Ancient city of Bargala

Bargala, one of the most important Late Antique cities in Macedonia, is located 12 km northeast of Stip, R. Macedonia. The city is a fortress, surrounded by walls and towers, with monumental entrances and gates, built between IV and VI century. With more than two meters thick walls, the fortress forms elongated rectangular area.

Built by the Romans as a military camp and then it had grown into a civilian settlement and early Christian Episcopal centre in Bregalnica region. In the V century, particularly in time of Justinian I, Bargala reached its peak, but at the end of VI century on several occasions it was devastated upon the Avars and Slavic conquests. The town was completely abandoned, but it managed to survive as not urbanized settlement.

The City Episcopium was almost entirely excavated in the north-western corner of the fortress as well as Episcopal Basilica with yard space where a baptising font with mosaic floors is found, whereas parts of the puzzle are preserved in the bathroom.

The basilica was erected at the end of the IV century and was restored in V and VI century. The facility is a sample of the standard type old Christian structures originating from the Balkan Peninsula and the Mediterranean. Inside the basilica, especially impressive are the floors covered with stone plaques, with an exception of the north site, where there is a polychromic mosaic.

The most distinguished is the presbytery floor, paved with white and gray tiles. The facility is filled with rich architectural decorative plastics, among which particularly are emphasized the marble capitals, decorated with heads of lions, grape leaves and several parapet panels.

Water tank and two bathrooms (Late Antique large and small bathroom) in Bargala represent a well preserved complex facility with separate rooms, each functionally related. Remnants of commercial and residential facilities were found in Bargala site.

With the archaeological excavations, in Bargala now one can see the Basilica, water tank, impressive gate and large part of the city infrastructure. Part of the city bulwark and the main gate are fully preserved. So far, only one tenth of the entire site has been explored, because the area covers about five acres.


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