Pieria is remarkably densely dotted with significant archaeological sites. Most of these have been excavated in recent years while at some that are well known antiquities continue to be found.
The famed Dion, the prehistoric settlement at Makrigialos, ancient and Byzantine Pydna, the nearby Louloudies site, ancient Livithra are the best-known archaeological sites open to the public.
Southwest of modern day Makrigialos lies one of the largest prehistoric settlements in Greece dating back to 5.000 BC.
At ancient Livithra, located between Palea Leptokarya and Skotina, Orpheus founded a ritual site for the Orphean Mysteries and taught the worship of Dionysus.
Dion, an archaeological site of international repute, the “City of Zeus”, the sacred city of the ancient Macedonians, lies on the northeastern slopes of Olympus. Within the bounds of the archaeological park one can stroll among the finds and visit the nearby museum. Many years of extensive excavations have brought to light a plethora of significant finds.
The city was surrounded by a square fortified precinct and crossed by a dense network of streets. Building blocks with residences, workshops, shops and public buildings have all been excavated.
The Greek theatre built during the 4th century, where tragedies penned by Euripides were played, is still used today for the same purpose. The sanctuary dedicated to Isis, whose worship replaced that of Artemis, has survived almost intact.
The sanctuary of Zeus, the nearby theatre dating from the Roman period, built when the Greek one ceased to be used, the so-called Dionysus Villa with its breath-taking mosaics, the Roman public baths covering 4.000 m2, the sanctuary of Demeter just outside the city walls, the monument of the shields and many other finds await you on your pilgrimage to antiquity.
Lying south of Makrigialos, Pydna was inhabited for centuries. It was established at the end of the Late Copper Age and expanded during the early Iron Age and the Archaic Period. It continued to expand right up to the Roman Period with the city gradually falling into decline by the Palaeo-Christian period.
Byzantine Pydna, which after the 6th century AD was renamed Kitros, was the most important medieval city in Pieria. The ruins of the castle have been excavated with its interesting fortress architecture and post-Byzantine Episcopal Church.
Located between Alikes Kitros and Korinos at the location known as “Louloudies” a fortified post-Byzantine settlement has recently been uncovered, which include a Palaeo-Christian basilica dating from the 6th century, an Episcopal palace, tombs and workshops.
Of particular interest too are the archaeological site of the Mycenaean cemetery at the location known as Spathes, near Agios Dimitrios and the Paleo-Christian basilica of Vrontismeni in Kato Milia.
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