Greece // The northern mainland //

The Archeological Museum

The refurbished archeological museum is undoubtedly the city’s leading museum. Star billing goes to the marvellous Gold of Macedon exhibition in the south hall, which displays – and clearly labels in both English and Greek – many of the finds from the royal tombs of Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) and others at the ancient Macedonian capital of Aegae, in Vergina. They include startling amounts of gold and silver – masks, crowns, necklaces, earrings and bracelets – all of extraordinarily imaginative craftsmanship, both beautiful and practical, as well as pieces in ivory and bronze. Other highlights include the central gallery (opposite as you enter), which is devoted to rich grave finds from ancient Sindos, a few kilometres north of the modern city, while the left-hand wing is taken up by Hellenistic and Roman art, in particular some exquisite blown-glass birds, found in the tumuli or toúmbes which stud the plain around Thessaloníki.

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