Thessaloniki History

Ιστορία ΘεσσαλονίκηThessaloniki is the second biggest and most populated city of Greece, often referred as the co-capital of Greece. Since its founding by Cassander as a thriving Hellenistic city until Ottoman domination, Thessaloniki leverages its strategic position and becomes a multicultural city. In 1912, by the end of the Balkan wars, is incorporated in the modern Greek State.

After the death of Alexander, General Cassander married the half sister of Alexander the Great, in order to claim the throne of Macedonia, and founded the city to honor his wife.

The 2nd BC century the city was conquered by the Romans and due to its strategic location it was chosen as the imperial capital during the reign of Galerius.

Its importance seemed even more when Constantine the Great wanted to move the capital of the Roman Empire to the east, and was one of the candidate cities which had been suggested as a replacement of Rome. Byzantium was finally selected. Despite its non-selection as capital, Thessaloniki acquired the title of reigning city during the Byzantine period.

After the conquest of Thessaloniki by the Turks in 1432, the city remained in the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries. With the expulsion of the Jews, Thessalonica acquired its own Jewish community, which made the city the most important global Jewish metropolis until at least the early 20th century.

By joining the Greek State in 1912, the city’s population presented significant changes because of the movement of the Muslim population and its replacement by refugee populations in Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace.

After the Great Fire in 1917, the efforts of the new Greek government to add ancient Greek and European elements in architectural design and style of the city, led to the destruction of several Ottoman buildings.