"City on the seven hills" Top 5 Page for this destination Plovdiv by ger4444

Plovdiv Travel Guide: 445 reviews and 1,214 photos

coming to Plovdiv

On a hot summersnight the international train between Istanbul and Sofia was sliding through the darkness. Passing by the little villages covered by the night, with their little lights brightly shining, the wind was in my hair as I was hanging with my head outside the carriage window, smoking a cigarette. A wonderfull travel feeling. The fellow travellers in my section were german speaking, but were living in Plovdiv. We had the same destination then. Cheap beer kept us going and before we knew it we arrived at the Plovdid railroad station. The travellers from my wagon were already hopping on the bus inviting me to come with them, yet, an old lady was kind of keeping me from going with them as she insinuated they would be dangerous “gypsies.” Nonsence maybe but it was probably her tactic for competing with them in offering lodging. As she had a car and it wasn’t that far vriding from the station I decided to take her offer for a room. Her name was Tanj Dora and as we arrived at her neighbourhood, it was everything I had always dreamed of as it comes to eastern post-communist suburbs: grey concrete till the sky! What a wonderful feeling. I had already been in a Poznan suburian block of flats, but this one was even more beautifull. The elevator wasn’t workin and nothing had been done on renovation the last decennia. But the people don’t complain. My host was a very friendly lady. She spoke well english and seemed to have a daughter in Scandavia, of which she proudly showed me all the available pictures as she was preparing a lunch for us. The typical Bulgarian pastery. As Tanj Dora had explained to me how to walk by feed to the city center I left the suburbs and within half an hour I was standing at the main square. Here my Plovdiv exploration began.

About Plovdiv

Plovdiv is Bulgarian’s second largest city and the countries second-largest road and railroad web. Of course since it is located in the heart of the country. Coming from Greece, Turkey or Romania, you ll most likely to find this city on your way. The town is the most important economic center, for it is a strategically important industrial, scientific – universities -and commercial keyposition The town is located on the banks of the Maritsa on the Upper Thracian Plain, where the place is founded on and around seven hills, of which Nebet Tepe, Sahat Tepe, Hill of the Liberators and Djendem are the closesed hills to the citycenter. The city has about 376.000 inhabitants. The town has a great cultural heritage, which made it attracktive throughout time. Its good climate and historical strategical position contributed to the fact that the town from since the ancient days until now remained so popular. The town is inhabited by all sorts of groups of people because of that, belonging to Christian religions such as Catholics, Orthodocs and Protestants, there is a Jewish community and there is an Islam group. Three important periods the city went trough are still well visible: the Thracian tribal time (the Odrysae and Bessi), Romans rule and the Bulgarian Renaiisance (National Revival). The Thracians inhabited the Maritsa valley and nearby Rhodope mountains and the Odrysae founded in 480 before Christ already a kingdom. Many traces from this period can be found in the ruins. From the Roman period the town has still the famous Amfitheater, Stadium, the roman mosaics, the forum and the roman aquaduct. From the last significant period a quarter of houses is preserved, beaufifull examples of this area, rewarded with an Unesco reward.
Plovdiv is worth at least a two day stay and offers also a good startingpoint for a trek into the nearby Rhodope mountains, springs and the bachkovo monastery, which is 30 kilometres south of Plovdiv. Interesting is that, besides being a historical town, the town has also a very modern face. The mainstreet and pl Tsentralen look new and have all the fashionable shops and in the nearby yopu find the clubs. History interwoven with the modern excels at the roman theatre, where an underpass is build into the theater.

Plovdiv history

Plovdiv is a very old town. It is perhaps 8000 years old, older than Rome or Athens. It has been a town under the Tracians, Mycenians, Greeks, Romans and it was an important place in the Byzantium Empire. It is therefore one of the longest non-stop inhabited towns in Europe. That’s why it is called “antique and eternal.” In the 5 th century before Christ, Philip the second of Macadonia, the father of Aleaxnder the Great, conquered the city and named it Philippopolis. In the 1 th century it became a Roman settlement. They called the town Thrimonzium (town on three hills). The romans build a fortress around the town. Thrimontium was a very important crossroad for the Romans Via Militaris was an important road in the Balkans that passed through the town. The town became the most flourishing place in the Thracian region and had its own coins, shires, baths and an amfitheater. In the first half of the fifth century the town got destroyed by the Huns. And in the 6 th century the Slavs came to live in the Balkan and called the settlement Plundiv. From the 9 th till the 14 th centurie the town was ruled in turns by the Bulgarians, the Latin Empire and Byzantines. In 815 the town became the capital of the first Bulgarian Empire. In 1365 it feld under Turkish rule. It was now renamed Filibe and was an important militairy center. It became a town with an oriental charm, with a mosque. The commercial area of the town was between the river Maritza and the mosque. During these days Filibe was flourishing and one of the richest towns in the European part of the Turkish empire. Till the second half of the 19 th century the town was in hands of the Turks, then began the resistance against the oppression. The national Revival period with the struggle for religious and political idependance began. In Plovdiv revolution activities took place. Cultural awareness by the founding of a press to print Bulgarian books, a class school was established and Levski organized a revolution committee in the town. Seven years after its liberation from the Turks, in 1885, Bulgaria was finally united as a country and was entering a new century with hope for the future. In 1944 Bulgaria fallen in the hands of the Russians. The Russians established themselves as liberators of their Slavic brothers and build many monuments such as the statue of soldier Aljosha. In the end of the Cold War days Plovdiv was the center of democratic forces demonstating for freedom.

  • Last visit to Plovdiv: Aug 2003
  • Intro Updated May 4, 2008
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Reviews (71)

Comments (3)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Excellent and comprehensive page about Plovdiv. The city is still on my must-visit list.

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2009 at 1:22 PM

    What a stunning informative page. thanks ;-)

  • murta's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Thanks for the informative pages on Plovdiv. I'll check now if you have also websites for our other Balkan destinations!

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