After a more than € 20,3 million renovation, that took 16 years, the Palace of Aigai, near the city of Vergina, in the north of Greece, has reopened on 7 January 2024. The palace is the largest surviving building from the classical Greek era.

The palace in Aigai was built more than 2,300 years ago by King Philip II, in what at the time was the capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia. The huge palace, with an area of about 4,000 square metres, had spacious banquet halls, places of worship and courtyards. In 336 BC Aigai was the place where King Alexander the Great was crowned King of Macedonia. Aigai remained the heart of the kingdom, also when the capital was transferred to Pella. Also the Macedonian kings were buried in Aigai.

Agaia Palace
© Greek Ministry of Culture

The Romans destroyed the palace around 148 BC and it wasn’t until 1865 that excavations began at the site. Further excavations followed in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s. Nowadays the palace and the tombs that were found are a Unesco World Heritage Site. Visitors can once again see some of the massive Doric columns and mosaics of the palace. The area that was renovated covers around 15,000 square metres.

At the opening ceremony on 5 January 2024 the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated: “The significance of such monuments becomes the heritage of the entire world. We must highlight it, promote it, and expand the horizons revealed by each new facet.”

Greece hopes that many visitors will visit the site and that it will be a stimulation for the Greek economy. The area has much more to offer than just the palace. One can visit the Museum of Royal Tombs, the Polycentric Museum of Aigai or the Archaeological Park of the Vergina Necropolis. Other sites are still under construction.

The Palace of Aigai is open to visitors on Wednesday to Monday from 9am to 5pm. The site is closed on Tuesday.

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