Small Basilica – Philipopolis – Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The Small Basilica of ancient Philipopolis, which is located in the downtown of today’s southern Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, was built in the 5th century in honor of then military commander of the province of Thrace, Flavius Basiliscus. Basiliscus became Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, i.e. Byzantium (r. 475-476 AD) but was deposed by his predecessor, Byzantine Emperor Zeno (r. 474-475 and 476-491 AD) who ordered the destruction of any traces left by Basiliscus. This led to the deletion of several lines from a donation inscription in the Small Basilica in Philipopolis. The basilica itself It is a three-nave Early Christian church with a length of 20 meters, including the apse, and a width of 13 meters. It is located on the eastern outskirts of the ancient city of Philipopolis close to the inside of the eastern section of the fortress wall near a fortress tower dating back to the 2nd-4th century. It was discovered by accident in 1988 during construction works for a residential building, and has been granted the status of a national culture monument. It was restored between 2010 and 2014 under a project of the Bulgarian Culture Ministry, Plovdiv Municipality, and the America for Bulgaria Foundation, which provided a USD 1 million grant for its excavation and restoration.

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