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Dion is a municipality and village in the Prefecture of Pieria, Macedonia, best known for its archaeological site and archaeological museum. It is located 425 km to the north of Athens.

It stands in the northern foothills of Mount Olympus, and exercises complete control over the narrow defile leading from Macedonia to Thessaly. Formerly a distance of only 7 stades from the shores of the Thermaic Gulf, it was the most important sacred city of the Macedonians. Here it was that Archelaos I, at the end of the 5th century BC, first held brilliant festivals at which sacrifices were offered to Olympian Zeus and the Pierian Muses, and introduced theatrical and gymnastic competitions - the "Olympia ta en Dion" - which were still celebrated about 100 BC. Here it was that Philip II celebrated the capture of Olynthos, the capital of the Chalkidian League, and here Alexander the Great sought the aid of the king of the gods before setting out for the East. And it was in the sanctuary of Zeus, finally, that the famous group was erected depicting twenty-five of Alexander's companions who fell at the Granikos' battle, the work of Lysippos.

SITE MONUMENTS

  • WALLS OF DION: The enceinte, which is dated from excavational evidence to the first building phase about 300 BC, was probably the work of Kassander. It had a solid toichobate, constructerd of a single course of roughly dressed stones and one or two courses of finely dressed blocks, on which rested a wide wall made of unbacked bricks; at intervals the enceinte had square towers for more effective defence. The classical defences were probably destroyed in 220 BC, when the macedonian sanctuary was plundered by the enemies of Philip V, the Aitolians, under their general Skopas.
  • SANCTUARY OF ZEUS OLYMPIOS
  • SANCTUARY OF DEMETER
  • SANCTUARY OF ISIS
  • GREAT THERMAE OF DION: The Great Thermai, that is to say the public baths of Dion, located in the south of the city where they were protected from the north winds and communicated directly with the main avenue, welcomed the stranger who entered the city, as today, through the south gate. With a spacious atrium in the centre, and public toilets, shops and workshops around the periphery, the public baths were a complex in which one could pleasurably pass one's leisure hours.
  • VILLA OF DIONYSOS: The large "Villa of Dionysos", so called from the superb mosaic with the scene from the life of the god of wine adorning the floor of the main room, was built about AD 200 and is still one of the most impressive building complexes in ancient Dion.
  • ANCIENT THEATRE OF DION: rests to the south of Dion, out of the city limits, having to the west the sanctuary dedicated to Demetra. Its construction dates to the Hellenistic era, probably in the reign of King Philipp V (221-179 BC).
  • ROMAN THEATRE OF DION: is located near the Hellenistic theatre, to the south-east of the latter, outside the city limits. Dating from the second century BC, it probably replaced its predecessor, which seemed to degrade after 168 BC.
  • NECROPOLIS OF DION: The finds from the cemeteries of Dion, which are located to the north and west of the city, covered the period from abot the middle of the 5th century BC to the beginning of the 5th century AD. "Hut" tombs set in enclosures of dry-stone walls, relief stelai, and funeraru altars all attest to the concern of the inhabitants about their deceased.
  • CITY OF DION: The majority of the finds yielded by excavations to date naturally belong to the Roman and the later Byzantine periods: the small depth of earth deposit and the continuous occupation of the site have, with very few exceptions, obliterated the remains of earlier periods. The main stret, about 670 m. long, that traversed the city from north to south, was paved with large slabs of conglomerate in the imperial period, and was undoubtedly designed apart of the Classical-Hellenistic urban tissue.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Telephone: +30 23530 41671
Ticket: Full: €4, Reduced: €2
Special Ticket Package: Full: €6, Reduced: €3, Valid for: Archaeological Museum of Dion, Dion.
Open: winter daily: 8:00-17:00
Holidays: 1 January, 6 January: 08:30 - 15:00, Shrove Monday: 08:30 - 15:00, 25 March, Good Friday: 12:00 - 15:00, Holy Saturday: 08:30 - 15:00, 1 May, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday: 08:30 - 15:00, Holy Spirit Day: 08:30 - 15:00, 15 August: 08:30 - 15:00, 28 October: 08:30 - 15:00, 25 December, 26 December

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Dionysos Villa

 

 

 

Dion Walls

 

 

 

Sanctuary of Demeter