Explore The northern mainland
Dominating the seafront promenade, the White Tower (Lefkós Pýrgos) is the city’s graceful symbol. Originally known as the Lions’ Tower and the Fortress of Kalamariá, it formed a corner of the city’s Byzantine and Ottoman defences before most of the walls were demolished late in the nineteenth century. In 1890 a Jewish prisoner was given the task of whitewashing the tower, in exchange for his freedom, hence the new name, which stuck, even though it is now more of a buff colour. It was restored in 1985 for the city’s 2300th birthday celebrations and has since been converted into a moderately interesting historical museum.