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Plovdiv Antique Theater
For those who first arrived in Plovdiv and do not know what to see, the ancient Roman amphitheater is one of those places where you should go first. This oldest monument of Roman culture, built during the reign of Emperor Troyan, was accidentally discovered during a monstrous landslide that happened in 1972.
It turned out to be the best-preserved example of all the existing Roman theaters of this era. Restorers did not need much time to make the amphitheater a magnificent functioning cultural center, providing its stage to contemporary performers. In the afternoon, you can just come and enjoy this exceptional theater, built by the Romans for the entertainment of 7,000 spectators, for free.
Address: Roman Amphitheater, St. »Tsar Ivaylo 4, 4000 Center, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
This antique stadium, built in the 2nd century, once could seat 30,000 spectators. You can see this even when you see part of it, also discovered only in the 20th century.
The excavated part of this stadium is located in Old Plovdiv, on Dzhumaya Square, from where a stunning view of a large fragment of Philippopolis, where gladiatorial fights and sports were held, from the top observation deck.
If the top view is not enough for you, you can go down and try to go through the underground arch in the northern hemisphere of the stadium, which was used for the spectator stream.
In the tourist information center located nearby, you can find out all the details you are interested in about this masterpiece of ancient architecture.
Address: Stadium of Philippopolis, ul. “Hristo G. Danov”, 4000 Old Town, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
The old part of the city is its heart, from which labyrinths of curved cobbled streets and lanes diverge in different directions, like arteries. Walking along this pedestrian part of Plovdiv, which is mostly free of cars, you will enjoy a unique cocktail of architecture, where typical Macedonian architecture is adjacent to Roman ruins.
Most of the houses of the old city were built in the so-called half-timbered (wooden-brick) style, which, having begun in Germany, quickly spread almost throughout Europe.
This style is extraordinarily colorful, therefore, the richer the house was, the more vividly it was finished. As an example, take the House of Stepan Hindliyan, built in the mid-19th century, an unusually beautiful mansion of bright blue color with characteristic delicate sgrafitto patterns around its window frames.
You can go inside this house and admire its inimitable interiors. The manual painting of one of the rooms of this house lasted 6 months, although the other rooms of Hindliyan's house are no worse and also admirable.
Address: Ancient Town Of Plovdiv - Architectural Reserve, ul. “Siborna” 24, 4000 Staria grad, Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Even if you do not have much time, you will commit a crime if you leave the old city without glancing at least into the courtyard of the Ethnographic Museum. This beautiful navy blue Renaissance building, crowned by a characteristic gabled roof, is surrounded by patterned flowering gardens.
Find at least half an hour, go inside the museum and you will understand that there really is something to see, especially if you go up to the top floor of the building, where a collection of national costumes is exhibited in sunny yellow rooms with carved wooden ceilings.
Address: Regional Ethnographic Museum Plovdiv, Dr. Stoyan Chomakov Street, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
In this museum you will see before your eyes a rich collection of Thracian, Roman and Christian exhibits. You will go on a fascinating journey through the spacious halls of the museum, which stores more than 100,000 rare artifacts, authentic evidence of the ancient history of Plovdiv.
The massive gold collection of the Panagyurishte of the Thracian era, the hardest treasure found on the territory of Bulgaria and consisting of 9 vessels with a total weight of 6.1 kg, will dazzle you with its beauty.
The corridor that goes into the distance, bathed in natural sunlight, is decorated with multi-colored mosaics and statues. A key element of the design of the corridor - created in the 3rd century BC. e huge mosaic of a river deity surrounded by geometric patterns.
Address: Plovdiv National Archaeological Museum, “Connecting” Square, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Garden of King Simeon
The most beautiful resting place of Plovdiv is the Garden of Tsar Simeon, planned by the Swiss architect Lucien Shevalas in 1892, who was called the "Minister of Flowers" in Bulgaria.
More recently, the garden has been carefully restored, and now it is a real riot of colors, where everything pleases the eye. The bright blue lake reflects both the sky and the flowering trees and flowers surrounding it, and next to it is the transparent central pavilion and crystal Singing Fountains - an incredible combination of light, water and color.
Shady paths will take you deep into discovering the countless beauties of the garden, which will cheer you up and energize you for the whole day. The garden of King Simeon is replete with entertainment, and you need to give him a few hours to try at least half of what he offers to his guests.
Address: Tsar Simeon Garden, ul. Veliko Tarnovo 11A, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Southeast of Plovdiv, 10 km from the town of Asenovgrad, is the Bachkovo Monastery. Founded in 1083, it is the second largest and oldest Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, combining Bulgarian, Georgian and Byzantine religious traditions. The oldest surviving part of the complex is a crypt located a few hundred meters from the main buildings.
