The Philippine region is associated with exceptional historical figures and events that shaped Western culture. Unique monuments, preserved to this day, bear witness to the centuries-old history of the cultures that were intersected and developed in the region.
The ancient city of Philippi was originally a Thassian colony (360 BC) by the name of Krinides, but was soon conquered by the then powerful Philip II, king of Macedonia, who fortified the city and named it. During the Hellenistic years the city acquired its wall, the theater, public buildings and private residences. Undoubtedly, the most impressive building of this era, despite the changes it has undergone over the centuries, is the Ancient Philippine Theater, which hosts performances by the Philippine Festival every summer. In the 2nd century BC the passage of the Egnatia Road through Philippi, one of the largest military and commercial roads of the ancient world, transformed the city into a point of reference.
But the most important event in Roman times, which indelibly seals the history of the city, is the battle of Philippi in 42 BC, when democratic Romans with generals Brutus and Cassius confront the followers of the Monarchy under Marco. Antonius, Octavian (later Caesar Augustus, first Roman Emperor) and Lepidus. Democrats lose, their heads commit suicide, and the imperial period of its rule begins for Rome.
However, another important event was again to change the city’s image: the arrival of Apostle Paul, who founded the first Christian church on European soil here in 49/50 AD. The dominance of the new religion and the transfer of the capital of the Roman state to Constantinople gave Philip the glory. During the Early Christian period (4th-6th centuries AD), the “Octagon” complex was established in place of Roman buildings, with the Metropolitan Temple dedicated to the Apostle Paul, the “Palace of the Bishop”, and three magnificent churches. royal and private residences.
Early Christian monuments in Philippi are one of the best preserved monuments of this type and of this historical period in the whole world!
The city began to be abandoned in the early 7th century AD. century, due to major earthquakes and Slavic raids. It survives in the Byzantine years as a fortress, with its desolation ending with Turkish conquest in the late 14th century.
The excavation began in Philippi in 1914 by the French Archaeological School. After World War II, the Archaeological Service and the Archaeological Society conducted systematic excavations. Today the Archaeological Service, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the French School of Archeology continue their archaeological research. The findings of the excavations are kept at the Archaeological Museum of Philippi. Since July 2016, the Philippine Archaeological Site has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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