Archaeological Site of Philippi: The Theater © Shutterstock

August 25, 2016

Philippi as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO
Great success for Greece was the approval from the World Heritage Committee of the record of the Archaeological Site of Philippi in the World Heritage List of UNESCO in the framework of the 40th Session that was conducted this summer in Istanbul. Philippi is one of the most important archaeological sites of northern Greece, with many monuments associated with the city’s evolution from the Hellenistic period to the Late Byzantine period. The strategic position, recognized from Philip B, was upgraded to “Egnatia Odos”. After the dramatic battle in 42 BC, that set the political history of the Roman state, the thriving city continue living a heyday as a Roman colony. In this lively urban center came the Apostle Paul and founded the first Christian church on European soil in 49/50 AD, which was to change both the character of the city and the continent. With the recognition of Christianity and its establishment as the state religion in the newly-built city, majestic Christian churches were constructed that compose a panorama of early Christian architecture. The preparation of the dossier of the candidacy of the Archaeological Site of Philippi, which was completed in January 2015, was the result of a coordinated and systematic effort of the Services of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and especially the General Directorate of Antiquities and the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Byzantine Directorate and Post-Byzantine Antiquities, Antiquities of Kavala -Thassos and the Archaeological Resources Fund. The file was then submitted to the demanding process of assessment by the responsible for the cultural heritage advisory body of UNESCO, ICOMOS International. According to the decision of the World Heritage Committee, the Outstanding Universal Value of Philippi city is documented by both the archaeological and architectural heritage (criterion (iv)), and because of the Apostle Paul’s presence which marked the beginnings of Christianity in Europe ( criterion (iii)). This considerable success is to illustrate the range and potential of cultural heritage of our country for further identification and promotion as well as the responsibilities and obligations it creates. After joining the Archaeological Site of Philippi the World Heritage List, Greece numbers 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites entries from Greece.


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