Macedonia and Thrace
The Greek city of Thessaloniki in Macedonia has an array of
wonderful museums and art galleries, and here's twelve of the best, listed in alphabetical order. There are plenty more, too, including a
children's museum, a radio museum, a water museum, and a war museum.
This is one of the best archaeological museums outside of
Athens as Thessaloniki and the area around it is filled with marvellous archaeological
sites from which some wonderful treasures have been recovered.
Kemal Ataturk, credited as the founder of modern Turkey, was
born in this house in Thessaloniki which is maintained as a museum to tell his
story, including many of the personal items from his youth and a chance to see
the room in which he was born.
Since it was founded in 1957 this museum has amassed 20,000
items telling the story of everyday life in Macedonia and Thrace. There are
numerous traditional costumes, plus embroidery, textiles, musical instruments,
marionettes and much else besides.
The Jewish community in Thessaloniki goes back to at least
the 15th century and this museum and study centre tells the fascinating history
of that community ranging from tombstones to household items. There are plenty
of photographs, along with the heart-breaking story of how the city lost 49,000
Jewish citizens during the Holocaust.
Macedonian Museum of
Distinct from the
State Museum of Contemporary Art, this museum that was founded in 1979 houses
its own collection of about 2,000 works by both Greek and international artists
showcased in changing displays.
This is the place to
come if you want to see works by contemporary artists from Thessaloniki itself,
although it also represents artists from around Greece and there's an extensive
collection on Greek engraving.
museum has almost 3,000 exhibits displaying the culture of the remarkable
Byzantine Empire, including icons, murals, mosaics, clothing, tombs, religious artifacts
and personal items too.
The creation and
development of Macedonia is another fascinating aspect of Thessaloniki's
history, and reveals why it's still such a passionate subject for the people of
the area, and indeed the whole of Greece.
This has only a
small core collection but it's a major space for hosting changing exhibitions
so always check the website or check locally to find out what's on.
This began life as a
sports museum but in 2008 it was renamed to focus on the events of the Olympic
Games and Paralympics. Here you can see equipment from the games over the
years, outfits worn by competitors and even Olympics medals and torches.
collection goes back to the start of the 20th century and from those years it
has a huge number of pieces from the Russian Avant-Garde art movement, though
its displays extend to the present-day with works by current Greek artists.
There's also a separate building in the port area, the Thessaloniki Centre of
Contemporary Art, which shows temporary exhibitions.
hosted a major film festival since 1960 and this museum was created in 1997 when
the city was European Capital of Culture in order to build on that film
tradition and connections.
Where to Stay in Thessaloniki
Other Macedonia pages
The ten best day trips from Thessaloniki include visits to Mount Athos and Mount Olympus, and to archaeological sites such as Dion, Pella, and Vergina
Halkidiki is a three-pronged peninsula near Thessaloniki in Macedonia which comprises Mount Athos and the holiday resorts on Kassandra and Sithonia.
The archaeological site of Vergina in Macedonia is famous for the royal tombs which were the burial place of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
The capital of Macedonia and Greece’s second city, Thessaloníki has a lovely situation by the water, a wealth of history, many good museums, and good food.
The Prespa Lakes in northwest Greece is one of the most beautiful parts of Greece with abundant wildlife and also many ancient churches.
The churches of Thessaloniki are remarkable and include UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, Byzantine masterpieces, and a church dating from the 5th century.
Scenic Drives in Northern Greece, Ioannina, Meteora, Kastoria, Prespa Lakes
Philippi is an ancient archaeological site near Kavala in East Macedonia and Thrace and is famous for being the place where the apostle St Paul was imprisoned.
Pella in Macedonia is famous for its mosaics and was also the birthplace of both King Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great.
The Bradt Guide to Northern Greece is a detailed guide to Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Thrace, The Pelion, The Sporades and the rest of Northern Greece.
Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and is in the Mount Olympus National Park in Macedonia, with Litochoro being the best base.
Visiting Mount Athos in Greece requires a permit, but you can see the monasteries on a boat trip around the peninsula, known as the Monks' Republic.
Mount Athos boat trips are very popular with visitors to Halkidiki in Greece, as they are the only way most people get to see these spectacular monasteries.
Macedonia and Thrace are the regions in Greece where travelers will find Thessaloniki, Mount Athos monasteries, Halkidiki and sites like Dion and Pella.
The city of Kavala in eastern Macedonia is the area's major seaport and the base for ferries to the islands of the North East Aegean, including Thasos.
Kastoria is a lakeside town in West Macedonia which prospered with the fur trade and today has some handsome mansions, museums and many Byzantine churches.
Dion is a rather wonderful archaeological site in Macedonia, not far from Thessaloniki, with an archaeological museum nearby in the town of Dion.
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