The place and its history

Pydna (Kitros) is located in a special place. In the South, Mount Olympus dominates with its majestic peak Mytikas, which was the home of the Twelve Olympian Gods. In the West, the Pierian mountains rise, which were the place of the nine Muses of the Greek history. In the North, at a distance of 50 kms, the city of Thessaloniki appears from the sea glowing at night. And at a distance of only 3 kms you meet the sea in the East. It is the Thermaic Gulf wich gives a cool breeze in the hot summer. The history of Pydna starts from the 7th century when it was conquered from the king of Macedon Perdicca I, who was aiming for the development of the Macedonian trade and he needed a central port. During the reign of Archelaus (413-399 BC), the people of Pydna tried to break away, taking advantage of the conflicts between the Macedonians and the Athenians. Howerver, their attempt failed and after that Archelaus forced them to move towards the meditterranian place where the village Kitros is located today. After Archelaus’ death though, they took advantage of the conflicts of the Macedonians over the succession, they allied with the Athenians and they returned to their previous residence having also gained their autonomy as it is indicated from their coins. But the autonomy of Pydna didn’t last for long. In 357 BC Philip II of Macedon conquers Pydna despite its great resistance. Nevertheless this new phase of the Macedonian dominance didn’t reduce its wealth. Pydna started to thrive and its port became the base of the macedonian fleet. It is also the biggest urban centre as well as the most important port of the Macedonian Kingdom. From there the famous timber of Pieria is exported, which is valuable for the constraction of ships. Its vital importance is shown from the fact that significant events took place there, that determined the development of Macedonia. In 317-316 BC Kassandros (the founder of Thessaloniki) son of Antipatros (regent of Macedonia during the expedition of Alexander the Great) besieged Olympias (mother of Alexander the Great) in Pydna where he forced her to surrender since her army had been decimated by starvation. She was killed by relatives of her victims and she was burried in Pydna.

The prospererity of Pydna lasted until 168 BC when the Roman army, led by Amelius Paulus, defeated the king of Macedon Perseus and Pydna was plundered. The battle of Pydna was one of the greatest battles in ancient times and played a determinant role in the future of Greece.
The town was still inhabited during the Roman Empire and it was the most important centre in North Pieria. But the inhabitants settled arround the sea with the result that they occupied the southeast part of the ancient town. During the Byzantine Times, it thrives again and it takes the name of Kitros, after a Roman governor of the area during the Roman Empire. It becomes a fortified settlement with an episcopal see. During the Turkish Domination in the 15th century AD and because of pirate attacks the place is abandoned and it moves to the place where it is today, in Kitros, which is 3 kms southeast of its former place. After the Greek Revolution it was completely destroyed. It was liberated in 1912 and after the consolidation of the Greek country the inhabitants that had lived around the near mountainous villages returned and started to bring it into life again. In 1925 after the treaty of Neuilly (it was signed in 1919 and concerned among other things the exchange of populations between Greece and Bulgaria) it accepts immigrants from the Eastern Rumelia (Northern Thrace). These new inhabitants who were coming from two towns of the Eastern Rumelia (Vana and Kavakli) form the three quarters of the total population of Kitros. People whose liveliness and diligence give a new aura in the daily life of Kitros.