Thessaloniki is the largest and most populous city in Macedonia
and Northern Greece. It is the seat of the Municipality of
Thessaloniki and the capital of the Regional Unit of Thessaloniki,
the metropolitan area of Thessaloniki, as well as the seat of the
Region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of
Macedonia - Thrace.
It was founded in 316/5 BC. from the Macedonian general Kassandros, who gave her the name of his wife and half-sister of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki and came from the union of 26 states that were located around the Thermaic Gulf. In the 2nd BC. century the city was conquered by the Romans and became the seat of the Roman province of Macedonia. It is alleged that it was founded on the site of ancient Thermi, from where the Thermaic Gulf took its name.
Due to its strategic location, the city was chosen as the imperial capital during the reign of Galerius, who built an imperial palace in Thessaloniki. After the completion of the Egnatia Odos (120 BC), Thessaloniki, which was the most populous city of the network with international radiation, became the most important junction between East and West. After the division of the Roman Empire, it was one of the candidate capitals of the Eastern Roman Empire, to finally choose Byzantium. It acquired the title of "ruling" city during the Byzantine Empire and was an important administrative and military center while at the same time it became a hub of intellectual and cultural development with flourishing education, art, literature, philosophy, architecture and science, with period of the 14th century which is characterized as the Byzantine "golden age of Thessaloniki".
After its conquest by the Ottomans in 1432, it remained in the Ottoman Empire for about five centuries. After the expulsion of the Jews mainly from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 with the issuance of the decree of the Alhambra, but also from Northern Europe, Thessaloniki became their destination, thus acquiring its own Jewish community. The settlement of the Jews in Thessaloniki made the city the important Jewish metropolis until at least the beginning of the 20th century. Especially since the middle of the 19th century, the city has been the most cosmopolitan and multicultural urbanized center of the Ottoman Empire and the most important pole of political movements and movements that it has encountered in its long history.
With its accession to the Greek State in 1912, the population of the city underwent significant changes, such as the Asia Minor Catastrophe and the settlement of Greek refugees from Asia Minor and then - during the Exchange of Populations - with the removal of the Muslim population and its replacement. from refugee populations of Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace. This is the reason why Thessaloniki is often referred to as a "refugee". The population changes contributed to the change of the population situation of the city, with the strengthening of the Greek element. Its urban and architectural reorganization was accelerated by the Great Fire of 1917 and the efforts of the new Greek administration to add ancient Greek and European elements to the architectural style of the city, which led to the destruction of several Ottoman religious and functional buildings. The most significant population changes are observed with the settlement of the Asia Minor and Thracian refugee population after the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922, with the Holocaust of the prosperous Jewish community by the Nazi troops during the period of the triple occupation during the Second World War and the Second World War. observed in the 50s and later and leads to internal migration to large urban centers.
From its foundation by Kassandros, Thessaloniki as a prosperous Hellenistic city, until the era of Ottoman rule, utilizes its strategic position and develops into a multicultural city. Since 1912, with the end of the Balkan Wars and the integration of the region into the modern Greek State, Thessaloniki is the second most populous city in Greece. It is often referred to as the co-capital of Greece. The population of the Urban Complex is estimated at 788,191 inhabitants, according to the 2011 Census. The population of the metropolitan area amounts to 1,012,013 inhabitants while that of the peripheral unit (former prefecture) to 1,110,912 inhabitants.
Etymology and forms of the name
Thessaloniki was founded by Cassander and was named after his wife, Thessaloniki, who was the half-sister of Alexander the Great and daughter of Philip II and his fifth wife, Princess Nikisipolis of Thessaly. Its name comes from the composition of the words Thessaly and Victory, in memory of the victory of the Macedonians and the Common of Thessaly against the tyrannical regime of Fera and their allies Phocaea, in the context of the Third Holy War.
The name is found in various forms but with slightly varied spelling and phonetic variations. Thessaloniki is an aggressive form, found in the work of Strabo  and is used in Hellenistic times as the name of the city, formed from the name of a natural person, as was done for Seleucia by Seleucus, Cassandreia by Cassander, Alexandria by Alexander the Great et al. However, the predominant form of the name is Thessaloniki. From the Hellenistic era there are reports with the name Thettaloniki, mainly from the historian Polybius. while during the Roman period, as inscriptions and coins show, the figures of Thessalonica and Thessalonica [city] appeared.
The type Saloniki (h), is found in the Chronicle of Morea (14th century, pp. 1010, 1075, 3603 etc) and is common in folk songs. It seems to be older as the Arab geographer Idris in 1150 mentions the city as Salunik (hence the Turkish Selianik). In one sense, Salonika came from the long-term use of the expression in Thessaloniki> st'T'Salounik '> st'T'Salounik'> f (h) Salounik. The name of the city came from Salonika (h) in other languages of the region during the medieval times. The Turkophones and the Ottomans called the city Thessaloniki (Ottoman: سلاني, Turkish: Selânik) as well as the Jews, who settled in the city after the Ottoman conquest and spoke Spanish-Hebrew Latin, the Balkan Slavic populations: Solun ( Солун) and the Vlachs Saruna (Vlach: Sãrunã).
Establishment and development in the Hellenistic world
In the area of today's city and especially in Toumba, the International Fair, Karabournaki, Polichni, Nea Efkarpia, Stavroupoli and Pylaia there were prehistoric and later settlements and settlements. Until the 6th century BC. the area was inhabited by tribes such as the Phrygians, the Paeonians, the Mygdons etc. According to Hecataeus the Milesian, in his time the Thracians and the Greeks prevailed. The period 510 BC-480 BC. the area had been subjugated to the Persians. The Macedonians must have moved to the area of the Thermaic Gulf in the 6th century BC.
An important settlement was Thermi, which is placed by most archaeologists in Karabournaki. It had the largest and safest port in the region, otherwise Xerxes I of Persia would not have chosen it to anchor there and rest his fleet. Thermi was occupied in 431 BC. by the Athenians, who two years later handed it over to the Macedonian king Perdiccas II. In the second half of the 4th century BC, the Athenians again mediated in order for Thermi to fall under the rule of the legal heirs to the throne of Macedonia and not to the usurper Pausanias.
There are two main testimonies regarding the founding of Thessaloniki. The first belongs to the ancient historian Strabo and is the most prevalent among modern historians with differences in the year of foundation.
