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Plovdiv

Plovdiv, Plovdiv region

The town of Plovdiv (376 276 inhabitants, 160 m above sea level), is situated in the western part of the Upper Thracian valley.
The town is located 150 km from Sofia, 19 km from Assenovgrad, 102 km from Smolyan, 90 km from Stara Zagora.
It ranks as the second Bulgarian city in population and size after the capital.

History

The most ancient inhabitants of these areas date back to the New Stone, Stone-copper and Bronze Ages. During the 1 st millennium B.C., the Thracians founded the ancient settlement of Eumolpius. In 342 B.C. the town was conquered by Philip II, the Macedonian, the town was named Philippopole and was turned into a fortress. With its fall under Roman rule, it was turned into a key economic, cultural and political center of Thracia province. The Romans named the town Trimontzium. During the next two centuries it was many times ruined and set on fire by the huns and the gothic tribes.
At the end of 6 th century the Slavs populated the area and named the town Puldin In 815 Khan Krum included it within the boundaries of Bulgaria. In 1364 the Ottoman Empire conquered the town and called it Phillibe. Being left in the far most back area of the Ottoman Empire, it had lost its strategic location and gradually declined. It was only during the Revival Period that Plovdiv regained its glorious name of a large economic and cultural center.

Present State

The six hills, as well as the old town of Plovdiv bring specific colour and atmosphere to the town and shape up its unique view and nature. The stately shape of Sahat hillock with the clock tower dating back to 16 th century, Bunardjika with the Russian soldier statue and the Djendem hillock are noticeable.
Maritza river splitting the town into two uneven parts, connected by six bridges has its significance for the town of Plovdiv.
On the area of the northern part the Fair Facilities are located (37, Tzar Boris the Third, blvd, phone 032 553 120). Currently the International Plovdiv Fair is conducted twice annually – in the beginning of May the Fair is dedicated to consumer goods and commodities, while the Fair organized in September focuses in industrial goods.

Festivals


  • June – International Chamber Music Festival
  • May-June - Opera days in the Amphitheatre
  • August – International Folklore Festival
  • September – International Muppet-Show Festival
  • September – National Autumn Art Exhibition “The old town of Plovdiv”.

Landmarks

The first ranking landmark is the Architectural complex "The Old Town of Plovdiv". The architectural complex "The Old town of Plovdiv", covering the Three-hill area - the original location of the town - attracts visitors from all over the world. During the Bulgarian Revival in 18th century Plovdiv was a centre of enlightenment, cultural and political activity. Old Plovdiv nowadays is an original living museum, an architectural phenomenon with many of the houses of those times' most prominent bulgarians turned into museums, galleries hosting various art exhibitions, festivals and biennials, and even tourist dormitories.
When you go to the Old Town, go up to the top of the hill - Nebet Tepe. Not only that you will get a great panorama of the city and the mountains surrounding it, but you also would be standing on top of the ruins of an old Tracian temple, which was later built up by the Romans. There is an improvised terrace, which is converted to an informal bistro in the summer, so you can have a drink there before you head back down the hill. Serenity and great view!

Djumaya Mosque dating back to 14-15 th centuries, working hours: 6.00 a.m.-7 p.m. each day of the week

“Holy Mother of God” Church, constructed during the age of Murat the Second and dating back to 1844 – 6, Saborna Str.,phone 032 223 265, working hours: each day of the week 7.30 a.m.-7.00 p.m.

Church “St. St. Konstantine and Elena” dating back to 1832

Church "St.Marina" – 1856 with a very interesting wood-carved iconostatis.

The Ancient theatre is situated close to the Southern entrance of the fortress. The marble amphitheatre , built up by Emperor Mark Avrelii during the II century, is the best preserved amphitheatre in our lands. It frequently hosts various performances.

Archaeological Complex “Nebet Hill” – remains within the Northern part of the Threehill area. Philipopolis fortress walls can be seen within the central part of the Ancient town.

