Greece reopens huge Alexander the Great monument

World Sunday 07/January/2024 16:00 PM
Greece reopens huge Alexander the Great monument

Athens: The site of one of the most important monuments in classical antiquity - the palace where Alexander the Great was crowned king - has reopened after a 16-year restoration.

The Palace of Aigai, near Greece's northern port city of Thessaloniki, was built more than 2,300 years ago.

It was later destroyed by the Romans and unearthed through excavations beginning in the 19th Century.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who attended a ceremony for the site's reopening, described it as a "monument of global importance".

"The significance of such monuments becomes the heritage of the entire world," he said.

Among the restored sections are some of the palace's massive colonnades, BBC news reported.

The site reopened to the public on Sunday.

The palace was built by Philip II, Alexander the Great's father, who ruled over the powerful kingdom of Macedonia.

Aigai, near what today is the town of Vergina, was its capital.

The palace was the largest building in classical Greece - covering an area of 15,000sq m (160,000sq ft) - and featured large banquet halls, places of worship and courtyards.

Alexander, who was crowned King of the Macedonians there in 336BC following his father's assassination, would later go on to create an empire stretching into Asia and the Middle East.

The palace, and the nearby tombs of Philip and other Macedonian kings, are a Unesco World Heritage Site.