The white tower
White tower is the symbol of Thessaloniki city. Rightly so, it is also the most famous tourist spot in the city.
This cylindrical tower stands 34m high and once was used to guard the city. It was a part of the walls of the old city of Thessaloniki for centuries, separating the Jewish quarter of the city from the cemeteries of the Muslims and Jews.
The tower was built around 15th century to replace another one from older era (12th century). During that time, the tower was a part of the fort and used as a prison. It has witnessed mass executions and blood-baths during Ottoman rule. The tower was then called ‘Red tower’ or ‘Tower of blood’, which was renamed to white tower after being painted white later when Greece took hold of the city again. Painting white was considered as purification of the tower.
The white tower has served multiple functions since long. From 1912 up to 1983, it housed the air defense of Thessaloniki. It has also been an integral part of the meteorological laboratory of the University of Thessaloniki and Sea Scout troops.
The tower today holds some permanent and temporary exhibitions about the history of the city and the white tower. Unfortunately, the information was in Greek so we could not understand much. Apart from the historical importance, we did not find anything superlative or exceptional about the tower. I did not like paying the 4 euros for the exhibits.
The tower is often used as a meeting point today. We witnessed a beautiful sunset from here. You can take a romantic walk along the promenade or sip a freddo or beer at the multiple restaurants and bars along the coast. It often full of people and the reflects the party vibe of Thessaloniki.
Today is our last day in Thessaloniki and we will move to our next destination. Any guesses where to?
If you are wondering why I am promoting #OffbeatGreece, I explained the Whys and Hows here. This article is a part of the 31 days series #OffbeatGreece I started in October 2016. You can find more articles from this series here.
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