Halkidiki Ammon Zeus

The Sanctuary of Ammon Zeus in Halkidiki Greece: The sanctuary of Ammon Zeus is located near Kallithea village, 100 km from Thessaloniki and 50 km from Polygiros. Around the 5th century BC, people began worshipping Ammon Zeus and in the half of the 4th century BC, they built a sanctuary to his honor. The sanctuary of Ammon Zeus was in the Doric architectural style, sturdy, plain and made of limestone. Today only some remains of the groundwork and the altar are to be found.

The land on which the sanctuary originally stood was reclaimed by the Romans, who built a smaller sanctuary in the 2nd century AD, which in turn made way for a Christian Basilica. The Byzantine era witnessed yet another destruction of the sanctuary and this time in the 11th century AD, a monastery dedicated to Agios Panteleimon was constructed. Close to the sanctuary of Ammon Zeus, there are the remains of two more sanctuaries, one dedicated to the Nymphes, some ancient Greek deities, and a second one to god Dionysos, the god of wine.

Apparently the worship of Ammon Zeus began ever since the Greeks from Cyrene city, in Libya, visited the shrine of Ammon, the Egyptian oracle god. The sanctuary of Ammon was located in the Siwa Desert. This may have prompted them to call the god, Ammon Zeus, or literally Sandy God. The Greek poet Pindar (522-445 BC) was instrumental in propagating the cult of Ammon Zeus. He was the first Greek to dedicate an ode and build a statue to this god. It is interesting to note that Alexander the Great venerated and considered himself to be the son of Ammon Zeus.

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