Scenery at the town of Uelzen, Germany .
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hamburg, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? North to Denmark!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Amazing history lesson at the Museum of the Royal Tombs

The small town of Vergina, Macedonia, Greece is not very old. Maybe 100 years or so. However, it was built in an area that has been inhabited for many centuries. In the center of town was a known archeological site that contained ancient tombs, but the tombs that were visible had been looted in antiquity. 

In 1977, a Greek archeologist working at the tombs discovered two more tombs, but these ones had been left undisturbed since 336 BC... almost 2,400 years!

One of those tombs contained the remains of King Phillip II... father of Alexander the Great.


There are several amazing things about this museum. One is the museum itself how it is designed above the actual tombs themselves, but also below the ground. But the most amazing to me is the quality of some of the artifacts found in the tombs. Absolutely mind boggling how they had the ability to make this stuff back then.

We did the long drive from Asopos River Gorge to the town of Vergina all in one day because we realized that the museum would be closed on Tuesday so we wanted to see it on Monday. Besides, we are trying to put some miles on anyhow, so this gave us some added impetus to get on the road. 

We arrived at the museum at 2:00pm, but it closes at 5:00pm so we still had lots of time to explore it.

Adult admission was €6 ($8.50 CAD, $6.75 USD) and I thought it was worth it. Very cool stuff!

The archeologist, reminiscing about the moment he realized what he had discovered.

Ancient graveyard headstones from the 3rd century BC.

An iron sword with an ivory hilt in the shape of a bird.

A silver kalyx with a relief head of Dionysos crowned with gold ivy.

These detailed figurines were only about an inch tall!

A large painting found inside one of the tombs.

Wow.
This piece is about a foot (30 cms) long.

The actual entrance door to the tomb.


The tombs have been resealed.

The one tomb they are confident contained the remains of King Phillip II, but the other one they are not so sure. They think it might have been the youngest son of Alexander the Great who was between the ages of 13 to 16 when he died.

Amazing.

This gold box contained the remains of one of Phillip's wives.

His full battle gear was also found in the tomb, including the iron helmet.
This picture doesn't do it justice.

And, it was really difficult to take photos. No flash allowed, and it's pretty dark in there although the artifacts themselves are well displayed.

These figurines were from the "couch" which was mostly made of wood and had pretty much disintegrated.

This one is about 4" tall.

What remains of his original battle shield.

The gold box that contained his bones.

I was trying to figure out what the gold box would be worth for it's gold content alone. Obviously it is priceless, so the figure means nothing. But if that box weighed perhaps 5 lbs, it would be worth about $150,000 USD. But it might weigh more. I can't find any information about that.

The gold wreath of oak leaves worn by the man on the pyre.

Silver bowls and vases.

The detail amazes me.

The entrance to tomb III.

It's tough to get a photo, but you walk down these dark stairs.

A display model of what the tomb looked like when they opened it up.

Another tiny figurine.

More silver.

A photo of what the tomb looked like when they opened it in 1977.

A photo of a painting inside the tomb.

We would totally recommend this museum. It's unlike anything we've ever seen before.

We parked Max at GPS 40.485091, 22.320062 where there is a private paved parking lot that provides electric and water to motorhomes for €7.50 per night.

Yesterday's drive, 250 kms (155 miles).

Today, we head east around the city of Thessaloniki.

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And in Canada...

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It certainly was, and we have our new friends Katya and Yves who we met in Albania to thank for it, otherwise we may have missed it. It was definitely an amazing museum and that says a lot coming from us because we aren't huge museum people.

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  2. Love this type of history. It just amazes me. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We do too! Wow, it would have been so neat to have been there when they finally unearthed their find and opened those tomb doors for the first time to see the incredible treasures that they found.

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  3. That was the best part of my Greece trip back in 2012. Glad you got to take pics. They wouldn't let us take any at all!

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    1. We are so glad that you have been to visit this fabulous museum, it definitely isn't on the main tourist route, that is for sure. It was really nice that we were allowed to take pictures as long as we didn't use a flash. The pictures came out pretty good considering how dark it was inside of the museum.

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  4. Lucky! I love it when I find these amazing museums "by accident" when travelling. To many finds like that here in south Spain. So much compact history is a small area. Love your blog.

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    1. We love finding these little hidden gems and this one was definitely a winner! We have traveled a small part of southern Spain back in January/February of 2017 so we know exactly what you mean by having a so much history is compact area. We look forward to making our way back there again in the next year or so. :-)

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