Saturday, 10 July 2010

22 WEEKS ROUND THE WORLD

No.8
Thessaloniki, Greece
The Palace, the Arch, the Rotonda and the Tomb of Galerius
Intermediate level
 



The PALACE remains were excavated in Navarinou Square in 1970s. On the south side of the site is an octogonal structure, the function of which hasn't been determined.

 GALERIUS    4th century Roman Emperor of  humble parentage (son of a herdman and Romula, a Dacian refugee). In 293 he was nominated caesar (subordinate emperor) by Diocletian, and became augustus in 305. Galerius had a distinguished military career and was known as a ruthless ruler who initiated the persecution of the Christians. In 311 he became incapacitated with a painful disease. Fearing that his illness was the vengeance of the Christian God he issued an edict granting toleration. Shortly after that he died.

The ARCH  was built to emphasize Galeriu's power and victories over the Persians. The structure formed a triple arch faced with brick and marble panels with sculptural relief. The central arched opening was 9.7 m wide and 12.5 m high and spanned the portion of Via Egnatia that passed through.

The ROTONDA  (the Church of St George) is believed to be the oldest Christian church in the world. Galerius was thought to have intended it to be his mausoleun. It was more likely to be a temple with an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome. It has a brick dome 24 metres (80 feet) in diametre.

Luxurious hotels, magnificent landscapes and the well-preserved archeological sites make a travel to Thessaloniki absolutely unique.

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