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Thessaloniki up to the 19th century

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The 'Garden of the White Tower'
Early 20th century picture postcard with the 'Garden of the White Tower', in which there were a theatre and coffee-houses, 1906-1912, Thessaloniki, G. Megas archive.

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The 'Garden of the White Tower'
Early 20th century picture postcard

Surrounded by a crenellated wall with four turrets until 1904, the Tower was erected shortly after the Ottoman conquest (1430), probably by Venetian craftsmen. The Canli Kule (bloody tower) housed the Janissary guards until the Sultan had them put to death there in 1826; it continued to be the place where tortures and executions were carried out (the "Bastille" of Thessaloniki).

During the Sublime Porte's efforts at modernization in 1883, the Tower was painted white and converted into a common prison for a short period. The liberation found the Beyaz Kule (White Tower) surrounded by cafes and theatres. The famous "Garden of White Tower", was built in 1906 on behalf of the Sultan Abdul Hamid II.

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.