By the first century the city had a large jewish population. Paul, on his second journey, preached in the main synagogue and laid the foundations, basically, for a Christian church. He was run out of town but with his two letters (First and Second Thessalonians) his influence remained. By 306 the city had a patron saint, St. Demetrios. He had been a Roman Proconsul of Greece under the anti-Christian emperor, Maximian, and was slain in the Roman prison. The Church now stands on the site of that prison.

The Church of Demitrios