ARCHAEOLOGICAL

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece temple ammon zeus

The region of Kallithea is directly associated with the temple of Ammon Zeus, one of the most important worship sites of Zeus in Greece. The temple, 10x20m, has a Doric style, with huge pillars made of the local stone. The temple was probably destroyed in the 3rd century BC by the Galatians. Remains of the temple are found just off Kallithea beach but they are difficult to discern.

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Temple of Ammon Zeus

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforiosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece tower prosforios

Ouranoupolis is the gate to Mount Athos. The symbol of the town is the tall, imposing Byzantine Tower of Prosforios, planted on the sandy beach, the biggest and best preserved tower of Halkidiki. It was built in 1344 by monks who were responsible for the dependency of the Vatopedion Monastery in Mount Athos. The last residents of the tower were an Australian couple, Sidney and Joyce Loch, who settled here in 1928 and taught the refugees the traditional art of handmade carpets and textiles. Excavation finds from Halkidiki of the middle ages are exhibited on the top floor of the Tower of Prosforios.

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Tower of Prosforios

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient olynthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient olynthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient olynthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient olynthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient olynthos

Ancient Olynthos was the richest historic city in Halkidiki, built in a beautiful and fertile area, almost 4 km from the shore.
The myth has it that Olynthos was the son of Heracles and nymph Volvi or son of the river god Strymon. Olynthos was killed at a young age during a lion hunting expedition. Vraggas, mourning his brother’s loss, built the homonymous city to honour him. Linguists have another theory that puts the myth to question; they believe that the name Olynthos came from the wild fig tree that grows in the fields of the region. Characteristic tombs and important archaeological finds testify to the existence of an important prehistoric settlement from Neolithic times in the position of historic Olynthos. The prehistoric cemetery is the most ancient one in Helladic space dating to the Early Copper Age (2,500 BC). Around 650 BC, the Bottiaeans settled there and everything ran smoothly in the rich city until 479 BC when the Persians destroyed the city and killed all the inhabitants. Then, the city was given over to the Chalkidaeans, the Persians’ allies. Later, the Olynthians came to an agreement with the Macedonian king Perdikas and formed an alliance with the remaining 32 colonies in Halkidiki called “Chalkidaeans Alliance”. During this period, Olynthos flourished even further and cut its own coins. Such a powerful and rich city inevitably attracted the interest of Macedonian King Philippos II who tried to take them on his side, offering them Potidaea and the Anthemounda valley. In 352 BC, the Olynthians terminated their alliance with Philippos II, after realizing his selfish motives. The King of the Macedonians, aiming to unite all Greeks, launched an expedition against the Chalkidaeans Alliance and destroyed Olynthos (348 BC). The fields were distributed to Macedonians, while the Olynthians who escaped slaughter were sold as slaves. That was the end for Olynthos.
The American archaeologist D. Robinson started his excavations during the mid-war years (1928-31) and brought to light the entire ancient Olynthos. Apart from broken tiles and arrow heads bearing the name “Philippos”, Robinson also discovered the settlement and urban system of ancient Olynthos. Each regular building block (87x36m) included 10 big two-storey wisely orientated houses, with many rooms, spacious courtyards and auxiliary spaces. The houses of Olynthos, divided by narrow and wide streets, testify to the tidiness of the city, whose functionality had been guaranteed by the intelligent urban plan, based on the renowned Hippodameian system. The city was perhaps the best sample of urban planning in Classical Greece. The water supply and sewage system of the houses and the entire city was indeed remarkable. This excavation was related by Robinson in 14 volumes.
M. Andronikos referring to the excavations in Classical Olynthos commented that it brought to light the best preserved, in its entirety, Greek city of Classical times, with baths, wash-basins and toilets that have modern shapes thus testifying to the high living standards of its ancient inhabitants.
The Olynthian houses amaze the visitor with their arrangement, size, architecture, equipment, wealth; so do the mansions of the suburbs with their wonderful mosaic floors, which are the oldest known Greek mosaics composed with colourful river pebbles in amazing shapes inspired by nature, mythology, etc. One mosaic depicts Achilles who is given his shield, helmet and spear by his mother Thetis and the Nereids (Sea-Nymphs). Another presents Vellerefontis on his horse, Pegasus, killing Chimera, in a wonderful frame with a floral décor and meanders.