According to Strabo, in 316 BC. or 315 BC. Kassandros, general of Macedonia and curator of Alexander IV, the minor son of Alexander the Great, founded Thessaloniki. In fact, Thessaloniki was one of the two cities founded by Kassandros. The other was Plataea, Boeotia.
The second testimony is of Stephen of Byzantium, who considers Philip II as the founder of the city.
The prevailing view of the founding of Thessaloniki by the usurper of the throne of the kingdom of Macedonia, Kassandros, relates his choice to the perception of the strategic location of this innermost cavity of the Macedonian coastline, which could easily connect the hinterland with the sea. creating the conditions for a prosperous trade movement, while also providing security from raids.
In addition, Kassandros considered the armament of Thessaloniki as a second act, which would legitimize his claims to the Macedonian throne after his marriage to a descendant of the royal dynasty. In Hellenistic Thessaloniki, as far as we know, there were the tribes: Antigonis, Dionysia and Asklipia and the municipalities of Voukefalia and Kekropis.
With the ancient city of Thermi as its main axis, Kassandros
forced the populations of 26 local coastal settlements and villages
of the wider region and western Halkidiki to relocate, creating the
new state, which he named in honor of his wife, Thessaloniki. Due to
its location, which connected Macedonia with the Aegean Sea,
Thessaloniki in a very short time became the most important city in
all of Macedonia. The commercial importance of the city attracted
from early (3rd century BC) various settlers (Egyptians, Syrians,
Jews) increasing its population and topographic size, while
maintaining trade contacts with all ports of the East. From the
historical data it seems that the city had a permanent guard of
Very little is known about the Hellenistic history of the city. In the first years of Thessaloniki's life, the competition with the also Macedonian colony of Demitriados in the Pagasitic Gulf began. One could say that it surpassed the capital Pella in glory and splendor, since it was the base of the Macedonian fleet. The ancient Macedonians believed that the city was protected by the gods of Olympus. A section of a magnificent building has been unveiled in the modern Dioikitirio square, which may have been the royal residence of the Macedonian kings.
In 287 BC. When the kings Pyrrhus of Epirus and Lysimachus defeated the king of Macedonia Demetrius the Besieger, it seems that Thessaloniki fell temporarily to the possession of the first and later of the second. In all probability, Thessaloniki was walled up at the same time as its founding. However, the walls saved the city in 279 BC, when the Celts attempted to conquer it and were forced to leave for Delphi and Aetolia. After a series of upheavals, the Macedonian city fell to the Antigonids (277 BC). In 273 BC. In the city, the defeated by Pyrros, Antigonus Gonatas, took refuge in an attempt to regroup the army, in order to beat the invader Pyrros. There, in fact, a powerful fleet was built in its port, defeating the Ptolemaic. This benefited the nymph of Thermaikos. From the years of the reign of Antigonus II began the period of dense habitation of Thessaloniki. In a decree of Istiaia (270 BC-200 BC), two Thessalonians are mentioned in the list of its consuls, while in another of 224 BC / 223 BC. mentions a famous priest of Thessaloniki. At the same time between the years 239 BC. with 221 BC The visits of the two Antigonid kings to the city, Demetrius II and Antigonus III, are reported.
In 197 BC. Philip V took refuge in Thessaloniki after his defeat in the battle of Kynos Kefalos by the Romans. In 187 BC. the city minted its first coins with the inscription THESSALONIKI and depicted Dionysus, Hermes, Pegasus, the goat and the goat. Also on the 15th of December of the same year, Philip V issued a royal decree in a marble column, addressed to Andronikos' trusted representative, for the management of the Serapion. In 185 BC. King Antigonides accompanied the Roman embassy to Thessaloniki through the Valley of the Temples. There was a meeting between Macedonians and Romans about the fate of the Macedonians under Macedonian rule. After the end of the Thracian campaign (184 BC-183 BC) a conspiracy was revealed against Philip by his pro-Roman son, Demetrius, to overthrow him.
In order to overthrow the pro-Roman hearths of Macedonia that focused on the coastal cities, Philip transported settlers from the interior of the country to the coast and vice versa. These harsh measures displeased Thessaloniki, although this measure promoted its economy and military security. Eventually he devised his plan of extermination in Thessaloniki. This happened after wintering in the city in the winter of 181 BC / 180 BC. During the spring of 179 BC. Philip toured from Demitriada to Thessaloniki, showing the lords the successor he intended: Antigonus, nephew of Antigonus Doson.
It is worth mentioning during this period a child of Hellenistic
Thessaloniki, Ion. He was the leader together with Artemon of
Dolopia, a corps of 400 javelin throwers and an equal number of
slingers during the battle of Kallinikos (May 171 BC), which ended
with the victory of the Macedonians. He was also the protector of
Perseus' sons, whom he later handed over to the Romans after the
battle of Pydna. During the Roman-Macedonian wars, in June 169 BC,
the city, along with Aeneas, Cassandria and Antigoneia, heroically
repulsed the attacks of the Roman fleet of Gaius Mark Figos, in
which Eumenes II assisted. of Pergamon and Prussia II of Bithynia.
Then 500 Gauls of Thessaloniki, strengthened the defense of
Cassandreia, which again repulsed a naval attack by the Romans. At
the administrative level the city enjoyed controlled autonomy, which
was managed by the Church of the Municipality and the Parliament,
being at the same time under the sovereignty of the king, who
exercised his political power through civil servants - agents, the
Royal, while appointing the military administrator , the
Superintendent, who had as subordinates the Superintendent and the
The overthrow of the kingdom of Antigonids by the Roman troops of the high White Emilius Paul in 168 BC. brought Thessaloniki to the borders of the Roman Republic (Res publica). Two days after the defeat of Perseus at the Battle of Pydna, Thessaloniki was surrendered to the Romans (June 24, 168 BC). Perseus temporarily took refuge in the city, where he ordered its guard, Eumenes, to gather the Macedonian fleet in the port and set it on fire.
Until 148 BC, Thessaloniki was the capital of one of the four administrative districts into which the Romans had divided the Hellenistic kingdom, stretching from Strymon to Axios (Macedonia Secunda). However, after the suppression of the revolution of Andriskos, which seems not to have been supported by the Thessalonians, an administrative restructuring took place and Macedonia, with more extensive borders of the kingdom of Antigonids, was declared a Roman province (Provincia Macedonia), ruled by a viceroy with a capital praetor in Thessaloniki.
