Exploring the historic charm of Ano Poli: Thessaloniki’s hidden gem

Thessaloniki, Greece, is a city steeped in history and culture, with ancient ruins, beautiful Byzantine churches, and lively markets at every turn. But hidden away from the bustling city center lies a hidden gem that many visitors overlook – Ano Poli, or the Upper Town.

Ano Poli is the oldest part of Thessaloniki, perched on top of the city’s highest hill. Its narrow, winding streets are lined with colorful houses, traditional tavernas, and quiet courtyards, giving visitors a glimpse into the city’s past.

One of the most striking features of Ano Poli is its ancient walls, which date back to the 4th century AD. These walls were built to protect the city from invaders and still stand tall today, offering panoramic views of Thessaloniki and the Aegean Sea beyond.

As you wander through the streets of Ano Poli, you’ll come across a number of beautiful Byzantine churches, most notably the Church of Agios Dimitrios, which is said to be the largest church in Greece. The church is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, St. Demetrius, and is a stunning example of Byzantine architecture, with intricate mosaics and frescoes decorating its interior.

Another must-see site in Ano Poli is the Trigoniou Tower, a 15th-century fortification that once served as a prison and now houses a small museum. From the top of the tower, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city below, as well as learn more about Thessaloniki’s history.

After exploring the historic sites of Ano Poli, be sure to stop by one of the neighborhood’s charming tavernas for a taste of traditional Greek cuisine. Ano Poli is known for its delicious meze dishes, grilled meats, and homemade desserts, all served in a cozy, intimate setting that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Overall, Ano Poli is a hidden gem in Thessaloniki that shouldn’t be missed. Its historic charm, stunning views, and delicious food make it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center and immerse yourself in Greece’s rich cultural heritage. So next time you find yourself in Thessaloniki, be sure to make your way up to Ano Poli and discover the magic that lies hidden within its ancient walls.

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