E. Heuzen and N.Hammond posit that this was the site of the Battle of Pydna (168 B.C.), the outcome of which being the subjugation of the Macedonians to the Roman Empire.
The ruins of a Bishop's Palace from the 5th-6th C. was found to the east of the railway line from Thessaloniki to Athens.
A square tower, 80x90 m. was found situated on the Ancient Road from Pydna to Dion. The area was built on a plan which included four fortified towers, within the confines of which a 3 chambered Basilica and a Bishop's Palace, bounded by a covered aisle have been found.
The foundations of the buildings from 479 AD are probably those of the seat of the Bishop of Pydna.
The Bishop's Palace was built on the ruins of the 2nd century baths, a mosaic floor having been found beneath its floor, and to the East of the Palace is a villa with mosaic floors dating from the time of Konstantinou and the foundations of a building which were probably those of the local tax collector's offices.
The plan with four towers remained until the time of Justinian, when its fortified character changed due to the enlargement of the warehouses and workshops for the production of wine and olive oil. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the middle of the 6th Century, after which the church was rebuilt on the central slope, the previous building area being converted into a cemetery.
The town must have been abandoned during the Bulgarian invasion at the end of the 9th Century. Today's visitor can see three of the towers, the Bishops Palace, the mosaic floors of the 4th C villa, the tombs, the springs, the ovens for baking the tiles and those in which glass was fired.
The excavation by Professor Manolis Andronikos and his associates under the Great Tumulus of Vergina village in Imathia, Central Macedonia in 1977 brought to light the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century in Greece. Today’s Vergina (Ancient Aigai), in the foothills of Mt. Pieria, was the first capital of ancient kingdom of Macedonia, called Aigai. The site of the Royal Tombs under a modern roof hosts the main excavation, as well as an exhibition of the major finds from the burials. It is protected by UNESCO as world cultural heritage and comprises a unique discovery of an enormous universal impact.
In the same area, inhabited continuously since the 3rd millennium BC, are also the ruins of an acropolis, palace, theater, shrines and private buildings, and hundreds of common graves of an extensive necropolis of the ancient city of Aigai until Roman times.
The exhibition’s shelter has the external form of the Great Tumulus, a man-made mound, while the underground building has been housing since November 1997 tombs and treasures found in them. This sheltered group includes three Macedonian tombs: the intact tomb of Philip II (II) with a hunting scene fresco painting. Intact is also the so-called Tomb of the Prince (III), which may belong to Alexander IV, grandson of Philip II and his son Alexander the Great and another ruined and plundered Macedonian tomb (IV) of the third BC century.
The visitor will also see a plundered a cist family tomb (I), known as the “Tomb of Persephone”, with the incomparable fresco of the abduction of Persephone by Hades and a ruined building named "Heroon", probably used for the worship of the dead royal members buried next door. Some of the major finds exhibited here are the two golden urns, containing the bones of Philip II and one of his wives, two oak and one myrtle golden wreaths worn by the royal dead. On display is also the rare gold-and-purple embroidered cloth, which wrapped the bones of the royal wife, along with her golden diadem of a unique art, two ivory symposium beds, weapons and armor of Philip II, valuable symposium utensils of the royal family and the silver urn of "Prince."
The building of the Military Station (Station Militaire) of the Railroad company «Jonction - Salonique - Constantinople» at Thessaloniki.
Is located at the west side of Thessaloniki approxamately 500 meters after the overpass bridge of Monastiriou road to the exit of the city, between main rail lines emanating from the New Railroad Station and convent within the administrative boundaries of the Municipality of Kordelio - Evosmos.
The building had been constructed at the end of the 19th century (in particular from 1891 until 1894) when the city was part of the Ottoman Empire. It had been designed by the Italian architect Pierro Arigoni who had also designed the Casa Bianca building during 1911.
To the west of Ancient Pydna and the South west of present day Makrigialos lies one of the largest pre-historic settlements in Greece.
It came to light as the result of excavations carried out by the 16th Society for Prehistoric and Classical Studies, which began in1992.
The site was excavated over an area of 60 sq km, though it is estimated that the area of the settlement covered something like 500 sq. km.
It included dwellings and land under cultivation, and artifacts such as clay pots, stone tools from a wide range of materials and small utensils were found. Idols made of clay and marble also came to light, as did the charred remains of seeds and a plethora of animal bones.
