The White Tower, the trademark of the northern port city of Thessaloniki in Greece, is not only a meeting point for the residents of the city, but also an important sightseeing spot for thousands of tourists.
According to the Greek news agency ANA-MPA, newly married couples, grooms after their bachelor party, students celebrating the end of the exam period and tourists from all over the world visit the White Tower every year.
This emblematic monument of Thessaloniki managed to beat the record of visits, as reflected by the number of tickets sold. In fact, during the first semester of 2014 (January- June) a total number of 70,828 people have visited the White Tower, including Israelis and Russians who seem especially attracted by it.
The number of visitors is expected to skyrocket given that the majority of tourists arrive at the Greek city during the summer season. In 2013 alone 119,663 persons have been recorded as visiting the city, 30% more compared to the respective number in 2012 (93,104 visitors).
With opening hours from 8am until 8pm, Thessaloniki’s residents, as well as tourists, have the opportunity to visit the monument, have a tour in its museum and enjoy the view from the top.
On the top floor of the archaeological monument, visitors can write about their impressions in a guestbook. Tourists from Romania, Italy, Spain, the US, Canada, Israel, Russia and many other countries have left their own mark there.
The White Tower, built in the late 15th century has a height of 33.90 meters and is the symbol of Thessaloniki. Over the years it has been called different names, such as the Lion Tower in the 16th century, the Fortress of Kalamaria in the 18th century and Tower of Blood, when it was used as a prison and a scene of executions during the 19th century.
Its current name was established in 1890 when it was whitewashed by a prisoner in exchange for his freedom.