Hissar Kapia – the eastern gate of the fortress, constructed more than 2000 years ago.

Тhe House and cellar of Hadji Dragan from Kalofer, the House of Andrei Geogiadi, the House of Argir Koyumdjiouglu (presently hosts the Ethnographic Museum, phone: 032 225656, working hours: 9.00 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 17.00, closed on Monday and Friday morning). The Etnographic Museum in Plovdiv is one of the most interesting museums in Bulgaria. Its exhibits are on show in a beautiful house, which is a fine example of the Bulgarian Baroque architecture of the National Revival Period.

the House of Georgi Mavridi, where the French poet Lamartine lived in 1833

the House of Dimitar Georgiadi, 1 Tzanko Lavrenov Str, now turned into a Museum of the Bulgarian Revival, phone: 032 223350, working hours: 9.00 a.m.-12 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.-5 p.m., closed on Sunday.

the House of Dr. St. Chomakov, 18, Saborna Str., now hosting the Art Gallery, phone 032 260707.

the House of Nikola Nedkovich, 3, Tzanko Lavrenov Str, currently serving as Museum of the Urban Revival Style (phone: 032 626216).

The Balabanovs House - now a Museum of the Revival Style.

Archeological Museum - 1, Saedenenie Square, phone 032 22 43 39 ,accommodating the most valuable – Panagjrishte Golden Treasure.

Museum of History – Modern History Exhibition (14, Angel Bukureshtliev Str., phone 032 222014)

History Museum - “Reunion” Exhibition (1, Saedinenie Square, phone:032 260 252, 269 959, working hour 9-12 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., closed on Saturday and Sunday).

Museum of Natural History (34, Hr.Danov Str., phone: 032 226663).

Art gallery – temporary exhibition (15, Kniaz Alexander the First Str. phone: 032 224220)
Art gallery – exhibition of icons (22, Saborna Str., phone:032 226086).
Art gallery - permanent exhibition (14A Saborna Str., phone:032 267790).

Imaret Mosque (15 th century).

The Roman Stadium was constructed during II century reproducing the layout of the stadium in Delphi, Greece, and the marble seats accommodated 30 000 spectators of games and gladiator fights.

The main street, Aleksandrovska Street, which links the Trimontium Princess Hotel to the Roman stadium is traffic-free and paved along its full length. Numerous "open-air" cafes can be seen along its length. You can retreat to some of these cafes when the temperature soars in Plovdiv. Under the cooling shade of trees and umbrellas you can find a place to stop for a while and drink something cold or take a light snack or lunch, all very cheap.

Theatres

Dramatic Theatre - 38, Kniaz Alexander the First , phone: 032 632348
Opera House - 1, Gladstone Str., phone: 032 225553
Muppet-show theatre - 14, Hristo Danov Blvd, phone: 032 223985
Plovdiv Philharmony - 1, Central Square, phone 032 282750

Foreign countries' consular sections

General Consulate of the Russian Federation – 20, Ivan Vazov Str., phone: 032 224767, fax: 032 230098.
Greek General Consulate – 10, Preslav Str., phone 032 232003.
Consular Section of the Republic of Turkey – 10, Philip Macedonski Str., phone 032 239010.

Transport

Two types of transport – road and railway - connect this city to the rest of the country. There is also an existing air transport infrastructure, but currently there are no flights to and from Plovdiv. Highway connects the city with Sofia, while major road infrastructures connect it with Pazardjik, Assenovgrad, Stara Zagora, Bourgas, Haskovo, Kardjali, Karlovo, Smolyan.