We welcome you to visit the Museum. Immense yourself in the stories that it has to tell you, see and listen to how an object can “make” history. In addition, come to experience and enjoy all that a modern museum can offer: educational programs, exhibitions of ancient and modern culture, workshops, academic talks, seminars and recreational activities.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is a space of culture and learning, open for everyone.
6 Manoli Andronikou Street,
PO Box 506 19
Postal Code 540 13, Thessaloniki, Greece
tel. +30 2310 830538
fax. +30 2310 861306
⇠ Thessaloniki 40km, ⇢ Polygyros 23km
Reference to Galatista dates back to as early as the end of the 9th century AD, while later, after the Ottoman occupation in around 1500, the village became the property of Ishak Pasa. In the area below Galatista, near the church of Agia Paraskevi, the ancient settlement of Anthemous is thought to have been located. Anthemous was a city that ruled the surrounding region, which was known by the same name. Anthemous was granted by the Persians to Macedonia. King Amintas I then presented the city as a gift to Hippias the tyrant, son of Peisistratos, who refused the offer. The art of icon painting flourished in Galatista during the 19th century. Today, Galatista is a picturesque village with narrow alleys, old houses, and beautiful churches.
• The churches inside the village. Galatista has the greatest number of churches out of all the villages in Halkidiki (St George - 1813, Panagia - 1835, St Demetrios - 1830, St. John Prodromos -1835, St Paraskevi - 1835, St. Nicholas -1842).
• The tower and the 2 watermills in front of the tower, built in the 14th century.
✓ can’t miss this!
10km east of Galatista, following the national road Polygyros-Thessaloniki, is the magnificent monastery of “Anastasia Farmakolytria”, founded in 888 AD by the Empress Theophano (wife of Leon VI the Wise).
More about Monastery of Agia Anastasia Farmakolytria (Mountain Halkidiki)
The monastery of Agia Anastasia Farmakolytria (St Anastasia the Curer) stands near Vassilika of Thessaloniki, at the foot of Adrianos, one of Mount Hortiatis’s summits. It was built in 1522 by St Theonas, who later became metropolitan bishop of Thessaloniki. During the Turkish domination, the monastery owned many acres of land but it was destroyed and was rebuilt from scratch in 1830. Today, it belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and honors St Anastasia on the 22nd of December.
T + 30 23960 22440
On the discovery of the Royal Tombs of Vergina (Aigai) in 1977, an immediate programme was launched to preserve the magnificent murals which adorned them. At the same time a conservation laboratory was set up on the spot to save and restore the extremely important portable objects they contained. For the preservation of the Royal Tombs themselves a subterranean structure was built in 1993 to encase and protect the ancient monuments by maintaining a constant temperature and humidity, both indispensable for the preservation of the wall paintings.
Externally the structure has the appearance of an earth mound; inside it are the treasures found in the Royal Tombs, which have been on exhibition since November 1997.
Τ: +30 23310 92347
Special ticket package: Full: €8, Reduced: €4
Valid for: Aigai, Building for the protection of the royal tombs of Vergina
«Just as it is true that the right to develop is identical with the right to eternal youth, so it is true that tomorrow is always shaped using the materials of yesterday. [...] Only then can a civilization have sturdy foundations, when it is rooted in a profound awareness of its past, of its immediate past».
D. Loukopoulos, 1938
The F.E.M.M.-Th. explores and studies the traditional culture of recent times in the region of northern Greece. It gathers, preserves, safeguards and records the material evidence of that past, making it available to the public for purposes of study, instruction and amusement.
The Museum’s collections comprise some 20,000 items of all kinds - associated with agriculture, livestock breeding, fishing, as well as crafts such as weaving, sewing, embroidery, metalwork, carpentry and ceramics. These are artefacts which served man’s basic needs for food, housing and clothing, as well as other items playing a part in his social and spiritual life.
