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Thessaloniki Northern Greece Page 5

the white towerwhere in Greece

The White Tower (Lefkos Pirgos) at northeast end of Leoforos Nikis along the waterfront, was a main defensive part of the original ramparts surrounding the city, built around 1430; later rebuilt by the Turks during the fifteenth century and used as a prison for treacherous Janissaries (the sultan's personal guards) during the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries.

During a Janissary revolt in 1826 against Mahmoud II, he put them all in there and massacred them, an event that earned it the name 'Bloody Tower'

It was whitewashed by the Greeks (both literally and figuratively) and renamed the 'White Tower' after World War I . It is 35meter high (115 feet), and built of stone and brick. Instead of badly-behaving Janissaries, it now contains a collection of Byzantine art, spread over five floors. There are icons, jewelry, frescoes and photos of frescoes.

The Roman Emperor of 222-235 AD Alexander Severus bust in the museumthessaloniki museum derveni kraterBehind the tower on the seafront is a statue of Alexander the Great on horseback and behind it a park with the Archaeological Museum (opened 1963) on one side. The treasures of ancient Macedon are the most interesting exhibits, containing finds from various tombs in northern Greece, and especially the reconstruction of the royal tomb of Vergina (said to be that of PhilipII of Macedon, fourth century BC).

From the same period is the Derveni Treasure (right) with finds from Derveni, north of Thessaloniki, including gold jewelry (including gold crowns of ivy and myrtle leaves), and silver and bronze vases.

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