“Heptapyrgion” – the Castles of Thessaloniki

Selanik 008

Visit the Upper Town and the castle of Thessaloniki. The famous “Ano Poli” (upper town) of Thessaloniki is a historic site of high importance. Upper Town is considered the area which is located on the highest part of the old city. It starts from the north side of the Agios Dimitrios street and extends north up to the walls of the Acropolis, as well as west and east up to the Byzantine Walls,which remain almost intact up to date. In that area, many important monuments of Thessaloniki are located such as the Walls of the Acropolis and Eptapyrgio, the church of Saint David, the church of Agios Nikolaos Orfanos, the Archangels’ church, the Vlatadon monastery, St. Catherine’s church, Prophet Elijah’s church, a Byzantine bath in Crispus square, and the Alaja Imaret of Kassandrou street.

At the northeast corner of the walls lies the Fortress of Eptapyrgiou. The “Eptapyrgio”, known also by the Ottoman name “Yedi Kule”, consists of two modules: The Byzantine fortress and the Peridromo, along with the newer prison buildings. The towers located on the north side are fragments of the early Christian wall of Acropolis, while those on the south side were probably added during the Middle Byzantine period. At times, the monument was used as men’s, women’s and military prisons. In 1989 the prisons were relocated and Eptapyrgio attributed to the authorities of the Ministry of Culture. The interior was remodeled and installations were added both internally and externally. Two large gates, the “Portara”, lead to the inside of the Acropolis, which served as bunker for the citizens in cases of conquest of the city. Further east, at the North and East wall corner, stands the majestic tower of “Trigoniou” (triangle), as the Byzantines used to call it, known also as Aliseos Tower or Cannon Tower, built at the same time with the White Tower.

Besides its historical importance, the Upper City stands out for its beauty. The narrow paved streets, the dead ends, the squares, the small clearings, and the buildings of Macedonian architecture – which are unique in simplicity and elegance, give to this attractive area an entirely unique sense. The area offers many beautiful places to have a cup of coffee and some of the most historic taverns of the city, where you can taste delightful dishes. Taverns of unique style and with amazing view which were haunts for many Greek actors, musicians, and poets. Visit the Upper Town of Thessaloniki and you will realize why many call it as “Another Town”!

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One review on ““Heptapyrgion” – the Castles of Thessaloniki

  1. Aris - 4 years ago

    we enjoyed the eptapyrgion (yedi kule) . Remarkable history and view of the city. Definately a must during the selanik visit !!!

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