Place of birth and burial of the great philosopher, Aristotle. Did you know he was also the tutor of Alexander the Great?
The impressive wall at the top of the hill was built in the Classic years. It is well-preserved and serves as a good guide to a walk through history.
Only a few spots in the world can combine natural beauty, history and a secret bay such as the ancient Stagira.
Stagira was an ancient Greek city whose site is located in the modern province of Central Macedonia, near the eastern coast of the peninsula of Chalkidice. It is chiefly known for being the birthplace of Aristotle, who was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. 2400 years after his birth, UNESCO honored his work and declared the years 2016 and 2017 as “Aristotle Anniversary Years” with the anticipation that his views and thinking will enhance world unity and peace.
When Aristotle passed away in 322 B.C., in Halkida, his body was transferred to his hometown, Stagira, where he was buried with great honors. He was declared a “founder” of the city and an altar was built on his tomb. In fact, they established the “Aristoteleia”, a celebration to honor his name. Nowadays, local authorities and other agencies attempt to revive the “Aristoteleia”.
Ionian settlers who came from the island of Andros founded the city in 655 B.C. Colonists from Chalkida settled a little later on. The old sources are exact about the location of the city. Stravonas places it in a coastal area southern of ancient Akanthos, in his “Geographics” and mentions the existence of a small islet on the opposite side of the city named Kapros (probably the current island of Kafkanas). The fact that the same name is attributed to the port of Stagira is a feature, whereas many coins bear the symbol of a boar.
Despite the later rebuilt of the city, this disaster marked the beginning of a decline. The city was deserted during the Greco-Roman era. It is worth noting that Stravonas, who lived from 63 B.C. until 23 A.D. states in his famous “Geographics” that when he visited Stagira, these were already deserted.
The most impressive piece that was brought to light is the wall, at the top of the hill that was built in the classic years. The different ways of construction can be distinguished. The wall determines the western limits of the ancient city, surrounded by the sea. The powerful fortification supplemented round and square towers and ramparts that connected with heavy scales. At the top of the hill also appears the relic of the citadel. At the part behind, between the hills, is the well-maintained remainder from some beautiful, spacious public building, with a gallery and a monumental facade with pillars.
The first excavation in ancient Stagira took place in the end of 1960 and still continue bringing important findings to light. The recent restoration program of the XVI Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classic Antiquities, which will offer access to a part of the wall that includes a circular tower and the large rectangular tower, is interesting. The XVI Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classic Antiquities, directed by archaelogist K. Sismanidis, did many excavations, configurations and restorations in ancient Stagira, between 1990-2000. The first attempts took place in the end of the 60’s by F. Petsas. The archaeological museum of Polygyros exhibits findings from the excavations.