"Archeological Site Heraclea Lyncestis, Bitola" Bitola Things to Do Tip by Pijlmans
Bitola Things to Do: 111 reviews and 268 photos
In the south of Macedonia, just south of Bitola, is the ancient city Heraclea Lyncestis, now an archaeological site.
The ancient town of Heraclea Lyncestis was founded by Philip II of Macedon, father of Aleksandar III of Macedon (Aleksandar the Great) in the middle of the 4th century BC.
Heraclea (from Hercules) was named after the ancient tribe called Lyncestae (from lynx) who lived in the area already around 4500 BC. Its function was a military fortification of the border. Macedonia fell under Roman jurisdiction at that time.
Heraclea was an important stopping place and crossroad on the Via Egnatia, a Roman road which connected Heraclea with Ohrid (Lychnidos). The Diagonal Way connected Heraclea with the ancient city of Stobi.
Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) has used Heraclea as a supply depot during his campaigns.
In the Early Christian period (4th-6th century AD), Heraclea became an episcopal seat (meaning the Bishop had his residence here).
After a large earthquake in 518 AD the inhabitants eventually abandoned the city for other towns.
The Heraclea site consists of an amphitheater, baths, basilicas and some impressive mosaics. The Theater is even more impressing if you keep in mind that many people, mainly Christians, lost their lives here in gladiator and animal fights.
In the small museum you can get a drink and e.g. leave your bags during your visit of the site.
There is a small bar with terrace with interesting tables decorated with mosaics.
The admission fee was 100 denars (about 1.60 euros), and they ask 300 Denars (about 5 euros) per camera to make pictures. However, we bargained a bit and only paid 1x the picture fee for 4 people.
See my Travelogues for almost 60 pictures of Heraclea Lyncestis, sorted by subject:
Thermae and Portico
Episcopal Residence and Fountain
If you are interested in archeological sites, also see my pages about Heraclea Lyncestis near Bitola, Stobi near the village Gradsko and Plaosnik in Ohrid.
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