Greek Islands Cruise, 2015: Day 12

Day 12: May 8, 2015. This morning we had a lecture by Hugh Elwood about Istanbul. Excellent. Then we had an info session for our trip to Troy tomorrow. The alternative excursion tomorrow is to Gallipoli as it is 100 years since the battle. We sneeked into a talk by Patrick Hatcher about Gallipole, the First and the Second World Wars. It was very good.

In the afternoon we left on our excusion to Philippi. First we stopped at a modern baptisty beside a river where St. Paul is supposed to have baptized his first convert, a lady called Lydia. It is on the Via Egnatia, the ancient road from the harbour to the old city of Philippi. We took photos of the modern Greek Orthodox church and the river then continued on to Philippi.


This is Kavala, the major harbour in Eastern Macedonia. Our ship is anchored near the end of the peninsula.
Kavala was founded in the 7th century BC. Gold and silver were mined in the nearby mountains. Its original name was Neapolis or New Town. It is on the Roman military road, the Via Egnatia. Brutus and Cassius made their base here in 42 BC before they were defeated at the Battle of Philippi.

This aquaduct is a prominent landmark in Kavala. The original was probably built by the Romans but this structure dates to around 1530 and was built by the Ottoman ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent. It supplied drinking water for the city as late as 1911.

Our first stop was in Lydia at the Baptistry where St. Paul is supposed to have baptized a woman named Lydia, the first Chistian in the region. Part of the original Via Egnatia can be seen in front of the modern baptistry.

This is the modern Greek Orthodox Baptistry.

This is the place on the river where St. Paul is said to have baptized Lydia in 50 or 49 BC. He founded the first Christian church in Philippi at that time.

From Lydia, we went to Philippi. This is a map of the ruins. The main street of the city is the Via Egnatia.
The city of Krenides was founded in 360 BC. In 356 BC it was in danger of being attacked by Thracians and asked King Philip II of Macedonia for help. He conquored the city, fortified it and renamed it Philippi after himself.

Like every Greek city, Philippi had a theatre. It was probably built by Philip II in the middle of the 4th century BC.

The admistrative centre of Philippi under the Romans was the agora/forum.

Basilica B was built around 550 AD..

Part of the hypocaust, underfloor heating system, in the baths.

Public toilets in the baths complex.

Part of beautiful mosaic floors in the Octagonal Basilica which was built around 400 AD on the site of the original church dedicated to St. Paul.

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April 23, 2017
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