Klekkende Høj is a megalithic tomb which dates possibly from the Neolithic Age, ca. 4500 years ago. It one of the best preserved of more than 100 burial mounds on the island. The tomb is a passage grave, which means that the central chamber within the mound is reached by a connecting passage. Klekkende Høj is unusual in that there are two entrance passages running approximately parallel to each other, facing east. Within the mound is a central space running approximately north-south, which is divided through the centre by two large stones. One passage enters each half of the tomb. The entrance passages are approximately 7 metres long and sufficiently large for a crouching man. The central chambers are each approximately 4.5 metres long and larger, but not large enough for a man to stand. The chambers and passages are constructed from large stones set on edge, which support capstones laid flat across their tops. The whole was then covered by an earth mound.
The tomb was excavated in 1797 by Antoine de Bosc de la Calmette, who was governor of the island. Fifteen men worked for a week to dig down into the tomb and remove some of the capstones so that the contents could be removed. Inside were a considerable number of human remains, flint weapons, clay vessels and amber jewellery. These were sent to the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. The tomb was then re-sealed.
The tomb has since been entered again and is now open to the public via the passage entrances. The southern chamber was restored in 1987 to make it safe. At that time, the northern chamber was considered to be sound, but it was later found that the capstones were in danger of slipping off their supports. This was restored in 2002, and electric light was also installed for the benefit of visitors.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.