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

Galerius Palace Complex

Even today, one can discern the former luxury of the palace, which is still decorated with frescoes and mosaics of plant and geometric compositions.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1950 Excavations began during this decade.

    2008 The monument received the Europa Nostra Award for its exemplary restoration. The restoration of the monument was based on 16 studies (1993-1999).

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    Constructed during the 3rd century AD and destroyed by an earthquake probably in the 8th century.

  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

A building that is representative of the most prosperous period of the city’s history. The palace complex of Galerius was the administrative and religious centre of the city and occupied an area all the way to Egnatia Street (almost 150.000 sq.m.), which is why we can today find ruins in other parts of Dimitriou Gounari Street as well. However, the intense urban development of the 20th century does not permit a full view of the complex. It is divided by long corridors and has many sections, such as the imperial apartment, the apartment of the imperial guard, the courts, a luxurious bath and other administrative facilities. Even today, one can discern the former luxury of the palace, which is still decorated with frescoes and mosaics of plant and geometric compositions. The palace faces toward the sea, while the main entrance is on the south side, which used to lead to the “Ecclesiastical staircase”, (i.e. the ancient city port). On the southwest side, there is an octagonal room with seven niches, which was most likely designed as auditorium or throne room and later operated as a Christian church. It is now the best preserved part of the palace, perhaps made during the rule of the Byzantine emperor Theodosius I, according to one account. This is also a rare case where artistic interventions of neighbouring apartment buildings coexist with the archaeological site.


What I can't see

Galerius did not build the complex in an unstructured area, but instead almost leveled the previous buildings on the site. The palace had two floors with a large terrace with a colonnade at its centre. On the eastern side, there was a two-storey portico, with fountains and jets. On the same side, it is adjoined by the ancient Hippodrome, where apartment buildings and Ippodromiou Square now stand. A special platform allowed the emperor to enter the hippodrome directly from the palace. On the western side, it is adjoined by the earlier building of spectacles (fights, animal fights, athletics/pentathlon). The area is associated, according to Christian tradition, with Nestor’s feat and the martyrdom of St. Dimitrios. On a political level, Emperor Galerius’ settling here, made Thessaloniki one of the capitals of the Roman world. It was in this place, that dark acts of political violence took place, when Licinius seized power from Galerius.


  • Address: Navarinou Sq.


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

Unsigned (2012), Ανακτορικό Συγκρότημα Γαλέριου, [Galerius Palace Complex], Odysseus, Ministry of Culture

Last visit 26/6/2014

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

Ζafeiris Ch., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η παρουσία των απόντων, η κληρονομιά Ρωμαίων, Μουσουλμάνων, Εβραίων, Ντονμέδων, Φράγκων, Αρμενίων και Σλάβων, [Thessaloniki, the presense of the absent, the heritage of Romans, Muslims, Jews, Doenme, Franks, Armenians and Slavs], Thessaloniki: Epikentro

Tsaktsira L, Papanthimou K., Mantziou G., Kalogirou N., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η πόλη και τα μνημεία της, [Thessaloniki, the city and its monuments], Thessaloniki: Malliaris Pedia

Misailidou Despotidou V., (2012), Θεσσαλονίκη, κρυμμένη πόλη, αρχαιότητες διατηρημένες σε υπόγεια, [Thessaloniki, hidden city, antiquities preserved in basements] Ministry of Education and Religions, Ministry of Culture and Sports, General Secretariat of Culture

Filippidis D., (2006), Αρχιτεκτονικές Μεταμορφώσεις, Ι. μητροπολιτικά κέντρα, [Architectural Transformations, I. metropolitan centres], Melissa