The administrative and commercial center of ancient Greek cities was embellished by public purpose buildings which met the requirements of the city. Near the sanctuary area, complexes of market-places (Pella, Thessalonike), with shops and warehouses flanked by arcades, concentrated the commercial and administrative activities of the city.
Indispensable also were the gymnasia (Amphipolis, Beroia) and the 'palaestrai' (wrestling schools) with spaces for training, such as the 'xystos' (covered exercise area) and the 'diaulos' (double running-course), as well as a place for teaching the young, the 'ephebeion'.
Clay sima from Thasos
At the entrance to the cities there were the public baths where hot and cold water was supplied by a network of piping, and where travelers could spend some agreeable hours in the areas for perspiring, massage and resting.
In Roman times the existing buildings were renovated or new ones built ('forum' of Philippi) to meet the increasing needs of the cities, populous at the time. Furthermore, odea, stadia and race courses (Thessalonike) were the center of attraction for social activities principally for the citizens' recreation.