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Ancient Olynthos

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece temple poseidonHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece temple poseidonHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece temple poseidonHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece temple poseidon

Poseidon’s temple, situated in a sandy plateau in Possidi cape 4 km west of ancient Mendi, was the city temple in antiquity. The temple was built by settlers from Eretreia who came to Mendi, and it was in use for more than a millennium. The Poseidon temple – 23x8.5m – dating to the 5th century BC has been excavated. A double-apsed building of the second quarter of the 6th century – 14x5.5m – an auxiliary rectangular building of the late 6th century, and an early-geometric apsed building of the 10th century BC were brought to light by excavations. All buildings were places of worship. In the surrounding area, ceramic fragments bearing the name of Poseidon were found. The apsed building in Possidi is one of the most ancient temples in Greece and the only one with an exclusively worship use in Northern Greece during the “Dark Ages”.

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Temple of Poseidon

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient mendiHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient mendi

Ancient Mendi is mentioned by Thucydides as a colony of Eretria which was founded in Pallini. The date of its founding is not mentioned, but the colony is considered to belong to the framework of the second colonization, in the 8th century BC due to the presence of settlers from Eretria and Chalkida in Northern Greece. The city was named after the herb “minthi”, a species of mint that still grows in the region. Mendi’s flourishing period started as early as the beginning of the 6th century BC as the big circulation of its coins testifies, which was mainly due to the exports of the renowned “Mendaios wine”. Mendi was the homeland of the famous 5th century sculptor Paionios who created the statue of Nike (Victory) in Olympia. The city in the 5th century was one of the most powerful allies of Athens, but it defected during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), which caused its siege and sack by the Athenians. In the mid 4th century, Philippos II occupies the city which gradually falls into decline. The site of the ancient city in the area of the Kallandra Municipality is confirmed by Leake in the 19th century, by topographical details given by Thucydides and Libios, by the name “Possidi ” given to the neighbouring cape, and the excavation finds. From 1986 to 1994 there have been systematic excavation works in ancient Mendi. The main archaeological site, covering an area 1,200x600m, is located on the plateau and the slopes of a piney hill, which smoothly leads to the sea. In the Acropolis, known as Vigla, the excavations focused on clusters of pits, which initially had a storing use. Part of a city wall was discovered on the plateau, known as Xefoto. In the area “Proasteio” (Suburb) excavations brought to light successive parts of residencies and streets dating from the 9th to the 4th centuries BC. In the cemetery, a total of 241 burials were studied, mainly enchytrismos burials of infants and young children, dating from the late 8th - early 7th centuries to the late 6th century. The pots are mainly painted, with a floral or geometric décor, or incised.

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Ancient Mendi

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient acanthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient acanthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient acanthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient acanthosHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient acanthos

Acanthos was located on a coastal hill range, 600m SE of present Ierissos; it used to be the most important ancient city-port of NE Halkidiki. It was a colony of settlers from Andros founded in the mid 7th century BC, on the position of a prehistoric settlement. Sections of the city walls are still found in the area, among which part of the acropolis, and dispersed architectural members and buildings from the Classical and Hellenistic times. There is also a cemetery on the coastal zone of Ierissos, which was in use from antiquity (7th, 6th centuries BC) to modern times (17th century), with about 9,000 graves.

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Ancient Acanthos

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagiraHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient stagira
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Ancient Stagira

Halkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient sanctuary ouranoupoliHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient sanctuary ouranoupoliHalkidiki Chalkidiki Central Macedonia Greece ancient sanctuary ouranoupoli
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Ancient Sanctuary of Ouranoupoli

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Castle of Toroni

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Ancient Walls of Nea Potidea

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