Scattered throughout the modern urban landscape, Thessaloniki’s various religious monuments and sights, remain to this day a testament of the city’s religious legacy, fascinating history and former political and cultural importance. Discover Greek Orthodox churches, monasteries and byzantine temples of unique architecture and internal decoration. Take a look at our proposal below:
Church of Saint Demetrius
The Church of Saint Demetrius is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki, dating back to the time when it was the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire. It is part of the Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988. Restored after the fire in 1917, in line with the original architectural plans, the church has retained some features that are of incomparable historical and artistic interest: the 7C Byzantine mosaics decorating the pillars on either side of the entrance to the apse are remarkably delicate and refined.
– 2 minutes walk from our premises –
Alaca Imaret Mosque or Ishak Pasha Mosque, literally the “colorful mosque”, is a 15th-century Ottoman mosque, located in the north part of the center of Thessaloniki, northeast of the church of Agios Dimitrios. Built in 1484 by İshak Paşa, who was the Grand Vizier and Governor of the city, it is a remarkable Ottoman building, which operated as a Muslim Mosque, as an imaret (poorhouse) and a Medrese (hieratical school). Today, the area belongs to the municipality of Thessaloniki and is used for cultural events and temporary exhibitions.
– 6 minutes walk from our premises –
Built in the 1920s by Jews originating from Monastir, a city located in current Macedonia, it was used by the Red Cross during the Second World War. The structure was copied exactly from classical Sephardic design, the aron kodesh to the east, and the chest of the bimah to the west.
The only surviving one of Thessaloniki’s 45 pre-WWII synagogues owes its preservation to the fact that it was used as a warehouse by the Red Cross. Spared by the Nazis, it nonetheless formed part of the ghetto before the eventual deportations of 1943. It is a solemn space that is worth visiting.
– 5 minutes walk from our premises –
Roman Catholic Church
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church set within the center of Thessaloniki in Fragon St., in one of the most historic corners of the city. The temple of Immaculate Conception belongs to the Apostolic Vicariate of Thessaloniki (Apostolicus Vicariatus Thessalinicensis) and was built in 1899 by Vitaliano Poselli, a well-known architect that is responsible for many of Thessaloniki’s architectural treasures. The temple will pleasantly surprise those who discover it, as its interior decoration is impressive and represents an entirely different style and philosophy in a city dominated by Paleo-christian masterpieces. The church remains active until today while being run and preserved by the small Catholic community of the city. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend some time in this well-hidden architectural and cultural gem.
– 11 minutes walk from our premises –
Church of Saint Minas
The original church of St. Minas was built during the 8th century and was the oldest church in the area. The temple was destroyed in 1687 during the bombing of Thessaloniki from the Venetians and again by fire in 1700. The church today is a building of 1890 and is based on a completely different architectural design from the original one.
During the Turkish occupation the church was one of 12 Christian churches that remained available to Christians and not transformed into a mosque, but the only part of the original church which still exists are two columns along with some marble sculptures. On October 26 1912, within this church the liberation of the city was first celebrated with a grand holly service.
– 10 minutes walk from our premises –
Church of Agia Sophia
The Paleo – Christian temple of Agia Sophia is one of the most impressive Byzantine churches of Thesaloniki. Located in the center of the city as well, it is a very beautiful “Domed Basilica” style temple with an imposing architecture, beautiful wall paintings and elaborate mosaics. It was significantly damaged by the 1917 fire and was afterwards gradually restored. The restoration of the dome was completed in 1980. The temple of Agia Sofia is one of several city’s monuments included as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO list, in 1988.
– 13 minutes walk from our premises –
Built in 306 A.D. by the Romans, Rotunda is one of the oldest religious sites of Thessaloniki, situated 125m northeast of the Arch of Galerius on the upper side of Egnatia Street. It was constructed as part of the complex of the Galerius Palace along with his Arch (Kamara), Navarinou Square and the Hippodrome. In terms of architecture the Rotunda is considered to be the twin monument of the Roman Pantheon due to their similar Greek –style design and the resemblance of their oculus, which is 29.80m high, has a diameter of 24.5m and its walls are more than 6m thick, providing great resistance in times of earthquakes. As one of the oldest monuments in Thessaloniki it counts sixteen centuries of existence, as pagan monument, Christian church and Muslim house of worship. Visitors can feel the passage from the past to the present through the intercultural identity of this imposing structure. It is now one of the 15 Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki that were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.
– 14 minutes walk from our premises –