The tower was built in 15th century in order to replace an older 12th century Byzantine fortification while it was later recontsructed by the Ottomans. It was used as a fort enhancing the harbors defences, as a garrison and a prison. Because of its fame as a notorious prison it was also known as “Tower of Blood” (Kanli Kule) or “Red Tower”. It was renamed to White tower (Torre Blanca) after it was whitewashed possibly in 1891.
It was surrounded by long defensive walls that were enclosing the area and were capable of supporting heavy guns. These walls were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, while it is unclear whether they were part of the original construction or a later addition destined to further enhance its defensive features.
Today the tower is open to the public while the visitors will have a chance to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view from its highest level.
A very beautiful and informative museum inside the monument is dedicated to the city’s history, its multicultural spirit and several other aspects of Thessaloniki.
A Museum devoted to the city and its people
Entering the White Tower and the museum located inside it, we soon realize that we are in the heart of the city. Through the presentation of features that help us understand Thessaloniki through time, such as the city’s urban character and its people, the exhibition focuses on important moments and aspects of the city’s life.
The geographical position of Thessaloniki at the crossroad of sea and land trading roads, the transformations and the urban development, several important events of its history and the city’s spiritual and cultural life are some of the main themes displayed thematically in different floors.
The visitors will have the chance to experience a wonderful ride back in time from the day the city was born 23 centuries ago, up to its recent past and feel the spirit, the taste and the different cultures that shaped its identity.
Through atmospheric images and sounds, multimedia touch screen applications and a number of items displayed the visitor will be informed of what he sees today in Thessaloniki and what once used to exist. The goal of the museum is to further introduce the city to the visitors thus creating an essential relationship between the city and the people.
Because of its location the White tower is probably the best place to begin your exploration, plus the view on the top is breathtaking! Definitely a must.