The park of Leivithra was subsumed in the Code ‘Development of cultural infrastructure / Modern cultural infrastructure’ of NSRF 2007-2013. It was initially implemented by the 27th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities under the direction of Ε. Poulaki – Pantermali, who has inspired the project, and was accomplished by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Pieria, under the direction of Ε. Papastavrou. It is located at the SE border of the archaeological site of Leivithra next to Mount Olympus. It extends on an area of 67 acres ceded by the Ministry of Rural Development to the Ministry of Culture. The thematic park aims to a cognitive and experiential contact of the visitor with ancient Leivithra and the wider area of Olympus, as well as with everyday life in antiquity. It has a pedagogical – ‘recreational’ purpose, achieved through educational programs, workshops and cultural events, utilizing the natural and cultural heritage of the Olympus area.
It consists of three thematic areas:
- Educational – ‘Recreational’ area
- Flora and myths
- Forest improvement
The last topic is developed in the peripheral region and the first two in the central area of the park, where the ground plan of footpaths is in shape of lyre (bird – eye view), noting the relevant myth of Orpheus and Muses.
Α. Educational – ‘Recreational’ area
After the main SE entrance and the guardhouse for initial information, an apsidal building with rectangular shaped outbuilding dates to the late Bronze Age, is located. It was excavated in Platamonas area during National New Road’s construction and was transferred to the Leivithra Park.
- Start of route
- Foundation of apsidal Mycenaean building
- Small oval building with natural construction techniques
- Archaeological information building
- Kiosks for Orpheus – Muses
- Fields for natural agriculture
- To acropolis of Leivithra
Nearby there is a small oval building with natural construction techniques (building B). It has been built according to the dimensions and hypothetical form of an oval residence of the 8th century B.C., which was excavated and then covered at Krania site, on the foothills of Platamonas Castle. It hosts educational workshops for ancient handicraft, diet and pottery.
In the central area of the park a rectangular complex can be found, which is the core of the educational programs and workshops. Its size and ground plan was inspired by a large wine-making complex of the late Classical – early Hellenistic period, excavated in the plain of Leivithra. At the east side a roofed building is located, where the visitor is informed about the archaeological sites from the broader Macedonian Olympus area (building A).
In the eastern and northern extensions of the building, stone foundations have been built, aiming to educational workshop on wall construction with mud bricks in a traditional way. At the west side of the complex a rectangular structure with stone foundations and a central paved yard can be found. It is to be used for agricultural workshops mostly related to the process of wine making, in connection with an adjacent small vineyard. Further north there are also small fields for workshops on traditional agriculture.
B. Flora and myths area & C. ‘Forest improvement’ area
The conservation, improvement and reinforcement of existing flora occurs in these areas, mainly through the planting of local varieties. Signs with mythological and historical information of the plants are also posted here.
Moreover, visitors can wander in the natural, unstructured area of the park and in the adjacent, age-old plane-tree forest of Leiνithra, and even further on, to the mount Olympus.
Written by: Effie Poulaki Pantermali