It was the largest building of classical Greece: the palace where Alexander the Great was proclaimed king before he launched a conquest that took him as far as modern-day Afghanistan.
The historic Palace of Aigai, built more than 2,300 years ago and once stood as the epicentre of the Ancient Greek world, has just reopened to the public following a 16-year makeover.
The renovation, with a total cost exceeding €20 million, aims to restore and revive the historical significance of the ancient palace where Alexander the Great was crowned King of Macedonia.
Constructed during the rule of Phillip II, Alexander’s father who transformed the kingdom of Macedonia into a dominant military power of ancient Greece, the palace served as its royal capital.
Boasting lavish column-rimmed courtyards, places of worship, and spacious banquet halls adorned with patterned marble and intricate mosaics, the palace covered a ground area of 15,000 square metres, just slightly smaller than the U.S. Capitol building.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended an inauguration event at the site.
More than a decade of renovation
Revitalising the birthplace of this remarkable location proved to be a very challenging and expensive task.
Over a span of 16 years, the Greek government, aided by the European Union, invested more than €20 million euros for the restoration.
The team behind the project managed to successfully restore 1,400 square metres of mosaics, marble flooring, and several columns, all while preserving the overall appearance of the ruins, according to the country’s cultural ministry.
“The importance of such monuments transcends local boundaries, becoming property of all humanity,” said Mitsotakis at the reopening of the palace. “And we as the custodians of this precious cultural heritage, we must protect it, highlight it, promote it, and at the same time expand the horizons revealed by each new facet.”
Check out the video in the web player above to take a closer look inside the newly reopened palace.