Traveler's Guide

East Macedonia & Thrace

Route in Kavala – Philippi archaeological site - Baptistery of Lydia – Dikili Tas prehistoric settlement – Mud baths of Krinides

Take the Kavala-Drama National Highway and, following thesigns for “Philippi Archaeological site”, you will find the site’s carpark (with a capacity of 1000 cars) after 16km.History: In the 4thcenturyBC, colonists from Thasos foundedKrinides in the south-eastern part of the Drama valley on theoutskirts of the marsh. As they were under pressure from theThracian tribes, they sought help from Philippos II, who took overthe town and gave it his name.In the 2nd c entury B C, R omans b uilt t he E gnatia R oad p assingthrough Philippi. From then on the town grew rapidly. Importantstages in its history: a) the famous Battle of Philippi (42BC), inthe bogs near the present mudbaths, between Octavianus andMarcus Antonius and the democrats Brutus and Cassius. Octavianus’svictory was crucial to the future of the Roman Empireand turned the town into an important financial, administrativeand artistic centre. B) the founding of the first Christian Churchin Europe in 49/50AD by Paul the Apostle, along with the transferof the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople in 330AD,marked the second period of prosperity. In the 7th century AD,earthquakes and invasions drove the town to decline, and theOttoman Conquest (14th century) meant the end of this glorioushistory.See: The walls of the 4th century AD and 6th century BC with a perimeterof 3.5km; The theatre, with evident Roman additions andalterations; The Roman Forum; North of the Forum, the largestone-paved road which has been identified as the ancient EgnatiaRoad; The 5th century AD triple-aisle Basilica and the tripleaisleBasilica B’ of 550 AD featuring sculptured decoration; The“Oktagono” complex. On the same site, visit the ArchaeologicalMuseum, built in the 1960s to plans drawn up by the architectsI.D. Triantafyllidis and D. Fatouros. Inscriptions, sculptures, urns,coins, jewellery, architectural elements, wonderful mosaics, aswell as historical and audiovisual material, take the visitor ona journey in the town’s history. Examine the Clock of Philippi, aunique example of navigation technology of the 4th century AD.Telephone: +30 25105 16251Ticket price: Combined (Archaeological Site and Museum): 4 eurosIf your stay in the area coincides with a performance at the PhilippiFestival, do not miss the opportunity. It is a magical experience.After Philippi, continue for another 2km, following the signs “towardsKrinides Baptistery”. It was here, in the Zygakti river, thatPaul the Apostle baptized the first Christian in Europe, Lydia.Apart from the church-baptistery, there is an outdoor baptisteryon the river bank. Every year at the celebration of the Agia Lydiaof Philippi (20 May), Christian baptisms are carried out.Information: +30 25105 16251.Celebrations: in Zygo (12.5km, 15 minutes from Krinides), thetraditional representation of a Pontus wedding is held on Sundayof Thomas, symbolizing the beginning of life and of Spring.Gastronomy: try “Keskek” (mixture of lean chicken and groundwheat).After Krinides, head towards the Kavala – Drama National Highwayand after 3km turn left towards the Krinides Municipal claytherapy centre (Mud baths). The mud has been known for itshealing properties since Homeric times. It is highly recommendedfor rheumatic, post traumatic, gynecological, cardiovascular,dermatological and neurological ailments and is also used as acosmetic.Open: 1 June – 15 OctoberInformation: +30 25105 16162 and +30 2510 518088