Imathia prefecture is characterized by its fertile plain crossed by river Aliakmonas and by its verdurous mountains Vermio and Pieria.
Capital of the prefecture is the city of Veria built amphitheatrically at the foothill of mount Vermio. Veria is a beautiful and modern city and the centre of industries of processing the agricultural and livestock products produced in the rich plain.
Imathia has very important archaeological sites like Vergina, New Nikomidia and Lefkadia and also important religious pilgrimages like Virgin Mary Soumela and others.
Imathia has important tourist activity during the winter months in the organized ski centers on mount Vermio.
In the area of the village Vergina was discovered an ancient city identified as the first capital of the Macedonian kingdom, Aigai. The excavations were directed by professor Manolis Andronicos.
ImathiaThe excavations brought to light the ruins of the palace dated at the end of the 4th century B.C., the acropolis, the ancient theatre where in 336 B.C. king Philipp B was murdered, the grave of Philipp, the tomb of Persephone, the tomb of the “free columns”, the grave of Alexander D and other.
The most impressive discoveries were found in the grave of Philipp, father of Alexander the Great. The grave has two chambers, with a facade that resembles a Dorian temple, marble door and a unique painting representation of hunting. In the interior was found the golden larnax with the burned bones of the king, a golden hoop, arms, an iron thorax, a golden and ivory shield etc. In the chamber was also buried one of the king wives also in a golden larnax with a very beautiful golden coronet. etc.
Near the grave of Philipp B is the “grave of the prince”, son of Alexander the Great and Roxani.
In the same cemetery of tombs is another box shaped grave, which was discovered despoiled. It contains a brilliant mural, the “Seizure of Persephone” from the god of the under world, Pluton.
In the area of the excavations in Vergina is an underground building that protects the royal graves and a museum in which all the discoveries are exposed.
Building for the protection of the royal tombs of Vergina.
In New Nicomedia was discovered the older rural Neolithic settlement of Europe (7.000 B.C.). A residence was found a sanctuary, ceramic ovens and fireplaces, graves, ceramic objects and vessels, stone tools and more. The exhibits are in the Museum of Veria.
Between the villages Kopanos and Lefkadia is the archaeological site of another big Macedonian city, the ancient Mieza. There were discovered sections of buildings and recently the ancient theatre. The most important and well preserved monuments in the area are the Macedonian graves: The Tomb of the Flowers dated at the 3rd century B.C., the Tomb of Judgement of the 4th century B.C. named after the painted representation with the subject “the judgement of the dead”, The Macedonian Tomb of Lyson and Kallikles (3rd to 2nd century BC) and the “Kinch tomb” named after the architect that discovered it and is dated to the first half of the 3rd century B.C.
In the region is also the archaeological site of Nymfeon identified as the eminent “School of Aristotle” in a beautiful landscape with vegetation and springs with running waters. Alexander the Great attended for 3 years the School of Aristotle, from 342 until 340 B.C.
At the same area were revealed natural caverns where in the antiquity the nymphs were worshipped.
• Veria Archaeological Museum. Information: 23310 24972
THE MONASTERY OF VIRGIN MARY SOUMELA
The icon of Virgin Mary made by Evangelist Lukas, was transported from the historical monastery in Asia Minor and is kept in a church build from refugees. Each year on August 15th at the feast for Virgin Mary thousands of pilgrims come from all of Greece.
The rostrum of Apostle Paul where in 54 A.D. when Apostle Paul visited Veria, preached the word of God.
The monastery of Timiou Prodromou of the 14th century.
In the city of Veria are 48 Byzantine and post Byzantine churches with murals from the 12th up to 18th century A.D. More important are the Old Cathedral (11th century), the Church of Christ, the Church of Theologos, the Church of Agios Kirykos and Agia Ioulitta at Veria and the church of Saint Vlasios.
• Veria Byzantine Museum. Information: 23310 25847
Ski Centers – Mountainous Shelters
- National Ski Centre Seli
Altitude 1520-1900m. Distance from Thessaloniki 95km and 24km from Veria. It has equipment, lifts, ski schools, shops for renting equipment, coffee shops, and restaurants. Information: 23310-26237, 49021
- 3-5 Pigadia
Altitude 1.430-2.005 m. Distance 18km from Naoussa. It has equipment, lifts, shops, hotels, chalet, athletic installations, system for artificial snow. Information: 23320-44300
- The “Golden Deer” in the region Seli. Private ski centre. Altitude 1.540m. Information: 23310-49220
Agios Nikolaos Naoussa
A beautiful region with forest and the age long forest of plane trees crossed by the river Arapitsa, with parks, green, space for walk, exercise and rest. There is a hotel, restaurants, children playgrounds, artificial lake, a small train for tour in the forest, ponies etc
The region is inhabited from prehistoric times as it appears from discoveries in New Nicomedia, where one of the older rural Neolithic settlements of Europe (7.000 B.C.) was found.
Here settled the Macedonians making first capital of their kingdom the city Aigai, identified today with Vergina.
Royal Macedonian tombs were discovered, a palace, a theatre, the tombs of Judgment, the tomb of Flowers, the Kinch tomb, the “School of Aristotle” where the ancient philosopher teached Alexander the Great, etc.
Veria is developed a lot during the Hellenistic years. In Roman times it becomes the seat of the “Public of Macedonians” and centre of imperial adoration.
In the Byzantine years Veria was one of the most important cities of Macedonia and during the Ottoman domination Veria and Naoussa were economical centers.