The construction of the Egnatia Road by the Romans between 146 BC-120 BC, the main military and commercial channel of the eastern administration, which connected the Adriatic Sea with the Hellespont and Asia Minor, promoted its significant importance. city and consolidated its protagonist's paradox within the growing state.
Thus until the second half of the 2nd BC. century, Thessaloniki had emerged as a dominant crossroads and a base of commercial and military activity. In fact, in the following years, the gradual expansion of the Roman state to the east and north resulted in the removal of the danger of barbaric invasions. The dangers reappeared on both the eastern and northern borders much later, when the Goths besieged the city in 254 and 268 AD.
In the civil conflict between the democrats and the imperialists, which followed the assassination of Julius Caesar (44 AD), the inhabitants of Thessaloniki sided with the latter. The complete victory of the emperors Antonios and Octavian against Brutus and Cassius in 42 AD. in Philippi led to the granting of more privileges to the city and the actual self-government with its proclamation as a "free city" - Civitas Libera.
During Roman rule, many deities were worshiped in Thessaloniki. Apart from the Dodecatheon, honors and worship were attributed to Dionysus, the Kaveri and the Egyptian deities Serapis, Isis and Arpocrates.
During the last pre-Christian century, more and more Jews moved to Thessaloniki, creating a large Jewish community, located near the port. In the synagogue of this community, the Apostle Paul preached the Christian faith in 50 AD. His two letters to the portion of its Christianized members, as well as former nationals of the city, are the oldest texts of the New Testament. However, there is no historical evidence that the Apostle Paul preached in a Jewish synagogue and the only reference in his letters has more to do with the concept of "synagogue" as a gathering.
The Christian community of Thessaloniki prospered and became a
model for all other Greek communities, as can be seen from the First
Epistle of the Apostle Paul, where he praises the local church.
Thessaloniki, like all of Macedonia, followed the long period of prosperity guaranteed by Pax Romana, the eponymous Roman peace that ruled the empire until about the end of the Antonin dynasty. The magnitude of its value is evident from the honorary titles bestowed on it by a number of emperors. During the main imperial period, many Thessalonians were granted the right of Roman citizenship (civitas Romana).
The secular regime ended when Caesar Galerius settled in Thessaloniki. Then began a fierce persecution of Christians. Among other things, Agios Dimitrios martyred in 305 in the city. However, apart from the religious persecutions, Thessaloniki benefited greatly when it was declared the seat of the Gallery, as it was decorated with many public buildings and upgraded politically. Its prosperity continued in the following years, when the emperor Constantine I built a port in front of the walls, which was used until the fall of the Byzantine Empire.
At the stage of the decline of the traditional Roman national-pagan state and the shift of its center of gravity to the east in order to transform in less than a century into the new state entity, which was later called Byzantine, Thessaloniki again played a significant role. Initially as the capital of Galerius and then as a candidate for the new capital of the state, it modeled the dynamics that would be involved during the Christian empire of the East.
The Byzantine Colonial city
The city was associated from the beginning with the historical figure who would transform the pagan Roman Empire into the longest-lived Christian kingdom, the founder of the Byzantine state, Constantine. In 324, Constantine, in the context of his dispute with Licinius, used Thessaloniki as a military base, building a new port, the nickname "digging port", in order to gather in it a fleet of 200 "three-masted" galleys and 2000 merchant ships, the which would carry his army of 120,000 men.
After the final domination of Constantine over Likinios in the battle of Chrysoupoli, the latter with the intervention of his sister and husband Constantine the Great was sent into exile to the fortress of the Acropolis of Thessaloniki. There, according to the historian Zosimos, he was assassinated on the orders of Constantine.
The transfer of the capital of the empire to the east, to the old colony of Megara, Byzantium, from here to Constantinople or New Rome, will contribute to the further promotion of Thessaloniki. The growing perception of its geostrategic importance and the works that are being built in the city, with the providence of the emperors Julian and Theodosius the Great, make it "the eye of Europe and, above all, of Greece". It becomes "Conqueror", is called "Megaloupolis" and holds the position of the next city of the empire after Constantinople (Thessaloniki after the great first Roman city).
Theodosius the Great, as Augustus of the East initially, used Thessaloniki as his seat. After repelling the Goths in 378, he embraced Christianity, at the urging of the bishop of Thessaloniki, Ascholio, and proceeded to the systematic fortification of the city, a task he assigned to the Persian Hormisdas. From Thessaloniki he issued the imperial decree which defined Christianity as the official religion of the state. Contrary to what one might expect, Theodosius was not popular with the Thessalonians, due to the gradual penetration of the Goths into the Byzantine army and especially into the imperial guard. Thus, in 390, when the commander of the Gothic garrison, Buterichos, captured a popular chariot race, riots broke out, during which he lost his life. In retaliation, Theodosius ordered the trapping and slaughter of 7,000 Thessalonians at the Hippodrome. Since then, the Hippodrome has not been reused.
Theodosius was imitated by other emperors, who settled in Thessaloniki in order to fight the invaders or the barbaric invaders. The trials of Thessaloniki from the invasions of the Gothic tribes continued until the end of the 5th century, when the city managed to ensure a short period of peace and prosperity. The Macedonian emperor Justinian also helped her, by giving special weight to her problems and reducing Thessaloniki to the capital of the Illyrian praetor (ie the Balkans).
By the time of the Iconoclasm, impressive public buildings and
many temples had been erected in the city. However, its walls, in
which enemy raids and siege attempts were crushed, proved more
useful. Between 527-688, the city repulsed dozens of raids by Slavs,
Avars, Persians, Draguvites, Sagudites and Verzites. The
Thessalonians said that they saw Saint Demetrius many times on the
walls, fleeing the invaders.
At the end of the 6th century the Slavic threat appeared, which was to plunder the city for the next two centuries. The Slavic tribes, initially under the leadership of the Avars and later autonomously, made many raids against Thessaloniki with the most important ones of 586 and 597. Finally, the Slavic aspirations were given in 688 by the emperor Justinian II, invoking Rinotmitos, who defeated the Slavs entered the city triumphantly.
