Above Odhós Kassándhrou, the street parallel to Ayíou Dhimitríou, rises the Upper Town or Áno Póli, the main surviving quarter of Ottoman Thessaloníki. Although the streets here have long been swamped by new apartment buildings, they remain ramshackle and atmospheric, a labyrinth of timber-framed houses and winding steps. In the past few years many of the older houses have been bought up and restored and it is justifiably one of the city’s favourite after-dark destinations. Sections of the fourteenth-century Byzantine ramparts, constructed with brick and rubble on top of old Roman foundations, crop up all around the northern part of town.

The best-preserved portion begins at a large circular keep, the Trigónion or Chain Tower (so called for its encircling ornamental moulding), in the northeast angle where the easterly city walls veer west. A much smaller circuit of walls rambles around the district of Eptapýrgio (Seven Towers), enclosing the old eponymous acropolis at the top end. For centuries it served as the city’s prison until abandoned as too inhumane in 1989; it is described as a sort of Greek Devil’s Island in a number of plaintive old songs entitled Yedi Küle, the Turkish name for Eptapýrgio.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Greece features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

11 tips for travelling in Greece

11 tips for travelling in Greece

Although the news has been full of negative stories about the financial and immigrant crises which have engulfed Greece in recent years, there are still many r…

06 May 2016 • Nick Edwards insert_drive_file Article
Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try

Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try

Greeks love their food. They love to eat and love to feed others; this is one place you’re guaranteed never to feel hungry. Unlike the typical British or Amer…

15 Mar 2016 • Esme Fox insert_drive_file Article
This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

You’ve dug a moat, successfully sculpted a mound higher than your knees and managed to drizzle a viscous mixture of sand and salt water over the château spir…

16 Jul 2015 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month