Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A GREAT ARTICLE ABOUT THESSALONIKI

Best of Greece is the leading specialist in Tailor-Made Luxury Holidays to Greece since 1973! www.bestofgreece.co.uk In our effort to bring forward new city breaks to Greece we have been one of the first tour operators to include the wonderful city of Thessaloniki! Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is also called the city which never sleeps! It is city full of culture, history and happy faces! We are sure that a holiday to Thessaloniki and the surrounding areas will be a holiday you will forever cherish! Find out more about this fascinating city www.bestofgreece.co.uk/thessaloniki We found this very interesting article written on the Telegraph by Robin Gauldie! We hope you enjoy it!
I like to start a visit to Thessaloniki with an early morning stroll through the market district and perhaps a wee ouzo in one of its back-alley caf├ęs. Then a tour of the fish hall, among stalls heaped with eels, carp, crabs, lobster, octopus, squid, bream, sardines, mackerel and other less familiar fruits of the sea and rivers of northern Greece – so fresh that many still wriggle. The markets – the flower stalls of the old Ottoman Bedesten, the Modano with its piles of oranges and melons, barrels overflowing with olives and dried fruits and herbs and spices and tiny shops selling icons, good-luck charms and slender beeswax church candles – have survived a century of upheavals. "Salonika of the late 19th century was a combination of smart seafront mansions, shops selling European luxuries, modern transport, old-fashioned Oriental alleys and markets, frescoed churches and shady Muslim graveyards," writes Bruce Clark, author of Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey. But in the following century, war, foreign occupation, fire, the great "exchange of populations", genocide and earthquakes changed the face of the city. Once a place where Muslims, Jews and Greeks lived side by side, it is now almost wholly Greek. There are surprisingly few traces of almost 500 years of Ottoman rule – the White Tower, a handful of Koranic inscriptions, the domes of a Turkish hammam or two and a few minarets.
The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki tells the story of the Sephardic community which dominated much of the city's cultural and economic life from the late 15th century until the early 20th century.
Relics of an earlier era abound either side of Egnatia Odos, the road along which the legions once marched from Constantinople, and which is still the city's main thoroughfare. The second-century Roman forum is being excavated, but half a dozen grandiose Byzantine churches are scattered along the road's length and the triumphal Arch of Galerius is a classic piece of Roman vainglory, with its friezes of fleeing Persians and victorious legions. Just north stands the circular Agios Georgios (St George), also commissioned by the Emperor Galerius (around AD300) and one of the world's oldest Christian churches, with superb mosaics.
Saving the best till last, the highlight of the Archaeological Museum is the Gold of Macedon collection, with its silver-guilt ceremonial wreaths, jewellery and splendid wine vessels. Across the street, the Museum of Byzantine Culture exhibits mosaics, frescoes and wonderful icons that give you some idea of Thessaloniki in its pre-Ottoman golden age. These are the parts of the city's history that its present inhabitants prefer to remember. Its more recent histories, it seems, most feel should remain in the past.
You can find a selection of the best hotels in Thessaloniki as well as beautiful ideas of what to while you are there at www.bestofgreece.co.uk/thessaloniki/hotels We look forward to arrangin a memorable holiday in Greece for you! Best of Greece

2 comments:

  1. This looks like a very nice place! I liked it so much and very interesting, too! Thanks for sharing the experience.
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