The walls of the monastery are decorated with icons and murals of the 14th century, on one of which is preserved the image of the ruler of the Second Bulgarian Empire, Tsar Ivan Alexander. One of the most ancient buildings of the monastery is the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which houses the miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary brought here from Georgia at the beginning of the 14th century - a shrine that attracts a lot of pilgrims.
Address: Bachkovo Monastery, 86, Plovdiv and the Valley of the Kings, Bulgaria.
Church of Saints Constantine and Helena
This is one of the oldest and most beloved residents of the city churches. It is dedicated to Emperor Constantine the Great and his mother Elena, and was built on the site where two Christian martyrs Memnos and Severian were beheaded in 304.
Over the centuries of its existence, the temple was destroyed several times, but each time it was invariably restored. Near the church 13 meters high stands a stand-alone bright white five-tier bell tower with many arched windows.
Inside, the church is as good as the outside: its wonderful frescoes, colorful carved ceiling and the gilded Vienna baroque iconostasis will not leave anyone indifferent. Pay attention to other icons of the works of Bulgarian masters of the 15-18 centuries.
Address: "St. st. Konstantin and Elena ”Church, Hisar Kapiya Square, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
The ruins of the Thracian settlement of Eumolpias
In the old city, from a hill height of 203 meters, a spectacular sight opens up on the ruins of Eumolpias, a Thracian settlement 5,000 BC. The city and the fortress surrounding it occupied a strategic position, which subsequently continued to be strengthened by the Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines and Bulgarians.
The Turks did not stand aside, giving this place its name - "Nebet Tepe" (now they call it one of the hills), which meant "Prayer Hill". Eumolpias is Thracian, then the name was Philippopolis, later Pulpudeva, and finally Plovdiv.
Arriving at a meeting with the history of the city, you can get acquainted with the various details of its past, one of which is the partially restored remains of the 13th century reservoir.
Address: Ruins of Eumolpias, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Church of the Holy Virgin
This cream-yellow three-nave church proudly rises above a stone staircase to the top of the Nebet-tepe hill. It was built in 1844 on top of this hill on the site of the 9th-century Orthodox sanctuary destroyed by the Ottomans, and was a symbol of the Bulgarian Renaissance.
This is the first Bulgarian temple in which, for the first time after the centuries-old Turkish yoke, services in the Bulgarian language began to be held.
This church is unusual in that along with the “classical” ancient frescoes and icons depicting saints, Christ, the Virgin, and the archangels, you can see murals with leaders of the national liberation movement, and on some peasants bending their backs under the blows of the Ottoman whip, or regular students listening to a lesson.
Address: Church of Sveta Bogoroditsa, ul. “Siborna” 2, 4000 Staria grad, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
This amazing baroque house, once owned by the merchant Stepan Hindlian, was built by his order in the years 1835-1840. It can be seen even from afar on the brightly painted facade and protruding upper floor.
Antique elegant furniture is surrounded by walls painted with real and imaginary landscapes of Venice, Alexandria and Constantinople. Bright and memorable interior details - magnificent panel ceilings and a marble bathroom in oriental style, with a domed ceiling and a ceiling window.
Address: Hindlian House, st. “Artin Gidikov” 4, 4000 Center, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Kapan Art District
Artisans and artists always lived in the Kapana quarter, which means “trap,” and this is reflected in the name of its streets: there are Zheleznaya (Zhelezskaya) and Kozhuharskaya (Kozhanaya) streets hinting at the occupations of those who populated them.
According to legend, the name “trap” is associated with the unimaginable mazes of streets in this area, which often change direction, or even end in a dead end. They say that it was almost impossible to get out to a random passerby.
Today Kapan is a lively “bohemian” area filled with hipster cafes, bars and restaurants, art spaces, art galleries and festivals, boutiques and ateliers. Cobbled streets strewn with musicians and artists, the atmosphere of celebration and fun is felt in pores.
Address: Kapana, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Mevlevi Hane Monastery
In the Old City there are several buildings belonging to the era of the Ottoman Empire, and one of them is the former Dervish monastery "Mevlevi Hane", located in the Tricholmie region. The monastery belonged to the Mevlevi Sufi order, the so-called “dancing dervishes”, combining a strict ascetic order with complex ritual dances.
Dances of dervishes, accompanied by musical improvisations and poems, have their roots in the Renaissance, having undergone some Ottoman modifications. The roomy Tekke Hall with carved ceilings and oak columns in which these rituals were held has been preserved to this day.
