The site is open April-Oct Mon noon-7pm; Tues-Sun 8am-7pm; closes 3pm rest of the year; 6euros combined ticket with museum.
Birthplace of Alexander the Great (Megas Alexandhros). On the road between Thessaloniki and Edhessa on the Macedonian plain. Forty minutes by bus from Thessaloniki (40km/25miles).The capital of Macedonia province was founded and moved here from Vergina (Aigai) by King Archelaos (ruled 413-399BC), though the royal cemetery remained in Vergina.A major cultural center from the beginning. Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) unified the country 338 BC, and this became the first capital of a unified Greece.Originally built by a lake which was at that time connected to the Thermaikos Gulf (the gulf of Thessaloniki) by a navigable river which later silted up, causing the city to fall into decline. Destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC and never rebuilt.
Pella Capital of Macedonia during its greatest period and first capital of Greece after the forcible unification of the country under Philip II of Macedon around 338BC, Pella was also the birthplace of both Philip ( born 382BC) and his son Alexander the Great ( born 356BC).
It was mentioned in the writings of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon as well as by the Roman histrorian Livy, Situated in the heart of the fertile Macedonian plain between Salonika and Edessa, it was once connected with the Thermaic gulf by a shallow, and navigable, lagoon (referred to as a river or canal by some writers). By the 2nd century BC the river began to silt up, which led to the city's decline. Its exact location came about through chance finds in 1957 and excavations by Professor Makaronas and Ph. Petsas from 1957-68 unearthed the famous mosaics dated around 300BC which have been the main attraction of this site to date.
Further excavations in recent years have been undertaken by Mrs. M. Karamanoli-Siganidhou. An earlier settlement called Bounomeia, where prehistoric sherds have been found, may have lain to the south of Pella. Coins from the 5th century BC have come from Pella, and it was late in that century that King Archelaos abandoned Aigai, which recent excavations suggest to have been Vergina, and transferred the royal Macedonian court to Pella, where he built a fine palace (probably in Palaia Pella (Old Pella). Some of the shining lights of his court were the artist Zeuxis, Euripides, whose play 'The Bacchantes' was first performed in the theater there. Alexander the Great was educated in both literature and the military arts, and one of his tutors was Aristotle, who was a native of Halkidhiki. The city was laid waste by the Roman Consul, Aemilius Paulus, in 168BC, and never recovered.