Vergina, the Burial Site of the Kings of Macedon in Greece

One of the main reasons why we extended our trip to Thessaloniki, which in the north of Greece, in the peak of winters is to visit Vergina. Why Vergina? I wanted to walk into Philip’s world! Philip II – father of Alexander the Great who had marched into India in 326 BC. I am not sure if I will be able to visit Alexander the Great’s resting place in Alexandria in Egypt, why give up the chance to visit his father’s? Alexander’s son, who died young in his teens; his grave too is in this complex.During my school days when I read about Alexander the Great galloping all the way from Greece to India conquering all on his way I developed a deep admiration for him. When I read he lost to King Porus of Punjab in India I was relieved. Even though I kind of hero worshiped him, his might and his dreams then, I often wondered how different the history of India would have been if he had lived long and conquered the whole of India! Philip II his father is reported to have come up with the maxim ‘divide and conquer’. Had Alexander applied this theory to India then I don’t know how many parts this country would have had!

Greece looked so distant to me then. I always had this misconception that his resting place too would be in Greece. Only when I did the research of Vergina and Alexander on net recently I read his grave to be in Alexandria, Egypt. Nevertheless I didn’t want to give Vergina a miss. I preferred to visit these crumbling heritage sites than the beautiful islands of Greece. And the visit was worth all the effort, money and time. For a long time these graves were undiscovered and lay unknown under a mound known as the Great Tumulus, where local shepherd and goat herds would have spent many ignorant and blissful days!

It was an accidental discovery in 1977. A series of 4 tombs of Macedonian kings

Even today these graves lay under a mound, preserved well in its original looks. The other two places in the heritage list of this site the Palace at Vergina and the Theatre where Philip was assassinated ( Philip II was murdered at the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra to King Alexander of Epirus) is closed to public and tourists. It is likely to remain so for some more years. The tickets cost 8 euros for adults and 4 euros for students.

I found it all dark as I walked into the complex. Probably they wish to protect these relics from harsh light to prevent further damage I concluded. But what an amazing display of wealth from 330BC! It is gold, gold, gold everywhere! So much gold! They did have a fascination for this yellow metal! Everything showcased so well, one of the best archeological sites I have ever seen!

Mound of Great Timulus:The tombs and treasure inside is unimaginable.

 

Tomb of Philip II

 

The frescoes on the tomb

 

This is picture of the photograph of the utensils inside the tomb just the way they were discovered.

 

 The silevr utensils for funeral feast, cleaned, neatly labeled and displayed.

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Golden wreath representing leaves and flowers of myrtle.

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Our World Tuesday

Drive from Vergina to Larissa, Greece
The Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki, Greece

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