The Kalliopi Koufa Foundation for the Promotion of International and Human Rights Law is situated in the heart of Thessaloniki, 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 time, the city developed as a centre for trade and culture, becoming the second most important city of the Byzantine Empire as well as a cosmopolitan centre during the Ottoman occupation. Its cultural and ethnic diversity at the turn of the 19th century made Thessaloniki a hub for different civilizations, traces of which still persist today; from 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 and the Byzantine walls that encircle the city and the White Tower, Thessaloniki’s landmark by the seafront to the old city with its remarkable architecture and various other monuments and museums indicating Thessaloniki’s status as a cosmopolitan Greek metropolis of South-Eastern Europe at the 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, the University 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 to every taste.
The city’s Archaeological museum is indispensable; here you’ll find the remnants of the Macedonian dynasty from all over Northern Greece. Thessaloniki is also home to both a Byzantine and Jewish museum. Besides its rich cultural past, the city enjoys a considerable contemporary cultural life. Numerous events are organized throughout the year, including the International 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 open-air theatres within the suburban forest that surrounds the city. Finally, a modern Concert Hall and other important museums on modern and contemporary art, as well as an International Trade Fair form parts of Thessalonian life.
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 popular tourist areas near Thessaloniki is the Chalkidiki peninsula, the place of birth of Aristotle. Its numerous wonderful tourist resorts with their sandy beaches and crystal blue waters are only one hour away from the city. The easternmost part of Chalkidiki, Mount Athos, the “Holy Mountain”, is a densely forested area surrounded by the Aegean Sea, home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries. An autonomous region within Greece, Mount Athos is a World Heritage Site. West of Thessaloniki, visitors may find interest in 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 and more.