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Dikastirion Square

Dikastirion Square connects the axis of Aristotelous with the Roman Agora.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1931 A circus with animals was set up. There was a rumor that the animals were fed with living meat. Children collected cats and dogs, in exchange for a ticket. Their disappointment was great when they found out that they fell victims of misinformation.

    1946 Dimitris Kofitsas is murdered on October 7.

  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

Most of Dikastirion Square is covered with greenery. The northern half has many trees and shrubs and includes a children’s playground, while 2/3 of the southern part belongs to the surrounding areas of Bey Hammam and Panagia Chalkeon Church. The central part of the south side is a plateau, with the statue of Eleftherios Venizelos dominating. The two vertical pedestrian crossing axes encourage mobility. In fact, the square is part of a walk, the Ano Poli- Aristotelous- Seafront route. The square’s paving creates patterns and shapes. They probably indicate the continuation of the Roman Agora’s monuments underneath. Despite the socializing activities (e.g. many people play backgammon), the reputation of the square is not excellent, due to incidents of petty crime.

What I can't see

The name of the square (Dikastirion means Courts) is due to courts that were planned to be built during the 1960s. The project was stopped because of antiquities found, as the Roman Agora “continues” under the square. During the Byzantine and Ottoman years there were houses. They burned in the fire of 1917 and then shacks were erected by the refugees of 1922. When the refugees were relocated to organized settlements, the shacks were removed and the square was an open space. During the German Occupation, it was a parking lot for military vehicles and in post-war era, for city buses. This is where the resistance fighter Dimitris Kofitsas was murdered by parastatals during the civil war. Kofitsas had twice refused to give a list of resistance fighters to the occupying German authorities.


Field observation by scientific editors


Serefas S., Petridis P., (2012), Εδώ: Τόποι βίας στη Θεσσαλονίκη, [Here: Places of violence in Thessaloniki], Agra


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