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The archaeological site of Philippi looks for World Heritage Site status

Philippi applies for World Heritage Site status

The ministry of Culture is preparing an application to include the archaeological site of Philippi in Kavala in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Anna Zarifi

The ministry of Culture is preparing the application to include the archaeological site of Philippi in Kavala in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sport is putting the finishing touches to the application it will file to include the archeological site of Philippi, near the northern city of Kavala in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The application is due to be submitted on September 30th and the 18th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities along with the Municipality of Kavala are wrapping up the dossier.

The dossier to be submitted now is probationary and the final application, which will include possible commentary and corrections from UNESCO, will be sent at the end of February 2015. Archeologists believe Philipi stands a good chance to join the greatest heritage monuments of the world. “This region has timeless history that runs back to the Hellenistic and Roman times, with the battle of Philippi, which changed the course history to Apostle Paul and the spread of Christianity in Europe. There are unique architectural monuments and is a preserved and protected site, with no modern interventions and modern cities built near the archaeological site. "

The World Heritage List includes 981 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.

The archaeological site of Philippi, is one fo the most important archaeological site of eastern Macedonia, with characteristic monuments of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian periods.

Moreover, one of the most important festivals in Greece takes place every summer on the site of the ancient theatre of Philippi and it hosts various plays and musical performances.

The history of the Ancient Site of Philippi

The ancient theatre of Philippi is an important and remarkable monument. It is located at the feet of the acropolis and it is supported on the eastern wall of the city of Philippi. Eventhough it has sustained many changes throughout the centuries and some interventions so that it can host the Philippi Festival, it still preserves many of its original elements.

Opposite the ancient theatre of Philippi there are the ruins of the ancient city. The ancient city took its name in 356 b.c. after the father of Alexander the Great, Philippos the II.

The excavations have brought to light ruins from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Paleochristian period.The octagon, the Roman forum, the paleochristian basilicas and parts of the city walls, are some of the most well known.

The history of the site of Philippi begins in 360 B.C. when the colonists from Thasos founded the first city, called Krenides. In 356 B.C. the city is endangered by the Thacians and it turns to king Philip II for support. Philip had already foreseen the economic and strategic importance of the city, so he conquered it, he fortified it and he renamed it after himself (Philippi). After the battle of Philippi, in 42 B.C., the city became a Roman colony and its importance was stressed by the fact that it was located on the Via Egnatia.

A landmark in the history of Philippi was the year A.D 49 or 50, when Apostole Paul visited the city and established there the first Christian Church of Europe. This made Philippi a metropolis of Christianity. During the Byzantine period (A.D. 963-969) the walls of the city were reconstructed and at the same time the towers and the wall of the acropolis were built.

The excavations on the site of Philippi began in 1914 by the French School of Archaeology at Athens. After the Second World War, excavations were resumed by the Greek Archaeological Service and the Archaeological Society. Nowadays, the archaeological exploitation of the site is carried out by the Archaeological Service, the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki and the French School of Archaeology at Athens. The finds from the excavations are housed in the Museum of Philippi.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece

Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae

Acropolis, Athens

Archaeological Site of Delphi

Medieval City of Rhodes


Mount Athos

Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika

Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

Archaeological Site of Mystras

Archaeological Site of Olympia


Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios

Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos

Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina)

Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos

Old Town of Corfu

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