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Photographer's Note

The Rotonda (or Rotunda) is one of the most important Roman monuments in Thessaloniki, Macedonia. This cylindrical structure was built in 306 AD by the Roman tetrarch Galerius, who intended it to be his grave. At first, it worked as a temple but it remains unknown to which god this temple was dedicated.

Eventually, Galerius died in 311 AD and he was buried in Felix Romuliana, modern Serbia. In the 4th century AD, the Byzantine emperor Constantine I converted it into an Orthodox church and many frescoes were painted inside, some of which survive today on the walls of Rotonda.

In the 14th century, the Muslim Ottomans occupied Thessaloniki and eventually the Rotonda was converted into a mosque. A minaret was added to the building which has been restored and survives to present. In 1912, the Greeks liberated Thessaloniki from the Turks and the Rotonda was again converted into an Orthodox church until 1979, when a strong earthquake caused serious damage to the structure. Presently, the Rotunda has been restored and works as a sculpture museum, whilst also hosting temporary exhibitions.

The Rotonda has a diameter of 24,5 meters and its walls are more than 6 meters thick, which has protected the monument from the effects of time, sieges and earthquakes.

This is one of the oldest Orthodox churches and has been included in the UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites. In fact, all Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki were included in this list in 1988.

Partial quote: www.greeka.com/macedonia/thessaloniki/sightseeing/thessaloniki-rotonda-monument/

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 94 W: 0 N: 622] (2502)
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