Greece // The northern mainland //

The White Tower

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.

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