Through knowledge of the society of yesterday the Museum hopes to promote a better understanding today's world. Its role is first and foremost a social one. Through its varied activities (exhibitions, educational programmes, publications and other activities) it communicates with the public and participates in the culture and life of the community.
address: 68 Vas. Olgas Str. Postcode 546 42, Thessaloniki, Greece
phone: 0030/2310830591, 0030/2310889840
fax: 0030/2310844848, 0030/2310886095
every day (excl. Thursday) 9.00-15.00,
Wednesday: 10.00 - 22.00
normal rate: 2€ | half rate: 1€
Official website: http://www.lemmth.gr
On the slopes of Olympus, a mere 5 km from the beaches of Pieria, Ancient Dion, the Holy City of Macedonia was found under a covering of undergrowth and water. This city had been a thriving centre of civilization from the time of its foundation for a period of 1,000 years from the 5th c, BC to the 5th c, AD.
We learn from Ancient Greek writers that the Macedonians regularly gathered in Dion to worship the Gods of Olympus, and to make sacrificial offerings, as can be seen from the objects found on the site. It was here that King Archelaos organized athletic competitions and theatrical events, and Philip the Second celebrated his victories at Dion, as did Alexander.
It was here that Alexander gathered together his troops to prepare for his journeys of conquest, worshipping Zeus, King of the Gods of Olympus. In the temple of the Gods of Olympus was a magnificent bronze statue created by Lissippos, which depicted the 25 horsemen who died at the Battle of Granikos.
During the reign of Philip the 5th after a disastrous invasion, the Aetolians ransacked the city. At the Battle of Pydna, 168 BC, the death of Perseas, last King of Macedonia, brought an end to the Macedonian Dynasty. Dion became integrated into the Roman colony during the reign of Augustus.
The second peak of the city came during the Roman occupation in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, when it became "reborn" as a Greek city. The final days of Dion were written when it was destroyed by an earthquake and floods in the 5th c AD. The terrified citizens of the city took flight and sought refuge on the higher slopes of Olympus.
The Holy City of the Macedonians collapsed and its ruins lay beneath the soil of the Macedonian earth.
Two kilometres from the Thessaloniki–Kavala national highway, just above the mouth of the River Strymon, is the archaeological site of ancient Amphipolis (a city founded in 437 bc) and the Archaeological Museum.
The museum is housed in a new building that was completed in 1995. The finds are displayed in chronological order and comprise the following groups: the prehistoric period (from Mount Pangaio and Ketil Tepes Hill); the Archaic period (from Kasta Hill and the Iron Age cemetery at Amphipolis); the Classical and Hellenistic periods (from the Archaic Gymnasium, the Hellenistic cemetery, the Hellenistic house, and from excavations on the archaeological site), the Roman period (mosaics from a Roman house and from excavations in the local cemetery); the Early Christian period (from five Early Christian basilicas at Amphipolis); and the modern era (from a chapel found at a low elevation near Nea Amphipoli).
Address: Amphipolis, GR 650 52 Serres, Macedonia, Greece
Opening Hours: Tuesday–Sunday: 8.00–14.30
⇠ Thessaloniki 61km
The capital city of Halkidiki is located in the center of the region. Polygyros was built on the southern slopes of Mt. Holomontas at an altitude of 550 meters. Its name is thought to have been inspired by the many twists and turns in the endless surrounding hills. Another explanation stems from “Poly-geros” or “very-strong”, a reference to the good climate but also possibly “Poly-ieros” or “very-holy”, because of a temple that used to exist in the area. There have been references to Polygyros since Byzantine times, and it is where the Halkidiki uprising started on May 17, 1821. Today, small hotels and guesthouses are available for an overnight stay while tavernas and quaint ouzo bars provide traditional local delicacies. Throughout the year Polygyros organizes various cultural events.
• The traditional web of narrow streets with their old houses. The scenic location of Exi Vrises is well-known, named after its six water taps. A restaurant and a coffee shop located here, are the ideal places to relax and grab a bite.
• The Archaeological Museum with findings from the entire Halkidiki (Olynthos, Potidea e.t.c.).
• The Folk life Museum at Karaganis Mansion.
• The Church of Metamorfosi (Transfiguration): Byzantine church with murals, built in an old prison property.
• Country church of Prophitis Elias (Prophet Elijah).
• The Church of St. Demetrios, built in 1871 at the site Bares.
• Church of Saint (Agios) Modestos with the icon of the saint that was painted in the 15th to 16th century by Monks from Mount Athos.
• Just 6km down the road that leads to Taxiarchis -situated above the general hospital- is the location known as Tsoukalas, which offers a panoramic view of the township.
• A short distance from Polygyros, in the area called Paleporta, was the ancient town Apollonia, southwest from where the city lies today. Here, the visitor can still see part of the castle walls foundations.
