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Cedar Hill (Sheikh Sou)

The Cedar Hill (Sheikh Sou) covers an area of approximately 3,000 acres with gentle terrain and an altitude of 450 metres.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    Afforestated during the 1930s.

    1997 Almost 55% of the forest was burned.

  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

Cedar Hill is part of Mount Hortiatis and is the suburban forest between Thessaloniki, Panorama and Asvestochori, which covers an area of approximately 3,000 acres with gentle terrain and an altitude of 450 metres. It is the only big “lung” of green within the city. It includes mostly pine-trees, cypresses, oaks, sycamores and poplar-trees. It hosts 277 species of plants (e.g. digitalis, paliouri), mammals (e.g. rabbits, foxes, weasels, badgers, ferrets), insectivorous animals (e.g. hedgehogs), rodents (e.g. squirrels, rats, forest-rats) and 80 bird species (e.g. the short-toed eagle, cuckoos, hoopoes, nightingales, owls). Apart from its ecological value, Cedar Hill offers a panoramic view of the city, especially from the “kiosks” and “view venues” near Forest Theatre. This is a rare place, ideal for walking, though running and cycling here should be attempted by those who don’t mind a bit more adventure and exercise.

What I can't see

The hill is also called “Sheikh Sou” or “Thousand Trees”. “Sheikh Sou” means “the sheikh’s water” in Turkish, probably a reference to the water spring that existed in the region of a Thousand Trees, during the Ottoman period. Until the 1930s, trespassing, overgrazing and illegal logging caused the degradation of the hill, which became fallow land. It was thus necessary to start a reforestation project for ecological and anti-flooding purposes. An estimated 55% of the forest was burned in 1997 by Turkish secret agents, along with woodland in the island of Ikaria as well as Mount Penteli in Athens. The above was implied in an interview given by former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz to Turkish daily Birgun. The reforestation was immediate and continues to this day. It should be noted that 23.3% of Greek avifauna species is found here. The Ministry of Culture listed the hill as a landscape of outstanding natural beauty, thanks to its massive ecological value.


Unsigned, (2011), Μεσούτ Γιλμάζ: “Τούρκοι πράκτορες έκαιγαν τα ελληνικά δάση”, [Mesut Yilmaz: ‘Turkish agents were burnign greek forests] in tvxs

Last visit 30/8/2014

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

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

Sheikh Sou, (d.u.), Σέιχ Σου, χλωρίδα- βλάστηση, πανίδα, [Sheikh Sou, flora- greenery, fauna]

Last visit 30/8/2014