A visit to Thessaloniki is not complete without a visit to the White Tower, the landmark of the city, and a popular meeting point for locals and not.
The White Tower of Thessaloniki, in greek Lefkos Pyrgos, is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city. The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification which was mentioned around the 12th century and reconstructed by the Ottomans to fortify the city’s harbour; it became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions during the period of Ottoman rule. It was substantially remodelled and its exterior was whitewashed after Greece gained control of the city in 1912. It has been adopted as the symbol of the city.
The Tower was for centuries part of the walls of the old city of Thessaloniki, and separated the Jewish quarter of the city from the cemeteries of the Muslims and Jews. The city walls were demolished in 1866. When Thessaloniki was annexed from the Ottoman Empire to the Hellenic State in 1912 during the First Balkan War, the tower was whitewashed as a symbolic gesture of cleansing, and acquired its present name.
The Tower is now a buff colour but has retained the name White Tower. It now stands on Thessaloniki’s waterfront boulevard, Nikis (Victory) Street. It houses a museum dedicated to the history of Thessaloniki and is one of the city’s leading tourist attractions. The Tower is under the administration of the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture.
Check out museum opening times If you want to visit the tower inside and as a bonus you will get the chance to enjoy the wonderful 360 view of the city !
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