Residence

In 3rd century AD the Goths invaded the province of Thrace and headed towards Philippopolis. At that time the town was the residence of Julius Priscus, the Roman governor of Thrace and Moesia. After Philippopolis was besieged by the Goths, the Roman Emperor Trajan Decius headed toward Philippopolis to help the city. He, together with his legions, was defending the territories of the Roman Empire from the attacks of the Goths. Unfortunately he failed to help Philippopolis, his army was defeated near Augusta Traiana (now Stara Zagora), and the Emperor himself was later killed in a battle with the barbarians near Abritus (now Razgrad). The town was plundered and burnt down and many of its prominent citizens were taken prisoners.

Despite this tragedy, after the middle of the 3rd century AD Philippopolis began to revive. In the 4th century AD the city grew and spread again beyond the fortress walls. Ruins of numerous interesting buildings from this period are now uncovered. One of them is the so-called Residence.

Next to the central square of Philippopolis the ruins of a big residence are uncovered. Presumably, it was built in the 4th century AD. Its location in close proximity to the central urban zone is a clear evidence that it was owned by a citizen with an important position in the administration of the town. Most probably the building had primarily residential functions, but its plan gives the archaeologists grounds to assume that this rich building had also public functions and probably various public meetings and events were held there.

The residence consisted of several buildings with a distinct functional use: representative, residential and service.

The building with representative functions consists of three main areas along the axis of movement. The first, central space was richly decorated with mosaics – a lavishly decorated tessellated floor with total area of 70 square meters. The inlaid patterns are geometrical – hexagons, octagons, circles, and figures – images of birds, fruits and pots. For the representative functions of the building is judged not only by the mosaic floors, but also by the carefully treated surfaces of the walls in the interior. They were coated with fine plaster in different colors - rectangular panels which most likely had plaster decoration.

After the reception hall there were two square rooms, covering the entire width of the building. The entrance hall led towards a room which ended with an exedra to the west. In this room were found pipes which proves the existence of a heating system. There was a space, along the entire length of the building, opened to the north by a colonnade. This column portico gives the building an representative architectural image.

In the premises of the service sector were found traces which once again indicate that the different types of installation systems were not unknown to the builders and craftsmen in Philippopolis. In the thickness of the surrounding walls vertical clay pipes were found. They served for better air circulation of the room.

The archaeologists suggest that the residence (after some reconstructions) existed until the 6th century AD.





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