BUS STATIONS:


  • Sever” (North) – 2, Dimitar Stambolov Str., close to Philipovo railway station, phone 032 553011, 553705, servicing the lines to the north of the city in the direction of Russe, Pleven, Troyan, Koprivshtitsa.
  • “Yug” (South)- 47, Hristo Botev Blvd, phone: 032 626937, 226937, servicing the lines and routes to the southern part of the country – Blagoevgrad, Batak, Peshtera, Sliven, Svilengrad, Pazardjik .
  • The “Express Transport” Private Association - 45, Hristo Botev Blvd., phone: 032 265787, specialized in express bus transport services between the cities of Plovdiv and Sofia.
  • “Rhodope” – Macedonia Str., phone: 032 779267, 777607 services the region of the Rhodope Mountains : Assenovgrad, Bachkovo Monastery, Smolyan, Chepelare, Pamporovo, Devin, Kardjali, Haskovo.

One can buy tickets from the City transportation company for bus transport to Greece-1, Central Square, phone: 032 224271.

RAILWAY TRANSPORT

There are railway lines from Plovdiv to Sofia, Bourgas, Svilengrad, Karlovo, Panagyurishte, Peshtera, Hissarya and Assenovgrad.

RAILWAY STATIONS

  • Central – 44, Hristo Botev blvd., phone 032 222729, 552730, 222940, info on departing trains: 032 175.
  • Philipovo Railway Station – phone 032 23433602.
  • City Railway Bureau – 29, Maria Louisa Blvd., phone: 032 622732, working hours: 8.30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1.00 p.m.-5 p.m., closed on Saturday and Sunday.
  • “Rila” International Railway Bureau – 31A, Hristo Botev Blvd., phone 032 446120, working hours Monday through Friday: 8.00 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday –8 a.m.-12 p.m. and Sunday – day off.

The Airport (no regular flights for the time being) is at distance of 18 km away from the town phone: 032 226173.
International Transport Ticket Bureau – 4, Gladstone Str., phone 032 633081, working hours Monday through Friday: 8.00 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.

Surrounding areas

The powerful shapes of the Rhodope Mountains rises 10-12 km south of Plovdiv. Its vicinity and accessibility turn the mountain into a favorite site for recreation and tourism.
The existence of the two summer camps (Students and Byala Cherkva), the availability of a multitude of huts and inns, hundreds of kilometers of crossing roads and marked paths, snack bars and other tourist infrastructure, facilitate the frequent visits to the wonderful mountain sights.
Public buses start from the "Rhodope bus station" to the villages in the foot of the mountain – Kuklen, Hrabrovo, Galabovo, which serve as starting points for different hiking routes.


Other places of interest in/near Plovdiv

Monastery, Plovdiv region

Bachkovo Monastery is located on the right bank of the Chepelare river, above the Plovdiv-Smolyan road, 29 km away from Plovdiv, 89 km away from Sofia and 10 km away from Assenovgrad, it is not far from Pamporovo mountain resort.
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Historical site, Plovdiv region

The ancient theatre in Plovdiv town is the most impressive building of Roman time that has come to us. It took more than ten years to clear the site and remove the 15-metre thick layer of earth, which was covering the theatre. The spectators’ seats were amphitheatrically shaped and divided into two rings of 14 rows each. Most probably ...
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Church, Plovdiv region

Djumaya Mosque, known also as Ulu Mosque, is a precious architectural monument in the center of Plovdiv that gives an idea of the old settlement of Filibe. It is one of the biggest and the oldest mosques in Bulgaria. It is called Djumaya (from Turkish – Friday), because the service was held in Friday. It is believed to be built ...
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Historical site, Plovdiv region

Under the nowadays Shopping center in Plovdiv, is located the magnificent Roman stadium. Its rostrums were built over the Sahat tepe and Taxim tepe (hills). The stadium has the shape of a horseshoe and is 180 meters long and there are 30 000 seats. Some archeologists think that games from the Septimus Severus time (193 - 211) took ...
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Museum, Plovdiv region

