Thessaloniki's iconic landmark, the 34m-high White Tower has a harrowing history as a prison and place of execution. Built by the Ottomans in the 15th century, it was here in 1826 that Sultan Mahmud II massacred the garrison of rebellious janissaries (forcibly Islamicised elite troops). One story goes that the structure was known as the Tower of Blood until a prisoner painted the tower white in exchange for his liberty in 1883, when it was renamed Lefkos Pyrgos (White Tower).
Others say that the name was changed after the 1912 Greek reconquest. Grab a free audio guide to help navigate multimedia displays tracing the history, culture and commerce of Thessaloniki, then head to the top for sweeping views of the city, Thermaic Gulf and surrounding hills.