Thessaloniki, Thessalonica Pictures Images & Photos { 55 images } Created 14 Apr 2012

Pictures, images & photos of Thessaloniki ( Θεσσαλονίκη ) also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica. Thessaloniki is an ancient historic city that is the second largest in Greece. It is the capital of ancient Macedon and Thrace and had an equal status with Constantinople during the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empires rule. Founded in 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon who named it after Thessaloniki, the half sister of Alexander The Great. In 168 BC Macedon fell to the Romans and Thessaloniki became an important Roman trading centre.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 Thessalonica became the second city of the Eastern Roman Empire with a population of 100,000. From the 6th century Thessaloniki was a precious target for waves of invaders starting with the Avars & slavs who successfully laid siege to the city several times. The Byzantine Empire regained control only to loose the city for a short time to Arab invaders in 904. After the sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 Thessaloniki became part of the Frankish Kingdom of Thessalonica ruled by Baldwin of Flanders. In 1224 the Byzantine Emperors regained Constantinople and Thessalonica was retaken by the Despot of Epirus for the Empire.

On March 29th 1430 Ottoman Sultan Murad II sacked and pillaged Thessalonica and it became an important trading centre of the Ottoman Empire until its fall at the end of the First World War in 1916.

Due to a great fire in 1917 and heavy bombardment in the Second World War, little of old Thessaloniki remains apart from its Byzantine & Monasteries that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.The Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki survived as fine examples early Roman & Byzantine Basilicas. These churches were decorated with Byzantine mosaics & frescos which were either removed or plastered over when they were converted to mosques by the Ottomans. Many have been restored and early Byzantine frescos revealed with 13 being listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: .

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