When the Iconoclasm began, Thessaloniki became a place of exile for the iconoclasts of the queen. Among them was Saint Theodore the Studite. In reaction to the iconoclastic attitude of the Church of Rome, the emperor Leo III Isaurus seized the eastern Illyrian from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Rome and returned it to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. After this event the archbishop of Thessaloniki ceased to be the vicar of the Pope and the local church connected its course with the eastern ecclesiastical administration. In the second half of the 9th century, the mission to the Slavic peoples of the Thessalonian brothers Cyril and Methodius took place, whose action was connected with the beginning of Christianity and the literature of the Slavs. From Thessaloniki Cyril and Methodius started in 863 in order to Christianize the Arabs, the Khazars (in Georgia) and the Slavs (in Great Moravia).
In 904 the city was attacked by the Saracens (Arabs of the West) led by the Islamized Leo the Tripoli. The intensity of the attack and the unpreparedness of the siege led to its conquest and plunder. Thousands of inhabitants were slaughtered, while more were captured and sold as slaves. The following centuries were marked by unsuccessful attempts to occupy Thessaloniki and by the constant wars of the Byzantine Empire with its enemies, mainly in the Balkans. Nevertheless, the 10th and the beginning of the 11th century were characterized as a period of reconstruction and the empire was divided into "subjects". Thessaloniki became the capital of a subject that survived until the 15th century.
From the Norman conquest to the top of the Byzantine administration
In 1185 the Norman invaders occupied Durres and then Thessaloniki, a milestone in the history of the city. In the siege, which began on August 15, 1185, the Normans used 200 ships and 80,000 men to blockade the city from land and sea. The supply of the city was not sufficient, the commander of David Komnenos was not able to properly organize the defense, he abandoned the defenders and the reinforcements from Istanbul arrived too late. So the Normans, within a few days (August 24, 1185) after losing 3,000 soldiers, captured Thessaloniki, despite the heroic defense of the inhabitants, and looted it, killing 7,000 of its inhabitants. The main historian of the fall was the Archbishop of Thessaloniki Efstathios, from whose work "History of the fall of Thessaloniki under the Normans" most information is derived.
The occupation of Constantinople by the Franks in 1204 and the overthrow of the empire led the Thessalonians to negotiations with the Frankish ruler Boniface of Momferrato, the result of which was the surrender of the city on the condition of maintaining the old local privileges. Boniface founded the Kingdom of Thessaloniki, which was short-lived, as the city remained under Latin occupation for 20 years.
In 1224 the Despot of Epirus, Theodoros Komninos Doukas, occupied Thessaloniki and was anointed King and Emperor of the Romans by the Archbishop of Ohrid Dimitrios Chomatianos. Thessaloniki was proclaimed co-ruler (Constantinople remained king even though it was still occupied by the Latins) and became the capital of the Despotate of Epirus. Theodoros Doukas extended his territory to Edirne. But before launching the conquest of Istanbul, he wanted to subjugate Bulgaria.
The decline of Theodoros Doukas's state began with his defeat in
1230 at the Battle of Klokotnitsa by Ivan Assen II. Most of its
territory was occupied by the Bulgarians while in Thessaloniki the
successors of Theodore continued to reign until 1246, when it was
occupied by the emperor of Nicaea John III Dukas Vatatzis. In 1261,
Michael XVI Palaiologos occupied Constantinople, which again became
the capital of the Byzantines. Over the years, the position of
Thessaloniki was upgraded. In the 14th century it became a real
empire, as the Byzantine Empire was now based in the Balkans and not
in Asia Minor. The city was usually ruled by the emperor's son or
another member of the imperial dynasty.
The Zealots Movement and the Palaeologan Renaissance
Thessaloniki as a ruler was involved in the two civil wars, the first between Andronikos II and Andronikos III (1320-1328) and the second between John VI Kantakouzinos and John V Palaiologos (1341-1354). In fact, the attempt of Ioannis Kantakouzinos to occupy the city in 1342 led to the manifestation of a social revolution. The leaders of the insurgents were the Zealots, who came from the middle and lower social strata.
The revolutionary movement of the Zealots emerged as an original democratic island in the medieval world, where hegemony, the separation of the nobles from the people and the "mercy of God" administration were the absolute establishments. The struggle between the Grand Duke Alexios Apokafkos and Ioannis Kantakouzinos for dominance over the Byzantine throne led the empire into a civil war, which resulted in the creation of thousands of economic refugees, crowded in large urban centers such as Thessaloniki.
The growing dissatisfaction of the popular classes against the nobles, who supported Kantakouzenos, brought the attitude of the Zealots in 1342. At the beginning of the year the people of Thessaloniki, sided with Anna of Savoy and the Apocalypse and led by the Zealots, revolted. and looted the houses of the city governor and the wealthy nobles, while those aristocrats who could not escape were exiled and slaughtered. After imposing themselves completely in the city, the Zealots took power.
This early movement of proletarian claim prevailed until 1349 when a regime of self-government was imposed. The Zealots then tried to reach an agreement with the Serbian ruler Stefan Dusan, in order to strengthen their position. The people of Thessaloniki reacted and the counter-revolution, organized by members of the imperial court, overthrew the Zealots, whose leaders were forced to leave the city.
In 1350 Anna of Savoy settled in the city, who ruled in the name of her son, John V. Contrary to what might be expected, the political unrest did not prevent the city from flourishing. During the first half of the 14th century, many scholars lived in Thessaloniki and temples, monasteries and secular public buildings were built. Especially in the field of art, the schools of Thessaloniki influenced the entire Balkan Christian world and Russia. This whole spiritual movement was called the Palaeologan Renaissance and is the period during which the ruling Thessaloniki claims the spiritual primacy of the empire. After 1350, the greatest theologian of the 14th century and pioneer of the Hesychasm movement, Saint Gregory Palamas, settled in Thessaloniki. The hesychastic movement, although it was a brake on the teaching of philosophical studies and classical education, nevertheless renewed the monastic movement and art that continued to survive on Mount Athos even after the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire.
The Ottoman advance into the European territories of the Byzantine Empire and the gradual occupation of the Balkan Peninsula manifested their effects in Thessaloniki, which, excluded from the land and without the possibility of receiving foreign aid in 1387, after a four-year siege, became a tax haven. AD and accepted an Ottoman guard. Two years later, and in a climate of uncertainty that temporarily prevailed after the assassination of Sultan Murad I, the Thessalonians drove out the Ottoman garrison of the city.
