City Walls - Towers

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/01/07/280
Level Item
Place City Walls of Thessaloniki
Thessalonike
Dates before 1913 (1907-1909?)
Creator Hasluck, Dr Frederick William
Scope and Content East walls and angle tower. The photograph is initialed in pencil: 'F.W.H.'. Further annotation in pencil survives at the back.
Further information Most of the walls of the city were built by Theodosius I (379-395) around the end of the 4th c. on the remains of Hellenistic and Roman fortifications. According to surviving inscriptions they have drastically been repaired, modified and extended many times throughout the Byzantine period. The walls surround the city on all sides: the acropolis was located at the uppermost part of the north side to the east. It was heavily fortified by a complex of seven towers called the Eptapyrgion (Gedi-Koule) which during the years of the Ottoman occupation was used as a prison. On the less safe sides, the walls were double. Stone and brick were used for their construction. In the sections which date to the Palaiologan period the walling is decorated with brick crosses, dentil courses and various other ornamental brick patterns and motifs. Although parts of the walls started to dismantle as the city outgrew its medieval boundaries, large sections of the fortification system of Thessalonike including gates and towers such as the White Tower, the Tower of Trigonion, the Tower of Vardari are still standing today.
Related records [BSA SPHS 01/1099.2917], Thessaloniki: E. Walls with (Trigono) Tower, Latest 1913