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History

Olympus is the mountain of the 12 Gods. Its highest peak, Mytikas, rises to 2.919 m.

Pieria is also known for winter sports activities at the Ski Resort in Elatoxori.

People can visit the ancient Theatre and museum of Dion, Vergina, where the tomb of Philip II is, father of Alexander the Great.

In Pieria there are 89 churches and monasteries which were built during the 11th century.

Ancient Dion

Originally a harbour before it was silted up, Dion was the sacred city of Macedon, built at the foot of Mount Olymbos, the home of the gods, with sanctuaries dedicated to Zeus, Demeter, Artemis, Asklepios and the Egyptian goddess Isis. At the end of the 5th century BC King Arkelaos I, founder of Pella, built the sanctuary to Zeus (from whom Dion gets its name), and also a stadium and theatre, where the Olympic Games of Dion were held in honour of Olympian Zeus and the plays of Euripides performed, (the theatre on the site today is from a later period). It was to Dion that the Macedonian kings came to make sacrifice before going into battle and where they celebrated their victories;Philip II came after his victory at Olynthos and Alexander made sacrifice before setting off on his conquests. The magnificent bronze sculpture by Lyssipos commissioned by Alexander as a memorial to his 25 Companions who died at the Battle of Granikos was erected here but later taken to Rome. In around 43 BC Roman colonists arrived here and after the Battle of Actium (31 BC) Augustus organised a mass transportation of Italians. In the 2nd century AD there was a burst of building activity the results of which we see today. In the Byzantine period two Christian basilicas were built on the ruins of the ancient city. In its heyday 15,000 people lived here.

Sometime in the 5th century AD earthquakes forced the evacuation of the city which was then engulfed in mud.

source: http://www.ancientgreecejourney.co.uk/places/Dion%20html.HTM

Ancient Pydna

Pydna (in Greek: Πύδνα, older transliteration: Púdna) was a Greek city in ancient Macedon, the most important in Pieria. Modern Pydna is a small town and a former municipality in the northeastern part of Pieria regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pydna-Kolindros, of which it is a municipal unit.

Pydna is situated in fertile land close to the Thermaic Gulf coast. The main village of the former municipality is Kitros. It lies 6 km north of Korinos, 8 km south of Methoni and 13 km northeast of Katerini.

Pydna was already a part of the Macedonian Kingdom under Alexander I. It was unsuccessfully besieged by the Athenians in 432 BC and again, after seceding from the Macedonian kingdom, in 410 BC by Archelaus I who successfully captured the city and transferred its population further inland, possibly at the site of modern Kitros; however, the old site was re-populated in the early 4th century. The Athenians, under Timotheus, seized Pydna in 364-363 BC, only to have it retaken in 357 BC by Philip II of Macedon. Pydna would remain part of the kingdom of Macedonia until its Roman conquest. In 317 BC, Alexander III’s mother, Olympias took refuge there to escape from Cassander’s wrath, incurred by Olympias’ scheming against Phillip III and his wife. Cassander besieged the city and managed to capture it during the spring of 316 BC.

The Battle of Pydna (June 22, 168 BC), in which the Roman general Aemilius Paulus defeated King Perseus, ended the reign of the Antigonid dynasty over Macedon.

Ancient Livithra

An ancient city with an Acropolis, homeland of the mythical Orpheus, it was situated between Ancient Leptokarya and Skotina, at the entrance to the great chasm which divides Lower from Upper Olympus

Excavations of the site were begun by the Byzantine Society of Thessaloniki in 1954. The repeated flooding of the area created the beds of the streams of Zilianas.

The Archaeological site extends for over 1,500 sq, kilometers (the city, Acropolis, Cemetery, etc.) surrounded by the beds of the streams, which were covered by age old plane forests.

This extends over the vast bulk of Mount Olympus being a continuation of this historical and archaeological area, and includes:
a) An enclosed Acropolis (about 15 stremmata in extent) which appears to date from the Hellenistic age. This place shows traces of the bed of the Grivas torrent, the remains of whose banks protected the ancient surrounding walls, built of squared stone.
b) The ancient settlement which was built to the North West and above The Acropolis. This date from prehistoric times to the Byzantine era.
c) An ancient cemetery possibly dating from the prehistoric period and the early Greek age (Mykenes, the Iron Age and early historical times.)
Stone walls, internal floor spaces, cobbled roads outside, coins and objects of worship are those things which have been excavated in the early stages of the project.

source: www.verymacedonia.gr

Byzantin Castle of Platamon

The Platamon Castle is a Crusader castle (built between 1204 and 1222) in northern Greece and is located southeast of Mount Olympus, in a strategic position which controls the exit of the Tempe valley, through which passes the main road connecting Macedonia with Thessaly and southern Greece. The tower which overlooks the highway, is an imposing medieval fortress.