THESSALONIKI’s JEWISH HERITAGE
The 'Jerusalem of Balkans'
This is a Jewish Heritage walking tour in Thessaloniki’s city centre, where the main Jewish community used to live and work for centuries. The city of Thessaloniki housed a major Jewish community, mostly Eastern Sephardim, until the middle of the Second World War. Sephardic Jews immigrated to the city following their expulsion from Iberia in the 15th century. This large Jewish comunity was organized in “keilots”. The center of each “keila” was a synagogue. More than fifty “Ceylots” and corresponding synagogues were recorded in the central core of Thessaloniki in the middle of the 16th century. No trace of these fifty synagogues survives today. Thessaloniki, since the 4th c. BC when it was founded rouled by Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, so the numerous monuments, dating to many historical periods, manifest Thessaloniki’s historical multicultural and cosmopolitan nature.(Info after Thessaloniki Jewish museum / senagogues)
Tour Code: THE_03jw
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
Season: All the year long, weekend recemented
Location: Thessaloniki city
Style: Walking tour, History, photography
- Archaeological sites: ancient forum 2nd-3rd c. AD, the palace complex of Galerius Maximianus (4th c. AD), the thermae, the hippodrome, the famous Stoa of the Idols, the Triumphal Arch of Galerius (305 AD), the Rotunda is an early 4th.
- Byzantine monuments: Tenths of Byzantine churches build 5th – 14th century and Agios Dimitrios, a splendid basilica dedicated to the patron saint and protector of the city. The byzantine walls. The archaeological site in 3 Septemvriou St., with remnants of a cemetery basilica, a martyrion and Early Christian graves. The byzantine bathhouse and the Heptapyrgion castle.
- Ottoman monuments: The White Tower, the Mosques of the Hamza Bey Cami and Aladja Imaret Cami, the Turkish Hamams (turkish bathhouses), the Bezesteni cloth market
- Jewish monuments: The Jewish quarter where the main Jewish community used to live and work for centuries. The Jewish museum, the Holocaust Memorial, the Monastir and “Yad Hzicaron” Synagogue, the “Yehudi Hamam”, Villa Allatini and Modiano Market with its numerous shops.
- Focal points in the city: Old City (Ano Polis), the historical quarter of the Ladadika and the central Aristotelous Square open to the waterfront
- Transportation with private Luxury car or minivan
- Experienced En speaking driver
- Hotels 3*, 4*, 5*
- Meals Half Board(B,_,D)
- Official En speaking local guides
- Meet & Greet on the arrival at the airport
- Greek night with live bouzouki music.
- Flight tickets
- Hotel accommodation tax (1.5€ per day per room for 3* hotels, 3€ per day per room for 4* hotels, 4€ per day per room for 5* hotels)
*All packages are flexible and dynamic for any changes according to any personal needs and desires upon request.
Conduct us for more available packages in the area
Note: Upon request we can offer special services for Jewish Kosher groups, such as Shabbat meals, accommodation on lower floors and regular keys for the rooms
Welcome to Thessaloniki, Greece!
Day 1: Thessaloniki arrival – City tour (_,_,D)
Morning arrival at Thessaloniki airport. Meet our meet our guide and welcome. Thessaloniki city tour including Rotunda, Galerius Arch, Galerius palace,
White Tower region, St. Demetrius church, Kastra. Transfer to your hotel. In the evening walk to a local tavern for dinner.
Day 2: Thessaloniki Jewish sites (B,_,D)
Thessaloniki guided walking tour. Morning visit Jewish museum. We’ll see the exhibitions on the old Jewish cemetery, traditional clothes and religious items from the old synagogues and a photo display on the history of the Jews in the city from antiquity to modern times. Continue to old preserved from 1927 Monastir Synagogue. Then the Jewish quarter in the old marketplace area to visit Yad Hazikaron Synagogue, pass by Modiano Market, the Ottoman public bathhouse Yahudi Hamam / Pazar Hamam, mainly used by the Jews of the area. Finally we stop at he Holocaust Memorial on the Liberty Square by the seafront, also called ‘Jewish Martyrs square’. In the evening dinner at a Greek tavern with bouzouki music
Day 3: Excursion – Veria – Vergina – Edessa waterfalls – Departure (B,_,_)
After breakfast drive to Veria for a guided visit to Veria to visit the Jewish section Barbouta with the synagogue of the 17th century. Continue to Vergina – the site of the Royal graves of the Macedonian kings, among them the tomb of king Philip father of Alexander the great. Then drive to Edessa water falls to admire the 70m high waterfalls. In the afternoon we continue to Thessaloniki airport for your flight back home.
Extra Day in Thessaloniki – upon request
For an extra day in Thessaloniki you can choose from the following excursions.
Meteora Excursion. Full day excursion to Meteora (r/t 460 km – 5,5 hrs). Guided visit to unique rock monasteries, built by hermits during the 14th – 16th c. AD. We’ll see 2 Byzantine Monasteries (too many steps) standing between earth and the sky atop huge rocks and containing historical and religious treasures. Today, out of initially 24 monasteries that used to exist, only 6 remain active for people to visit. Four of them are inhabited by monks and two by nuns. In old times the monks used long ladders tied together and baskets to transport themselves and their goods up the cliffs. There are still examples of these baskets which are used for bringing up provisions. In the afternoon drive back to Thessaloniki