Ancient Pella

Pella House atrium

Pella, an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.

One of the proposed etymologies is that Pella originally meant “defensible citadel on a cliff“, and this etymology is backed by the numerous ancient cities throughout Greece with similar name i.e. Pellana, Pallene, Palle, Pelle, Pelion, Palamede, Pellene, etc.

The ancient city Pella was the royal capital city of Macedonia, a city with a very strong and important presence in the history of Ancient Greece.

Today the region of Pella is an area full of surprises, that perfectly combines the natural beauty, with the impressive historical past and the archeological sites, such as the King’s Tombs, the museum with the impressive artifacts and the ruins of the ancient city Pella.

With plenty options for entertainment and interesting activities, alternative tourism and winter sports, the region of Pella is an ideal holiday destination, providing the ideal setting for immense natural beauty where you can enjoy truly relaxing holidays.

Some of the interesting attractions of the region,are the skicenter of Vora, (Kaimaktsalan) the famous waterfalls of Edessa, the capital city of the region, the lake Vegoritida, which is ideal for fishing and sailing.

Gianitsa is another town of Pella, with impressive sites such as the clock tower, the charming village of Panagitsa, and the traditional and old hamlet of Agios Athanasios, which has preserved the classic elements that constitute to the Macedonian architecture style.

The hamlet was deserted during the 80’s , but today is back to it’s old glory, as a base with close proximaty to the ski center Kaimaktsalan, just 17 km away. The spas of Loutraki or Loutrohori, the natural history museum and the monastery of Arhagelos, which was built in the 18th century, also make this region one that is definately worth visiting.

The city was founded in 399 BC by King Archelaus (413–399 BC) as the capital of his kingdom, replacing the older palace-city of Aigai (Vergina). After this, it was the seat of the king Philip II and of Alexander, his son. In 168 BC, it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later, the city was destroyed by an earthquake and eventually was rebuilt over its ruins. By 180 AD, Lucian could describe it in passing as “now insignificant, with very few inhabitants”.
Read more about the history of the ancient Greek city, Pella, at Wikipedia’s website


The city is built on the island of Phacos, a promontory which dominates the wetlands which encircle Pella to the south, and a lake which opened to the sea in the Hellenistic period.

The Pella palace consisted of several — possibly seven — large architectural groupings juxtaposed in two rows, each including a series of rooms arranged around a central square courtyard, generally with porticos. Archaeologists have thus far identified a palaestra and baths. The south facade of the palace, towards the city, consisted of one large (at least 153 metres long) portico, constructed on a two metres high foundation. The relationship between the four principal complexes is defined by an interruption in the portico occuupied by a triple propylaeum, 15 m high, which gave the palace an imposing monumental air when seen from the city below.

The size of the complex indicates that, unlike the palace at Vergina, this was not only a royal residence or a grandiose monument but also a place of government which was required to accommodate a portion of the administrative apparatus of the kingdom.

Pella, Lion Hunt Mosaic

The city proper was located south of and below the palace. Designed on a grid plan as envisaged by Hippodamus, it consists of two series of parallel streets which intersect at right angles and form a grid of eight rows of rectangular blocks. These blocks are of a consistent width — each approximately 45 m — and a length which varies from 111 m to 152 m, 125 metres being the most common. The streets are from 9 to 10 metres wide, except for the middle East–West arterial, which is up to 15 metres wide. This street is the primary access to the central public agora, which occupied a space of ten blocks. Two North-South streets are a also a bit wider than the rest, and serve to connect the city to the port further South. The streets had sewers and were equipped to convey water to individual residences.

The agora holds pride of place in the centre of the city, occupying an imposing 200 by 181 metres; 262×238 metres if one counts the potrticos which surround it on all sides.

Accommodation near Ancient Pella:
About 30 miles from Pella city, Edessa offers the widest selection of accommodations in the area.
• Hotel Xenia
35 Filippou St., Edessa, tel: 011-30-23810-29706
Panoramic views of the surrounding area.
• The Hotel Katarraktes
4 Karanou St., Edessa, tel: 011-30-23810-22300
Located next to famous local waterfalls.

Giannitsa: Just nine miles from the city of Pella, the town of Giannitsa has a few local hotels
• Hotel Alexandros
5 Kougioumtzidi, Gianitsa, tel: 011-30-23820-24700 30
• Pella Hotel
All rooms have private balconies. Business services such as meeting rooms are available. Some rooms have forest views.

Loutraki: To the northwest side of Edessa is the town of Loutraki. Local accommodations include furnished vacation apartments as well as traditional hotels.
• Galini Furnished Apartments
Loutraki, tel: 011-30-23840-91245
• Asteras Furnished Apartments
Loutra, Loutraki, tel: 011-23840-91458
• Hotel Avra
Loutra, Loutraki, tel: 011-30-23840-91300
• Hotel Aktaeon
Loutra, Loutraki, tel: 011-30-23840-91300
(open only from June through October)

Skidra: The town of Skidra, or Skydra, is located between Edessa and the ancient city of Pella.
• Hotel Adonis
1 Argiroupoleos, Skidra, tel: 011-30-23810-82500
Pets are allowed and a conference room is available for meetings.
 Hotel Iro
Skidra, tel: 011-30-23810-89880



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