Archeological Site in Philippi added to World Heritage List

Philippi, Kavala

The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee has approved the inclusion of the archeological complex of Philippi on its list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The ancient fortress city of Philippi, just west of the modern city of Kavala, was founded in 365 BC during the reign of Philip II. It’s one of the most important archaeological sites of Northern Greece, and includes many monuments indicating the historical progression of the city from the Hellenistic period to the Late Byzantine period.

The city became a Roman colony in 42 BC and rose to prominence, administratively and commercially. The apostle Paul visited the city in 54 AD and baptized the first European convert to Christianity, a woman named Lydia who was a “seller of purple dye.” Paul went on to plant a church at Philippi.

Centuries later, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire, and in subsequent years, with the advent of the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman) empire, many churches were built, traces of which still survive today in ruins.