THESSALONIKI, GREECE - DECEMBER 29: Interior of the Basilica of Hagios Demetrios on December 29, 2015 in Thessaloniki, Greece. Saint Demetrios is the patron saint of Thessaloniki city.; Shutterstock ID 753257872; your: Barbara Di Castro; gl: 65050; netsuite: digital; full: poi

Church of Agios Dimitrios

Top choice in Thessaloniki

This enormous 7th-century basilica honours Thessaloniki’s patron saint. A Roman soldier, Dimitrios was killed around AD 306 at this former Roman bath site by order of Emperor Galerius, infamous persecutor of Christians. The martyrdom site is now a crypt; Dimitrios’ remains occupy a silver reliquary inside. The Ottomans made Agios Dimitrios a mosque, and plastered over frescoes that were again revealed after the 1913 Greek reconquest. While the city's fire of 1917 was very damaging, five 8th-century mosaics survive.

Look for the unusual ciborium (hexagonal shrine) and precious 5th-century mosaics from earlier churches erected here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Thessaloniki attractions

1. Yeni Hammam

0.05 MILES

An atmospheric 16th-century structure, this former Turkish bath has great acoustics. Today it houses a bar that's gone to great lengths to turn the lovely…

2. Roman Forum

0.11 MILES

As immaculately laid out as you'd expect of the Romans, this rectangular site was the centre of public and commercial Thessaloniki from the 1st to the 4th…

3. Church of the Panagia Achiropiitos

0.26 MILES

This basilica-style 5th-century Byzantine church, built over Roman baths and one of the oldest in Greece, has notable mosaics and frescoes. The name,…

4. Bey Hammam

0.26 MILES

Bey Hammam was built in 1444, making it Thessaloniki’s oldest Turkish bathhouse and reputedly the largest remaining in Greece. Externally squat and…

5. Church of Osios David

0.31 MILES

This serene little 5th-century church, once the katholikon (major church) of the Monastery of Saviour Christ of Latomos, is one of the most significant…

6. Monastirioton Synagogue

0.32 MILES

The only surviving one of Thessaloniki's 45 pre-WWII synagogues owes its preservation to the fact that it was used as a warehouse by the Red Cross. Spared…

7. Modiano Market


The city's largest indoor market sits on the ashes of former Jewish neighbourhood Kadi, which burned down in the 1917 fire. The architect Eli Modiano…

8. Church of Agia Sofia


Candlelight on gold chandeliers pierces the gloom in this stunning 8th-century church, modelled on its İstanbul namesake. Among many striking 8th- and 9th…