Aristotelous Square, Thessaloniki

Aristotelous Square, Thessaloniki (must see)

It was August, 1917. Greece had taken the Allied side in the Great War and the city of Thessaloniki was teeming with British and French troops and refugees from Turkey. In a small house of refugees at OLympiados 3, an ember from the kitchen fire set some straw alight. The fire spread, driven by the wind, and Thessaloniki burned for two days.

French architect Ernest Hebrard was in town. Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos forbade any reconstruction without a modern plan and he commissioned Hebrard for the job.

Hebrard came up with a city-wide plan of large squares and broad avenues and buildings with imposing facades derived from Byzantine elements. Among the large squares was Alexander the Great Square, now called Aristotelous Square.

A monumental axis stretches from sea-facing Aristotelous Square to Dikastirion Square and the Roman Forum. Looking uphill from the square one can see the ancient Byzantine walls of the city. A statue of Alexander the Great rides the waterfront esplanade of the square. Eleftherios Venizelos raises his right hand in benediction.

Aristotle relaxes in his chiton and sandals. The big toe of his left foot shines from rubbings of students hoping his wisdom will rub off. The square is a venue for rallies and demonstrations and cultural events, including annual Christmas and carnival celebrations.

The square is also home to several landmark buildings, such as the Electra Palace Hotel. This iconic hotel features stunning architecture and lavish interior decorations. In addition, visitors can check out the Orizontes Roof Garden and enjoy a spectacular waterfront view while dining or enjoying a cocktail.

The Olympion Theatre Cinema is another popular attraction. The neoclassical Olympion hosts the annual International Film Festival of Thessalonica. This film festival began in 1960 and facilities film viewers to discuss the chosen movies with film directors.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Thessaloniki. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Aristotelous Square on Map

Sight Name: Aristotelous Square
Sight Location: Thessaloniki, Greece (See walking tours in Thessaloniki)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Thessaloniki, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Thessaloniki

Create Your Own Walk in Thessaloniki

Creating your own self-guided walk in Thessaloniki is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Thessaloniki Waterfront Tour

Thessaloniki Waterfront Tour

The Mediterranean has always been an integral part of Thessaloniki’s appeal. The city's orientation toward the sea is largely due to the vision of Ernest Hébrard, the French urban planner and architect, who redesigned the downtown area after the devastating fire of 1917.

To really get the taste of Thessaloniki you need to visit not just its historical landmarks, but also those spots...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Thessaloniki Introduction Walking Tour

Thessaloniki Introduction Walking Tour

Thessaloniki is Greece's second-largest city as well as its second major political, industrial, commercial, and economic center.

Historically, Thessaloniki co-ruled the Byzantine Empire along with Constantinople. But its history goes back even further than that. Cassander of Macedon originally founded the city in 315 BC. Cassander named the city after his wife, Thessalonike. Thessalonike...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Thessaloniki Upper Town Walking Tour

Thessaloniki Upper Town Walking Tour

Thessaloniki's Upper Town (Ano Poli) is the most ancient part of the city, aged approximately 2,300 years. Being also the highest part of Thessaloniki, dominated by the Acropolis with the Byzantine-/Ottoman-era fort known as Heptapyrgion (Eptapyrgio), from here on a clear day you can see way across the gulf, as far as Mount Olympus, some 80 km (50 miles) away, towering over the horizon in all...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles