Archaeological Museum of Arta
Western Nekropolis of Ambracia
Small Theater of Ambracia
Ambracia, one of the most important cities of ancient Greece, was built on the banks of the Arachthos river in the same place as modern day Arta. It was founded in 625 BC. from the Corinthians and at its peak it had about 100,000 inhabitants. Ambracia as a Corinthian colony experienced great economic prosperity and naval power, as can be seen from ancient texts and archaeological findings. It had one of the best urban planning systems of antiquity. During the Persian wars, he took part with seven ships in the naval battle of Salamis and with five hundred hoplites in the battle of Plataea. In 338 BC Philip II captured the city. In 295 BC Ambracia was granted by the Macedonians to Pyrrhus, who made it the capital of his kingdom and from there he set out for his campaigns in the rest of Greece and Italy. Pyrrhus filled Ambracia with monumental buildings and temples. In 167 BC the Romans plundered and destroyed the cities of Epirus, Ambracia burnt and its walls torned down, and this also meant the end of the glorious city.
Elements of the history of ancient Ambrakia are scattered around the city and the visitor has the opportunity to live this experience himself. In this way, he can understand the importance of the city in pre-Christian times, as the city had important buildings, the remains of which still exist today. Ancient Ambracia is not something that sprung up suddenly in the area, but was created through processes of centuries, due to its exceptional geographical location: it was located next to a river, close to the sea and at the foot of the Pindos mountain. It played an important role in the history of ancient Greece and, in fact, during its heyday it was the capital of a kingdom that extended all over today’s Epirus and up to Epidamnos.