The Thessaloniki seafront that resembles a boomerang in its form is not only a picturesque avenue but also a favourite place for walking for locals and for visitors of the city. After the city wall protecting Thessaloniki had been demolished at the end of the XIX century, a pedestrianized area was built along the sea, stretching from the port to one of the main symbols of Thessaloniki — the White Tower. The promenade offers a magnificent view of Thermaikos bay, and when the weather is fine, it is possible to see the top of the famous mount Olympus. On the other side of the road, there are picturesque gardens and parks, and modern and historic monuments of art. One of the most famous is the monument to Alexander the Great.
The bronze equestrian statue of Alexander the Great was created by a famous sculptor Evangelos Moustakas and cast in Italy. The monument is 6 metres high and together with the pedestal it rises up at 11 metres, the weight of the structure is almost 4 tons. The plinth is paved with dark marble from the nearby village of Melissochori and surrounded by the white marble from Veria.
Originally, the monument to the great Greek commander was set in the city beach area but after the reorganization it is surrounded by a park with fountains, young trees and marble benches for having rest. This is the first theme park in Thessaloniki seafront, where the kids can get a ride along the territory on a small train, and adults can drink a cup of coffee or have a snack in one of the cafes nearby, enjoying a wonderful view of the sea, park and the monument.
The monument to Alexander the Great was erected in 1973 on the voluntary donations collected by the city committees. The unveiling of the memorial was held in 1974 on saint Alexander’s day, August 30. The monument represents Alexander of Macedon riding his favourite horse Bucephalus, whom he had never left during his military career. Alexander’s faithful horse seems to be spoiling for another fight, Alexander’s sight is set to the East. The sculptor Evangelos Moustakas embodied Bucephalus as furious stallion, mounting whom Alexander is sitting solemnly and demonstrating his main personal traits — majesty, impetuosity and dreaminess.
While creating the image of Alexander the Great, sculptor Moustakas developed as many as 9 models of equestrians, the last of which was 7 metres long and 6 metres high. Just the head of Bucephalus was of 2 metres’ size. And for the final reworking of the project of statue, Evangelos had to create a sculpture from a great amount of polystyrene.
Behind the monument, there is a low wall with an embossment of the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C., where the army of Alexander the Great defeated the Persian king Darius III and afterwards conquered all the eastern seaside of the Mediterranean Sea. At the sides there are pointed spears with shields symbolizing the Alexander’s army, five of them have engraved images of a snake, Gorgon Medusa, a lion, an ox and a falcon.
One of the most influential politicians of antiquity Alexander the Great was a Macedonian Emperor (IV century B.C.), a son of Philip II and Aristotle’s student, who left his mark in history as a talented conqueror and a wise commander. During the years of his rule, he managed to conquer the lands from Greece to the North of Africa, including the territory of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
Here are some facts about life of the outstanding commander:
The monument dedicated to the outstanding ruler and military leader Alexander the Great, is located on the seafront not far from one of the most remarkable symbol of Thessaloniki — the White Tower.
From different parts of the city, you can get here by buses No. 3, 7, 10, 11, 12, 31, 39, 58. The bus stop is called “Stratigio” or “Museum of Byzantine Culture”. And from the Aristotelous Square you can walk on foot to the monument and the park of Alexander the Great just in 10 minutes, leisurely strolling along the promenade and enjoying the delightful scenery.