Great Basilica

Next to the church "St. Ludwig" lie the ruins of the largest Early Christian basilica in the Bulgarian lands, also called Episcopal Basilica. Only the Southern and part of the central nave of the basilica are researched. The rest of it is below the road leading to "Tsar Boris III" Blvd.

The Great Basilica has three naves with an apse situated at the East end of the central nave. There was an atrium surrounded by a colonnade on three sides to the West. The overall length of the basilica is 86.30 meters and its width – 38.50 meters. The naves are separated by 14 supporting posts: every two marble columns were follwed by one masonry pillar. 

The most interesting foundings at the Basilica are the mosaics that covered the floor. They spread across an area of 700 sq. m revealing extremely interesting motives, without analogue in Bulgarian lands. The mosaics are colourful and present mostly images of birds. There is a difference in the composition and motives of the mosaics in the Southern and central naves, suggesting that most probably they were made by different craftsmen.

The large size of the building, the rich decoration of mosaics and the specifics in the altar area organisation give reason to suppose that the building most probably was the Episcopal basilica.

The Great Basilica is one of the most interesting cultural heritage sites in Plovdiv, that still is waiting for its conservation and presentation.

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