6th day. Vergina and the Royal Tombs.

Between Kastoria and Thessaloniki lies today's Vergina (UNESCO Heritage), which is presumably Aigai, the capital of ancient Macedonia and birthplace of Alexander the Great. There also lies the excavation site of the ancient Macedonian royal family’s tomb. We descend into the tumulus of the royal tombs to marvel at the characteristic architecture, monumental murals, mosaics and golden grave goods.

The grave of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, is the first of the three excavated tombs. The hall includes a golden shrine of the ashes of Queen Cleopatra's bones, the second wife of Philip II, which contains a gold-embroidered cloth. Inside the grave chamber there can be seen another golden shrine, weapons, copper and bronze vases, jewels, five small ivory busts of the royal family and the only preserved ancient armor, a helmet, a sword, boots, a crown and a diadem. Numerous grave goods show hunting and war scenes and symposia as part of Greek life of the king's arms, and even everyday objects such as wine mixers are to be regarded as reminiscences of classical Greece.

Then we visit the remains of the Prince's Palace - the first and largest palace in northern Greece, probably the summer residence of the royal family.

Photos of Vergina