Thessaloniki was founded about 4000 years ago and it became the cultural and historical center of Northern Greece. Its history goes down to 316 b.c. and the city was built upon the ancient settlements. We can confidently say that the history of Thessaloniki dates to 2300 B.C. and the city was named after the Macedonian king's wife. She, in her turn, was the Alexander's the Great sister.
Thessaloniki has a great and glorious history. Before it was occupied by the Turks in 1430 the city has been the country's second city by its size. In 904 the Saracens took control over the city, but 1246 it was drawn back to the empire. The city was almost as large as Istanbul, or Constantinople as it has been called then. That was the time of the city's 'golden age' though it didn't last long. The Turks got into the city in 1430 and occupied it for almost 5 hundred years. It became the homeland for even Mustafa Kemal Pascha. The population during these years was multinational. There lived Albanians and Slav, Arabians and Jews. The last were mostly destroyed during the WWII, many of them were sent to the concentration camps where they died. It was the greatest cruelty of the century.
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