Thessaloniki

The Kalliopi Koufa Foundation for the Promotion of International and Human Rights Law is situated at the heart of the city of Thessaloniki, in Aristotelous Square, next to the city’s commercial centre and impressive seafront.

Thessaloniki was built in the 4th century BC by King Kassandros and named after the sister of Alexander the Great. Throughout the centuries, the city became an important place for trade and culture, the second most important city of the Byzantine Empire and a cosmopolitan centre during the Ottoman occupation. Its cultural and ethnic diversity at the turn of the 19th century made Thessaloniki a hub of different civilizations, traces of which can still be observed all over the city: the numerous Byzantine churches – among which St Demetrius hosts in its catacombs the remnants of the city’s protector, a martyr of the Roman prosecutions against early Christianity – with their impressive mosaics; the Byzantine walls that encircle the city and the White Tower, Thessaloniki’s landmark by the seafront; the old city with its remarkable architecture and various other monuments and museums indicating the status of this cosmopolitan Greek metropolis of South-Eastern Europe as a crossroads of civilizations.

Thessaloniki has an old and rich academic tradition. Three universities have their seat in the city: the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which is the largest academic institution in Greece and the South-Eastern Europe, theUniversity of Macedonia and the International Hellenic University. A great student community gives a special colour to the days and nights of Thessaloniki. A vibrant city full of life, its many taverns, cafés, bars and clubs cater for every taste.

The city hosts an important Archaeological museum, wwhere the remnants of the Macedonian dynasty found all over Northern Greece are exhibited, a Byzantine and a Jewish museum. Besides its rich cultural past, the city enjoys a considerable contemporary cultural life. Numerous cultural events are organized throughout the year, including theInternational Film Festival and the Dimitria. Throughout the summer, theatrical performances of ancient Greek drama and music concerts of all kinds of Greek and international music take place in the city’s open-air theatres that lay in the suburban forest that encircles Thessaloniki. Finally, the city hosts a modern Concert Hall and other important museums on modern and contemporary art, as well as an International Trade Fair.

The city of Thessaloniki has been the Cultural Capital of Europe in 1997, as well as the European Youth Capital for the year 2014.

Thessaloniki is situated in one of the most beautiful areas of Greece. The most important tourist attraction near Thessaloniki is Chalkidiki peninsula, the place of birth of Aristotle. Its numerous wonderful tourist resorts with their sand beaches and crystal blue waters are one hour away from the city. The easternmost part of Chalkidiki, Mount Athos (also known as the Holy Mountain), ), is a densely forested area surrounded by the Aegean Sea, which is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries. An autonomous region within Greece, Mount Athos is a World Heritage Site. West of Thessaloniki, visitors may reach the remnants of the Macedonian dynasty: Pella, Vergina, Dion and a little further away Mount Olympos, the highest peak in Greece, offers breathtaking landscapes and opportunities throughout winter and summer for hitchhiking, trekking, mountain biking etc.