Ancient Edessa-Pella

Ancient Edessa

The ancient town of Edessa was built on a natural passage. There, the age-long road axis was renamed to VIA EGNATIA since the 2nd century B.C. The ancient town in the plain of Loggos was gradually abandoned and habitation occurred in the upper town in the mountainous Macedonia. This choice was made because of the waters which were a perfect defensive system and offered fortification.

The oldest finds are from the Neolithic times but the most are from the copper age and mainly from the iron age. In the 6th - 5th century B.C. ancient Edessa developed in two levels : the Upper town or Acropolis and the lower town on Loggos. Nowadays after the excavation parts of the ancient walls parts of buildings of the Acropolis can be seen as well as the old tombs of various types which are in the lower town. After 168 B.C. and the conquest by the Romans the town knows prosperity and has its own mintages made which show the participation of the town in the retention of the road axis Via Egnatia. A large number of inscriptions ensure the existence of parliament, a high school, as well as the temple of Dionysus Pseudanor also the temple dedicated to Goddess Ma, the mother of Gods, other monuments show the worship of Goddess Artemis and the Phrygian God Savazios.

During the second half of the 3rd century A.D. the town suffered of numerous raids by Goths. This led to a quick reparation of the ancient wall in order to make the town more secure.

The inhabitants used buildings material which they took from the neighboring tomb. Among these is also the anaglyph of ‘the Hog’ that reportedly passed together with his master the Via Egnatia from Dirachio to Edessa to take part in the great Macedonian feast of the Phallocrats ( dedicated to God Dionysus ) During Christian times was the wall strengthened with a new fortified line in a distance of 6 km next to the old one. In the end of the 6th beginning of the 7th century the inhabitants gradually abandon the lower town and inhabitation occurs in the Acropolis which develops into a Byzantine fortress.

The most important monuments of the area are: The South gate: made with the early fortress art which is described in ancient handbooks. The monumental marble-paved road which crossed the town, columns of marble and built pessaries can be seen at each side. One of the columns there are many inscriptions of independence. The fortress of Edessa is one of the best preserved in Macedonia. It was constructed in 300 B.C. and repetedly repaired. The Acropolis was fortified by a wall, which now survives to a height of 6m. Parts of it can be seen through windows beneath apartment buildings.

Ancient Classical Edessa is 20' min driving from Casa Kedrova

Ancient Pella

Birthplace of Alexander the Great Pella, ancient capital of King Archelaus of Macedonia at the end of the 5th century bc. The city lay in northern Greece, about 24 miles (39 km) southeast of Edessa former Eges. The city developed rapidly under Philip II, but, after the defeat of the last Macedonian king by the Romans (168 bc), it became a small provincial town. The site of Pella has long been known. Excavations there by the Greek Archaeological Service begun in 1957 revealed large, well-built houses with colonnaded courts and rooms with mosaic floors portraying such scenes as a lion hunt and Dionysus riding a panther. These mosaics are made with small natural pebbles of various colours, carefully matched and laid, and are masterpieces of their kind. They date from the late 4th century bc.

Ancient Classical Pella and Pella Museum is 50' min driving from Casa Kedrova

Via Egnatia Escape Activities

Via Egnatia was, together with the Via Appia in Italy, the road between Rome and Byzantium, now Istanbul. It functioned for two millenia as a multi-purpose trans-Balkan highway, a real life artery for the region. It runs through Albania, North Macedonia, Greek and Turkish Thrace. There are several places in the area of Edessa passes of Via Egnatia.