Immovable Cultural Heritage

Eirene Residence

Eirene residence (Bulgarian: Резиденция Ейрене) is an ancient peristyle house with lavish mosaic floors in Plovdiv built in the middle of the 3rd century AD. The excavated area of the residential complex is 668 square meters, of which 160 square meters are colorful mosaics. The remains of the residence are located in the archeological underpass of Tsar Boris III Boulevard and is part of the exhibitions in the TrakArt cultural complex. The peristyle house Eirene was probably built in the middle of the 3rd century AD after the destruction brought to Philippopolis by the invasion of the Goths in 251 AD. The building occupies a whole insula (a city block surrounded by four streets) and was built over the ruins of several older houses which were destroyed during the Goth invasion. The rooms of the owners were built in the Eastern part of the residence. They surrounded the peristyle (an open courtyard within the house surrounded by columns) while the service rooms were located in the Southern part of the complex. A separate part of the building which had a direct access to the street nearby accommodated the servants. The residence was severely damaged after the invasion of Attila's Huns in 441-442, but later it was repaired and expanded. Between the 4th and the 5th century, the floors were decorated with colorful and lavish mosaics of geometrical figures, endless knot symbols, flowers and welcoming inscriptions to visitors. The most beautiful mosaic was placed in the center of the main residential room - a masterfully crafted portrait of the Greek goddess of peace Eirene with an inscription EIRHNH. The craftsmen of Philippopolis who laid the mosaic image used the technique opus vermiculatum. In later construction period, an apse was built next to the main entrance space of the representative area. The residence was abandoned at the end of the 6th century similarly to other important buildings in the area like the Bishop's basilica of Philippopolis. Eirene residence and the ancient street next to it were discovered in 1983-84 during the construction of the underpass of Tsar Boris III Boulevard in Plovdiv. Shortly afterward, the building was listed as a cultural value of national significance. The remains of the house and the mosaic floors were restored and opened to public in 2003 as a part of TrakArt cultural complex.
  • Notes 3D, video, photo

Video Gallery