The Central Archaeological Council has approved the studies for the protection, stabilizing, surface maintenance, restoration and highlighting of the antiquities at the “Agia Sophia” Station, as well as for the corresponding electromechanical and architectural studies for the formation of the interior of the shell surrounding the antiquities at the “Venizelos” Station. Following that, Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni stated that “the cycle of studies is being completed for the protection and highlighting of the antiquities that were uncovered during the construction of the two stations of the Thessaloniki Metro. The Ministry of Culture and Sports is systematically and on schedule proceeding with the completion of an extremely complex archaeological project, in the urban fabric of Thessaloniki, the like of which has never been realized until now. In this way, the Ministry not only succeeds in rescuing evidence of the historical timelessness of the city, but also highlights the antiquities, with modern and in many cases original solutions, creating archaeological sites, within theThessaloniki Metro. Thanks to the painstaking and intensive efforts of the working group, coordinated by the competent departments of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, we are showing our respect for the past of Thessaloniki in practice and proving that by our specific choices, both antiquities and Metro can coexist”.

The northern entrance of the Aghia Sofia Station of the Thessaloniki Metro, with a total area of 820 sq.m., is located south of Makedonomachon square and north of the Station, between Aghia Sofia and Platonos streets. Excavations began in April 2016, continued in 2019 and was completed in 2022, bringing to light part of the urban fabric of the city of Thessaloniki, which is structured north of the Byzantine avenue decumanus maximus (today’s Egnatia street) in consecutive buildings phases, from Late Antiquity and Proto-Byzantine times to the Post-Byzantine and newer eras. A section of a large 6th century s-shaped marble-paved square was revealed, to which a monumental staircase led from street level. In Byzantine times, the square was occupied by shops and workshops in which ceramic, glass and metal jewelry was produced, while in the early post-Byzantine times a small church was added.

The preparation of the studies for the antiquities at the Aghia Sophia Station, as well as the previous studies for the same station (repositioning of the fountain building, construction of a shelter for the protection of the antiquities, construction of a viewing corridor and a stairway descending to the level of the antiquities for their conservation and the configuration of the surrounding area), was processed by a large working group with the participation of the five competent Directorates of the Ministry, the Ephorate of Antiquities of the City of Thessaloniki and external scientific partners.