Musa Baba’s tomb is in the upper town. This tomb was used as the fan club of a local football team. Now it is abandoned. The space to the north of it should have been a cemetery according to an old Ottoman map. But now there is a large residential house in the plot where the map shows a cemetery. The square in the south west of it is a today playground for the children of the neighborhood. The map also indicates a small mosque to the north west of the Tomb, however, there was no trace to be found of it. There is no sign on the tomb or in the square that it is an Ottoman structure.
The Rotunda of Agios Georgios or (in English) the Rotunda of St. George is one of the oldest and most imposing monuments in Thessaloniki.
It was part of a large complex that included the palace, an octagonal building and the Hippodrome, built by Caesar Galerius in the first Tetrarchy (around 300 AD), when he established Thessaloniki as his base.
The cylindrical structure was built in the 4th century AD on the orders of Galerius, who was thought to have intended it to be his mausoleum. It never served for this purpose, since Galerius died and was buried far away from Thessaloniki.
The temple was then converted into a Christian church and was possibly used as a Martyria, a place where the relics of the saints are worshipped. This theory is supported by both the circular form of the building and the images of saints depicted on the mosaics throughout the dome.
Thessaloniki’s Geni Mosque (tzami) is an important monument from the Ottoman period. It was built in 1902 for the Donmeh (Jews that converted to Islam) by the architect Vitaliano Poselli. It is divided into two floors and is consistent with the ecclesiastic architecture of the 20th century.In 1924, after the expulsion of the Donmeh, Geni Mosque housed the Archaeological museum of Thessaloniki. Today it is used as an exhibition space.
Upper Town Thessaloniki is the most ancient part of the city that is approximately 2300 years old. Here you may see the ancient Byzantine wall with its towers, ancient religious sites with Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, and other remnants of the city's great civilization. Take this tour to have a closer look of what's left.
At the junction of Zefyron, Kalvou and P. Karatza Streets, stands the Turkish bathhouse founded by Cezeri Kasim Paşa, Sancakbey of Thessaloniki in around 1520-1530, the same man who converted the Church of Aghion Apostolon into a mosque. The baths, known to the Turks as Paşa Hamami, were originally just for men, but later converted to incorporate facilities for women. They remained in use until 1981.
According to the inscription above the entrance, the mosque was built by İshak Paşa in 1484 and formed part of a vakif or charitable foundation, which also included a poorhouse and school. Its operational expenses were supplied from rent and taxes on land and institutions.It took its name Alaca from the multi-coloured walls of the minaret, of which only the base remains, at the south western corner. The building is now used by the Deputy Mayor’s Department of the City of Thessaloniki for staging cultural events.
The building is known locally as the Alcazar, because that was the name of the cinema that was housed inside it for many years. It is one of the most important examples of Ottoman architecture in all of south eastern Europe, the largest mosque with a peristyle courtyard and the only one of its kind in Greece. Our knowledge of its origins and the various phases of its construction is derived from inscriptions on the walls of the building. It was originally constructed as a mesçid or parish mosque without a minaret in 1467/68 by Hafsa Hatun, daughter of Hamza Bey, Beyler Bey of Anatolia. The original mesçid was later enlarged with the construction of two rectangular areas on the northern and southern sides of the original four sided chamber, the addition of a perimetrical covered stoa to the west and the construction of a minaret at the south western corner of the original building. Some scholars date the conversion of the building to a mosque to the years before 1492, most however agree that the conversion work took place in the second half of the 16th century (between 1570 and 1592). A third recontruction was carried out in 1620, by Kapici Mehmed Bey. The main part of the mosque has survived in good condition, with its lead covered dome and its interior decoration, featuring stalactites of plaster mortar and wall paintings. The columns of the portico still have the original capitals, taken from early Christian buildings. Work has recently begun on consolidating and restoring the building.
Within the commercial centre of the city, between the streets Ermou Ionos Dragoumi Egnatia M.Yennadeiou Karolou Diel, there are three market complexes which have represented indispensable focal points in the commercial life of the city for many decades, if not centuries. There is ample evidence to convince us of the presence of markets on this site since the time of Turkish rule, probably of the kind familiar in other mediaeval eastern states. The area of the main market began at Egnatia Street, then known as ‘Broad Street’, and extended as far as the southern side of the Church of Aghios Minas. To the east, it was bounded by the district extending from Panayia Halkeon to the market baths (Komninon St. V. Irakleiou St.) and to the west by the avenue known as Yali Kapsi (Seafront Gate). It was within the narrow streets and alleys of this quarter that most of the city’s commercial activity took place. At the heart of the district stood the Flour Market (Un Kapani), which is mentioned in the older Turkish records as Kapani Galle or the Kapani, a name still used by local people to refer to the market. But from the early 20th century it ceased to function as a flour market and began to sell all sorts of goods: lime from Asvestohori, tin and earthenware vessels, rice and pulses, meat and seafood. The little square in the centre of the Vlali market was occupied by stalls selling pets and other animals like sheep and chickens. Following the fire of 1917, and the new layout of street blocks in the market area, a programme was drawn up in October 1923 to sell off small lots and create new markets in which rules would be laid down for the various types of stores and goods to be sold in particular areas. These rules have remained in effect to the present day.
In the Turkish records, the baths are known under a variety of names: the Baths of the Great Market (Pazari kebir hamami), the Women’s Baths (Kadinlar hamami) and the Jewish Baths (Yahudi hamami). The latter, and best known, name is owed to the location of the baths in an exclusively Jewish district. According to Evligia Tselemi and the Turkish archives, the baths were established by a certain Halil Ağa, possibly the individual known to have been a large stable owner and vezir in the mid 17th century. More recent opinion, based on the typological and morpho logical characteristics of the building, would date it earlier, perhaps to the first half of the 16th century. The baths were designed for use by both sexes and have the typical triple layout (cold, warm and hot baths). The masonry is of interest in its imitation of the Byzantine cloisonné system, as is the internal decoration with plaster mortar.
At the meeting point of the eastern wall and the sea wall, stood a Byzantine tower, on the site of which, in the late 15th century, the White Tower was erected. It was constructed as part of a programme of modernization of the city’s fortifications by the Ottomans (cf. Alysseos Tower). The emblem of Thessaloniki, the White Tower is intimately connected with the city’s history and the focus of many legends reflected in its various names. The original appellation Fort of Kalamaria (18th century) was replaced in the 19th century by the names Tower of the Janissaries and Tower of Blood (Kanli Kule), referring to the use of the building as a prison for long term convicts and those sentenced to death, whom the Janissaries executed on the battlements, dyeing with blood the exterior walls of the tower. In 1890, the tower was whitewashed by a convict in exchange for his freedom, and was henceforth known by its current name, the White Tower. As a defensive structure, it is a characteristic example of the great circular towers of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, which replaced the mediaeval rectangular structures, reflecting the need to defend against the new and widespread practice of artillery warfare, which led to a variety of innovations in defensive architecture. The structure was topped by a conical, wooden roof, covered in lead. Until the early 20th century, a polygonal defensive structure survived at the base of the tower, with apertures for cannon at sea level along the sides and small towers serving as look out points at the corners of the enclosing wall. This complex was constructed in 1535-36, according to the Turkish inscription found above the entrance. Inside the White Tower, there is now a museum where visitors can enjoy a digital reconstruction of the city’s history.