Upper Town

One of the most beautiful and picturesque areas of Thessaloniki. The Upper Town area that survived the big fire of 1917 is located in the northernmost and highest part of the old city.  It basically begins from the north side of Agiou Dimitriou Street reaching to the north the walls of the Acropolis and to the east and west the Byzantine Walls, which are still standing almost intact. Although there were no archeological excavations, it is almost certain that during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine era the area was not inhabited, at least systematically. Neighborhoods with houses were first created during the Ottoman rule and the area was densely populated in the last years of the 19th century, due to the appreciation for the climatic conditions (microclimate) and the wonderful view that the palce has to offer.

 

This area includes important monuments of Thessaloniki, like: the Walls with the Acropolis and Eptapyrgio, the Church of Osios David (Latomos Monastery), the Church of Agios Nikolaos Orfanos, the Church of Taxiarches, Vlatadon monastery, the Church of Agia Aikaterini, the Church of Profitis Ilias, a Byzantine Bath at Krispou square, Alatza Imaret in Kassandrou Street etc.

Besides these monuments, in many parts of the Upper Town the old (traditional) urban planning of the city is preserved. It features narrow stone-paved streets, dead ends, small clearings and squares and most of all the unique in their simplicity, functionality and elegance buildings of the Traditional Macedonian Architecture. These buildings, are mainly found around the churches of Taxiarches, Osios David, Vlatadon Monastery and the streets of Dimitriou Poliorkiti, Alexandrou Papadopoulou, Theofilou, Adiochou, Amfitrionos, Irodotou, Tsamadou and Sachtouri and they have nothing pompous and luxurious to display. They are constructed with poor and cheap materials however their shape and (inner and outer) functionality makes them impressive. Their main characteristics are their clean architectural layout with many elements inherited even by the ancient Greek and Byzantine tradition, the architectural “overhangings” (the sachnisi, a sun porch-iliako for the Byzantines) and the covered balconies (“the hagiatia“), which constitute a characteristic feature of the Greek Traditional Macedonian Architecture.

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