Tour of the ancient Nicopolis
Ancient Nikopoli is located 10 km north to the city of Preveza, on the National Road of Preveza – Ioannina.
Λίγα χιλιόμετρα έξω από την Πρέβεζα, βρίσκεται η μεγαλύτερη αρχαία πόλη της Ελλάδας. Η Νικόπολη ήταν το καμάρι του ρωμαίου αυτοκράτορα Οκταβιανού, η πόλη που έχτισε σε ανάμνηση της νίκης του ενάντια στον συστρατευμένο στόλο του Αντώνιου και της Κλεοπάτρας, στη ναυμαχία του Ακτίου το 31 π.Χ.. Μια πόλη που απλώνεται σε στρέμματα επί στρεμμάτων – τόσα που θα χρειαστεί να οδηγήσετε για να πάτε, ας πούμε, από το Ωδείο στο Θέατρο – και τα βυζαντινά τείχη της οποίας συνεχίζονται επί ολόκληρα χιλιόμετρα. Ο αρχαιολογικός χώρος, περιλαμβάνει εκτός από το Ωδείο και το Θέατρο, δύο παλαιοχριστιανικές βασιλικές με εντυπωσιακά ψηφιδωτά, το μνημείο του Αυγούστου και το στάδιο.
Nikopolis – city of Nike (victory) – was founded in 31 BC by Octavian Augustus, in honor of his victory over Antonios and Cleopatra at the naval battle of Aktio. The city developed and flourished during the Roman Period, when it numbered approximately 300.000 dwellers, and later also during the Early Christian period. The visitor of ancient Nikopolis is stunned by the big surface of the archaeological site that extends from the Ionian Sea to Amvrakikos gulf, and by the number of the preserved monuments at a surface of almost 1500km2.
Since there have been no housing interventions at the area, the archaeological site keeps the natural environment intact, which makes it unique. Among the most important monuments that the visitor can admire are the following:
The mudbricks Ancient walls were built between 30 and 25 BC, right after the city’s foundation, as the most of the public buildings. The fortified wall has a perimeter bigger than 5 klm and nowadays only some parts of it stand there, on the north and south side, since the most of it was used as a construction material for the building of the Byzantine wall.
The ancient Theatre of Nikopolis
The ancient Theatre of Nikopolis, at the place Proasteio, to the north of the walled city, is an impressive building that was constructed at the beginning of the 1st century AD with other public buildings of the city. It functioned during the New Aktia Games that had a religious nuance and were celebrated in honor of Apollo.
The Roman Odeon
The Roman Odeon, one of the most important and well preserved monuments of Nikopolis, is a real architectural piece of art. It was constructed in the years of Augustus (beginning of 1st century AD) and it suffered several restorations and alterations at the end of 2nd – beginning of 3rd century AD. It is located at the centre of the ancient city and it was the place to host speeches, philological and musical games, as well as theatrical events during the New Aktia Games, religious games celebrated in honor of Apollo.
The Nymphaeo of Nikopolis is located to the west of the city, close to the west gate of roman walls and it is a building of the 3rd century AD. It is consisted of two mudbricks buildings that covered big water tanks that provided the city with water. At the inside part of the buildings there is a number of marble arches where they had put marble statues having to do with water and nature.
The Thermes of roman Nikopolis, a building of the 1st century BC, is one of the most important public buildings of the city of Augustus. It was located at the place called Proasteio, to the north of the walled ancient city and it functioned as a wholly forest due to its neighboring to the altar of Apollo. It is an impressive monument, which was mostly used by the athletes that took part in the New Aktia Games, celebrated in honor of Apollo.
Moreover, it’s worth climbing the Smyrtoula hill that overlooks the whole region where Octavian Augustus had his observatory during the naval battle. There, after the naval battle, he constructed the altar of Apollo, as a memorial to his victory.
New Archaeological Museum of Nikopolis
The official inauguration of the new Archaeological Museum of Nikopolis took place in 2009.
It is located to the north entrance of the city of Preveza and it is almost 2km off the Ancient Nikopolis.
Aim of the museum’s exhibition is to connect the museum to the monuments of the archaeological site and to show off the city’s progress through time.
It vividly narrates the city’s history, starting from its establishment immediately after the naval battle of Aktio, and getting to the archaeological excavations of the beginning of the 20th century. The life in the city occupies one of the biggest and most interesting units of the museum, while a copy of a roman map depicting the world known at that period of time (and the idea that the Romans had about it) is amongst the most interesting exhibits.
The exhibition is displayed in two rooms: the first one displays the foundation and the evolution of the prestigious roman and early Christian Nikopolis, whilst the second is dedicated to the private life of these two periods.
Old Archaeological Museum of Nikopolis
The old archaeological museum, was built in the ‘60s inside the early Christian walls of Nikopolis. It includes many collections of architectural members and sculptures from the site of Nikopolis and the grave offerings from the cemetery of the wider region of Nikopolis.
For more info about museum and archaeological site visiting hours, please call the New Archaeological Museum of Nikopolis.
Tel: +30 26820 89892
Fax: +30 26820 89893
After this big stroll, you can choose Monolithi to swim. It is about a beach that extends many kilometers along the so called periurban forest, with deep clear waters. The showers, faucets, toilets, cubicles and refreshment places will facilitate your stay.
If you want to eat you can visit one of the tavernas at the area of Mytikas.
Click on the map for more details