Other than the UNESCO World Heritage listed churches in Thessaloniki, there are several other beautiful post-Byzantine churches scattered around the city center. Many of these churches, which don’t look like much from the outside, are adorned with vivid frescoes and priceless icons. If they’re open, they’re worth stopping inside to see. They are all located within walking distance to other important sites in Thessaloniki. I was able to visit several of these churches on three separate visits. The map at the bottom of the post can help you locate each church I’ve included.
Church of Nea Panagia
Nea Panagia is one of my favorite churches in the city. It’s located not too far from the sea on the southern corner of the city center.
The church was built in 1727 and has murals dating back to the 18th century. The murals on the ceiling and the pulpit date back to the 19th century.
Metropolitan Church of St. Gregory Palamas
Also near the sea is the city’s cathedral, the Metropolitan Church of St. Gregory Palamas. The church was founded in 1891 and completed in 1914, with designs by architect Ernst Ziller. The relics of St. Gregory Palamas are located inside the church.
Church of St. John the Baptist
Across the street from Hagia Sophia is the Church of St. John the Baptist. It’s hardly noticeable as a church, with a modern entrance well below street level and a small garden.
Inside the church is a stairway down into the catacombs. They were originally built by the Romans as part of an ancient aqueduct system and later used by early Christians as a sanctuary. It’s though that this is only a small part of an extensive network of tunnels, many that lead to several other important monuments in the city.
Church of St. Athanasios
The Church of St. Athanasios was built in 1818 to replace an older church that burned down a year earlier. A 14th century church of the same name was thought to be in the vicinity, but it isn’t exactly clear.
Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda
Like the Church of St. Athanasios, the Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda was built in 1818 and replaced an earlier church that burned down a year earlier. The two churches are only located a few blocks apart.
Church of Ypapanti
The Church of Ypapanti was built in 1841. It has marble fragments of Byzantine and Roman sculptures on the north wall.
Church of Panagia Dexia
Across from the Church of Ypapanti is the Church of Panagia Dexia. It’s a modern church built in 1956.
Church of St. George
The small Church of St. George sits near the Rotunda of Galerius.
Monastery of St. Theodora
The Monastery of St. Theodora has been operating since Byzantine times and was one of three monasteries in the city that was not converted to a mosque after Ottoman conquest. It was originally named the Monastery of St. Stephen but was renamed in honor of St. Theodora the Myrrh-Streamer after her death in 892 AD. The church and complex is modern, being rebuilt in 1935 after devastating fires in 1897 and 1917. A larger building to house visiting Orthodox priests was built in 1957. The relics of St. Theodora and Osios David are located there.
Church of St. Minas
The Church of St. Minas dates back to at least the 9th century and was part of a larger monastery complex. It’s just one of three monasteries in Thessaloniki not converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of the city. It has burned down several times, and the most recent reconstruction took place in the mid-19th century. The church served as the Metropolis of Thessaloniki from 1890 to 1912.
Church of St. Paul
From the Trigono Tower of the city walls in Ano Poli (Upper Town), it’s possible to see the large and modern Church of St. Paul.