After the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke, the monks had to leave the monastery. The building was launched for a long time, then partially restored, and sold to private ownership. Now there is a Persian-style restaurant “Puldin” with an exhibition hall, which contains artifacts found during excavations.
Address: Dervish Monastery, ul. “Prince Tseretelev” 2, 4000 Staria grad, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Church of St. Marina
The history of the church of St. Marina, located in the south of the city, goes back centuries. The first religious building appeared in the 5th century, but it, like many other churches in Plovdiv, was repeatedly destroyed and restored. The building that we see now was built in the middle of the 19th century in the Byzantine style, which was often used in the religious architecture of Bulgaria.
It is distinguished by a basilica made of uncouth stone and the arcade with columns surrounding the church. The outer walls are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes of the Old Testament - from the time of Adam and Eve to Moses.
Inside the temple there is partial shade and pleasant coolness, and the main decoration of the interior is the 170-year-old 21-meter-high walnut iconostasis. A little later, in 1870, the only six-story wooden carved bell tower 17 meters high was built near the church in Bulgaria.
Address: Sveta Marina Church, st. “Doctor Georgi Valkovich” 7, 4000 Staria grad, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
A short drive from Plovdiv is a medieval building resembling a castle swaying on the edge of a ridge above the Asenitsa River. Asen Fortress, or Asenova Fortress, is visible even from the road, clearly standing out with its impressive forms against the background of limestone cliffs and forest growth.
The walls of the fortress zigzag down the steep mountain slopes, guarding the fortifications that from time immemorial served as a stronghold, first lived 6,000 years ago by the Thracians, and then the Romans and Byzantines. The buildings now on the rocks date from the 13th century.
Among them, flaunting, stands the surviving Church of the Holy Virgin with picturesque, albeit partially damaged, 14th-century frescoes.
Address: Asen’s Fortress, Asenovgrad, Bulgaria.
This is the first Muslim mosque in Bulgaria, built by the Turks in Plovdiv in 1364, at the beginning of its invasion of the country, on the site of the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Petka Tarnovskaya. This is a large operating mosque, the architecture of which reflects a combination of Byzantine and Old Bulgarian architecture.
Suitably dressed tourists (without shoes and clothes covering the whole body) are allowed into the mosque, although many say that the interior of the structure does not quite correspond to its ancient history and an impressive 23-meter minaret.
Address: Dzhumaya Mosque, Zhelezarska Street, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Museum of Aviation Plovdiv
Perhaps after a few excursions to the ancient ruins, you will want to diversify the nature of your trips. The aviation museum, located at the airport and telling about the socialist past of Bulgaria, may be just what you need.
Here, an amazing collection of Bulgarian aviation equipment is exhibited in the open air, according to which its phased development can be traced.
A walk alongside sports and military transport aircraft, fighters, twins and yaks will surely appeal to you. But, of course, the most valuable exhibit of the exhibition is the German seaplane Arado 196 A-3, made in 1938 - the only “Shark” that has miraculously survived.
In addition, you can see related equipment - for example, the famous "black boxes", and even spacecraft - a descent vehicle for the return of the first Bulgarian astronaut to Earth.
Address: Aviation Museum, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
View of the sunset from the top of the hill
Many people know that one of the best views of the sunset opens from some high point, when nothing obscures the horizon and does not interfere with enjoying the beauty of the sunset sky. It seems that Plovdiv with its seven hills was created just for this.
Maybe this was one of the factors that influenced the choice of the Thracians when they looked for a place for their settlement 6,000 years ago. For admiring the sunset, any of the seven hills is suitable. Choose the one closest to the place where you left off and you won’t be mistaken.
If you are visiting or walking in the old city, go to Tricholmie in the evening or to the Alyosha monument, which stands high on the top, and wait for the sunset.
Address: Alyosha, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
If you came to Plovdiv in the summer, you don’t have to go to the sea from here, because there is a large water park in the city that will refresh you, cheer you up and, in addition, feed you if you are hungry.
The water park has a lot of different water attractions for every taste and age, here kids and adults and extreme youth can have fun for hours.
Address: Waterpark "Aqualand", st. “Theofan Rainov” 3, 4023 Trakia, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Mansion House Balabanova
One of the most beautiful mansions of the Bulgarian National Renaissance, the house of Balabanov is another opportunity to enjoy the amazing combination of old and new that is so characteristic of Plovdiv.
