Thessaloniki is the capital of Macedonia and second largest city of Greece with over 1.000.000 population. It was first established in 316 B.C. by Kassandros and named after his wife, Thessaloniki, half sister of Alexander the Great. It is here that the Apostle Paul first brought the message of Christianity (50 A.D.) and that Demetrius, a Roman officer,died in martyrdom (303 A.D.), thus becoming the holy patron of the city. It is built between green hills and the sea. It is a beautiful and friendly city.
Thessaloniki was the second most important city of the Byzantine Empire, next to Istanbul(Constantinople), and is full of beautiful examples of Byzantine art and architecture. In the 15th Century Thessaloniki became a haven for Jews exiled from Spain, who became an important part of the culture, until the Nazi occupation, thus 'almost ending' a period of four hundred happy years of cultural cross - fertilization between the Jewish and the Greek communities.
Thessaloniki was liberated and again became a part of Greece in 1913, but burned in 1917 creating a homeless population of 70,000. Add to this mix the influx of Greek refugees from Asia minor. Some of Greece's the most creative musicians, athletes and intellectuals, come from Thessaloniki.