Photographer's Note

Some wikimation :)

The tower, which once guarded the eastern end of the city's sea walls, is a construction of the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Until 1912, an inscription in Ottoman Turkish verse above the door dated the structure to AH 942 (1535-1536). The historian Franz Babinger speculated that the work was designed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan who is known to have built fortifications, including a similar tower at the Albanian port Valona in 1537. The present tower likely replaced an older Byzantine tower mentioned by the 12th century archbishop Eustathios.[1]

The Tower was used by the Ottomans successively as a fort, garrison and a prison. In 1826, at the order of the Sultan Mahmud II, there was a massacre of the prisoners in the Tower. Owing to the "countless victims of Ottoman torturers and executioners", the tower acquired the name "Tower of Blood" or "The Red Tower", which it kept until the end of the 19th century.[2]

The Tower was for centuries part of the walls of the old city of Thessaloniki (known as Selanik by the Ottomans), and separated the Jewish quarter of the city from the cemeteries of the Muslims and Jews.[3] The city walls were demolished in 1866. When Thessaloniki was annexed from the Ottoman Empire to the Greek State during the Balkan War of 1912, the tower was whitewashed as a symbolic gesture of cleansing, and acquired its present name. King George I of Greece was assassinated not far from the White Tower in March 1913.

The Tower is now a buff colour but has retained the name White Tower. It now stands on Thessaloniki's waterfront boulevard, Nikis (Victory) Street. It houses a Byzantine museum and is one of the city's leading tourist attractions. The Tower is under the administration of the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture.

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