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The ancient city of Philippi, now the most important archaeological site in Eastern Macedonia, lies at the boundary of the marshes that cover the southeast part of the plain of Drama. The site was originally colonized by the people of Thasos, who, aware of the area's plentiful supplies of precious metals, timber, and agricultural products, established the city of Krinides in 360 BC. Soon after its establishment, however, Krinides was threatened by the Thracians (365 BC) and turned to King Philip II of Macedon for help. Realizing its economic and strategic potential, Philip conquered, fortified, and renamed the city after himself.

SITE MONUMENTS

  • CITY WALLS & ACROPOLIS: The 3.5-kilometre-long walls begin at the fortified acropolis on the hilltop and surround the foot of the hill and part of the plain. Inside the acropolis is a Late Byzantine tower.
  • THE THEATRE: which was probably built by King Philip II in the mid-fourth century BC, was thoroughly remodelled in the second and third centuries AD in order to accommodate Roman spectacles.
  • THE ROMAN FORUM: the city's administrative centre in the Roman period, was a unified complex of public buildings positioned around a central square, with two monumental temples at the northeast and northwest. The large paved road that runs north of the forum has been identified as the ancient Via Egnatia.
  • BASILICA A (end of fifth century AD): is a large three-aisled basilica, 130 metres long and 50 metres wide, with a transept, a square atrium, a gallery over the aisles and narthex, and an unusual phiale. Fragments of the luxurious pavement and part of the ambo are preserved in the central aisle. The impressive wall paintings in the chapel's anteroom imitate opus sectile decoration.
  • BASILICA B (ca. 550 AD): is a three aisled basilica with a narthex and annexes to the north and south (phiale and vestry). The almost square central aisle was covered by a dome supported on large pillars, and the sanctuary was vaulted. The sculptural decoration is clearly influenced by Constantinopolitan art.
  • OCTAGON: was the episcopal church of Philippi. The church proper presents three building phases (late fourth/early fifth century - mid-sixth century AD). It replaced an earlier smaller church dedicated to Saint Paul (early fourth century), built on the site of a Late Hellenistic tomb-her?on. The complex also comprises a phiale, a baptistery, a bathhouse, a two-storied Episcopal residence, and a monumental gateway towards the Via Egnatia.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Telephone: +30 2510 516251
Tickets: Full: 3, Reduced: 2
Open: From the 1st of November until the 31 of March: 8:30-15:00
Holidays: 25 March.

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