MACEDONIA IS AN OPEN MUSEUM
We visit Aegae - Aristotle School, Pella, Philippi, Florina, Edessa, more... in Macedonia as travelers, not as tourists
Aegae. Vergina is best known, 70km SW from Thessaloniki, as the site of ancient Aegae, was the first capital of Macedonia Kingdom. It was here in 336 BC that Philip II was assassinated in the theater and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. Aegae has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as "an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization, at the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods".
Aegae Museum / Macedonian Royal Tomb of Philips
The site was discovered in 1976, and excavated during the 1977/8 season in a campaign led by Manolis Andronikos, which unearthed the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great which unlike so many other tombs had not been disturbed or looted. It is also the site of an extensive royal palace and of many rich ancient tombs. The objects and paintings found in the tombs at Vergina are of extraordinarily high quality and historical importance. A museum now contains Philip's tomb, a second museum is being constructed (Opens 2018) for the palace and other finds.
Ancient sources give conflicting accounts of the origins of the Argead dynasty. Alexander I is the first truly historic figure and, based on the line of succession, the beginnings of the Macedonian dynasty have been traditionally dated to 750 BC. Herodotus says, that the Argead dynasty was an ancient Greek royal house led by Perdiccas I who fled from Argos, in approximately 650 BC.
From 513 to 480 BC Aegae was part of the Persian Empire, but Amyntas I managed to maintain its relative independence, avoid Satrapy and extend its possessions. The city wall was built in the 5th century probably by Perdiccas II.
At the end of the 5th century Archelaus I brought to his court artists, poets, and philosophers from all over the Greek world. It was, for example, at Aegae that Euripides wrote and presented his last tragedies.
At the beginning of the 4th century BC, Archelaus transferred the Macedonian capital NE to Pella 45 km from Thessaloniki. Nevertheless, Aegae retained its role as the sacred city of the Macedonian kingdom, the site of the traditional cult centers, a royal palace and the royal tombs. For this reason it was here that Philip II was attending the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra to King Alexander of Epirus when he was murdered by his bodyguard in the theater. His was the most lavish funeral ceremony of historic times held in Greece. Laid on an elaborate gold and ivory deathbed wearing his precious golden oak wreath, the king was surrendered, like a new Hercules, to the funeral pyre.
SCHOOL OF ARISTOTLE
Sacred place with worldwide value. A place of universal interest, the ruins of Aristotle's School, is a found only 2 km away from the contemporary Naoussa. 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 discernible, 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.
Pella, is an ancient city located in Central Macedonia, Greece, 45 km from Thessaloniki, best known as the historical capital of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia in the time of Phillip II and Alexander the Great. On the site of the ancient city is the Archaeological Museum of Pella, do not miss it.
In Antiquity, Pella was a strategic port connected to the Thermaic Gulf by a navigable inlet, but the harbor and gulf have since silted up, leaving the site land locked. It was probably built as the capital of the kingdom by Archelaus, replacing the older palace-city of Aegae although there appears to be some possibility that it may have been created by Amyntas. According to Xenophon, in the beginning of the 4th century BC Pella was the largest Macedonian city. It was the birthplace and seats of Philip II, in 382 BC and of Alexander the Great, his son, in 356 BC.
It became the largest and richest city in Macedonia and flourished particularly under Cassander's rule. The reign of Antigonus most likely represented the height of the city's prosperity, as this is the period which has left us most archaeological remains. The famous poet Aratus died in Pella c. 240 BC.
Pella is further mentioned by Polybius and Livy as the capital of Philip V and of Perseus during the Macedonian Wars fought against the Roman Republic.
In 168 BC, it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome...
Philippi: The city was renamed by Philip II of Macedon in 356 BC and abandoned in the 14th century after the Ottoman conquest. The ruins of the ancient city is located near the region of East Macedonia and Thrace in Kavalla, Greece. It was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.
Philippi was an important city in eastern Macedon which flourished in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods. Situated between the Strymon and Nestos rivers, the city was valued in antiquity for its nearby gold mines. Site of the famous Battle of Philippi at the end of the Roman Republic, the city prospered in the Roman imperial era and, after a visit from St. Paul, became an important center of early Christianity. Today the archaeological site has substantial remains including a theater and four basilicas.
The New Testament states that in AD 49 or 50, the city was visited by the apostle Paul (Acts 16:9-10). From the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16:12) and the letter to the Philippians (Philippians 1:1), early Christians concluded that Paul had founded their community. Accompanied by Silas, Timothy and possibly Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul is believed to have preached for the first time on European soil in Philippi
Florina is a town and municipality in the mountainous northwestern Macedonia, Greece. Its motto is, 'Where Greece begins'.
The town of Florina is the capital of the Florina regional unit and also the seat of the eponymous municipality. It belongs to the administrative region of West Macedonia. The town's population is 18,696 people . It is in a wooded valley about 16 km (10 miles) south of the international border of Greece with FYROM (Slavic Republic of Macedonia).
Winters bring heavy snow and long periods of temperature below freezing point. The town and the surrounding valley is usually covered in thick fog during the winter months that may last even for weeks under specific conditions. During the summer months it becomes a busy market town with an economy boosted by summer and, mostly, winter tourism due to the heavy snowfalls and the nearby ski resorts.
During the Macedonian Struggle the Greek Makedonomahoi gained significant advantage towards the Bulgarian Anarchists within 10 months in 1905 and extended their zone of control in various regions of western Macedonia including the plains north and south of Florina.
In 1912 came under the control of the Greek forces as a result of the Ottoman defeat in the First Balkan War. The town was again in the firing line during World War I, during which it was occupied by Bulgaria, and during the Axis Occupation in World War II, when the town became a center of Slavic separatism.
Nymfeon is a mountain village, situated at 1350 m elevation in the densely forested Verno mountains. It is 17 km southeast of Florina. Nymfaio hosts a Museum of Gold and Silver-smithery, Folklore, and History, inaugurated in 2000 and located in a traditional building in the centre of the village. It displays furniture, artisan jewelry, and religious silverware. There are also showcases displaying authentic costumes as well as photographs and other memorabilia of the Macedonian Struggle, including letters written by leaders of the Macedonian Struggle as Pavlos Melas and Germanos Karavangelis.
The Environmental Center ARCTUROS is active in the area, and manages an environmental protection center for brown bears and wolves One & half kms from the village. The center is home to 13 bears and several wolves that were believed too weak to survive in the wild. The information center is open to the public for several months of the year. There are currently 6 functioning hotels in Nymfeon, as well as an Orthodox Church. Next to the church is an old cemetery dating to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Very powerful impressive waterfall, you can walk behind it and there are many great photo opportunities. The area includes a few more smaller waterfalls, ponds and streams . Very pretty ! The cafe has a great panoramic view as well. Edessa waterfalls are very impressive You can see them from the top, the bottom and also walk behind them. Should not be missed. Amazing landscape which is overlooking the valley of Pella. The scenery is breathtaking! Very nice and clean park around the waterfalls which you must visit.