Luka Balabanov, whose name is the house, was the last of his three owners. In the 70s of the last century, the house was carefully restored, and he has something to show visitors. On the ground floor there is an impressive exhibition of contemporary art with a large collection of paintings by local artists, and the upper rooms, where antiques are exhibited, are decorated with elaborately carved ceilings.
In addition to permanent exhibitions, the house often hosts theater performances, concerts and various conferences.
Address: Balabanov Kashta, Konstantin Stoilov street, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
If you are traveling with children, or if a child is still alive in your soul, be sure to take the time to visit the children's railway. A 50-seat mini-train consisting of a locomotive and three colorful wagons will take you through a picturesque park to the top of one of the seven hills on which Plovdiv stands.
The train will follow the bridge, overpass, 50-meter tunnel and Snezhanka station to the last stop, Panorama, from where a view of the whole city, the Maritsa River, and a monument to the Russian soldier Alyosha, who saved Bulgaria from the Nazis, is on the next hill.
Address: The Children’s Railway, 4002 Halm Na Mladostta, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria, located in the south of the country, and the oldest city in Europe, whose age is more than three thousand years. It is the administrative center of the Plovdiv region.
The city grew on the banks of the Maritsa River - the largest river of the Balkan Peninsula, with a length of about 490 kilometers. Plovdiv Map demonstrates how the river divides the city into two parts.
Plovidiv is located 150 kilometers southeast of Sofia and 25 kilometers north of the Rhodope Mountains. It is known as a "city on three hills." This is not entirely true, since Plovdiv was erected on seven hills, one of which was completely destroyed about a hundred years ago. The most impressive are the hills: Bunardzhik, Jendem-Tepe and Sahat-Tepe. In addition to them, the hills of the hills are clearly visible: Jamb-Tepe, Tiksim-Tepe and Nebet-Tepe.
Plovdiv Mapwith sights located in the map tab, in the place section. This service will help you navigate the terrain while traveling.
The historical center of the city is an open-air museum of architecture: more than two hundred marvelous buildings lined along curved cobbled streets are declared historical monuments. A map of Plovdiv will come in handy when drawing up a itinerary of walks in the most picturesque city of Bulgaria.
Photo and description
The town of Banya is located in the Plovdiv region, on the southern side of the Stara Planina ridge. It belongs to the municipality of Karlovo, and is removed from the capital of Bulgaria by almost 150 kilometers, if we move along the Podbalkansky direction. The city of Plovdiv is 45 kilometers away.
The spa gained fame thanks to the springs; it was even called the Karlovsk Mineral Baths.
The main sources of income in the resort town of Banya, in addition to tourism, are the production of aromatic oils - lavender, mint, pink. The development of these activities, as well as winemaking, was facilitated by the Bagarov brothers.
In 1927, one of the brothers, Velizar, was visited by Tsar Boris III, who came to the city for healing mineral springs. When his health improved, two years later he built himself a house here. Then in the city, especially for the ruler, they built the Tsar’s bath.
The city of Banya makes a popular tourist center not only the presence of mineral pools, but also a beautiful park. In addition, it is here that the pool is located, operating year-round and without a break - in Bulgaria it is one of the few such.
Also, sports are actively developing in the city, an impressive sports base has been created here: playgrounds, stadium, pools. Often, special training camps for active Bulgarian sports teams take place in the city.
The zoo was founded in 1930 and is being re-opened after a long reconstruction. On the territory of 40 hectares there are more than 20 species of animals, including bison and llamas. There is an artificial lake in the zoo, each aviary imitates the natural environment of one or another animal. Also near the entrance is a large aquarium with marine fish.
Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Initially, in the 9th century, a small old temple, later destroyed, stood on the site of the church.
The church, which stands now, was erected by masters from Bratsigovo. The church does not have a dome due to restrictions on the construction of Orthodox churches during Ottoman rule. After the years of Turkish oppression, services in the Bulgarian language were held in the temple for the first time.
Inside the church are murals, which depict both saints from Scripture and ordinary people: peasants, schoolchildren and leaders of the liberation movement.
In 1881, a bell tower was erected, over the arch of which there is a thankful inscription to the Russian soldiers “In memory of the liberators”.
The cellar was founded in 1945 by the Andonovi brothers, who were the most successful wine merchants in Bulgaria. Here they make wine and brandy, which is obtained from the wine itself, and not from the cake. Barrels for wine are made of oak and used only for three years.
A tavern restaurant and a distillation room are adjacent to the cellar itself. The tasting room is underground at a depth of 8 meters.
Now the cellar is an entire hotel complex with a restaurant, hotel and spa. Here they offer to take wine baths and make procedures with wine products.
