Thessaloniki (Salonica) is the second largest city of Greece (790,824 inhabitants). The foundation of the city in the hellenistic era coincides with a critical phase in the history of the Macedonian Kingdom, starting from the early death of Alexander the Great and the claim of the throne of the kingdom by his descendants. General Cassander in order to claim the throne, married the half-sister of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki, in honor of which founded the city uniting 26 townships, located around the Thermaikos Gulf.
Since its founding by Cassander as a thriving hellenistic city until to Ottoman domination leverages its strategic position and developing a multicultural city. Since 1912, with the end of the Balkan Wars and the integration of the region into modern Greek State.
In the second BC century, the city was conquered by the Romans, like the rest of Greek area and was the seat of the Roman theme of Macedonia. The strategic location of the city was seen from the intention of the transfer of the capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great to the east, and was one of the candidate cities which had been suggested as a surrogate of Rome, but Byzantium finally was selected. Despite the non-selection as the capital, acquires the title of reigning city during the Byzantine Period.
After the Ottoman conquest by the Ottomans in 1432, remains in the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries. With the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula, and northern Europe, Thessaloniki acquires its own Jewish community. This installation of the Jews in Thessaloniki, revealed the city as the most important global Jewish metropolis until at least the early 20th century. Especially since the mid-19th century, the city was the most cosmopolitan urban center of the Ottoman Empire and major political movements and pole movements met in its long history.
By joining the trunk of the Greek state in 1912, the city's population shows significant changes with the movement of the Muslim population and its replacement by the refugee populations of Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace. The demographic changes have contributed to changing population status of the city with the aid of the Greek element. The urban and architectural reorganization accelerated by the Great Fire of 1917 and the efforts of the new Greek government to add ancient and European elements in the architectural style of the city, which led to the destruction of several Ottoman ceremonial and functional buildings. The most significant population changes observed with the holocaust of the flourishing Jewish community by Nazi troops at the time of the triple occupation during the Second World War, with the installation of the Anatolian and Thracian refugee population after the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922 and internal migration observed during the '50s and later to the major urban centers.
(Translation from Wikipedia by C. Theodorou)