Dion (Greek, Modern: Δίο Dio, Ancient/Katharevousa -on) is a place in Pieria Prefecture, Northern Greece. A museum and an archaeology site are in Dion. It is an ancient place. According to archaeological findings, there was the place where Zeus was honored. It is located SW of Katerini, N of Athens and Larissa and SE of Veria.
Dion was first mentioned from the ancient sources by Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War historian reported that Dion was the first city that Spartan general Brasidas crossed from Thessaly into Macedonia on an expedition in 424 BC towards the Athenian colonies of Thrace through the kingdom with his ally Perdiccas II. According to Diodorus of Sicily, King Archelaus at the end of the 5th century BC gave the city and his sanctuary importance that Dion has thereafter the Kingdom of Macedonia. In ancient Dion was a nine-day festival of the athletic and dramatic contests in honor of Zeus and the Muses.
Dion was a village called "Malathria". In 1992 a mass was staged in Dion, to cheer that Macedonia is a part of Greece, in the time when the Republic of Macedonia was in trouble with Greece. In October 1992, it became a municipality, for historical reasons. The municipality is called "Dimos Diou" or the "Municipality of Dion" and its headquarters is at the village of Kondariotissa.
Dion from Mount Olympus, Click Image to enlarge
The ruins of ancient Dion was rediscovered by William Martin Leake on December 21, 1806 near Malathria. It was published in the third voulme of Travels in Northern Greece in 1835. Léon Heuzey visited the archaeological site and published in Mission archéologique de Macédoine (Archaeological Mission in Macedonia), in 1861, epigraphist G. Oikonomos published the first series of inscriptions. The systemaic exploration of ancient Dion continued in 1928. G. Sotiriadis excavated more of the site in 1931 which uncovered a Macedonian tomb from the 4th century BC. More excavations were done in 1960 by G. Bakalakis especially in the ancient theatre. Since 1973, professor D. Pandermalis from the University of Thessaloniki conducted archaeological researches in the city.
In 1992 Greek archaeologists recovered a fragmentary hydraulis with 19 bronze tubes dating from the 1st Century BC. at the Greek city of Dion, at the foot of Mt. Olympus
Dion has a school, lyceum, gymnasia, banks, a post office, and squares (plateies).
The municipality of Dion with a population 11252 (2001), seat Kontariotissa, is divided in
Agios Spyridon is a village od the Dion municipality 10 km from Katerini, the population are mainly farmers. In the past it was known as Kalyvia Kontariotissas.
The majority of the population of Karitsa lives from livestock farming and tabak production. In 1918 (population 780) it was part of the community of Dion, in 1961 an independent community with a population 1598 and since 1999 it is a municipal district of Dion with a population 2220 (2001 census).
In the 17 century the village then known as Karavan Serai was in a place called Platydromos. Around 1700 the villagers moved to a new position 2 km in the south at an altitude 400 m at a place of Palia Vrontou. The name Vrontou from the 18th century is detived from the noise of the river Agia Trias . In 1910 the population was 250 and 639 in 1929. In 2001 the population was 2081. Known is the carnival of Vrontou with participation of other villages in the region.