Within a short distance from BATIS MULTIPLEX, there is one of the most important UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monuments: the impressive archaeological site of Philippi.
The growth of ancient Philippi begins in 4th century B.C., when Philip II of Macedonia (father of Alexander the Great) conquered, fortified and renamed the Thasian colony “Krinides” in order to establish a garrison city at the strategic passage which crosses Macedonia from the east to the west. At the beginning of the 20th century, the excavations of the French Archaeological School of Athens, as well as these of the Greek Ministry of Culture and of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, uncovered the public buildings and several private residences of a prosperous ancient city which gained recognition from two historical facts of international importance:
The Battle of Philippi (42 B.C.). After the assassination of Julius Caesar in Rome, the victory of the army of Octavianus Augustus and Marcus Antonius against the army of Brutus and Cassius in Philippi determined the course of the Roman Republic towards the Roman Empire. The final prevalence of Octavianus Augustus after the naval Battle of Actium (31 B.C.) transformed Philippi into a Roman colony (Colonia Iulia Augusta Philippensis) and allowed large public investment works.
The arrival of Apostle Paul in Philippi (49/50 A.C.). The arrival of Apostle Paul in Philippi, the foundation of the first Christian Church in Europe and the baptism of the first European Christians in Philippi changed the historical destiny of this continent. The visitor of the archaeological site can find out more about several moments from the long history of Philippi in the monuments, the ancient Theatre (as integral part of an ancient Greek city), the Roman Forum (the political centre of the Roman city) and several Paleochristian churches (Basilicas and one Octagon church) which symbolize the triumph of Christianity.
At the beginning of 7th century A.C., the city of Philippi was partially destroyed by earthquakes, but was not entirely abandoned by its citizens. During the Byzantine period, growth returned to the city, which was restricted within a smaller fortification. At the end of 14th century, the city was conquered by Ottoman Turks and was gradually abandoned. Philippi is only 14 km away from BATIS MULTIPLEX (around 19 minutes by car).
A visit to the archaeological site and the museum in Philippi lasts about 2 hours and is an authentic experience in an ancient city that almost “breathes” inside a rich natural landscape with the grandiose mountain Paggaio in the background.