Remnants of the Circus are to be found in the whole area of the current Hippodromiou Square and are hidden and forgotten in the basements of blocks of flats. If you wish to discover a visible part of the Circus, go towards the Phanarioton Square, at the exterior space of the Nea Panagia church.

03Circus of Thessaloniki

The Circus (Hippodrome) of Thessaloniki, no longer visible, is notorious for the massacre of 7ooo Thessalonicians under the command of Theodosius ITheodosius I is also known as Theodosius the Great. He was a Roman emperor from 379 until 395 A.D. and the last one who ruled the unified Roman Empire. In 390 A.D. he ordered the slaughter of 7000 citizens of Thessaloniki at the Circus. in 390 A.D. It was built as part of the Galerius Palace complexThe complex of buildings built by the emperor Galerius in Thessaloniki after his victory against the Persians in the end of the 3rd century A.D. The complex consists of the archaeological site of the current Navarinou square (Octagon, Basilica, the Arched Hall) the Triumphant Arch (Kamara) and Rotunda, as well as the Circus (Hippodrome).. The building was impressive: about 450 meters length and 95 meters width. At the curved north side, twelve rooms were formed that framed the main entrance and were used for the parking and the launching of the chariots (“hippaphesis”). The east side of the Circus utilized the east wall of the city for the formation of tiers of seating. On the west side there was the emperor's gallery. There was another entrance for the spectators of the chariot games at the “sfedoni”, that is the southern round part of the Circus, at the margins of today’s Mitropoleos street. The track of the former Circus has not been occupied by buildings throughout time, but turned into an oblong square which is preserved until today; it is the Hippodromiou square. The construction of the Circus is placed on early 4rth century A.D. and, according to written sources, it continued to be in use until the 7th century A.D.

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