The story behind Thessaloniki’s Landmarks; Aristotelous Square

Chrisa Lepida | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and definitely one of the most popular and interesting destinations of the country. Thessaloniki is easy to fall in love with – it has beauty, chaos, history and culture, a remarkable cuisine and of course, wonderful sea views.

Thessaloniki has something for everyone and a visit there will definitely steal your heart! If you’re looking for info as well as for suggestions on what to do and how to spend a day in Thessaloniki as a local would, go ahead and have a look at my previous articles. The upper town, the castles, the vast sea view, the food, the nightlife, the relaxed lifestyle and of course, its people will no doubt guarantee a wonderful and unforgettable experience upon your visit to the Greek co-capital! 

But what’s the story hidden behind some of the most influential neighborhoods, squares and landmarks of Thessaloniki? In the series of pages that follow, I’ll reveal some secrets and historical facts that will change the way you visit and experience Thessaloniki for the first time. Fasten your seatbelts and here we go! 

Aristotle Square in Thessaloniki: Aristotle (or Aristotelous) Square is the most famous and popular square of Thessaloniki Greece.

Picture © Credits to iStock/ slkoceva

Located right in the heart of the city - specifically on Nikis Avenue-, the Aristotelous Square, with its unique and boasting monumental mansions, is considered to be the city’s most central and historical square. Its outstanding views of Thermaikos Gulf, as well as the Olympus massif in the far distance, make the Aristotle Square a place worth experiencing while in Thessaloniki.

Some history

The Aristotelous Square is a rare example of a preplanned architectural design. In the Great Fire of 1912, most of Thessaloniki was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt. In the past, the city had more oriental elements in its architectural outlook, rather than any other European city.  A few years after the fire however, a French architect, Ernest Hébrard, proposed the erection of a  number of large squares in Thessaloniki, including the Alexander the Great Square, which was instantly renamed “Aristotelous Square”, due to financial restraints. After much planning, a more cost efficient Aristotle Square was eventually built in the 1950s. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/ slkoceva

This “U-shaped” cluster of streets has become, the city’s most popular hotspot. Here you will find a variety of attractions, such as the flower-made clock and of course the statue of Aristotle. Rumor has it among the city’s students, that if you touch the Aristotle’s toe you get “wiser” and he helps you pass your university exams! 

Grab a cold coffee -preferably a frappe or freddo espresso- and enjoy the city’s most vibrant hub! 

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