Τρίτη, 7 Αυγούστου 2012

The symbol of Thessaloniki -The White Tower

White Tower of Thessaloniki
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  
The White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki (Greek: Λευκός Πύργος Lefkos Pyrgos), is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia. The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification which was mentioned around the 12th century and reconstructed by the Ottomans to fortify the city's harbour; it became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions during the period of Ottoman rule. It was substantially remodeled and its exterior was whitewashed after Greece gained control of the city in 1912. It has been adopted as the symbol of the city.



The White Tower in 1912, showing the chemise that surrounded the tower until its demolition in 1917.
The White Tower takes the form of a cylindrical drum 23 m (75 ft) in diameter with a height of 27 m (89 ft) above ground level, on top of which is a turret 12 m (39 ft) in diameter and 6 m (20 ft) high. Some of the embrasures in the outer wall of the tower are reached by a spiral ramp; others are accessed from a central room on each of the six floors. The turret houses a platform with a diameter of 10 m (33 ft), and the platform at the top of the main tower in front of the turret is about 5 m (16 ft) wide.
The tower has been altered substantially over the years. Early illustrations show that it was originally covered by a conical roof, like similar towers in the Yedikule Fortress and Rumelihisarı fortress in Istanbul. Until its demolition in 1917, a chemise stood at the foot of the tower, supporting the heavy guns and enclosing an area at least three times the diameter of the main tower. Octagonal turrets on the chemise and caponiers at ground level provided flanking fire around the tower. It is unclear whether the chemise was part of the original scheme for the tower or was a later addition.

  
History
The tower, which once guarded the eastern end of the city's sea walls, was for many years attributed to Venice, to which the Byzantines ceded Thessaloniki in 1423. It is now known definitely that the tower was constructed by the Ottomans some time after the army of Sultan Murad II captured Thessaloniki in 1430.[1] Until 1912, an inscription in Ottoman Turkish verse above the door dated the structure to AH 942 (1535–1536). The historian Franz Babinger speculated that the work was designed by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is known to have built fortifications, including a similar tower at the Albanian port Valona in 1537. The present tower likely replaced an older Byzantine tower mentioned by the 12th century archbishop Eustathios during the sack of 1185.



The Tower was used by the Ottomans successively as a fort, garrison and a prison. In 1826, at the order of the Sultan Mahmud II, there was a massacre of the prisoners in the Tower. Owing to the "countless victims of Ottoman torturers and executioners", the tower acquired the name "Tower of Blood" or "Red Tower" (Turkish: Kanli Kule), which it kept until the end of the 19th century.
The Tower was for centuries part of the walls of the old city of Thessaloniki, and separated the Jewish quarter of the city from the cemeteries of the Muslims and Jews. The city walls were demolished in 1866. When Thessaloniki was annexed from the Ottoman Empire to the Greek State in 1912 during the First Balkan War, the tower was whitewashed as a symbolic gesture of cleansing, and acquired its present name. King George I of Greece was assassinated not far from the White Tower in March 1913.
The Tower is now a buff colour but has retained the name White Tower. It now stands on Thessaloniki's waterfront boulevard, Nikis (Victory) Street. It houses a museum dedicated to the history of Thessaloniki and is one of the city's leading tourist attractions. The Tower is under the administration of the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture.


 


White Tower Museum

Today, the White Tower houses an exhibition dedicated to the city of Thessaloniki and its history throughout various periods, organized by the city's Museum of Byzantine Culture. The Tower is open to the public, and visitors have the opportunity to view a map of the city with monuments and museums, a timeline with events relevant to Thessaloniki, scientific articles of distinguished historians and archaeologists, bibliography etc.




These photos took yesterday evening from inside  my car...
They are bad but are the newest .....



                                                                    Have a nice day !

10 σχόλια:

  1. Hello Olympia:
    This is an absolutely fascinating post. Thessalonki is very much on our list of places to visit and there is a direct train from Budapest so it makes it very much a possibility.

    What a most interesting history is attached to the White Tower.

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  2. Eine sehr schöne und informative Geschichte aus der Zeit...

    Lieben Gruß
    CL

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  3. Very interesting reading and so nice that the white tower still is there.

    Hugs
    Elna

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  4. Such a wonderful history but yet tragic at times, too. Nice that it is being used now as a museum. Best wishes to you, Tammy

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  5. Hi Olympia!!I love Thessaloniki!!I have a lots of friends there!Your today post is wonderful!!Have a nice week!!

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  6. History is one of my favorite subjects.. Today you have written a great story , telling us of the history of the white tower. I know from reading that Thessaloniki is a very important city with great Byzantine history... and had cruel wars with the Otteraman empire.
    I enjoyed this post very much Olympia..
    thank you for telling us this story. I like your photos.
    Have a wonderful wednesday
    hugs val x x x x

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  7. You live in such a beautiful place surrounded amazing history. Wow, love that you can drive over to that tower. Thanks so much for sharing a look into your country.

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  8. I tuoi post sono sempre interessanti e pieni di bella storia!!
    Un bacione cara amica!!
    Sabry!!

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  9. I love to hear a little history on Greece, Olympia. The tower is a beautiful monument. It is so old, and when I look at different pictures of Greece, I am often amazed at how far back this culture goes. Thank you for sharing this.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

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  10. Fantastic photos and lovely to hear some of the history.

    Olympia,
    Just wondering if you would have a look at Sizzle and Zoom's Blog
    http://www.cruisinoversixty.com

    She has a nice blog, only starting off really and not very many followers. Would be lovely if some of us could follow her.

    She has 26 followers but I think she deserves more!

    Maybe you could pay a visit?

    Tell her I sent you!

    Fiona
    xx

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