Greece: Nikopolis: The City of Victory

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Nikopolis (Greek for “city of victory”) is an ancient city in western Greece. It was founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus to commemorate his naval victory in Actium against Mark Antony and the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra in 31 BC. Its strategic location at the edge of a gulf in the Ionian Sea made it an ideal place for the Romans to impose their dominance in the region. Nikopolis quickly became a commercial, port city, as well as an important religious capital, favoured by the emperor who had granted the city freedom and privileges. Augustus also established the “Actian” athletic games, and honoured the God of light, Apollo. The 8th century marks the beginning of the city’s decline. First it was looted by Arabs and Bulgarians and was finally destroyed in the late 11th century. It was only in the beginning of the 20th century that the city saw the sun’s light again when it was revealed through archaeological excavations. Among the sites excavated we find walls dating back to the Roman era, a theatre and an Odeon, baths, an aqueduct and a Roman house, all restored. Visitors can also admire a variety of findings in the local museum of Nikopolis.