Imathia (Prefecture)

The region of Imathia was already inhabited during the Paleolithic Age. The discovery of one of the most ancient settlements in Europe, dating from the 7th millennium BC, constitutes an evidence to its glorious past. The prefecture reached its peak during the period of the Macedonian sovereignty. According to the data recorded by the historian Herodotus, the plain next to the Gulf of Thermaikos was given the name Imathia upon the establishment of the Kingdom of Macedonia. This name defined the region between the rivers Aliakmonas and Loudias, which was also named Macedonia since it used to be the core of the Macedonian Kingdom.
The city of Aegae was the first capital of the Macedonian kingdom and a sacred place for the kings of Macedonia until 400 BC. Vergina, a very important city from the historical and archaeological point of view, is geographically located in the position where the ancient city of Aegae used to be. The existence of a large settlement of the Later Neolithic and Bronze age was discovered on its boundaries through the unearthing of the walls and the gate of the ancient city, its acropolis, the royal palace and a number of arcades, where mosaic floors are still salvaged up to this day. Furthermore, the archaeological hoe brought to light the theatre, the sanctuary of Eucleia and the cemetery, a space full of funeral gems.
After many years of archaeological research, the archaeologist Prof. Manolis Andronikos had the great fortune of discovering the famous royal tomb of Philippe II, king of the Macedonians and father of Alexander the Great, alongside a number of royal tombs, thus making the city of Vergina known to the entire world. The admiration of Prof. Manolis Andronikos for the splendor of his discovery can be seen in his own description of the golden larnax:
“The larnax is richly decorated, with an ornamentation that is both sagaciously calculated and sensitively designed and executed. On the lid, a narrow relief strip forms a rectangular border. From the middle of the framed area thus created rises a 16-pointed star, its eight longer and eight interposed shorter arms surrounding a central disk with a raised perimeter. In the centre of this disk is a double rosette of golden petals, with a golden ball at its heart. The petals of the inner rosette are filled with blue glass, in a kind of enamel effect. On the front surface of the body of the larnax and on the two sides, the broad ribbon of the base is covered with a supple floral composition in relief work; this is composed of two symmetrical parts to the left and right and a central acanthus whorl. The development of this floral motif is exceptionally soft, twining around the pliant tendrils in gentle curves, from which spring elegant acanthus leaves, flowers and lilies”.
In the years following the death of Alexander the Great, Vergina became an important part of the Roman Empire and experienced an unprecedented commercial growth. In the end of the first half of the 1st century AC, the Apostle Paul visited the region in order to spread Christianity in the city, having among others in his audience, the powerful Hebrew community of the city. Through the centuries, the region continued to prosper more and more, making thus its conquest tempting. Due to this reason, during the Byzantine years it suffered invasions by the Bulgarian and Franks, but also pirate attacks. In the 15th century Imathia was enslaved by the Turks, to be released from their rule officially in 1912. Until then and despite its submission, the region managed developing its commerce and growing a rich urban class, whose economic well being can be seen even today through the many mansions and old buildings salvaged in the cities.

Must See

Archaeological Museum of Vergina

The gold larnakes (ossuaries) with the sixteen-rayed star emblem and the gold wreaths found in the tomb of Philip II.

Vergina palace

Here, on the foothill of Pieria, between the villages of Vergina and Palatitsia, the Macedonians established their capital, Aeges, defini

Byzantine Museum of Veria

Valuable Byzantine and post-Byzantine works of art are kept in the Byzantine Museum of Veria.

What to see

Imathia (Prefecture)

Imathia (Prefecture)

Archaeological Museum of Vergina

The gold larnakes (ossuaries) with the sixteen-rayed star emblem and the gold wreaths found in the tomb of Philip II.

Imathia (Prefecture)

Vergina palace

Here, on the foothill of Pieria, between the villages of Vergina and Palatitsia, the Macedonians established their capital, Aeges, defining in this way the region of Imathia as the heart of the Macedonian Kingdom, that is the administrat

Imathia (Prefecture)

Byzantine Museum of Veria

Valuable Byzantine and post-Byzantine works of art are kept in the Byzantine Museum of Veria.

Imathia (Prefecture)

Panagia Soumela

Near the village of Kastania Panagia Soumela, the spiritual center of the Pontian Hellenism, is found. The building complex comprises of two churches, guesthouses and a restaurant in the service of the pilgrims.

Imathia (Prefecture)

Tomb of of the Palmettes

The two-chamber Macedonian Tomb of the Palmettes has a temple-shaped fa?ade of the Ionic order, a pediment and impressive palmettes.

Imathia (Prefecture)

Kyriotissa

Behind the Metropolis is found Kyriotissa, the best preserved old settlement of Veria.

Imathia (Prefecture)

Aristotle's school

The archaeological space where the School of Aristotle is found, is almost two and a half kilometers from the city, next to the natural spring of Kefalari in the northern side of the communal road leading from Kopanos to Naoussa.

Imathia (Prefecture)

3-5 Pigadia Ski Center

Above the green-clad slopes of Vermio, at an altitude of 1.400-2.052 meters and at a distance of 18 kilometers from Naoussa, the ski center of Tria-Pente Pigadia is found.

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