Ancient Pella

Ancient Pella is about 77 kilometers from Thessaloniki. King Archelaos moved the capital of the Macedonians from Aiges (Vergina) to Pella at the beginning of the 5th century BC. h.

The city was built according to the Hippodamian system, with squares and straight streets. It was decorated with splendid palaces, temples and majestic public buildings. The ruins revealed by the excavations bear witness to its wealth, power and glory.

Soon, Pella became the largest Macedonian city. The palaces were a huge, complex complex of buildings with courtyards and arcades. They were built on a hill with an endless view of the plain and the sea, as far as Mount Olympus. The market, the commercial center, was square and crossed by a long avenue. Its large central square with shrines, altars and statues was surrounded by a large portico with a Doric colonnade and many shops and workshops in three rows around. The market had fountains and a perfect water and drainage system.

Particularly impressive are the town’s stately homes, large, with interior courtyards with elegant columns, brilliant halls with elaborate mosaic floors. These mosaics of Pella are famous for their art. They consist of colorful mosaics in amazing combinations of themes from nature, mythology and history, beautiful formations and colors, with movement and life unparalleled. The mosaic of Dionysus depicts the god of joy on a panther crowned with thyrsus in hand. The lion hunt mosaic depicts Alexander the Great and Craterus slaying the beast in a wonderful composition with stunning photo-shadings with a fine frame with rich floral decoration and spiraling around. Pella communicated with the sea by a large navigable canal.

The grave goods in the city’s cemeteries also confirm its standard of living and culture. The largest of the so far known Macedonian tombs of the 4th BC was excavated here. h. Zeus the Most High, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Demeter, Asclepius, Dionysus and Herakles were worshiped in Pella.

He was born in Pella in 356 BC. Alexander the Great and grew up here. For about two centuries of the Hellenistic era, Pella flourished and its radiation spread throughout the then known world. In 168 BC it was captured by the Romans, who looted it and took its gold, silver, statues and treasures to Rome. The city remained as the capital of one of the four “portions” into which the Romans divided Macedonia.

In the archaeological museum of Pella there are several of the movable findings of the excavations carried out in the last forty years. Among others, the visitor can admire many architectural members, statues, sculptures and reliefs, ceramics, figurines, vases, vase molds and figurines, weapons, tombstones, jewelry, utensils, coins and many mosaics from the floors of the buildings.


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