Archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis - Bitola
The ancient city of Heraclea Lyncestis was founded in the middle of the IVth century BC, by Philip II of Macedon. It is named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles, while the epithet Lyncestis originates from the name of the Lyncestida region in which the city was built, and where the ancient Macedonian tribe Lyncestidis lived.
In the middle of the II century BC. The Romans conquered Macedonia and divided it into four areas. Heraclea belonged to the fourth district and experienced some prosperity because it was an important stop at the famous Via Egnatia road that connected the ports of Durres and the Bosphorus.
The ancient city of Heraclea Lyncestis is a class by itself in several unique, special, unrepeatable flashes of human civilization. The remains of the Roman period – the ancient theatre, the early Christian basilicas, the monumental and unique early Christian mosaics in the Balkans and in the history of art in general.
There are number of styles in Heraclea Lyncestis that are characteristic for the world cultural heritage in the most affirmative sense: Hellenistic architectural layers, buildings built in the spirit and style of Roman times, as well as a series of buildings and monuments from the early Christian period.
Life in Heraclea stopped at the end of the 6th century AD, when new urban centres were formed with the immigration of the Slavic tribes, where the indigenous population slowly settled in.
Today, Heraclea Lyncestis is a site where archeological excavations are carried out continuously, and which is also open to visitors. The reconstructed ancient Roman theatre is in excellent condition and it is used for performing various cultural events in the summer.