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Ancient Stagira

Ancient Stagira – Olympiada area, Chalkidiki, Greece

Ancient Stagira is an archaeological site, few hundred meters out of Olympiada, Chalkidiki, Greece.

Stagira was founded in 655 BC and it is best known as Aristotle’s birthplace. Aristotle is one of the most known philosopher of Greece, son of the personal doctor of King Amyntas II (father of Macedonia‚Äôs King Philip II), a student of Plato’s Academy, and later the teacher of Alexander the Great.

After the end of the Persian wars, Stagira joined the First Athenian Alliance. However, during the Peloponnesian War, Stagira citizens revolted against Athens and sided with the Spartans. Few years later, Philip the Macedon besieged Stagira and had it destroyed. In honor of Aristotle, the teacher of his son, Philip rebuilt the city and had the enslaved inhabitants freed.

In 322 BC, Aristotle passed away. His body was transferred to Stagira, where he was buried in great honors. He was declared founder of Stagira, and a festival named Aristoteleia was established.

Despite the rebuilt of the city, if was the beginning of a decline. The city was deserted during the Greco-Roman era. Close to 1000 AD, we have reports of a castle called Livasdia. Today, the most notable remain of the castle is the byzantine wall, visible even from Olympiada.

What can you see these days in Ancient Stagira? The byzantine wall, the citadel, old houses, the big agora, large ceramic bowls, tower ruins.

The road to Stagira is well signaled, you can see a lot of signs in Olympiada. You can access Ancient Stagira from the main road to Stratoni, or from the dirt road in the vicinity of Olympiada port. I recommend you to visit Ancient Stagira during spring or autumn, to avoid high temperatures during the summer. Reserve for the visit at least 2 hours. Entrance is free.

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