The Episcopal Basilica and the Roman Mosaic Heritage in Plovdiv were included in the UNESCO Indicative List of Significant Cultural and Natural Objects, the Ministry of Culture announced. The Basilica was restored with the financial support of America for Bulgaria, which also supported the candidacy of the landmark for inclusion in the UNESCO list.
The Episcopal Basilica of Philippopolis was built in the 4th century, shortly after Christianity became an official religion of the Roman Empire. It is located near the central square of Plovdiv and is the largest early Christian church opened on the territory in Bulgaria. Its floor is adorned with more than 2,000 square meters of mosaics that impresses with the richness of colors and images. The laymen prayed over 100 birds, symbolizing paradise, with each of the paintings made of fine colored pebbles different from the others.
The basilica is 36 meters wide and its length is over 90 meters. Impressive is the architecture of the building. It is built of central and two side ships, an apse, an anteroom and an open courtyard with a colonnade. The interior of the basilica was also decorated with columns and frescoes. The mosaics are in two layers, and in the Middle Ages, the terrain is used as a necropolis. The size and decoration of the basilica, as well as its location near the forum of the ancient city, is a reason to believe that a wealthy and influential Christian community lived in the town in the 4th century.