The Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki, Greece

An ancient place, Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki is definitely worth a visit. It is very much within walking distance from the big Byzantine churches and other heritage monuments.

Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki – History

Wiki mentions it was built in 307 AD by Galerius with intentions of it being his mausoleum. His remains got buried in Serbia where he died in 311AD. Constantine later converted Rotunda of Galerius into a church.This is the oldest church of Thessaloniki. Some Greek publications claim it to be the oldest church in the world. If it is so I feel I am extremely blessed and lucky to been able to visit it.

The interiors were then decorated with beautiful mosaic work, parts of which have survived centuries of wear and tear.ย After 1200 years of use as a church it was converted into a mosque by Ottomans and called as the Mosque of Suleyman Hortaji Effendi. Only recently in the last century, in 1912 it was recaptured by Greeks and converted back in to a church. The minaret is a reminder of its past identity as a mosque.

Rotunda with a minaret.
Arabic script over the doorway

The 1978 earthquake couldnโ€™t damage it much luckily. It is a robust structure with 25.4m dia, 34m high and the walls are more than 6m thick. When we saw it in Dec 2014, the interiors were being repaired. Whatever mosaic work is visible is very impressive. The ancient monument is like a treasure house right in the heart of the city. The mosaics look magical when sun light reflects off them. In its days with its designs complete with colorful mosaic; it must have looked grand, one can only imagine!

Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki


Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki Interiors


Mosaic patterns Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki



Opening Time of Rotunda, Thessaloniki

The Rotunda is open daily 08.30-15.00 (Monday excluded)

Church of Rotunda is located near a students’ college. Plenty of place to take coffee break and gaze at the ancient monument.

You may also like...

25 Responses

  1. TexWisGirl says:

    wow! how neat! love the ancient mosaics!

  2. Sylvia K says:

    Looking at your wonderful captures is almost like hearing the history as the building does speak to one! Superb captures as always, Indrani!! Hope you have a lovely weekend!!

  3. Superb capture of magnificent beauty ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks for sharing…. Very interesting!

  5. Truly Amazing photos

  6. It's awesome! It's unbelievable that it has a 6m thick wall! Thanks for wonderful captures and great information ๐Ÿ™‚ TC! Keep smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Wonderful captures.
    Thanks for sharing…!

  8. ladyfi says:

    What a fabulous place!

  9. Dina says:

    So interesting and so old. And so many golden tesserae in those shining mosaics!

  10. Such stunning mosaics. Beautifully captured. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Mridula says:

    The feel of the place comes across as old through your pictures too!

  12. Giga says:

    I had the pleasure and the same admire this amazing and beautiful place. Thank you for the reminder. Regards.

  13. Nice to know about this. The interiors look intricate and beautiful.

  14. Wow…. Amazing pics !!!

  15. Your historical photos are quite nice. I enjoy your posts weekly. You certainly are on an adventure in Greece. Enjoy!
    JM, Illinois-U.S.A.

  16. It does look very old inside. It's amazing that it has withstood earthquakes! It looks like it will take a lot of work to bring it back to it's former beauty though.

  17. eileeninmd says:

    What a beautiful place, I love the mosaics! Wonderful images, have a happy weekend!

  18. Carver says:

    Fascinating and beautiful Church.

  19. Great pictures. I love the last one..

  20. Jeevan says:

    Impressive interior! Not only its look, but the age of the church also wonders. Glad you able to visit this world oldest church

  21. DIMI says:

    Hello Indrani!The Church and the mosaics are very impressive indeed!Wonderful captures!Thank you for sharing!Have a lovely weekend!

  22. Brilliant captures! One can actually feel the serenity of the place in the pictures.

  23. Linda says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this incredible church!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *