The Archaeological Site of Philippi.. A UNESCO World Heritage Monument


A UNESCO World Heritage Monument

UNESCO World Heritage Site

All-powerful kings of the ancient Greek world, Roman generals and thousands of soldiers, the most important Apostle of the Early Christian years and the first European Christian. Find the traces that they left behind with just one trip to the amazing archaeological site of Philippi!

The region of Philippi is connected to many exceptional historical figures and events that shaped the Western world. Stunning monuments, which have survived until today, are evidence of the long history of the cultures that interacted and grew in this region.

The ancient city of Philippi was initially (360 BC) a colony of the Thassians, with the name of Krinides. It was soon conquered, however, by the then all-powerful Philip II, king of Macedonia, who fortified the city and gave it his name. In the Hellenistic period the city gained its wall, theatre, public buildings and private residences. Undoubtedly, the most impressive building of this period, despite the changes that it has undergone over the centuries, is the ancient theatre of Philippi, which each summer plays host to productions during the Philippi Festival. In the 2nd century BC the Via Egnatia, one of the largest military and commercial roads of the ancient world, was built through Philippi, making the city a focal point of the region.

The most important event during the Roman years, however, which left an indelible stamp on the history of the town was the battle of Philippi in 42 BC, when the Roman Republicans, led by the generals Brutus and Cassius, faced the supporters of the monarchy – Mark Antony, Octavian (subsequently Caesar Augustus, first Emperor of the Romans) and Lepidus. The Republicans lost and their leaders committed suicide. From now on, Rome would be ruled by an aristocratic government.

Even so, another significant event was to change the town yet once more: the arrival of the Apostle Paul, who founded the first Christian Church on European territory in 49/50 AD. The prevalence of the new religion and the transfer of the capital of the Roman state to Byzantium (later Constantinople) shone glory on Philippi. In the Early Christian period (4th-6th centuries AD) the Octagon complex, the metropolitan cathedral dedicated to the Apostle Paul and the “Bishop’s Palace” as well as three grand Christian basilicas were built upon the sites of Roman buildings and private houses.


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