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Throughout its entire history, Thessaloniki was a populous and multicultural port city of the Mediterranean, which has undergone major transformations in various historic periods. The city is characterized by a rich variety of historical heritage from all the different periods (Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and contemporary), the most notable of which is the city’s historic centre. This historic centre is also characterized by its compactness and mixed residential and commercial character. During the last twenty years it has undergone various changes as a result of periodical declines and recoveries as well as of specific urban interventions and projects. Whatever the form these changes took, the historic centre remained the most vital area of the city and the most attractive one, not only for its visitors but also for the city’s residents of all ages and groups.

The tour includes a walk from the old harbor and though the Old Waterfront to the New Waterfront of Thessaloniki.


Thessaloniki Old Harbor – Renovated Area of Dock A’  

Presentation by Prof. Emeritus Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinides


The integration of the old harbor (Dock A of the Port of Thessaloniki) into the city and city’s life as a major cultural pole was one of the main objectives of the 1985 Master Plan of Thessaloniki. In the 1990s and on the occasion of the Thessaloniki 1997 Cultural Capital of Europe, a number of interventions were implemented regarding the renovation of the old and listed warehouses as well as their surrounding area which were prepared to host cultural events. Today, the regenerated part of the old harbor is perhaps the most popular culture and entertainment destination in the city. It hosts major events like the International Film Festival, exhibitions, conferences and many other events. Yet of particular importance remains the status of this area whose regeneration was publicly funded, since the whole port area including the regenerated Dock A is managed under the exclusive jurisdiction of Thessaloniki Port Authority.


Thessaloniki New Waterfront

Presentation by Prodromos Nikiforides, Architect of the awarded Redevelopment Project

In the beginning of the 2000s, the Municipality of Thessaloniki launched an International Architectural Competition for the renewal of the New Waterfront. The New Waterfront, with a total length of 3km, is a major important public place in the inner and dense zone of the city of Thessaloniki, which grows linearly with relatively limited depth and big length. The first prize was awarded to a team headed by the architects Nikiforidis P. and Cuomo B.. The construction of the renewal project started under the responsibility of the Municipality of Thessaloniki in 2006 and was completed in two parts, in 2008 and 2013 respectively. This renewal project is the biggest one held in Thessaloniki in the 2000s and has transformed not only the image of the waterfront but more importantly the relationships of the inhabitants with this part of the city, as it became one of the most favorite leisure areas of the city’s residents. The sea background of the gulf of Thessaloniki, constitutes an amazing scenery whereas one of the main design ideas are the "green room-gardens". In contrast to the linear path, the inner side is formed by a succession of fifteen parks called "green room-gardens” that remind of the domestic gardens which existed in the area in the past (late 19th century) and used to reach the natural seashore, before the landfill of the coast.

Garden of Water

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Contact Info

  • School of Spatial Planning and Development, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, 54124 Thessaloniki Greece
  • Dimitra Konstantinidou +30 2310 995470