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History and teachings
The Roman mosaic heritage of Philipopolis stuns with its richness and magnificence. It is a genuine masterpiece of late antiquity art, which continues to inspire the generations of today. The Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis, the predecessor of today’s Plovdiv, is the largest Early Christian temple in this country. A coin dating back to the times of Emperor Licinius (308-324) discovered during the excavations of the Bishop’s Basilica, has spawned the hypothesis that the basilica was among the first to be erected in the Roman Empire after Christianity was legalized, in 313. Its dimensions, its decoration and its central location near the ancient city’s forum indicate the existence of a sizable and influential Christian community in Philippopolis.
Its interior was adorned by columns with Christian symbols on their capitals, by murals and lavish mosaic floors. The mosaics are the best-preserved elements of the building. They were executed in three stages, form two layers and have a total area of 2,000 square meters.
The church was at the heart of the city’s Christian life in the 4th- 6th centuries until it was demolished and abandoned, probably as a result of an earthquake.
However, the story of its location is a lot more complex and spans at least 12 centuries.
The basilica was erected over the ruins of an ancient building probably dating back to the 1st century AD. After it was abandoned in the 10th-12th centuries, its location was taken up by a large Christian necropolis which had a cemetery church decorated with fine murals.
recommended for all; unique; does not require prior knowledge; accessible;
Central, public transportation available. Human resources, assistanceyes. Accessibility (for disabled) , preparedness of the staffyes, accessible. Infrastructure, staff, safety measures, languages modern, safety measures in place, Bulgarian and English, as well as tours in a number of other languages