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Palaces
Palace Complex of Galerius
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Ruins of the palace complex created by Galerius are located at Navarino Square in Thessaloniki. It represents one of the greatest monuments of the Roman period in Thessaloniki, showing the transition of a city with minor significance into a capital.

The preserved sections correspond to the main areas of the palace. However, due to the historic significance of the findings, Navarino Square has been designated as one of the most important archaeological districts.

 

History

Gaius Galerius Maximian Valerios in the late 3rd century AD after the successful campaign against the Persians was appointed Caesar of the Roman Empire and decided to settle permanently in Thessaloniki. The need for reorganization and upgrading of the urban fabric of the city led Galerius to the creation of a palace. The project started at the beginning of the 4th century AD. The palace complex consisted of a series of buildings, atriums and special sites and it was the financial, administrative and entertainment center of the city of Thessaloniki.

Two black spots marked the palace, just a few years after its foundation. At the end of the century, Theodosius ordered mass slaughter mass slaughter of the Thessalonians in the site of Hippodrome. That was enough to shut down the Hippodrome. A century later, in the late 5th century AD a destructive earthquake destroyed parts of the palace.

 

Palace complex

All the buildings occupy an area of ​​approximately 150,000 m2. The redevelopment plan of Thessaloniki included the Rotunda, the Triumphal Arch, the Palace and the Hippodrome.

The Rotunda was located in the northernmost section of the complex. It is  a circular building  that it was used by the Romans as a place of worship.

The Triumphal Arch, or "Kamara", was founded at the northern entrance of the Palace. The victory of Galerius against the Persians is marked by the artwork provided in the walls of the Triumphal Arch.

The palace was a luxurious administrative and religious center. The layout of the site included halls and facilities for Galerius only (royal rooms, meeting rooms, etc.) and halls and rooms for the public (sports facilities, places of worship). The basic premises of the palace was the main Peristyle, a central luxury patio accessed by arcades and rooms with mosaics and the Royal of the palace. These areas contained the throne room, churches, dormitories, etc. On the southwest side were located the Octagon and the Nymphaeum. The Octagon was an octagonal room with rich decoration. It is speculated that it was used for the administration of the city. The Nymphaeum was a place of worship.

The Hippodrome was principally used for entertainment performances. Parts of the specific site survive in the eastern part of the city.

After the excavations that took place in the mid 20th century, the southwestern part of the palace complex was  revealed almost entirely. Large parts of the buildings including the decoration have been restored. Since 2002, the archaeological  site is open to the public.

Information
Navarino Square, PC 54622, Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki Prefecture)

Phone: (+30) 2310 801402, (+30) 2310 801428, (+30) 2310 801429, (+30) 2310 801424

 

 

 

 



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