The Arch of Galerius dominates a pedestrianized square just off the eastern end of Egnatía. Along with the nearby Rotónda, it originally formed part of a larger Roman complex which included palaces and a hippodrome. The mighty arch is the surviving span of a dome-surmounted arcade that once led towards the palaces. Built to commemorate the emperor’s victories over the Persians in 297 AD, its piers contain weathered reliefs of the battle scenes interspersed with glorified poses of Galerius himself. The well-displayed remains of Galerius’s palace can be viewed, below the modern street level, along pedestrianized Dhimitríou Goúnari towards its southern extension, Platía Navarínou.

Rotónda (Áyios Yeóryios)

North of the great arch, the Rotónda, later converted into the church of Áyios Yeóryios, is the most striking single Roman monument in the city. It was designed, but never used, as an imperial mausoleum, possibly for Galerius himself. Consecrated for Christian use in the late fourth century, by the addition of a sanctuary, an apse, a narthex and rich mosaics, it later became one of the city’s major mosques, from which period the minaret remains. The cavernous interior is stark but some of the stunning mosaics remain in place.

Roman Forum

Just north of leafy Platía Dhikastiríon, the Roman Forum has been undergoing gradual excavation for over a decade so access is limited. In many ways, its layout is best observed from the road behind, where the shape of the stoa, with several remaining columns, is clear. The restored amphitheatre is used for occasional summer performances.

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…

02 May 2017 • Nick Edwards insert_drive_file Article
A divided island: a journey through time in Cyprus

A divided island: a journey through time in Cyprus

Cyprus has been a divided nation for over 40 years, but fresh reunification talks have offered hope of a united future. As Cyprus prepares to make history aga…

26 Apr 2017 • Darren Loucaides local_activity Special feature
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
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