Vergina: Ancient name was Aigai. Present population 1255. 13 km/8 miles southeast of Veria.
This was the first capital of ancient Macedon, which was later transferred to Pella, though the royal cemetery remained. In 336 BC Philip II (Philip of Macedon/father of Alexander the Great) was assassinated here at the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra. Legend had it that the dynasty would be destroyed if any of its kings were buried elsewhere, and as it happened, Alexander the Great was buried in Asia.
Finds from the site and the royal tombs, including Philip of Macedon’s tomb are exhibited here, and to a lesser extent in archaeological museum in Thessaloniki. In 1977, after decades of work on this site, this tomb and others of the Macedonian royal family were found by Professor Manolis Andronikos. Before that, Aigai had been thought to be buried beneath the town of Edhessa , to the north.
Visitors can walk down into underground passages and view four tombs that are numbered in non-chronological order, and known as The Royal Tombs.