The historian Doukas mentions the destruction of Thessaloniki in 1391 by Bayezid I due to the escape of Manuel II from the sultan's court and his rise to emperor. From that time there is the first reference in Greek sources for child molestation, the forced Islamization of children. This happened in 1395 and refers to a consoling speech of the then Archbishop of Thessaloniki Isidoros to the parents of the children. Thessaloniki is considered to be the first major Greek city to pay this "blood tax".
The first Ottoman occupation of the city lasted until 1403 when
Emperor Manuel, taking advantage of the defeat of Bayezid by the
Mongols of Tamerlane at the Battle of Ankara (1402) and the ensuing
civil strife between his sons for succession, succeeded in
Thessaloniki in exchange for his contribution to Bayezid's son,
The alleviation of the internal problems of the Ottoman hegemony, its new aggressive momentum against the Byzantine lands but also the weakness of the decadent empire in their defense led in 1423 Andronikos Palaiologos, son of the emperor of Thessaloniki Manolos to Paul to the Venetians.
The seven-year occupation by the troops of the Venetian Republic was essentially a period of decline for the city. Its naval and land blockade by the Ottomans meant its economic weakening, which in combination with the dynastic behavior of the Venetians intensified popular discontent.
During the siege under Sultan Murad II the city resisted and did not accept the sultan's proposal for surrender. Then the sultan "preached with a trumpet (to his army) saying: I give you everything in the city, men, women, children, silver and gold, just leave the city to me". Finally, the "ruling city" of the Eastern Roman Empire was finally occupied by the Ottomans on March 29, 1430 after a strong siege of three days. Wild plunder and captivity of the inhabitants followed. The captives are estimated at about 7,000. Some of them were released after being bought by relatives and friends, others were not sold, while part of the population had already left before the fall and did not return. The sultan allowed those who were liberated to settle in the city and keep their property, while he confiscated all the property that was left homeless and distributed it to the Ottomans who settled in the suburbs (Genitze Vardar). At first he did not bother the churches and monasteries, but after he returned two years later and after the Ottomans had settled in the suburbs, he confiscated churches and monasteries with their property and income. He donated the most important of them to his confidants or changed them into mosques and seminaries. He left to the Christians only four small churches, including that of Agios Dimitrios.
The first years of the Ottoman conquest were difficult, as the war fronts were still close, the population had greatly decreased and trade was steadily declining. In fact, according to sources of the time, the inhabitants of the city did not exceed 2,000 people at the time immediately after its conquest. Sultan Murad II brought 1,000 families of Yuruks from Giannitsa and Christians from Halkidiki. The multinational character of the Ottoman Empire and its relative tolerance of the "peoples of the Bible", as indicated by the prevailing Islamic law, helped to settle the persecuted Jews. Thessaloniki received Ashkenazi Jews from Central European countries and Sephardim, who were expelled from Spain after the final overthrow of the Arab state of Granada. It is estimated that by the end of the 15th century, almost 20,000 Jews from Spain had settled in Thessaloniki, which radically changed the image of the city. In the census of 1519, Thessaloniki had 29,220 inhabitants, of whom 53.8% were Jews, 23.5% Muslims and 22.7% Christians.
Between 1520 and 1530 the city had 2645 Jewish families, 1229 Ottoman and 989 Christian. The Jews of Central Europe (Ashkenazim), who began to settle in Thessaloniki in 1376, were not assimilated by the larger Jewish population that arrived after 1492 from Spain, as they remained committed to their own traditions. The Jews were the dominant element of the city, both demographically and economically. The different religious communities lived in different neighborhoods. At the beginning of the 17th century there were 56 Jewish quarters, 48 Muslim and 16 Christian.
The population of the urban center fluctuated considerably,
mainly due to the frequent fires and the many epidemics that plagued
the city until the 18th century. Disagreements were also frequent,
not so much between the three religious communities, but within each
other. Most important was the presence and action of the
pseudo-media Sabethai Sevi, who initially presented himself as the
Messiah to the Jews of Thessaloniki, but later (1666) embraced Islam
along with many thousands of his followers, who were called
"donmedes".  Most disputes among Muslims were caused by social
inequalities and janissary uprisings. The most important dispute
concerning the Greek Christian community was the dispute over the
management of the community between the metropolitan of Thessaloniki
and the rulers of the city.
From an economic point of view, the city began to prosper after 1520. At that time, handicrafts (textiles, goldsmithing, carpet weaving, tannery) and international trade developed. This flourishing continued until the middle of the 17th century. Then the economic data changed, as world trade moved to the Atlantic and the Ottoman Empire itself entered a phase of decline. The hardship lasted until the second decade of the 18th century, when trade resumed, this time to Austria and Russia, mainly through tobacco, wool and cotton. Growth was to continue until the Napoleonic Wars (1798-1814), when the recession that struck Europe did not leave the Ottoman Empire unaffected. Freight traffic began to increase steadily after 1840.
Although at the beginning of the 19th century the Greeks had come to compete in population and economy with the Jewish community -especially after the great massacre at the outbreak of the Greek Revolution of 1821- Thessaloniki continued to be until 1912 a unique, global city phenomenon with such a large Jewish community, and was called by the Jews themselves "Jerusalem of the Balkans" and "Mother of Israel".
Thessaloniki or Thessaloniki, according to the Turkish variant of its name, continued throughout its stay within the borders of the sultanate to be an important administrative, economic and religious center with a role similar to that held in the Byzantine period. Bath complexes, Islamic monasteries, mosques were erected, and several Christian temples were converted into places of Muslim worship. The church of Agios Dimitrios was converted into a mosque in 1491 and remained so until its liberation in 1912. Until the Hati-Humayun decree (1856) it was not allowed to build new Christian churches in places where there were no pre-existing temples. In 1669, the French monk Robert de Dro mentioned Thessaloniki as one of the most beautiful and famous cities in Greece. In 1737, the French priest and writer Joseph de la Porte reported that Thessaloniki numbered 48 mosques, 30 churches and 36 synagogues.
The Greek revolution of 1821
The Thessalonians organized and organized Hellenism from a very early age, in order to create the conditions for a universal Greek revolution. The scholar from Thessaloniki, Grigorios Zalykis, was the pioneer of the establishment of the secret organization Ellinoglosso Hotel, the forerunner of the Friendly Society, in Paris in 1809.
