Cultural Wonders
Vergina
The Royal Capital of Macedonia’s Kindom

A feeling of awe will overpower your soul from the splendors of the magnificent glory and the tragic finale of the Macedonian dynasty.

 

Awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Archaeological Site of Vergina is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, if not Europe. Situated on the foothills of Pieria Mount, visitors will have the opportunity to witness a unique collection of open-air remains along with an extraordinary subterranean museum and the tombs of the Macedonian dynasty.

 

Vergina was nominated with the UNESCO classification 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”.

Vergina is known as the site where Philip II was assassinated in 336 BC, and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. Here, archaeology lovers or not, will admire one of the most astonishing archaeological discoveries of the 20th century; Macedonia’s history to all its grandeur, ready to unveil its mysteries.

 

Inhabited continuously since the 3rd millennium BC, Vergina served as the site of the ancient city of Aegae, the ancient first capital of Macedonia’s kingdom and the cradle of the Temenides, one of the most important dynasties that ruled Macedonia for four centuries, and created two of the most acclaimed heroes in history; Philip II and Alexander the Great. Following their deaths, Aegae was lost in the mists of time.

 

Yet, Professor Manolis Andronikos, a great Greek archaeologist, along with his associates brought to light the treasures of this priceless city (19770. Vergina is a testament that archaeology can change history, as researchers were able to study the evolution of the Macedonians who became the fundamental leverage that changed Greece’s fate and spead the Greek culture and language worldwide.

 

Excavations brought to light important remains including objects and paintings of extraordinary quality and historical importance, the monumental palace, decorated with mosaics and stuccoes, as well as the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli from the 11th century BC. One of the most important findings, though, was the royal tomb of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.

 

The Museum of the Royal Tombs of Vergina distinguishes as one of the most important museums in Greece. The Great Tumulus where the tombs were found was reconstructed in order to create the impression of an ancient grave monument. In 1993, this imperious underground building was constructed in order to protect the royal tombs. By maintaining the right levels of humidity and temperature so that it can preserve the wall paintings, this subterranean museum protects precious objects. It is an impressive underground museum that exhibits some of the most important findings that were found within the Royal Tombs. Indeed, the treasures of the Royal Tombs are displayed within the very same tombs, and provide a sense of the splendor that Vergina experienced during its golden era. Those magnificent findings include the tomb of Philip II along with a wonderful collection of personal belongings of the great King of the Macedonians. The Gold Larnax, worn from the royal dead, held the bones of the dead king, and the incredibly detailed golden wreath of 313 leaves found within the sarcophagus of the King steal all of the glory. A rare gold-and-purple embroidered cloth, work from the royal wife, her golden diadem and two ivory symposium bend, valuable utensils and the silver urn of the Prince are also on exhibit. Furthermore, the distinctive frescoes with the representation of the Abduction of Persephone and the Royal Hunt, the sole examples of great artists of the Hellenistic period, reveal their achievements in art during the years of the Macedonian Kingdom.

 

Though, the new Polycentric Museum of Vergina is on the plans of constructing it. Given the invaluable Macedonians’ contribution to civilization, the archaeology team of Vergina’s excavations, and more specifically A. Kottaridi, decided to create this one-of-a-kind museum, and adopted a “holistic” and dynamic approach to the archaeological site – museum – visitor connection by suggesting the creation of a multiform, multi functional, flexible and constantly-evolving Polycentric Museum. The idea is to integrate the new central building with the archaeological site of Aegea, including the Palace and the tomb cluster of Temenids as well as the famous Museum of the Royal Tombs. By this way, this museum will embrace the archaeological site of Vergina with the help of technology and Virtual Reality.

 

Undeniably, Vergina is a unique discovery with a huge universal impact.