Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe / Western Trans-Balkan Road

Archaeological Site of Vergina

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Archaeological Site of Vergina

About the site

Corridor: Via Egnatia, Western Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Greece, Imathia
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch: Antiquity
Theme: Antiquity
World Heritage: Cultural Heritage
AntiquityAntiquityAncient SiteCultural Heritage

The city of Aigai, the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, was discovered in the 19th century near Vergina, in northern Greece. The most important remains are the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century BC. One of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.


The ancient city lying on the north slopes of the Pierian mountains is securely identified as Aigai, the capital of the kingdom of Lower Macedonia. Archaeological evidence prooves that the site was continuously inhabited from the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC) while in the Early Iron Age (11th-8th centuries BC) it became an important centre, rich and densely inhabited. The city reached its highest point of prosperity in the Archaic (7th-6th centuries BC) and Classical periods (5th-4th centuries), when it was the most important urban centre of the area, the seat of the Macedonian kings and the place where all the traditional sanctuaries were established. Moreover, it was already famous in antiquity for the wealth of the royal tombs which were gathered in its extensive necropolis.
The most important monuments on the site are the following:
The royal tombs in the Great Tumulus, the Palace and the Theatre, the temple of Eukleia, the acropolis and the city walls, the royal tombs to the NW of the city, the tombs in the Bella tumulus, and the cemetery of the tumuli.

Expert Network

Read more about Archaeological Site of Vergina at the Unesco World Heritage List.