The merchant Michael Ouzounidis was one of the original members of the Friendly Society. Also, the teacher and scholar Miltiadis Agathonikos contributed a lot as a teacher to the awakening of the Greeks. Other notable members of the Friendly Society from Thessaloniki were the diplomat Dimitrios Argyropoulos, Ioannis Skandalidis, Nikolaos Ouzounidis, Pantazis Bakaloglous and the merchants Moschos Sakellios, Athanasios Skandalos, Christodoulos Palos. Sporadic uprisings with mainly social demands, coming from the Greek population, were relatively easily suppressed by the administration. However, the Ottomans showed special cruelty with the outbreak of the revolution in Halkidiki in March 1821 by the banker and merchant Emmanuel Papa, when retaliation was applied against the Greeks in Thessaloniki. Firman of May 3, 1821 reported:
The movement of the unbelievers and cursed Greeks in Moldavia, spread to the country beyond Thessaloniki, provoked anarchy and turmoil among the inhabitants there ... From these events it was once shown that this revolution of the unbelievers has a general character. devised and pre-planned after consultation of the whole tribe.
At the proclamation of the commander-in-chief of the Ottoman army
to the Muslims of Thessaloniki, all Muslims aged 16-60 were called
to take up arms against the revolutionaries. A fee of four piastres
was announced for each head that would be delivered to the camp.
Signed by Abdul Kabul Mohammed, "commander of the faithful of
Macedonia and Thessaly".
Initially about 400 Christians, 100 of whom were Mount Athos monks, were taken hostage, most of whom were later executed. Most of the massacres took place in May 1821, marking the beginning of a period of terrorism, which lasted until 1823, the year in which the Macedonian revolutionary movements were suppressed.
During the Greek Revolution of 1821 the Ottomans also killed the commissioner of the metropolitan of Thessaloniki and bishop Kitros Meletios, the nobles (members of the Friendly Society) Georgios Vlalis, Christos Menexes (commissioner of the church of Agios Minas), Christodoulos Georgios Balaos Polydoros, Athanasios Skandalidis, Anastasios Gounari, Dimitrios Pappas, Anastasios Kidoniatis, Argyros Tapouchtsis from Epanomi etc. in the then Alevragoras square (today's market Kapani - Vlali), on May 18 . Massacres also took place in the area of Rotonda and at the Axios Gate. Similar scenes unfolded in the courtyard of the metropolitan church of St. Gregory of Palamas, where 2,000 Greeks had taken refuge, and many of them were eventually killed by the Turkish mob. Later, in 1822, the Greek prominent and consul of Denmark, Emmanuel Kyriakou, was strangled after many days of imprisonment.
In total, the Greeks of Thessaloniki who fell victim to the executions of the Ottomans are estimated at 25,000 in 1821 alone, which caused an irreparable blow to the Greek community of the city (the Greek community recovered in the 1880s, ie 60 years later). Important personalities of Thessaloniki who led the Greek games at that time were Grigorios Zalykis, Miltiadis Agathonikos, Konstantinos Tattis, Ioannis Goutas Kaftantzoglou, Ioannis Michael (who participated in the General Assembly of the National Assembly, Ioannis Troizinas, Paikos, Antonios Papachristou, Anastasios Boudelis and others.
It is characteristic that the first secretary of the Parliament of the First National Assembly of Epidaurus was Ioannis Skandalidis from Thessaloniki, one of the proxies of Macedonia, while the beginning of the Revolution was proclaimed by Dimitrios Argyropoulos from Thessaloniki on February 21st, February 21st. The revolution in Macedonia ended around the end of May 1822. After that many warriors landed in Central and Southern Greece where they continued the struggle.
The villages near Thessaloniki also suffered great damage, especially to the area of Halkidiki, even those that did not revolt. The situation of the province during June and July 1821 is reported by an English eyewitness. After the uprising of Greek villages in Halkidiki, many Muslims took refuge in Thessaloniki for protection while their villages were burned. The Turkish army counterattacked and looted and burned Vasilika, Karabournou, Epanomi and Galatista and others, even those that had not revolted like Zagliveri. The monks of the Monastery of Agia Anastasia (Pharmacist) were beheaded despite opening the doors and welcoming the Turks. Large numbers of Jews followed the Turkish army and bought booty at low prices. Women and children were sold as slaves, old women for 40-60 piastres and women and children for 200-300. The entire area of Kalamaria (meaning western Halkidiki) which numbered about 60,000 inhabitants was destroyed and deserted.
Prominent and ordinary Greeks were held hostage or even killed by beatings, while the Greeks also killed the Turks they captured. The Turkish administration forcibly extracted large sums of money that the Greeks, in order to save, pledged valuable objects and church utensils at low prices or borrowed from the Jews at an interest rate of 30-50%.
Development course and Macedonian Struggle
The end of the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829 brought calm to the European territories of Turkey and the consequent economic development. The positive climate was intensified by the Tanzimat reforms from the end of the 1830s. Thessaloniki further increased its commercial power while at the same time the reconstruction of important administrative, educational and private buildings began. The last decades of the 19th century saw a significant increase in population, from 50,000 in 1865 to 90,000 in 1880 and 120,000 in 1895.
In 1877, while international fermentations were taking place that
led to the Treaty of Agios Stefanos, Romanian newspapers published
statistics with Romanian populations in Thessaly, Epirus and
Macedonia in an attempt to appropriate the Vlachs. In this context,
they presented statistics of the Romanian consulate in Thessaloniki,
presenting Thessaloniki with a population of 20,000 Romanians. This
was followed by strong reactions and incidents caused by the Greek
students from Thessaloniki outside the Romanian consulate which
ended in a majestic silent parade (several thousand protesters)
ending at the Romanian consulate. Representatives of the Israeli
community of the city also participated in the silent demonstration,
in order to support the Greekness of the Christian population of the
The consequence of the reactions was that the Ottoman Governor of Thessaloniki published official statistics presenting the Greek population at 25,000 (out of a total of almost 90,000 inhabitants) and expelled the Romanian consul. During the Macedonian Struggle, the Thessalonians organized, founding the Philoptochos Brotherhood of Men of Thessaloniki in 1871 which developed intense national action. The prominent of the city Konstantinos Matsas tried as early as 1899 to equip the Hellenism of the city, realizing the impending danger. Important Thessaloniki chiefs were Georgios Savvas and Georgios Pentzikis. On January 20, 1904, a large anti-Bulgarian rally took place in the city, with the participation of 6,000 Greek protesters. By 1908, the Thessalonians succeeded in overthrowing the Bulgarian effort to create nuclei of the Bulgarian population in the city, by transporting and settling Bulgarian immigrants.
