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Thessaloniki Waterfront Walking Tour: White Tower-DJI Osmo Pocket 3

We are guiding you on a walking tour along Thessaloniki’s waterfront.

We start from the city’s landmark, The White Tower.

As we watch the leisure boats, we keep on walking past the city theaters.

Then walking along the two parks and gardens left and right,

we move to the Statue of Alexander The Great.

Then we stop at the latest addition, the photovoltaic tree, and go on to the statues along the waterfront, until we reach the famous umbrellas Installation!

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The video was shot with a DJI Osmo Pocket 3.

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White Tower & Waterfront Leisure Boats 

Our starting point is The Bust of Admiral Votsis Memorial.

We have divided this walking tour into seven parts.

If you wish, you can skip to the part you want via the created chapters.

We have more walking tours in Thessaloniki and even aerial videos with practical info about what to visit in the city. For your convenience, we have created a relevant playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxRHhKvfPjpUWtFV8IjoofOrC-KHD_0zG

Back to the White Tower area, this is the place to be if you want to board a brief cruise along the waterfront. As you will see, many ships await you, departing frequently!

The White Tower's story stretches back to the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire constructed it as part of the city's fortifications. Originally called the Lion Tower, a symbol of Ottoman military might, it later served various purposes throughout history. It's been a prison, a storage facility, and even an air defense post during World War.

The White Tower is a cylindrical tower standing at around 29 meters tall. Its distinctive white color, which gives it its name, comes from the whitewashed exterior. It has six stories and was constructed with stone and marble. The tower has a conical roof and several balconies.

The tower's most famous name, "The White Tower," has a fascinating origin. According to legend, a Jewish prisoner named Nathan Guidili was promised his freedom if he whitewashed the tower. He did, and the tower's striking white exterior has remained ever since, a stark contrast to its bloody past.

Today, The White Tower is a symbol of Thessaloniki's resilience. Standing tall after centuries of change, it now houses a museum showcasing the city's rich history. Visitors can explore exhibits that bring Thessaloniki's past to life, from its founding to its modern incarnation. From the top of the White Tower, visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of Thessaloniki, including the cityscape, the Thermaic Gulf, and the surrounding landscape. 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. No, there’s no elevator! You have to climb all the stairs!

The Theaters - The Gardens

As we leave The White Tower behind us, we walk along the road having to our left The Theatre of the Society for Macedonian Studies and to our right, after the Aphrodite Fountain, the Vassiliko Theatre. Both venues have a capacity of almost 700 seats each but they mostly feature plays in Greek. There is a stop here if you want to take one of the buses that tour the city.

The YMCA park to the left features some café bars surrounded by greenery while the garden to our right leads us to the statue of Alexander The Great.

Alexander The Great Statue

Thessaloniki thrums with the echoes of a glorious past. Among its many landmarks, a bronze titan stands proudly, gazing eastward: the Alexander the Great Statue.

Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and legendary conqueror, wasn't just a historical figure for Thessaloniki. The city itself was founded by his father, Philip II, and named after Alexander's half-sister. It's no surprise then, that a statue honoring this pivotal figure graces the city's vibrant coastline.

Sculpted by Evangelos Moustakas and erected in 1973, the statue depicts Alexander astride his loyal steed, Bucephalus. The monument rises an impressive 6 meters with a weight of 4 tons and is the tallest equestrian statue in Greece.  Alexander sits with a determined expression, embodying his reputation for courage and ambition. Bucephalus rears on its hind legs, adding a sense of dynamism and power to the composition.

Beyond its historical significance, the Alexander the Great Statue has become a beloved landmark for locals and tourists alike.  Its prominent location makes it a popular meeting point, a place to capture stunning photographs with the city skyline as a backdrop, or simply a spot to relax and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Photovoltaic Tree

A remarkable photovoltaic tree has "bloomed" near the New City Hall. This unique sculpture, crafted from recycled tobacco heating devices donated by a tobacco product manufacturing company, features 500 low-consumption LEDs that illuminate its branches at night, creating a stunning display.

The tree, standing at 2.70m tall, is adorned with 500 luminous "fruits" that emit cold white light after dark. Additionally, blue streaks resembling arteries run along the trunk and branches, symbolizing the circulation of energy to power the lamps. To supply electricity, three photovoltaic panels have been installed a short distance from the tree, with underground wiring ensuring a seamless and unobtrusive appearance.

The Statues 

As we leave the photovoltaic tree, there are a couple more bronze and marble statues to admire. These are dedicated to The National Resistance and Konstantinos Karamanlis, a prominent Greek statesman who served as Prime Minister and then held the position of President of the Republic.

The Famous Umbrellas

Created by Greek sculptor George Zongolopoulos in 1997, The Umbrellas isn't your ordinary monument. This public art installation features 21 vibrant, oversized umbrellas, crafted from stainless steel and tilted at jaunty angles. The installation stretches along the city's promenade, seemingly reaching towards the vast Thermaic Gulf.

While undeniably eye-catching, The Umbrellas Sculpture holds a deeper meaning. Some interpret it as a playful representation of the city's embrace of sunshine and outdoor life. Others see it as a nod to Thessaloniki's cultural vibrancy and artistic spirit.

The Umbrellas have become an iconic symbol of Thessaloniki, a must-see for any visitor. Tourists flock to capture photos beneath their colorful canopies, creating lasting memories of this unique artwork.

This isn't just a static artwork; it interacts with the environment. Depending on the time of day, the umbrellas cast playful shadows, adding another layer of visual intrigue. In the evenings, they are often illuminated, transforming into a magical spectacle against the darkening sky.

The area is freely accessible, making it the perfect spot for a stroll, a photo session, or simply a moment to appreciate the whimsical beauty it brings to Thessaloniki's vibrant waterfront.

Have you been there?

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