Thessaloniki has been selected by Roberto Amati in relation to the real history of european integration, enlisted in the CITY OR CIVITAS category, accompanied by own fact SHEET useful to the comprehension, completed of historical MAPS AND IMAGES or with the direct linking to the related Blog contents dedicated to the entire history of european integration and the future of Europe.

Thessaloniki civitas

Thessaloniki is one of the most ancient cities of the history of European integration, signed in great part by Christianity. The Civitas Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Macedonians people on the Thermaic gulf in the Aegean sea, developing its commercial spirit as a city-state (πόλις) named like the sister of king Alexander "the Great", the conquerer of the Persian Empire by leading all Greeks people. Thessaloniki became a famous centre for democracy, arts, education, philosophy and trading, such important that highly influented the European continent, particularly in ancient Rome, still today regarded as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of Christianity. Always an authonome and important city of the Macedonian Kingdom, was conquered by Romans in the II century BC together all Greece.

Within the reform of Augustus (see Roman Empire), Thessaloniki was elevated capital of the Macedonia province, fundamental trade hub on to way the rest of Balcanic peninsula by the Graeca way, reaching the other ancient and christian civitas of Corinth and Athens ending in Apulum in Dacia province, and on the Egnatia way, starting from Constantinople to end in Durres. With the reform of Constantine I (see Christian Empire), Thessaloniki became the capital of the Macedonia Diocesis cause of its ancient christian community founded by Saint Paul. The Caesar Galerius commissioned in the city an imperial palace, the hippodrome, a triumphal arch and a mausoleum, while in 381 AD after the lost battle of Hadrianopolis the emperor Theodosius I issued the "nicean Creed" in the Thessaloniki Edict that Christianity as "unique religion of Empire". After the sacks of Visigoths, Avars and Slavs, between V and VI centuries AD, Thessaloniki was elevated capital of the byzantine Thessalonike theme and followed the political events and resurrection of the Byzantine Empire, passing through the "Crusader's sack" of 1204 AD that captured Thessaloniki to the Catholics Church within the Thessalonike kingdom ruled by western dinasty until 1224 AD, when it was reconquered by the byzantine imperial dinasty of Doukas and elevated capital of the Thessalonike Empire, defeated and submitted in 1246 AD by the Bulgars Empire. But in 1246 AD the city was recovered by the byzantine imperial dinasty of Laskaris until Thessaloniki was definitely conquered by Ottomans in 1430 AD.

From XVI to XX century AD Thessaloniki was the only Jewish majority city in Europe, with nearly 20,000 Sephardic immigrated to Greece from the Iberian Peninsula following their expulsion from Spain by the 1492 AD, tradespeople and shipping owner for the manufacturing traditional products exported everywhere in the Mediterranean sea. Became a muslim city, Thessaloniki population grew up with Turkish origin, as well as Albanian and Bulgarian immigrates, joined to Pomaks and Greek Muslim and the Roma always living in Balcans area. But in 1700 AD circa, the Muslim population of Thessaloniki became majority within the Ottomans Empire, so the city became the capital of the Sanjak of Selanik until 1826 AD and subsequently the capital of Selanik Eyalet/Vilayet until the Greek War of Independence of 1830 AD, when Thessaloniki was bombed cause of a Janissary stronghold and rebuilt by the Greek Kingdom under the rule of the Oldenburg dinasty and connected to Constantinople/Istanbul and Belgrade through the new railwais open at the end of XIX century AD. From Thessaloniki started the revolution of the "Young Turks" that expired the Ottoman Empire in 1923 AD leaded by K.Atatuk born in the city. During that period the greek and jewish muslim escaped to Turkey, while Greece was involved in the First and Second World Wars receiving lots of damage and stolen arts heritage by britans and Nazis. After the war, Thessaloniki was rebuilt with large-scale development of new infrastructure and industry throughout the decades and many of its architectural treasures still remainand, so that the city was celebrated as the European Capital of Culture in 1997 AD.

In Thessaloniki there is still the church dedicated to Saint Demetrius, patron of the city (a young greek soldier martyrized during the persecutions of III century AD), Hagios Demetrios built in the V century AD and now enlisted in the UNESCO Wordl Heritage together with many others byzantine churchs and "Ano Poli" the ancient city centre. Nowadyas, Thessaloniki is the second biggest city of Greece, located in the center-north and capital of the "internal" Macedonia region.

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