Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki

 

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and close to the other Balkan countries. It is a coastal city with a background of the major ports of Europe and varied artistic and cultural activity. It's an emerging destination for gay tourists and has one of the largest student communities in the country, turning the city into a vibrant city for everyone!

Since 2010 city's radically changed profile creates an environment more friendly to the gay community and travelers looking for a more dynamic and youthful place without crowding, offering budget solutions for accommodation, food and entertainment.

The growing gay scene in Thessaloniki offers the traveler a wide range of options in cafe, bar, club, restaurants etc, events such as the Thessaloniki Pride (since 2011) and Panorama Gay Film Festival (since 1996).

Apart from the symbol of the city is the White Tower, the visitor has the opportunity to visit a number of attractions and historical sites and enjoy a walk on the coastal side of the city near the center. Besides gayguide.gr more information for fun and relaxation can be found in the gay map, available at Thessaloniki International Airport Macedonia (kiosk of Greek National Tourism Organization) in info points of the municipality and various businesses within the city.

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The history of the city of the town is a long one, dating back to the Ancient Greeks. Today with the opening of borders in Southeastern Europe it is currently experiencing a strong revival, serving as the prime port for the northern Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace, as well as for the whole of Southerneast Europe.

Roman Era

For a short time in the 1st century BC, Thessalonici even became capital for all the Greek provinces. Due to the city's key commercial importance, a spacious harbour was built by the Romans, the famous Burrowed Harbour (Σκαπτός Λιμήν) that accommodated the city's trade, up to the 18th century. Later, with the help of silt deposits from the river Axios, land was reclaimed and the port was expanded. Remnants of the old harbour's docks can be found in present-day under Frangon Street, near the city's Catholic Church.

Byzantine era

When the Roman Prefecture of Illiricum was divided between the East and West Roman Empires in 379, Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum (reduced in size). Its importance was second only to Constantinopole itself, while in 390 it was the location of a revolt against the emperor Theodosius I and his Gothic mercenaries. Botheric, their general, together with several of his high officials, were killed in an uprising triggered by the imprisoning of a favorite local charioteer for pederasty with one of Botheric's slave boys. 7,000 - 15,000 of the citizens were massacred in the city's hippodrome in revenge – an act which earned Theodosius a temporary excommunication.

Following these events, the city recovered and the gradual restoration of Byzantine power during the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries brought peace to the area. As the population of the city expanded, according to Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish community of some 500-strong was also established in the 12th century. During that time the city came to host the fair of S Demetrius every October, which was held just outside the city walls and lasted six days.

Ottoman era

The Byzantium, unable to hold the city against the Ottoman Empire advance, sold it in 1423 to the Republic of Venice. Venice held the city until it was captured after a three-day-long siege by the Ottoman Sulatan Numad IIon 29 March 1430. The Ottomans had previously captured Thessaloniki in 1387, but lost it in the aftermath of their defeat in the Ankara Battle against Tamerlane  in 1402, when the weakened Ottomans were forced to hand back a number of territories to the Byzantines. During the Ottoman period, the city's Muslim and Jewish population grew. By 1478, Thessaloniki had a population of 4,320 Muslims between 6,094 Greek Orthodox inhabitants. By c. 1500, the numbers of Muslims grew to 8,575 Muslims, with Greeks numbering at 7,986, making them a minority. Around the same time, Jews began arriving from Spain, fleeing persecution.

1500 - 3777 Sephardic Jews, Muslims and Greek Orthodox remained the principal groups in the city for the next 400 years. The city came to become the largest Jewish city in the world and remained as such for at least 200 years, often called "Mother of Israel". Of its 130,000 inhabitants at the start of the 20th century, around 60,000 were Sephardic Jews. Some Romaniote Jews were also present. Thessaloníki, called Selânik in Turkish, became one of the most important cities in the Empire, viable as the foremost trade and commercial center in the Balkans. The railway reached the city in 1888 and new modern port facilities were built in 1896-1904. The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafe Kemal Ataturk, was born there in 1881, and the young turk movement was headquartered in the city in the early 20th century.

Balkan Wars and World War I

During the first balcan war the Ottoman garrison surrendered Salonika to the Greek Army, on 9 November [O.S. 27 October] 1912. This was a day after the feast of the city's patron saint, Saint Demetrios, which has become the date customarily celebrated as the anniversary of the city's liberation. The next day, a Bulgarian division arrived, and Bulgarian troops were allowed to enter the city in limited numbers. Although officially governed by the Greeks, the final fate of the city hung in the balance. The Austrian government proposed to make Salonika into a neutral, internationalized city similar to what Danzig was to later become; it would have had a territory of 400–460 km² and a population of 260,000. It would be "neither Greek, Bulgarian nor Turkish, but Jewish".