A company specializing in the selection of wines. Vine Diversion provides trainings where everyone learns to recognize a rich bouquet and enjoy the aftertaste of a drink. Also, everyone who wants to invest in the winemaking of the region will help to decide here. Vine Diversion makes an expert assessment of the quality of customers' wines.
The company carries out wine tours, tours of the vineyards of Bulgaria and events with tasting.
Church in the name of Saints Constantine and Helena
In 304, Severian, Memnos and 38 other martyrs from Plovdiv were executed on the site of the church. Thirty years later, a temple was erected in their honor. During the Ottoman rule, the temple turned into a small, crumbling church. Then Theodor Moravenov, rector of the church in the 1800s, decided to raise money for the construction of a new church with the whole world. Already in 1832, after the Sultan order for construction, the church was consecrated. The church was named after the first Roman emperor that recognized the Christian faith, and his mother.
Church of St. Louis
The church is considered the largest in all of Bulgaria, designed for 600 parishioners. Built in 1861, later, in 1898 the bell tower was completed. The temple is named after St. Louis IX, who ruled in France in the 13th century.
The first wife of Prince Ferdinand I, who is considered the patroness of Plovdiv, is buried here.
The theater was built of marble from 114 to 117 at the direction of Emperor Trajan. For unknown reasons, the complex was bombarded with earth, and was discovered during excavations in the 20th century.
The theater is divided into two zones with 28 rows of seats for more than 7 thousand spectators. Radially located stairs lead to the stands. Near the stage there is a two-story building for actors - the skene, which has now been completely restored.
The theater is used to this day, the building is adapted for 5 thousand spectators.
Antique stadium "Filipopolis"
At the end of the pedestrian street named after Alexander Batenberg, on Dzhumaya Square, there is an antique stadium, which was found by archaeologists in 1923. The entrance is located on Kamenitsa Square.
There were gladiatorial fights and sports. Depending on the ruler, the event was assigned a new name each time. At first, the games were Pitian, Alexandrian, and in 218 they renamed Kendrisian.
The stadium is made of marble. The dimensions of the complex are also impressive - 240 m in length and 50 m in width. There was enough space for more than 30 thousand people.
Tourists can visit the northern edge of the stadium and a fragment of the III century fortress wall.
Regional History Museum
The museum was created in 1951 and at the moment there are four expositions:
“Bulgarian Renaissance” is located in the house of Giogiardi. Here, visitors are told about Ottoman rule in Bulgaria and the development of national identity.
“Typography in Bulgaria of the second half of the XIX and early XX centuries” in the house of Hristo G. Danov. This person is considered the founder of typography in Bulgaria.
“The reunification of Bulgaria in 1885” in the former assembly building of East Rumelia tells about the historical period of the unification of Bulgaria.
The Museum Center for Contemporary History includes several exhibits from the Liberation to the 40s.
All the streets of the Old Town of Plovdiv are lined with cobblestones. It’s best to bring flat shoes with you.
Some say that from here the Thracian leaders jumped into the abyss to gain immortality, while others recall the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. It is not known whether this is true or just idle speculation, but the fact remains: many scientists who descended into the Devil's Throat did not return. The matter took such a massive turn that the Bulgarian government banned any research activity in the cave.
Entering the cave, you find yourself in a 150 m long artificial tunnel that leads to the Roaring Hall. The place is named in the literal sense: water falling from a height of 20 meters emits a disturbing roar. A staircase of 301 steps leads upstairs.
Archaeological complex "Nebet tepe"
The complex is located on one of three hills. Already in IV BC There was an Illyrian-Thracian settlement of demons. The exact name has been lost in the past, but scholars say it could be Pulpudeva or Eumolpius.
The heyday of the city begins at the time of Philip of Macedon and his son, who gives the settlement the name Philippopol.
In the XIV century, the fortification of the city is located here. Walls were erected from uncemented syenite blocks. In our time, fragments of the western wall with a viewing tower have been preserved.
During excavations, a tunnel was discovered that was used during the siege of the city to replenish fresh water reserves.
What sights of Plovdiv (Bulgaria) to see at night
It is not only museums and ruins, even after sunset life is in full swing here. One option is to watch a show of singing fountains in the Tsar Simeonova Gradina Park, which takes place daily at 17:00. Art lovers should go to the open-air opera concert in the ancient theater.
The stunning panorama of the night city deserves attention.
Plovdiv is an amazing city
For those who, after excursions, want to move to the beat of music, nightclubs WGardenClub and ClubBroadway are open.