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

Aristotelous Square

Aristotelous Square is the central and busiest square of the city.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1918 Designed.

    1922 The site was full of refugee shanties.

    1923 The facades of the buildings along the entire axis of Aristotelous Square (Plateia, Ano Plateia and Aristotelous Street), were determined by special decree.

    1950 Completed during this decade.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  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

This is the city’s main square, referred to as the “omphalos” (=navel) of Thessaloniki, and one of the most historic in the country. Together with Aristotelous Street and Upper Aristotelous Square it forms the city’s “axis”, as envisioned by architect, archaeologist and urban planner Ernest Hébrard. The Hébrard committee designed a seaside square, overlooking Mount Olympus, home of the gods of Greek mythology. The surrounding buildings have eclectic elements, among other architectural influences, such as columns and arches, which point directly to the Byzantine heritage of Thessaloniki. One can also discern elements influenced by other European cities. The most important buildings are the two corner ones, the Olympion and Electra, which designed by Jacques Moshe and built in the 1950s and 1960s respectively. In Aristotelous Square you can enjoy one of many cafés or have a drink at night and go shopping in the surrounding area. Among the square’s hallmarks are its loveable stray cats and dogs, an integral part of the city’s fabric.

What I can't see

Prior to the fire of 1917, this area was the Jewish quarter Ets Haim, one of the largest in the city. The city’s redesign after the fire that completely destroyed the district was clearly aimed at the equalization among ethnic groups and the weakening of the Jewish community, without meanwhile excluding it from the purchase of land, housing and activities at the centre. After the reconstruction, this square was the only one that materialized according to the impressive but ambitious design by the Hébrard Committee. Starting as early as the interwar period, movie theatres were in operation here, while during the 1960s, the area was established as the central gathering place of pre-election rallies. The western side of the square was occupied by the Mediterranean Palace Hotel, which was demolished in 1978 due to the irreversible damage it suffered from consecutive earthquakes. The square is often filled with crowds attending demonstrations, rallies, election campaign events and concerts during which they are treated to a view of the sea and Mount Olympus in the background. It became known to international audiences when a best-selling vodka brand featured it in an ad, which showed a magnificent aerial view that matched the brand’s distinct bottle shape.


Karadimou-Gerolympou A. (1995). The reconstruction of Thessaloniki after the fire of 1917: A milestone in the history of the city and in the development of Greek urban planning. University Studio Press

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

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

Ζafeiris Ch., (2006), Θεσσαλονίκης τοπιογραφία, [Thessaloniki’s landscape], Thessaloniki: Epikentro

Tomanas Κ., (1997), Οι πλατείες της Θεσσαλονίκης μέχρι το 1944, [The squares of Thessaloniki until 1944], Thessaloniki: Nisides