Ancient Stagira


The most important historic site of Chalkidiki, ancient Stagira, is located on the Liotopi, next to the current Olympics. Touring is a real treat. If you want to see them all you know how you will need at least 2 to 3 hours and do not miss the coastal path which is great. Ancient Stagira, a city where Aristotle was born in 384 BC, is located about 500 m southeast of the modern settlement of Olympiada, on a mountainous peninsula in Halkidiki.

The foundation of Stagira is placed in the year 655 BC. and was held by the Ionian colonists of Andros. After the Persian Wars, Stagira became a member of the First Alliance by contributing to the common treasury. In the Peloponnesian War, specifically in the year 424 BC, the Stagirai were displaced by the Athenians and allied with the Spartans. The fact was angered by the Athenians, who were rushed to the controversial general Cleon to lead the city, but without effect. Subsequently, Stagira joined the Halkidian Common, which was the alliance of 32 coastal cities in Halkidiki, located in the city of Olynthos.

Aristotle died between the first and the twenty-second October of the year 322 BC. in Halkida from stomach disease, in sadness and melancholy. His body was moved to Stagira, where he was buried with exceptional prices. His fellow citizens proclaimed him a “settler” of the city and built an altar on his grave. In his memory he established a feast, “Aristotleia”, and they named one of the months “Aristotle”. The square where it was buried was designated as the venue for the Congress.

The first excavation efforts were made in the late 1960s by archaeologist F. Petca. In the early 1990s, systematic excavations from the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, led by archaeologist K. Sismanidis, began, which brought to light important findings and evidence about Aristotle’s birthplace. Since 1995, as part of a larger study by a group of architects, large-scale restorative interventions have been carried out on the southern leg of the fortification and on the acropolis, and routes and views have been created for visitors. From 2011 to 2013, under the direction of architect G. Giannakis, the excavation work of the archaeological site was extended to the northern hill by the restoration of a Hellenistic house, a part of the late-classical wall, the sanctuaries and the workshops.

Today, after systematic excavations, configurations and restorations, ancient Stagira is an attractive archaeological site, within a landscape of special natural beauty, next to the local community of Olympiada in the Municipality of Aristotle.