Old Town (Ano Poli), Thessaloniki, Gr...
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Panoramic photo by Alexander Hadji EXPERT Taken 14:00, 06/09/2010 - Views loading...

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Old Town (Ano Poli), Thessaloniki, Greece

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Old Town in Thessaloniki:  The Old Town (or else Ano Poli, or Upper Town) of Thessaloniki is located on the north of the modern town. This was the fortmer Ottoman quarter, where a large community of Jews also lived.
The Old Town of Thessaloniki has paved streets and stone houses. There, you will find many Byzantine churches and monasteries. The only active monastery out of the 20 that this quarter has is the Monastery of Vlatadon.
In the Old Town, you will also find the house of Kemal Attaturk, the famous Turkish leader. Kemal was born and raised in this house at the end of the 19th century, when the town was still under Ottoman rule. Today, this house hosts the Turkish Consulate and part of it works as a museum.
A large part of the Old Town, mostly the Jewish Quarter, was destroyed in a fire in 1917, which burnt the city for two days.

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This panorama was taken in Greece, Europe

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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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