Fortifications

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The fortress wall from the 5-6th centuries runs over one of Philippopolis' rich neighborhoods  The fortress wall from the 5-6th centuries runs over one of Philippopolis' rich neighborhoods

In the following two centuries the city wasn't that lucky. It was among the cities devastated by Attila the Hun (434-453), aka the Scourge of God, and his hordes, in 441-442. The Goths of Theodoric Strabo took the city in 471. The menace of the Goths' return disappeared only after 488, when they left the Balkans for good and headed to Italy. The scars of war were so deep that in 505 Emperor Anastasius I (491-518) lifted some of the taxes in Philippopolis.

During the tumultuous 5th and 6th centuries, the citizens of Philippopolis were trying to defend their city. They left the walls of Marcus Aurelius to decay. A 15-meter-wide moat was dug and a new city wall of boulders and bricks was built along it. It was constructed in such haste, that in some places its foundations lay on abandoned houses and public buildings. You can see it even now, in the excavated area by the modern tunnel which runs beneath Trihalmie.

 

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