Baptistery of St Lydia
About Baptistery of St Lydia
The Baptistery of St Lydia is the place where Apostle Paul baptized Lydia, the first-ever woman to be baptised and the first documented convert to Christianity in Europe. It was here that the first baptismal ceremony was held in Europe.
Apostle Paul visited a place where Jews gathered on the bank of the Zigaktis River for sabbath worship. Lydia paid close attention to Paul’s preaching causing her conversion. She was baptised in the river and her household along with her. The church commemorates this significant event.
Features of the Church
The octagonal church is a modern architectural monument, decorated with impressive work of art, icons, stained glass. The interior offers mosaics of the 12 apostles and an ancient map of the eastern Mediterranean. Colourful frescoes cover the walls and the dome.
- The baptistery was built in 1974 and is close to the archaeological site of Philippi.
- An adult baptism ceremony is held at the site on 20 May each year.
- Lydia was originally from Thyatira, a city famous for making purple dye. She was a successful businesswoman who lived and worked in Philippi dealing in purple textiles.