Eleftherias Square


(1870). This was the area where the waterfront used to be and the Byzantine sea wall rose to the north. It was opened up when the wall was demolished and present-day Venizelou Street was constructed to link the Konak (Government House) with the waterfront. It was the first entrance of visitors to the city arriving by sea and was home to hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. It was originally named Apovathras (Wharf) Square and subsequently Olympus Square, as it offered a view of the legendary mountain. It was renamed Eleftherias (Liberty) Square during the rise of the Young Turks, who marched to the square shouting messages of liberty and egalitarianism. After the fire of 1917, its role diminished, as Aristotelous Square was planned. It also served as the site of the first drama in the tragic history of the Jews of the city (see Holocaust Museum). In the 1950s, it was converted into a parking space and bus terminal.

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