Greece is a country that boasts numerous archaeological sites and a rich history of architecture and culture. Athens is the capital of Greece. However, there is another city in Greece that is quite prominent. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is 2,300 years old. It is known as the Co-Reigning city as it was the co-capital alongside Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire. To visit this wonderful historic city be sure to start applying for a US passport in time if you don’t already have a passport.
Passports act as permission for international travel. Without a passport international travel is prohibited. They are doled out by the Department of State after a rigorous application process. Although detailed the process for obtaining a passport is much easier than it used to be. Today online passport applications and technology make getting a US passport much more accessible.
History Of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki got its name from King Cassander of Macedon. He founded the city in 315 B.C.E and named it after his wife Thessalonike. Thessalonike was the half sister of Alexander the Great and the princess of Macedon. The city of Thessaloniki has a long history with Macedonia. This great city became a very important trading hub and then later was instituted as a capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia.
With such a long history there are many archaeological sites in Thessaloniki. The city features the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country of Greece. Alongside these heritage sites are many other prominent archaeological sites including the Roman baths, gladiatorial theatres, and the great throne room just to name a few.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Along with the many archaeological sites that Thessaloniki has to offer there are many UNESCO World heritage Sites. These sites are mainly surrounding the structures associated with the early Christian and Byzantine eras. Some of these sites include the Complex of the Roman Emperor Galerius, the first church of Hagios Demetrios. Also, the Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki, the Rotunda of Saint George, the Church of Acheiropoietos, and the Church of Panagia Chalkeon. There are a total of fifteen world heritage sites in Thessaloniki.
The Ottoman Empire took control of Thessaloniki in 1430. This invasion lead to the conversion of all the churches to mosques. Through the conversion, the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917, and even the Second World War, these monuments have survived. Albeit with extensive damage, the monuments were eventually restored, and can be viewed today contributing to the fifteen world heritage sites in Thessaloniki.
No ancient city is complete without an extensive array of museums honoring the archaeological finds of their existence. The two infamous museums of Thessaloniki include the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Museum of Byzantine Culture. Other museums include the War Museum, the Sports Museum, and the Photography Museum. There are many other museums that boast the prehistoric antiquities of the city and artifacts from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Don’t forget the largest planetarium in Greece is located in Thessaloniki as well.