Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Arch of Galerius (Kamara)

The Arch of Galerius is part of an extensive imperial complex.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    1889 The first restoration efforts began.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    299 A.D. Galerius decides to settle in Thessaloniki.

    305 A.D. Constructed slightly earlier than this date.

    311 A.D. Galerius dies.

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

At the crossroad of Egnatia Street and Dimitriou Gounari pedestrian Street, one can admire the Arch of Galerius, best known as “Kamara”. This is one of the most important monuments of Thessaloniki, a busy hub for Thessalonians and a major landmark. The three pillars that have survived from the brick arch (two large, one small), support two arcs (the main one and a smaller one). The two main pillars are impressively decorated with marble repousses of battle scenes, triumphs, sacrifices and rulers’ portraits, whose colours have unfortunately faded. For decoration reasons, the natural proportions are ignored. Elephants are the same size as camels or the walls of a city do not exceed the height of human figures. These scenes are arranged in horizontal zones, separated by decorative bands. The monumental base of the Arch’s pillars is composed of marble steps. The upper part of the base –right where it meets the lower part of the Arch– is crowned with a marble cornice, which runs along the walls of the monument.

What I can't see

The triumphal arch, one of the most impressive of its kind, is part of an extensive imperial complex, which occupied much of the eastern part of the Roman Thessaloniki. Galerius, a Caesar of the Roman Empire and one of its Tetrarchs, decided to settle in Thessaloniki which was flourishing at this time, after his victorious campaign against the Persians (296-297 AD). Together with the imperial palace and the Rotunda, which was a circumcentral religious building, he constructed this arch at the most conspicuous spot between the palace and the Rotunda and right above the Via Regia, the city’s most prominent street (Egnatia Street). The monument is no longer as glorious as it was in ancient times. Originally, there were four massive pillars in the corners of a domed square, which formed a monumental quadriporticus. A few smaller pillars supported the smaller arcs positioned on both sides of the large ones. The statues of Galerius, Diocletian, Maximian and Constantius Chloros probably also adorned the monument. Nowadays, only one side of this complex tetragonal structure has survived. The most serious enemy of the monument is air pollution.


  • Address: Egnatia St.


Mazower M., (2006), Θεσσαλονίκη. Πόλη των φαντασμάτων, χριστιανοί, μουσουλμάνοι και εβραίοι 1430- 1950, [Salonica. City of ghosts], Athens: Alexandreia Publications

Adam- Veleni P., (2001), Θεσσαλονίκηνεράιδα, βασίλισσα, γοργόνα, [Thessaloniki, fairy, queen, mermaid], Ζitros/ 958fm

Zafeiris Ch., (1997), Θεσσαλονίκης Εγκόλπιον, ιστορία, πολιτισμός, η πόλη σήμερα, γεύσεις, μουσεία, μνημεία, διαδρομές, [Thessaloniki Handbook, history, culture, the city today, flavours, museums, routes], Athens: Exantas

Kourkoutidou- Nikolaidou E., Tourta A., (1997), Περίπατοι στη Βυζαντινή Θεσσαλονίκη, [Walks in the Byzantine Thessaloniki], Athens: Kapon publications

Gkioles N, (1992), Παλαιοχριστιανική τέχνη, Ναοδομία, [Old Christian art, Church Architecture], Athens: Kardamitsa

Karamitsios G., (2017), Θεσσαλονίκη, 100 μικρές ιστορίες, [Thessaloniki, 100 little stories] Ιanos