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A quick tour in Macedonia, Greece

Vacation and accommodation in Greece is a complete Travel Guide for Greece. In Vacation-Greece you will find information on Greek islands and a list of hotels and villas in Macedonia, studios and apartments for all budgets. Find hotel offers in Macedonia, see maps and photos of Macedonia, book flights, ferry tickets, discover Macedonia, book guided tours and make hotel reservations.
Short Description
Macedonia district in GreeceMacedonia is the home of Alexander the Great and his father Phillip grand son of the Macedonian Amynda founder of the Macedonian nation (not to be confused with the newly founded Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia attempting to claim that part of Greek history). This region is packed with mountainous outcrops that provide precipitous faces and due to its stark contrasts is gifted with innumerable natural beauties. Mysterious, grand mountainous ranges impose themselves on landscapes with yawning valleys deeply cut by rivers and holding captive the waters of numerous lakes. These pockets of densely wrinkled mountains, are home to ecosystems that offer refuge to rare varieties of fauna and flora, offer nature lovers numerous choices for exploration, relaxation, and mountain sports.

This wide variety of terrain types spotted with archaeological sites, monuments, Byzantine churches and many old monasteries has over the millennia formed the rich culture and the deep rooted ancient history of this territory. The charming painting of this region is highly complemented by charming villages where the hospitality of the locals is legend. There are several modern cities that provide all amenities that promise a comfortable stay.

Macedonian prefecturesMacedonia has a total of thirteen prefectures: Chalkidiki (Halkidiki), Drama, Florina, Grevena, Imathia, Kastoria, Kavala, Kilkis, Kozani, Pella, Pieria, Serres and Thessaloniki.

Although the city of Pella (in the prefecture of Pella) the birthplace of both Phillip and Alexander was the capital of ancient Macedonia, today Thessalonica (Thessaloniki) is the undisputed hub of commerce and finance for businesses in the Balkans and reaches as far as Russia.

Historical profile
According to finds from numerous past and ongoing excavations, Macedonia was inhabited since the Palaeolithic Age by the Macendon (Macedon) tribe who were the first to organize communities with some semblance of independence. King Amyntas III was the first (of a long line of kings) to unify all branches of the Macedon tribe into one kingdom in 393 BC. With the passage of time, the kingdom became ever more powerful to the point that it started to flex its political muscle in the adjacent areas.

In 358, and under the governance of Phillip II, the grand-son of Amyntas and father of the Alexander the Great, Macedonia actively expanded its borders all the way to Thessaly. The progressively increasing influence of Macedonia invoked the unease of the Athenians who in order to counteract this steady expansion, founded a coalition with other prevailing city-states of the period. The subsequent defeat of the Athenian coalition at the Battle of Chaeronia (Heronia) sealed the fact that Macedonia had finally risen to be the leading power of the period.

Macedonian monumentsCirca 336 B.C. directly after his father’s assassination, Alexander (later named the Great) became king of Macedonia. Well-educated by Aristotle and with inherent leadership skills borne of his father’s carefully planned and sometimes harsh tutelage (Leonidas of Epirus Lysimachus of Thessaly for his physical hardening and Aristotle of Stageira Thessaloniki for his mental and spiritual sharpening). Alexander has remained in history as the first emperor to create the largest, multicultural empire in history. After years of hard and physically taxing expeditions, he conquered Greece’s long time threat Persia putting a definitive end to Persian dominance, Egypt, Mesopotamia and stretched his empire to the hindus river of India thereby dispursing the Greek civilization, culture, philosophy, arts and language into the ancient Eastern world (evidence of the Greek language can be found in regions of northern Pakistan). This massive expansion laid the foundations for the security required for the ushering in of the Hellenistic Era (an era that has profoundly affected western civilisation as a whole).

After his untimely death in 323 B.C. at the age of 32, the Macedonian Empire was divided into smaller pieces each governed by one of the Diadohoi (Diadohi), who were members of the aristocracy and had followed Alexander from the beginning of his campaign from Greece.

In 168 BC part of the by the fallen and divided empire of Alexander the Great, became a Roman subject and in the 7th century these portions were finally integrated into the remains of the Roman empire that was known as the Byzantine Empire and it was divided in “themata” (administrative regions) and Thessaloniki (Thessalonica) became a major cultural and administrative centre in the region.

In 1430 the Ottomans occupied Thessalonica and due to their rapid expansion, soon the rest of Macedonia followed as did most of the Balkans and part of Eastern Europe.

During the period dating from 1904 to 1908, a bitter conflict between the Greeks, the Bulgarians (who were trying to gain access to the Mediterranean) and the Turks (of the then failing Ottoman empire) struggled for the domination of the region led to the “Macedonian Struggle” as recorded by the final victors of the conflict, the Greeks. Macedonia was finally liberated from the Ottomans in 1912.

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