The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, and passed from the Ottoman Empire to Greece on November 8, 1912.
During World War II Thessaloniki was heavily bombarded by Fascist Italy and, the Italians having failed in their invasion of Greece, it fell to the forces of Nazi Germany on 8 April 1941 and remained under German occupation until 30 October 1944 when it was liberated by the Greek People`s Liberation Army.
After the war, Thessaloniki was rebuilt with large-scale development of new infrastructure and industry throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Many of its architectural treasures still remain, adding value to the city as a tourist destination, while several early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988. In 1997, Thessaloniki was celebrated as the European Capital of Culture. In 2004 the city hosted a number of football events as part of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, and the capital of Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and Thrace. Thessaloniki is located on the Thermaic Gulf, at the northwest corner of the Aegean Sea. It is bounded on the west by the delta of the Axios/Vardar.
The municipality of Thessaloniki, the historical center, had a population of 325,182 in 2011, while the Thessaloniki Urban Area had a population of 788,952 and the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area had 1,012,297 inhabitants in 2011.
Address: Leof. Vasileos Georgiou 1, 546 40 Thessaloniki
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Thessaloniki is Greece's second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre. The city is a major transportation hub for Greece and southeastern Europe, notably through the Port of Thessaloniki. Events such as the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival are held annually, while the city also hosts the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora.
Thessaloniki is one of the most important trade and business hubs in Southeastern Europe, with its port, the Port of Thessaloniki is one of the largest in the Aegean and facilitating trade throughout the Balkan hinterland.
Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. The center of the city is considered as the most popular destination for street photography in Greece.
Thessaloniki is renowned for its major shopping streets and lively laneways. Tsimiski Street and Proxenou Koromila avenue are the city's most famous shopping streets and are among Greece's most expensive and exclusive high streets. The city is also home to one of Greece's most famous and prestigious hotels, Makedonia Palace hotel, the Hyatt Regency Casino and hotel (the biggest casino in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe) and Waterland, the largest water park in southeastern Europe.
Thessaloniki is home to numerous Byzantine monuments and boasts museums with rich collections.
The city has long been known in Greece for its vibrant city culture, including having the most cafes and bars per capita of any city in Europe; and as having some of the best nightlife and entertainment in the country, thanks to its large young population and multicultural feel.