The Golden Treasure of Panagyurishte dates to the end of 4 th and the beginning of the 3 century b. c. It was found in 1949, two kilometers from the town of Panagyurishte. It consists of nine ritual utensils made of pure gold and weighs 6 kg.
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Etnographic centre, Plovdiv region

This is one of the oldest European towns contemporary to Òroya and Mikena. It has been existing as a settlement about 8000 years ago, and became a town 3000 years ago during the Troyan war. There are very well preserved artifacts of the Bulgarian Revival architecture – a variety of archeological memorials from Thracian, Romanian ...
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Museum, Plovdiv region

The Etnographic Museum in Plovdiv is one of the most interesting museums in Bulgaria. Its exhibits are on show in a beautiful house, which is a fine example of the Bulgarian Baroque architecture of the National Revival Period. It was built in 1847. The principal facade of the house faces west, giving onto a spacious and well-kept ...
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Historical site, Plovdiv region

There are several 'National Revival' style mansions of the Bulgarian Renaissance which characterise 'Old Plovdiv'. This one is The House of Georgi Mavridi where the French poet Alfonse de Lamartin lived in 1833. Also known as Lamartin's House or "the house of writer's". Today it houses the creative fund of the Union of Bulgarian ...
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Museum, Plovdiv region

Designed and built by the master architect of National Revival mansions, Haji Georgi in 1846, this ochre house seen in the picture was built for the wealthy Plovdiv merchant Dimitur Georgiadi. The overall outer design is symmetrical with ornamented facade's, whilst the interior has beautiful wood-carved ceilings and intricate profiles ...
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Restaurant, Plovdiv region

Club-restaurant “Gusto” is situated in the heart of the beautiful city of Plovdiv. It is a two-storey restaurant. It has a modern, stylish and comfortable design. There you will find pleasant atmosphere, nice music and perfect service. Club-restaurant “Gusto” offers a variety of dishes of the Bulgarian and the European cuisine and ...
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Restaurant, Plovdiv region

The “Chuchura” tavern is waiting for you in the center of Plovdiv to offer you unforgettable emotions. It disposes of a basic hall and a summer garden. SUMMER GARDEN The garden sculptures are very attractive and give a playful shade to the entire atmosphere. The greenery and small water cascade create an additional ...
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Restaurant, Plovdiv region

At Averi ("Old Buddies", from old Turkish) you will be greeted as a friend and sent off as a member of the family. Customer satisfaction is top priority at this traditional Bulgarian restaurant. The food is well prepared and the atmosphere pleasant. Dancing opportunities in the evening. Address: 13 Leonardo da Vinci Street Phone: ...
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Restaurant, Plovdiv region

You will find the restaurant easily, it is situated in the center of the town of Plovdiv. It disposes of three basic halls and a terrace. Every hall is in a different style; therefore the restaurant is suitable for family holidays and business meetings. CUISINE There are offered dishes from the Bulgarian and European ...
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Restaurant, Plovdiv region

The "Twin Peaks" Restaurant is situated in the beautiful town of Plovdiv, near the Central railway station. It consists of an outdoor and an indoor hall with overall capacity of 110 seats. The establishment has a unique design in folk style. It is decorated with stuffed animals and traditional items of Bulgarians’ everyday life, ...
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Restaurant, Plovdiv region

Restaurant-barbecue “Kosharite” is situated in the beautiful town of Plovdiv in close proximity to the Maritsa River. The restaurant disposes of a cozy hall (250 seats) in authentic folk style that reminds of the long past times. There you have the opportunity to feel the Bulgarian traditions and culture, and enjoy well-cooked specialties ...
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Restaurant, Plovdiv region

You will feel the romanticism of Plovdiv in the “Malak Bunardjik” restaurant. Situated on the foot of Bunardjika hillock, the restaurant offers an unforgettable atmosphere and excellent cuisine. It disposes of:
  • A hall with 120 seats
  • A VIP hall with 20 seats
  • A hall with picture gallery and fireplace
  • Summer ...
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