Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Visit to Ano Polis

We went for quite an adventure in Thessaloniki on Monday. First, we took the bus downtown to run some errands. We found a nice bookstore with a GREAT selection of English books. They had a huge section on Byzantine history -- I really had to restrain myself. We only got one book -- Salonica: City of Ghosts -- a new book about Jews, Christians, and Moslems in Thessaloniki during Ottoman rule. I'm told it's a must-read. We will report on it after we finish it.

Anyway, after that, we took the bus that goes north to the Upper City (Ano Polis). This is an old part of the city, which is now primarily residential. Many of the city's walls, which were originally constructed under the Emperor St. Theodosios around 380, are still standing here. In the top photo, I climbed up some stairs soldiers would use to defend the city from attack.

In the middle photo, Pelagia is standing in front of the Tower of Trigonion, which marked the NE corner of the city's walls. The White Tower is the other corner tower still standing -- it marked the SE corner. Most of the walls around it, however, were knocked down by the Turks in the 1800s as part of a larger effort to make the city more modern and European.

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