Heraclea Lyncestis Archaeological Site
Famous for its dazzling mosaics, ancient theater and Roman baths, Heraclea Lynkestis is the most vividly preserved city from the Ancient Macedonian Empire named after the Greek hero Heracles. It is believed that Heraclea was founded in the 4th century B.C. by the Philip of Macedonia and conquered by the Romans two centuries later /in 168 B.C./. Heraclea Lynkestis was built in the vast fertile Pelagonia plain and on the Via Egnatia road and became one of the key stations on this trading route. From the 4th-6th centuries A.D. Heraclea Lynkestis also was an Episcopal seat.
The first excavations in Heraclea Lynkestis were carried out before the First World War, but only since then have the full glories of the ancient city been revealed. The architectonic remains and the imposing number of movable finds of 2300 inventoried objects and the numerous deposited materials of the Heraclea site are a strong confirmation of the continuous life of this ancient Macedonian town between the 4th century BC and the 11th century AD. Beautiful Roman baths, the Episcopal church, three-nave Basilica and baptistery, wonderful statue of Hercules, money minted by glorious kings and rules /among them Alexander the Great/, a Jewish temple, portico and a Roman theater wonderfully decorated by rich floor mosaics. Heraclea mosaics are considered the best preserved and artistically most valuable works of that period not only in Macedonia, but in the world. Heraclea Lynkestis hoards and treasury make highlights of Macedonia, and its remains which survive in excellent conditions are present day used for summer concerts and theater shows. Heraclea Lynkestis archaeological site is 2,5 km away from center of Bitola, in central Macedonia.