Northern Greece is a place of great history and culture, So it is only natural that it is also a place where there are some pretty impressive monuments bearing a great heritage of culture, tradition and history! Reading this article you will discover which are the most important UNESCO monuments of northern Greece and learn about their history.
Vergina is the ancient city of Aigai and it was the capital of the ancient Macedonian Kingdom of Northern Greece! In this ancient necropolis you will find monuments of great historical value. The most important among them is the tomb of Philip the Second, the father of Alexander the Great. The royal tomb of king Philip was discovered in 1977 by the Greek archeologist Manolis Andronikos and it is among the most impressive monuments of the Hellenistic period.
The burial monuments of Vergina were included in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites, in 1996. Because of its great archeological importance, Vergina has been a pole of attraction for tourists, who want to discover the history of Macedonian Dynasty by visiting the Vergina excavation and the Vergina museum as well.
Of course the history of Northern Greece does not come with the end of antiquity! On the contrary, Thessaloniki has a great tradition of Byzantine art and architecture! That is the reason why Unesco declared 15 of the Byzantine monuments of the city, world heritage sites in 1988! Among them, there are churches and monasteries of great religious and architectural value, as well as Byzantine Baths and the walls of the city.
The importance of Thessaloniki Unesco Monuments is not only about their historical or religious significance but it is also about the collective memory of the city and the shaping of its cultural identity!
Church of Saint Demetrious
The Church of St Demetrius is the central Church of Thessaloniki and is dedicated to the patron Saint of the city. This magnificent church is one of the most important early Christian monuments of Thessaloniki. At first, it was built on the ruins of Roman Baths, where, according to tradition, Saint Demetrius was executed in 303!
Church of Hagia Sophia
This church is one of the oldest paleochristian monuments standing today in Thessaloniki and one of the most important UNESCO monuments in Northern Greece ! The church was built in the 3rd century and it was nearly destroyed probably due an earthquake in 620. The church was rebuilt in the 7th century based on the architectural design of the Hagia Sophia located in Constantinople.
During the Ottoman rule of the city the church served as a mosque. Although Hagia Sofia was restored to its previous state as a christian church after the liberation of Thessaloniki, it was almost once again destroyed, because of the great fire that took place in Thessaloniki in 1917. Nowadays, the church is among the most visited sites of the city especially for those who are interested in the Byzantine heritage of Thessaloniki!
This Temple is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is located in the center of Thessaloniki, south of the ancient Agora. Christophoros, Protospatharios and his family built the church in 1028 and his tomb settles within the northern wall of the church.
The elegant proportions of the monument and its architectural style are indicative of the Constantinopolitan influence, existing in Thessaloniki. Today the visitors of the monument can still feel the deep bond connecting the two cities just by admiring this magnificent site!
Vlatadon Monastery is located to the northern part of the city (Ano Poli) and it was built in the 14th century during the late Byzantine era. Today the monastery is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.Visiting this magnificent UNESCO monument of northern Greece, you can also find a museum exhibiting some findings of great historical and religious value such as ancient manuscripts and icons of great artistic importance.
Discover the Rest of Thessaloniki UNESCO Monuments
Northern Greece is a place of great historical and cultural value, and that is why it hosts plenty UNESCO monuments! Greek Transfer Services give you the chance to discover every corner of it through the great variety of tours that we offer you!