✓ can’t miss this!
The Carnival feast: 10 days of events that culminate with the parade of carvival floats on the last Sunday of the carnival period.
Taxiarchis is home to a branch of the Forestry Department of the University of Thessaloniki, due to its forest of Christmas trees.
More about Archaeological Museum (Polygyros)
The Museum has a fascinating collection of archaeological finds from all over Halkidiki. Exhibits include clay figurines and coins from Olynthos, vases from Toroni, parts of the roof of the temple of Zeus Ammon from Kallithea, reliquary chests, fisherman’s equipment, lamps, jewels and amphorae from Akanthos, now the town of Ierissos, and funerary steles and the statue of a woman from the 1st century BC, from the sanctuary of a deified hero, from Stratoni.
(More Info: T +30 23710 22148).
A place of universal interest, the ruins of Aristotle's School, is a found only 2 kilometers away from the contemporary Naoussa, at the district of Isvoria Here is the place with the racing water and the deeply-shaded caves, mentioned by the ancient writers, where the greatest philosopher of the antiquity taught the greatness of classical Greek thought and the ideals of the Platonic philosophy to the King's of Macedonia, Phillip II, son, Alexander and the other nobles of the Macedonian court. The encounter of these two Great personalities of the ancient world at the Nympheon of Mieza would definitely affect the future of mankind, and of all Western Civilization.
The area of the Nympheon, that is the sanctuary dedicated to the Nymphs, is a very impressive natural landscape, where the ancient remnants - a wall prop of a two-floored arcade with Ionic columns forming a Π- combined with the three natural caves which are found there, constitute the main grounds of the School. The vertical surface of the rock, where the openings for supporting the roof's girders are discernable, comprised the back-end of the shady stoa, (built at 350 B.C. and later), where Aristotle taught «the doctrines of morals and politics" (Plutarch VII, 668) to the youths of the Macedonian Nobility. The landscape, where the Great Teacher rambled with his students on the fully vegetation riverbank trails, among calm and cool streams of water, gushed from the springs around, is completed by an even greater cave, a little further off, with two carved entrances, obviously for devotional use.
In the land of Alexander the Great.
Set out on a magical journey through time to the glorious kingdom of ancient Macedonia, where Alexander the Great was born. Peer into the rich history of the Macedonian state capital, a bustling metropolis of the Classical period. A number of excavations of the site reveal the ancient city’s majestic grandeur.
Visit the monumental palatial complex that occupies the northernmost hill of the city, and covers an area of 60.000 m2. Wander around the city’s commercial and manufacturing centre, the so-called agora (ayorá), which was in fact the biggest agora of the ancient world. This huge building complex of 70.000m2 included shops, workshops, administration offices, and the repository of the city’s historical records. The main avenue of agora was actually connected with the city’s port, the ruins of which are still visible today.
The ancient agora is constructed according to the famous urban planning of Hippodamus (Hippodamian grid plan): well-defined city blocks, paved streets with sidewalks, and elaborate water supply and sewage systems. They all illustrate Pella’s modern infrastructure and sophisticated urban design. The two-storey private housesbuilt in Doric and Ionic style brings to mind images of a prosperous, ancient, city.
You will certainly be impressed by the outstanding mosaic floors that used to decorate the city's grand mansions – the most famous are the ones depicting the Abduction of Helen, Rapture, the Amazonomachy (the battle of Amazons), and the Deer Hunt. You can marvel at these decorated floors (considered the most important group of mosaics in Macedonia) at the New Archaeological Museum of Pella.
⇠ Thessaloniki 70km ⇠ Polygyros 16km
Nea Olynthos lies next to the site of ancient Olynthos (+1.5km) and is the modern counterpart of the Byzantine village of Myriofyto. It is said to have taken its present name from its founder, Olynthos, brother of the Thracian king Rissos. Others claim the name comes from the hero Olynthos, son of the river god Strymon.
