Ancient Maroneia, the jewel of Rodopi
In the Odyssey Homer mentions the mythical Thracian hero Ismarus, the land of the Cicones (Kikones) where Maron was the priest of Apollo. Tradition claims the priest to be the chief of settlers (founder) of the colony founded by the inhabitants of Chios, in the middle of the 7th century. BC, after whom the city took its name. Various historical sources testify the economic development of the city, its annexation to Macedonia in the 4th century BC. and its prosperity during the Roman period.
Archaeological research in the area that lies between the beach of Agios Charalambos and Mount Ismaros has revealed ruins belonging to ancient Maroneia. One of the most important is the fortified acropolis in Ai-Giorgis.
Agios Georgios which dates back to the 9th-8th c. BC. with a gate made of granite, as it is testified by the monolithic pilasters. The citadel is identified with the city of Cicones' Ismara or Ismaros.
Some of the most important sites in the area are from the 4th c. BC the sanctuary attributed to the god Dionysus, the city walls with a total length of 10 km, the house with mosaic floors, as well as other building complexes. From the Roman Period are the Roman Agora of the city and the Roman propylon from the time of Emperor Hadrian (124-125 AD). South of the settlement of Maroneia, in "Kampana", the ancient theater is situated.
The first human presence in the wider area is evident in the Cave of Cyclops Polyphemus and dates to the Neolithic period (5,300-3,800 BC) and the early Bronze Age.