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Part of the fortress system of Philippopolis, Plovdiv

Part of the fortress system of Philippopolis, Plovdiv

The fortification system of Philippopolis, today's Plovdiv, is a series of defensive structures that have surrounded the ancient city throughout its history. The system consists of an outer wall, an inner wall and several additional fortifications built during different periods.
The earliest known fortification system of Philippopolis dates back to the Hellenistic period (3-1 century BC). Then the city was fortified with a stone wall with towers and gates.
During the Byzantine era (5th-7th centuries) the walls were further repaired and strengthened. During this period, a new outer wall was added, known as the Wall of Theodore Komnenos, which ran parallel to the previous Roman wall.
The fortification system of Philippopolis included:
The Outer Wall: this is the earliest element of the system, dating from the Hellenistic period. It follows the contours of the three hills that form the TriHill of the city - Nebet Tepe, Dzhambaz Tepe and Taksim Tepe. The outer wall was reinforced with towers and gates, the main entrance being through the gate of Philippopolis, near the eastern end of the wall.
The inner wall: this wall was built during the Roman period and followed a similar route as the outer wall, but was located closer to the centre of the city. Like the outer wall, it was also reinforced with towers and gates.
The Wall of Theodore Komnenos: This outer wall was built in the Byzantine period and runs parallel to the previous Roman wall, some distance outside the city.
Additional fortifications: These structures served to monitor and protect the city.
Many of the elements of the fortification system of Philippopolis are still preserved today. Some sections of the walls can be seen in their original form, while others have been partially or completely reconstructed.
The fortification system of Philippopolis is an important historical monument that reflects the strategic importance of the city throughout its history. It serves as a reminder of the city's role as a centre of trade, administration and culture within the Roman and Byzantine empires. Today, the fortress system is a popular tourist attraction and a favourite place to stroll among the locals.

Text: Nedyalko Mihalev | Photos: Nedyalko Mihalev | Location: N: 42.147812, E: 24.747967
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"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted."
Bill Bryson