• Ancient Olynthos. It was located on the heights east of the present village. The area is fenced and the entrance is at the southwest foot of the heights. The location of the city has been known since the 19th century. The people in the area called it “Pirgos” after a Byzantine tower that was build there to protect the “metochi” of the Mt Athos monastery of Kastamonitou. Only the foundation of this Tower is preserved today, at the southern end of the city. For 100 years Olynthos was the most important city of Halkidiki. Its foundation goes back to mythical times. The city was destroyed in 480 B.C. by the Persians. The evidence from the excavations show that the archaic city, which was a continuation of the prehistoric one, was built on the southern hill. The north hill seems to have been the area of the new settlement of the Chalkideans. The accuracy of the city plan of Olynthos helps us understand how the Ippodamio city planning system was applied. Although the ruins are remarkable, the findings of the excavations are exhibited at the Museums of Thessaloniki and Polygyros.
• The ruins of the Byzantine church of St Nicholas, a structure of the 10th or 11th century.
• North of Olynthos, at the site known as Mariana, there is a fortified tower dating from the 14th century, built by the Docheiariou Monastery on Mt. Athos.
• About 7km from the village is the site of the ancient city of Mikyverna, the port of Olynthos, which must have been destroyed when Olynthos was laid waste by Phillip II in 348 B.C.
✓ can’t miss this!
Walk through the ancient roads of Olynthos and admire the perfection of the architecture.
More about Ancient town Olynthos
The area was constantly inhabited since the Neolithic Age. According to mythology, the town was built by the brother of Olynthos, the son of the mythic King of Thrace, Strymonas. Olynthos was killed by a lion and his brother built the town to honour his brother’s name. However, the linguists insist that olynthos is the name of the wild fig tree, which is in abundance in the area, and the town was named after it.
Around 650 BC refugees from Pieria, hunted by the Macedonian army, settled in the area. The Persian army destroyed the town in 479 BC. and offered the region to their allies from Evia (Halkida). Later on, Olynthos joined the Athenian Alliance and then the Community of Halkida (Evia). From this alliance the town gained great profits (mainly financial). So, it became the capital of the Euboan colonies in Halkidiki and was able to support a huge army (about 20.000 soldiers). During the Peloponnesian War the area grew more, had its own monetary unit and provided protection to all the Euboan refugees in Greece.
When the Macedonian State faded, the army of Olynthos conquered its territories and reached the ancient town of Pella (389 BC). In 382 BC, after a three year-long siege, the Spartans captured the town and destroyed the Euboan Community. Nevertheless, the town quickly recovered and became wealthy and powerful again. In 348 BC the Macedonian Army, under the command of Philip II, conquered it and destroyed it. The town was never again inhabited and its destruction is remembered as one of the darkest moments of the entire ancient world.
The exhibition is arranged in chronological order, in three rooms: Room A (vestibule) contains finds of the prehistoric period. Of the most important exhibits are the Neolithic figurines and tools from the settlement at Kolchis (case 1, upper and lower shelf).
Case 2 contains a small collection of fine bronze jewellery dated to the Early Iron Age, from various sites of the Kilkis region. It includes mostly bracelets with many spirals, rings and pendants, the latter presenting a variety of types and shapes, such as anchors, pyxides, birds and vases (upper and lower shelf).
Due to the restricted space of the Museum, in the same room are also exhibited a funerary stele with a relief representation of a rider, part of an Attic sarcophagus with a representation of young men and a horse, and a honorary decree of the city of Morrylos (Ano Apostoloi).
Room B contains excavation finds from the Iron Age cemetery at Old Gynaikokastro, including characteristic urns and grave offerings, weapons, knives, double axes, and jewellery. Reproductions of burials are displayed at the corners of the same room.
Finds of the historic periods, mostly sculpture, vases, jewellery, and objects of everyday life are displayed in Room C. Among the most impressive exhibits are: the kouros of Europos, dated to the end of the 6th century B.C., four statues from the Heroon of Palatiano, dated to the 2nd century A.D., a statue of Dionysos, also from Palatiano, and two statues of Apollo and Aphrodite, from Mikro Dasos and Chorygio, respectively.
Items given by individuals or found during old excavations are exhibited in cases 6 and 7. The centre of Case 6 is occupied by a well preserved Classical helmet with an incised scene of facing lions on the front, while the rest of the items are vases and figurines from various sites.
Case 7 (upper shelf), includes clay, gilt plaques with representations of griffins devouring stags, and many other items, all grave offerings found at Philyria.
Finds from the excavations of Palatiano, mostly objects of everyday life activities, are exhibited in case 8. Impressive among them are the bone spoons, the incised loom-weights, and the terracotta statuettes.