Ancient Pydna

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The ruins of the ancient city of Pydna, the only exporting port of the Macedonian kingdom before the founding of Thessaloniki, are extant one kilometer south of Makrygialos.
The city was known because of two important historic events. The first was the murder of Olympiada, mother of Alexander the Great, and his brother Philip Aridaios. The second and most important event was the famous battle of Pydna which took place near the city in June 168 BC between the Roman Aemilius Paulus and King Perseus of Macedon, which marked the fall of the Macedonian state.
Very few parts of the city walls are extant, while a number of cist graves were excavated with rich findings that testify to the wealth and economic power of Pydna during the 5th and 4th centuries BC.
Ancient Pydna fell to decline, but developed again in Christian times and was renamed Kitros after the 6th century. The only extant ruins from the period of Christianity are that of the Episcopal church of the city, the church of Agios Alexandros, who suffered a martyr’s death in the 4th century AD in Kitros. The ruins are dated to the mid-Byzantine phase of the church (11th century), while the same place housed an older church of the 6th century. Throughout Byzantine times the city was the seat of an Episcopacy, while in the 10th century it was promoted into a Protothrone (First Enthroned) Episcopacy of the Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki. In 479, Kitros was given to the Goths by the Byzantine Emperor for permanent settlement. In the same year, the people of the city, refusing to live with the invaders, abandoned Kitros and settled 8 kilometers further south, at the site “Louloudies”, where they built a new Episcopal complex and a new settlement. They transferred the worship of Agios Alexandros to the new settlement. In 1204, Kitros was conquered by the Francs, who burned down the castle and the episcopacy; in 1345 it was conquered by the Serbs, and in 1386 by the Turks.
In the 16th century, due to pirate invasions, the residents abandon historic Kitros and settle at the site of the present village, which is inhabited by the descendants of refugees from the Asia Minor disaster.

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