The Neo-Turkish movement and the national liberation movements
The current of nationalist ideology, which followed the French Revolution and spread throughout the Old Continent, began, gradually growing in the 19th century, to influence the Balkan ethnic groups, which were in Ottoman territory. A first case of these was the massacre of consuls in Thessaloniki that took place on May 6, 1876.
The Greek element strongly clashed with the Bulgarian, which with the action of the komitatzids tried to convert the Orthodox populations from the normal jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Bulgarian Exarchate Church with the aim of Bulgarianizing them. After the Aprilians of 1903, this conflict culminated in the years 1904-1908, during the Macedonian Struggle, where the headquarters of the Greek fighters was the Greek consulate in Thessaloniki (today the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle).
Along with the nationalist movements, another movement was developing with executives from the military and intellectual elite of the Ottoman Empire and its center in Thessaloniki. The aims of this movement were the democratization, the modernization and the transformation into a European-style constitutional monarchy of the faltering and declining Empire and its political springboard was the "Committee for Unity and Progress" (İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti) - Committee of the Union and Progress whose action began in 1896 and in its ranks included progressive personalities from the dominant Macedonian ethnicities led by the Turks. The members of this committee became known as the Neo-Turks (Jön Türkler - Jones Türkler from the French Jeunes Turcs) and in its first steps became a body of bourgeois change with anti-imperialist rhetoric.
In June 1908, the Neo-Turks had the power to demand from Sultan Abdul Hamid II a change of state to a constitutional monarchy. Thus, with an impressive military move, the third corps of the Ottoman army started from Thessaloniki in the direction of the headquarters of the House of Ottomans, Istanbul, where the Neo-Turkish Revolution culminated, resulting in the concession of the Constitution on July 24, 1908.
The conservative Paleo-Turkish counter-revolution of 1909 helped the authoritarian Abdul Hamid abolish constitutional privileges. Soon, however, the Neo-Turks regained control of the situation, forcing the Sultan to resign and detaining his moderate brother, Mehmet E. Resat. Abdul Hamid was taken to the political center of the Neo-Turks, Thessaloniki, where he remained under guard at the Allatini Mansion (today's historic building of the Region of Central Macedonia) until 1912.
The last important event of the Ottoman rule in Thessaloniki was
the visit to the city of Mehmet on May 31, 1911, as part of his tour
of the European territories of the Empire. The highlight of the
visit was the parade of ethnic groups in front of the monarch and
his impressive pilgrimage to the Hagia Sophia, according to the
official formal of Friday's pilgrimage to the Hamidiye Mosque in
Liberation from the Ottoman Empire
The proof of the real political intentions of the leading group of the Neo-Turks, whose main goal was the Turkification of the Ottoman Empire, through the elimination of the minorities, and the hardening of the state policy towards them brought the outbreak of the First Balkan War. The four Balkan kingdoms, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro, declared war on the Ottoman Empire, seeking to conquer and divide its European territories, inhabited by a significant portion of their "unredeemed" compatriots.
The city of Thessaloniki was the disputed "booty" between Greeks and Bulgarians. The victories of the Greeks in important battles had created a positive atmosphere in the army, which was heading for the conquest of the Monastery, a Balkan city with a prosperous Greek population. The head of the army of Thessaly and commander-in-chief, Successor Constantine, after the victorious Battle of Sarandaporos was moving towards the Monastery. The information to the Greek government, however, referred to the advance of the Bulgarian troops further south, with the aim of occupying Thessaloniki. Venizelos telegraphed to Konstantinos to move quickly to Thessaloniki, but when he found out that the successor was obstructing, he sent the famous telegram:
Once you have received this, hand over the command of the army to its Commander.
General Staff Lieutenant General Daglin and leave immediately for Athens,
at the disposal of the Minister of the Army.
E. Venizelos, Minister of the Army
After the intervention of King George, the Greek army of Thessaly, changing course, moved to Thessaloniki, where it arrived after the Battle of Giannitsa (October 19) on October 25, 1912, encircling it.
The Ottoman military officers of Thessaloniki, led by the commander of the 8th corps of the Ottoman army, Hasan Thaksin Pasha, realized that possible resistance would not bring substantial result and made proposals for surrender to Constantine. After all, from the Ottoman point of view, there was a preference for the surrender of the city to the Greeks due to the perception that the Bulgarians would commit atrocities against the Muslim population. Constantine, however, did not accept the Ottoman proposal and demanded "unconditional" surrender of the city. At the same time, the Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos, being aware of the movements of the 7th Bulgarian Division, which was approaching Thessaloniki, warned the Successor to speed up the process with the following telegram:
Please accept the offered hymn tradition of Thessaloniki and enter
this without delay. I make you responsible for any postponement even for a moment.
Minister of Defense E. Venizelos
Thus, on the night of October 26-27, 1912 (Julian calendar), the plenipotentiary officers, Victor Dousmanis and Ioannis Metaxas, signed in Thessaloniki the protocols for the surrender of the city by the Ottoman administration to the Greek army and on the afternoon of October 27 the first two Greek eunuch divisions of the Kleomenos division.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarians, who had approached the city, pressured Hassan Thaksin Pasha to sign a similar protocol with them. Their proposal, however, was not accepted with the characteristic answer of the Ottoman general: "I have only one Thessaloniki, which I have already surrendered". Nevertheless, the Bulgarian claims did not stop until the Second Balkan War, when its victorious result, for the Greek side, brought a final solution to the issue.
Another factor that tried to influence the territorial regime of Thessaloniki, was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which with the support of Germany unsuccessfully sought the internationalization of the city. Another section of the Jewish community promoted a proposal for an autonomous regime under Israeli rule abroad.
