Palace of Pella, Where Alexander the Great Was Born, to Open to Public Next Summer


(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Dimitris Papamitsos, file)

EDESSA, Greece -- The palace in Pella, where Alexander the Great was born and raised, is expected to open to the public next summer. Nobody knew that the specific building, when it was unearthed in 1957, was the palace of the Macedonian kings where Alexander the Great was born or that the nearby palaestra and huge swimming pool was where the successor to the Macedonian throne had trained, alongside the offspring of the aristocracy.

Visitors will be able to view the floor plan of the palace on the level of its foundations, while the aim of the Antiquities Ephorate is to offer a digital "tour" at the visitors' reception area, which is due to be completed by 2023.

The total area covered by the complex of palace buildings is approximately seven hectares and these dimension are understandable given that Pella was the capital of the Macedonian Kingdom. The palace was smaller initially but was extended after Alexander's campaign of conquest, when the kingdom of Macedonia was at its peak. "The period from 320 BC to 250 BC was a period of huge growth for Macedonia. We should not forget that throughout the third and second centuries BC, Pella was the centre of the Macedonian Kingdom, one of the most important countries of that era," said the head of the Antiquities Ephorate of Pella, Elisabeth Tsigarida.

Meanwhile, archaeologists are now trying to uncover traces of the coastline that existed in the area at that time, making Pella a port city, where the Macedonians decided to set up their new capital, abandoning Aiges. Even though there is currently no sea near Pella, historic sources refer to its coastal character. The landscape changed gradually over the years due to alluvial deposits that turned the protected cove of Pella into a swampy lagoon that later became the Lake of Giannitsa until it was eventually drained.