Are you in Macedonia and want to know more about it? Then you must visit Amphipolis and Philippi, two of the most important cities in Macedonia from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine period.

Amphipolis was built in eastern Macedonia, near the river Strymonas and was founded by Athenians in 437 BC. with the aim of controlling the mines of Thrace. During the first phase of the Peloponnesian War, the period 431-421 BC Amphipolis was passed into the hands of the Spartans. The Athenians made the last attempt to recover in 358 BC. but they failed and the following year the city was conquered by Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. Thus Amphipolis became a member of the Macedonian kingdom and developed into a strong city with internal autonomy and significant cultural and economic prosperity. With the fall of the Macedonian kingdom Amphipolis was passed into the hands of the Romans, who defined the city as the capital of the first administrative region of Macedonia. The Roman era is a period of prosperity and consolidates the city as an important urban center.

Archaeological Museum of Amphipolis

The Archaeological Museum of Amphipolis began to be built in the mid-1970s but in 1976 workers discovered an non looted tomb causing the works to stop. Archaeologists, taking into account all the historical evidence and archaeological finds (silver shrine, golden olive wreath), concluded that it is the tomb of the Spartan General Brasidas. The works continued in 1984 and finally the Archaeological Museum of Amphipolis was completed in 1995.

The exhibition is organized in chronological and thematic sections and presents findings from

    1. Prehistoric times
    2. Early historical times
    3. Classical and Hellenistic times
    4. Roman times
    5. Early Christian times
    6. Byzantine times

The Kasta Tomb or Kasta Hill is a Macedonian burial monument of the early Hellenistic period and is located in Amphipolis. In 1964 the excavation of the hill officially began and a four-sided building was discovered, on which it is said to be the original site of one of the most impressive finds in the area, the Lion of Amphipolis. Excavations continued on an area of ​​20 acres on the hill and 70 tombs were found.

In 2014, a burial monument of historical importance was discovered in the Casta Tomb. Excavations and efforts to support the burial monument continue to this day but there are already very important finds such as mosaics, most importantly that of the abduction of Persephone, the Caryatids and the two headless Sphinxes. In 2015 it was announced that the monument was created by Deinocrates in honor of Hepheastion, following an order from Alexander the Great.

The city of Philippi is the most important archeological site of Eastern Macedonia. Its first settlers were settlers from Thassos, who founded the colony of Krinides. Very quickly (365 BC) the new colony, threatened by the Thracians, seeks the help of Philip II, king of Macedonia. Seeing the economic and strategic importance of the city, he occupies it, fortifies it and gives it his name: Philippi. During this period, the city acquired its wall, theater, public buildings and private residences. In 42 BC, after the dramatic battle of Philippi, Octavian turned the city into a Roman colony. Thus the city grows and becomes an economic, administrative and artistic center. Another important event is the arrival of the Apostle Paul, who in 49/50 AD. founded the first Christian church in Europe.

The archeological site of Philippi can offer the visitor an amazing tour, since the excavations have brought to light findings from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Early Christian periods. The archeological site includes, among others, the Walls, the ancient theater, the Acropolis, the Basilicas A ', B' and C ', the Octagon, the Episcopal Church, the Agora, the Palaestra, the Monument of C. Vibius Quartus and the Archaeological Museum. Since July 2016, the Archaeological Site of Philippi is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Very close to the Archaeological Site of Philippi is the Holy Baptistery of Agia Lydia, a very important monument of Orthodoxy. At the river Zygaktis is the place where Apostle Paul baptized the first Christian in Europe, Lydia. Lydia, who came from a wealthy Philippi family, was not only the first woman but also the first person to be baptized a Christian in all of Europe. She was recognized as a Saint in 1972 and the church celebrates her memory on May 20. The construction of her church began in 1974 and finished at the end of the same year.

Casta Tomb

The Kasta Tomb or Kasta Hill is a Macedonian burial monument of the early Hellenistic period and is located in Amphipolis. In 1964 the excavation of the hill officially began and a four-sided building was discovered, on which it is said to be the original site of one of the most impressive finds in the area, the Lion of Amphipolis. Excavations continued on an area of ​​20 acres on the hill and 70 tombs were found.

The discovery that made Amphipolis world famous

In 2014, a burial monument of historical importance was discovered in the Casta Tomb. Excavations and efforts to support the burial monument continue to this day but there are already very important finds such as mosaics, most importantly that of the abduction of Persephone, the Caryatids and the two headless Sphinxes. In 2015 it was announced that the monument was created by Deinocrates in honor of Hepheastion, following an order from Alexander the Great.

History of Ancient Philippi

The city of Philippi is the most important archeological site of Eastern Macedonia. Its first settlers were settlers from Thassos, who founded the colony of Krinides. Very quickly (365 BC) the new colony, threatened by the Thracians, seeks the help of Philip II, king of Macedonia. Seeing the economic and strategic importance of the city, he occupies it, fortifies it and gives it his name: Philippi. During this period, the city acquired its wall, theater, public buildings and private residences. In 42 BC, after the dramatic battle of Philippi, Octavian turned the city into a Roman colony. Thus the city grows and becomes an economic, administrative and artistic center. Another important event is the arrival of the Apostle Paul, who in 49/50 AD. founded the first Christian church in Europe.

Archaeological Site of Philippi

The archeological site of Philippi can offer the visitor an amazing tour, since the excavations have brought to light findings from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Early Christian periods. The archeological site includes, among others, the Walls, the ancient theater, the Acropolis, the Basilicas A ‘, B’ and C ‘, the Octagon, the Episcopal Church, the Agora, the Palaestra, the Monument of C. Vibius Quartus and the Archaeological Museum. Since July 2016, the Archaeological Site of Philippi is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Holy Baptistery of Agia Lydia

Very close to the Archaeological Site of Philippi is the Holy Baptistery of Agia Lydia, a very important monument of Orthodoxy. At the river Zygaktis is the place where Apostle Paul baptized the first Christian in Europe, Lydia. Lydia, who came from a wealthy Philippi family, was not only the first woman but also the first person to be baptized a Christian in all of Europe. She was recognized as a Saint in 1972 and the church celebrates her memory on May 20. The construction of her church began in 1974 and finished at the end of the same year.

Elite Transfer Services

Elite Transfer undertakes your transfer from Thessaloniki to Amphipolis, to Philippi and your return. Our vehicles (Mercedes-Benz) are state-of-the-art, spacious, air-conditioned and with comfortable seats, so that your trip is comfortable and relaxing. Our staff has many years of experience, is always willing to serve you and guarantees you a safe and pleasant trip.

Useful information

  • Amphipolis is about 1 hour away from Thessaloniki
  • Philippi is about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Thessaloniki and about 45 minutes from Amphipolis
  • Just 15 km away from Philippi is the beautiful city of Kavala, where, if you want, you can drink coffee or dine
  • A guide will give you more information about Macedonian history

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