The Greeks' emotional commitment to the city was increased when King george Iof Greece, who had settled there to emphasize Greece's possession of it, was assassinated on 18 March 1913 by Alexandros Schinas.  After the Greek and Serbian victory in the Second balcan war which broke out among the former allies over the final territorial dispositions, the city's status was finally settled by the Treaty of Bucharest on August 10, 1913, sealing the city as an integral part of Greece.

World War II

Thessaloniki fell to the forces of NAZI on April 22, 1941 and remained under German occupation until 30 October 1944. The city suffered considerable damage from Allied bombing and almost all of its entire Jewish Population that remained following the 1917 fire, was exterminated by the Nazis. Barely a thousand Jews survived. Thessaloniki was rebuilt and recovered fairly quickly after the war, with this resurgence taking in both a rapid growth in its population and a large-scale development of new infrastructure and industry throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Most of the urban Development of that period was however without an all-embracing plan, contributing to the traffic and zoning problems remaining to this day.

Modern era

On 20 June 1978, the city was hit by a powerful Earthquake, registering a magnitute moment of 6.5. The tremor caused considerable damage to several buildings and even to some of the city's Byzantine monuments; forty people were crushed to death when an entire apartment block collapsed in the central Hippodromio district. Nonetheless, the large city recovered with considerable speed from the effects of the disaster. Early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988 and Thessaloniki later became European City of Culture in 1997.

Thessaloniki Gay Travel

Hotel Nikopolis

Hotel Nikopolis is located about 20 minutes away from the center of Thessaloniki by car, which is the home of several gay and gay-friendly venues

Anatolia Hotels & Villas

The Junior & Grand Suites are ideal for Gay Couples, providing spacious living with the best of amenities. The Fitness Center offers state-of-the-art equipment for maintaining your training schedule.

Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki's gay scene is located in its center, around Aristotelous Square, which is about 30 minutes away from the hotel by car

Hotel Nikopolis

Hotel Nikopolis is located about 20 minutes away from the center of Thessaloniki by car, which is the home of several gay and gay-friendly venues

Golden Star City Resort

Hotel Nikopolis is located about 20 minutes away from the center of Thessaloniki by car, which is the home of several gay and gay-friendly venues

 
 

 Gay Bars

Your Sex Shop

Karaoli Dimitriou 37

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Laikon

2 Monastiriou & Lagkada

Shadow Club

Peristeriou 4

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Volt Club

Orvilou 2

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INDOOR EROTIC SHOP & CRUISING

Theano

Konstantinoupoleos 75

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Thessaloniki Town

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and close to the other Balkan countries. It is a coastal city with a background of the major ports of Europe and varied artistic and cultural activity. It's an emerging destination for gay tourists and has one of the largest student communities in the country, turning the city into a vibrant city for everyone!

Since 2010 city's radically changed profile creates an environment more friendly to the gay community and travelers looking for a more dynamic and youthful place without crowding, offering budget solutions for accommodation, food, and entertainment.

The growing gay scene in Thessaloniki offers the traveler a wide range of options in cafe, bar, club, restaurants etc, events such as the Thessaloniki Pride (since 2011) and Panorama Gay Film Festival (since 1996).

Apart from the symbol of the city is the White Tower, the visitor has the opportunity to visit a number of attractions and historical sites and enjoy a walk on the coastal side of the city near the center. Besides gay guide.gr more information for fun and relaxation can be found on the gay map, available at Thessaloniki International Airport Macedonia (kiosk of Greek National Tourism Organization) in info points of the municipality and various businesses within the city.

 

 Bars & Clubs

Bar me

Αγ. Μηνά 9

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Paul Mvolt Club

Ορβήλου 2

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Bigaroon

Odos Pavlou Mela 44
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Paul M

Pavlou Mela 15 & Tsimiski

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Spirto

Pavlou Mela 33
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Absinth Cafe Bar

Isavron 12 & D. Gounari
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Shadow Club

Peristeriou 4
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Stretto

18 Karolou Ntil
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Don't Tell Mamma

Stratigou Kallari 9

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DANCE CLUBS

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eNola

Valaoritou 19 & Egnatias 26

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Your Sex Shop

Karaoli Dimitriou 37

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Laikon

2 Monastiriou & Lagkada

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OUTDOOR CRUISING

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Vilma

Gladstonos 5

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EroXXX

Odysseos 13

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Splash

Afroditis 23

Blue Vision

6 Afroditis
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Kama Sutra

Ethnikis Aminis 35
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Elvis Bar

31 Valaoritou

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