On October 29, King George I entered the city at the head of army
units and on October 30, Metropolitan Gennadios of Thessaloniki
performed a eulogy at the then Cathedral of Agios Minas "on the
liberation of the city" after 482 years of continuous Ottoman
After the liberation in 1912, the Ottoman administrative structure of the city was maintained for a long time to avoid the economic and social disintegration of the city. It is characteristic that in the days after the surrender of the city, the Ottoman gendarmerie continued armed to maintain order, while the mayor Osman Sait remained mayor, with a few breaks until 1922. In March 1913, King George I was assassinated in Thessaloniki.
Greece has not participated in World War I since its outbreak despite calls for an alliance from both rival factions. However, with the excuse of helping Serbia, but also indifference to the national independence of Greece, Entente forces landed in the city in October 1915 in order to blackmail Greece's entry into the war.
The Balkan Front was formed, consisting of tens of thousands of men and intended to provide support to Serbia and Russia. The National Divide, as the controversy (1916) between King Constantine IBS and Eleftherios Venizelos was called over Greece's exit from the First World War, led to the formation of a second government by Venizelos, based in Thessaloniki. The "Provisional Government of National Defense" consisted of Venizelos, Daglis and Koundouriotis the so-called "Triandria". Thus Greece entered the war, on the side of Entente, leading at the same time to the expulsion of King Constantine I in favor of his son Alexander.
The great fire of 1917 was the worst disaster the city suffered in recent years. It completely destroyed buildings of rare architectural value in the city center, shops, churches, mosques and synagogues and mainly thousands of houses, leaving 72,000 residents homeless, and caused huge economic and social problems in the city already burdened by the influx of refugees. war zones and Thrace under Bulgarian rule.
The new city was built on the site of these buildings, based on a plan drawn up by the French architect Ernest Emprar. After the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922, but also in the period 1923-1924, in the framework of the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange agreed with the Treaty of Lausanne, refugees from Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace settled in the city. The influx of refugees was so intense that it forced the establishment of new, exclusively refugee neighborhoods and settlements, such as Naples and Kalamaria, while the Muslim population of the city was included in the "interchangeable" who were forced to move to Turkey.
In 1925, with the help of Alexandros Papanastasiou, the University was founded in the city, which later (1954) was renamed Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in honor of the philosopher Aristotle and today is the largest educational institution in Greece. The first International Exhibition of Thessaloniki was inaugurated on October 3, 1926.
Throughout the interwar period, the social upheavals caused by the activism of a large number of refugee workers and the capacity of Jewish workers, gave a great impetus to the already developed labor movements in the city. As early as 1908, the socialist organization Federation was founded under the leadership of Abraham Benaroya, which pioneered the organization of the trade union movement and later the creation of SEKE / KKE. At the beginning of the 1930s and until the imposition of the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas, in Thessaloniki there were continuous demonstrations and strikes by groups of workers such as tobacco workers, tram workers, etc. The workers' mobilizations culminated in the city in May 1936, with the great strike and demonstration of the tobacco workers, which was drowned in blood by the dictatorial government of Metaxa, with a total of twelve dead, including the 25-year-old motorist Tassos Tousis More than 280 people were injured. The photo that immortalized Tasos Tousis's mother mourning him alone in the middle of the street, at the intersection of Venizelou and Egnatia streets, was published in the press and was the inspiration for Giannis Ritsos.
At the same time, several nationalist / anti-Zionist
organizations appeared in response to the large presence of Jewish
workers, with various problems, most notably the burning of
Campbell, a Jewish slum in Kalamaria, on June 29, 1931.
Occupation and National Resistance
During World War II, on April 9, Thessaloniki was occupied by Nazi forces. The Jews were confined to the Hirsch community, their property confiscated and divided between German officers and Greek collaborators. Eventually, the entire Jewish population of the city was taken to the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz II Birkenau and Bergen-Belzen. About 46,000 Jews from Thessaloniki were exterminated during that period. On May 15, 1941, a month after the occupation of the country by the occupiers, the first resistance organization in Greece, "Eleftheria", was founded in the Eptalofos refugee district of Asia Minor, with its newspaper of the same name and the first illegal printing house in the same district. . Executions of Greeks during the occupation took place systematically at the Dudular (Diavata) positions, at the Sedes airport and mainly at the "Pavlos Melas" Camp, at Eptapyrgio and at the Red House in Damari.
On May 11, 1944, the Nazis executed eight young resistance fighters, aged 20-30, in the area of Kaistri between Eptalofos and Xirokrini. The city was liberated on October 30, 1944.
Second half of the 20th century until today
In 1954 the Minister of Public Works K. Karamanlis demolished the tram lines of Thessaloniki and abolished the tram line Depo-Tsimiski. The tram operated from 1893 as a horse and from 1908 as an electric one. In 1957, K. Karamanlis, as Prime Minister, abolished the rest of the tram network and in his place founded the monopoly private Urban Transport Organization of Thessaloniki.
On May 27, 1963, Grigoris Lambrakis, a physician, athlete and politician, was assassinated by paramilitaries, causing an international outcry over the authoritarian practices of the Karamanlis government that fueled the uncontrolled paramilitary mechanism in Greece, culminating in the assassination in Thessaloniki. The Lambraki case revived George Papandreou's relentless struggle and played perhaps the most important role in the fall of the Karamanlis government in the same year.
During the Dictatorship, many persecutions and tortures of resistance fighters took place, culminating in the murder - after torture - by the security organs of George Tsarouchas, a former member of the EDA. and executives of the K.K.E. In Thessaloniki on September 5, 1967, Giannis Chalkidis (member of the Lambraki Democratic Youth of Ampelokipi and the United Democratic Left and member of the resistance-dictatorship organization Patriotic Front) was cold-bloodedly killed by the gendarme Antonis Lepitis .
On June 20, 1978, a major earthquake caused a total of 49 deaths and property damage of 1.2 billion euros, which were soon repaired. 220 people were injured. This earthquake was the first to hit a large urban center in Greece.
The European Center for the Development of Vocational Training - Cedefop, one of the decentralized agencies of the European Union, was established in 1995 in Thessaloniki with the mission of developing and implementing European policies for vocational education and training.
In 1997 Thessaloniki was the European Capital of Culture and in 2014 the European Youth Capital.
During the period 26 - 28 October 2012 the city celebrated the 100th anniversary of its liberation. In 2017, during the celebrations, the arrival of the historic Battleship Averoff took place in the port of the city.