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Palace of Aigai: The restored palace of Philip II of Macedon inaugurated (photos)

The impressively restored Palace of Aigai of Philip II of Macedon has been inaugurated on Friday, after restoration that lasted sixteen years. Constructed during the reign of Philip II (359-336 BC), the Palace of Aigai is not only the biggest but, together with the Parthenon, the most significant building of classical Greece.

The Palace extends over an area of 15,000 square meters and has been described as “the Parthenon of Macedonia” is the largest building in classical Greece.

Stunning aerial view of the restored Palace.

The restoration project lasted over 16 years with the participation of 70-160 people worked on the site at various times.

The restoration was expanded into the surrounding complex (the 15,000 sq.m.) and the area beyond (nearly 25,000 sq.m.). Excavations and registration of thousands of portable findings and architectural components of stone (tens of thousands) were carried out on the entire site, as well as restoration of a section of the roof of the museum’s atrium.

The Palace of Aigai

The Palace of Philip II (382-336 BC), father of Alexander the Great, is the central feature of the Macedonian king’s great building program for his capital city of Aigai. The building, simple in design yet highly functional, it is characterized by the luxury of materials, ingenuity in construction, and elegance

The palace of Philip II (382-336 BC), father of Alexander the Great, is the central feature of the Macedonian king’s great building program for his capital city of Aigai. The building, simple in design yet highly functional, it is characterized by the luxury of materials, ingenuity in construction, and elegance.

Its features include a monumental entrance way (propylon) that recalls a sanctuary, impressive two-story stoas on the facade that provided a view of the city and could be used by the public, the great colonnade (peristyle) that was used for symposia, the tholos dedicated to Hercules, and a library/archive, among others. The palace building housed all functions necessary for the exercise of public power.

The palace is surrounded by 16 Doric columns on each side known as the grand peristyle of Aigai, and forms a square, a unique construction. Its specific surface area is 4,000 square meters, and it could hold at least 8,000 people.

Restoration

Construction began in the middle of the 4th century BC and was completed by 336 BC, when Philip II was assassinated as he entered the nearby theater. In the great peristylion, his son Alexander III was declared king of Macedonians, setting in motion a trajectory that would change the world.

The palace was destroyed in the middle of the 2nd century BC, following the dissolution of the kingdom by Romans in 148 BC. Over the centuries, its building materials were looted until it was rediscovered through excavations begun in 1865 and continuing intermittently through the 1950s.

Reconstruction began by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Imathia in 2007, and lasted to 2023. It was funded by several European Union funding programs at a total cost of 20.3 million euros. Works included maintenance, structural support, restoration, and reconstruction of the monument.

The restored palace can be visited as of tomorrow, Saturday, January 6, 2024, media reported.

PM attends inauguration

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended the inauguration of the Palace and hailed that “Philip’s palace in Aigai confirms the timeless Greekness of Macedonia.” He spoke of an monument of international range.”

He was toured through the restored Palace of Aigai of Philip II of Macedon by Dr Angeliki Kottaridi, the scientific and administrative supervisor of the entire project at all stages.

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni could not attend the event as she fell ill with Covid-19.

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