THE ANCIENT FORUM
Already at the end of the 1st century AD, Philippopolis acquired a new urban plan and centre (Forum) following the Roman model. The construction of the city agora started in Late Hellenistic times and it became the nucleus of the ancient city. For centuries the earliest city plans remained unchanged.
This is the biggest forum ensemble explored on the territory of Bulgaria, which corresponds to the prime significance of Philippopolis as the most important city (metropolis) of the Roman province Thrada and seat of the Alliance of the Thracians (komon ton Thrakon). The administrative, economic, cultural and religious life of the ancient city was concentrated on the Forum, where meetings, debates, festivities and state events were organised. The ensemble is with an almost square plan, 143 x 136 m, with chains of shops on all sides. The exposed part is surrounded by a colonnade with entrances from the east, south and west, with four-column Ionian propyleia. The northern side of the Forum ensemble is occupied by public buildings. They are characterised by their attractive appearance and rich architectural decoration. The building of the treasury - the first city treasury in Moesia and Thrace - was located there. After these buildings, in northern direction, there were probably open spaces that led to the big thermae and the stadium of Philippopolis.
The construction of the Forum ensemble underwent four main construction phases, which differed in levels, architectural layout and the use of building materials. The last reconstruction of the Forum of Philippopolis took place in the mid-3rd century, after the devastating Gothic invasion in 251 AD.
The Odeon of the Forum ensemble is in the northwestern corner.