerius, but he was not buried there. Later under Constantine the Great was converted into a church by adding another section.
- The Archaeological museum its exhibits are sculpture glass and mosaics arranged in chronological order from prehistoric to the classical era , and of course Treasures of Ancient Macedonia housed in a specially built wing.
- The museum of ethnology and folklore , exhibiting items are related to cultural changes the area went through and handicrafts corresponding to the same periods.

Pella

The ancient capital of Macedonia founded in the 4 th century B.C. situated 40 kms NW of Thessaloniki.
To be visited: The site of Pella and the archaeological museum


Chalkidiki

Three peninsulas like fingers into the Aegean Sea made of pine forests, hills and beaches for Cassandra and Sithonia. The third one more original constitutes Mount Athos .

Mount Athos
Mount Athos is one of the most protected sites in Greece as the monasteries there contain very valuable collections of Icons and sacerdotal objects of the Orthodox Church.
The access is forbidden to women.

Monasteries to be visited
- Simonos Petras Built the 13C by St. Simon remodeled by a Serbian Prince and after the damage suffered by fire was restored completely the 19C by the Russian government.
- Vatopediou was built in 980 and contains 15chapels and the church. The library contains thousands of volumes from which 600 are Ancient manuscripts including a copy of Ptolemy's Geography..
- Grand Lavra Is the oldest monastery built the 963 AD and is the largest of all accommodating around 100 monks. Apart from icons and famous frescoes the monastery has a significant library containing 5000 volumes half of which are manuscripts. Amongst the treasures are the Crown and the robe of Nikiphoros Phokas.
- Iviron built the 10C and originally was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The library contains many manuscripts and the treasures considered amongst the finest in mount Athos.

Alexandropolis

Just before the Turkish border on the coast is the city of Alexandroupolis which was founded by Alexander the Great. The city surrounded by hills and forests is a gathering spot for ornithologists as well as the Evros Delta .

Kastoria



This picturesque Macedonian city is built on a peninsula into the lake of the same name. The history of Kastoria is directly linked to that of the Balkans and Central Europe . There are many fine examples of Byzantine architecture. Close by are the Prespa lakes, a protected area of great natural beauty.
To be visited:
- The Byzantine churches some of which are built the 10 th C AD.
- The museum of Popular Art full of exhibits of handicraft of different eras .
- The Doultso Quarter.

Epirus
Between the Ionian Sea, Macedonia and Thessaly extends Epirus . The landscape is magnificent and untamed and includes numerous valleys and gorges.

Ioannina

 

Built on the occidental shore of a lake, the capital of Epirus Ioannina is one of the most picturesque Greek cities. At the heart of this modern city will find oriental quarter and an island covered with Byzantine churches. The old Turkish town with its narrow paved streets in the poor quarters side by side with the modern city. The city is famous for silverwork.

20 kms SW of Ioannina the oracle of Dodoni. This oracle made the pronouncements from the whispering of the breeze of a sacred oak tree, and then the message was interpreted by the priests.

Metsovo

At the hurt of Pindos mountain on the way to Meteora the old town of Metsovo with its old houses with their wooden balconies gives a local color to this ski resort.

The Museum of Popular Art is housed in the Tositsa residence. It was built by
Baron Tositsa and the rooms are furnished with fine carpets embroidered textiles and decorated with gold stuff.

 
 

 
 
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