Thessaloniki Z

Thessaloniki


Today I had so much fun at Thessaloniki, the city that I currently live. Here I am in front of the White Tower of Thessaloniki. This is a monument with a really impressive and important history.

The White Tower was built in the fifteenth century after the fall of Thessaloniki to the Ottomans in 1430. Over the years, it was referred to by various names: the Lion Tower in the sixteenth century, the Tower of Kalamaria in the eighteenth, while in the nineteenth century we find it with two names, depending on its use: the Tower of the Janissaries when the garrison of Janissaries was stationed there, and the Tower of Blood (Kanle Kule) when it became a prison and place of execution for convicts. In 1883, on orders of the Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the Tower was painted white and given the name “White Tower” (Beyaz Kule). In the second half of the nineteenth century the Tower with its “bloody” name was not appropriate to the empire’s new character.
It was a convict, Nathan Guiledi, who whitewashed the Tower in exchange for his freedom. It has remained with its current name since then. In time it became the symbol of Thessaloniki, since from 1911 it stood by itself on the seacoast following the demolition of the sea and eastern walls and its surrounding wall.
In 1983, the Tower was given to the Ministry of Culture.

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