Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria

Traveling to Plovdiv means discovering one of the most beautiful cities in Bulgaria, and also one of the largest, since it is the second city in the country, surpassed in dimensions only by Sofia, the capital. But not only that, but we talk about one of the oldest populations in the country, since its origins date back to 4,000 BC. C. That is, this trip to Plovdiv It is really a journey through the history of Bulgaria and Europe.

How to get to Plovdiv

Plovdiv has its own airport, although it is small and few international flights arrive. Thus, it is usual to fly to Sofia airport, which is only one hour away from Plovdiv.

However, with the capital there is excellent communication both with daily trains and with cheap buses that save the 130 kilometers that separate the two main Bulgarian cities.

Balabanov House - Ramón /

Plovdiv, the city of the seven hills

Like many other ancient cities, for example Rome or Lisbon, Plovdiv also settled on 7 hills. And three of them are the ones that serve as a site for the best preserved complex in its historic center. An ancient nucleus in which the artistic buildings follow one another, as well as the archaeological remains.

Do not forget that, given its age, Many civilizations have passed through here such as the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, etc. And all of them have left their mark on Plovdiv.

«The traveler is active, goes energetically in search of people, adventure, experience. The tourist is passive, expects interesting things to happen to him. »

-Daniel J. Boorstin-

The Bulgarian Renaissance in Plovdiv

Plovdiv - Anna Viazovska /

Regardless of the ancient and archaeological remains, the most striking of the population are its large houses, very characteristic of the so-called Bulgarian Renaissance, which took place between the 18th and 19th centuries.

Houses that were built by the bourgeois enriched by commerce, since at this time the country was part of important routes linking East and West, Asia and Europe.

They are very well preserved houses today, and that they attract attention because their tall plants stand out in width with respect to the lower part. And in addition, the color of its facades, as well as the exterior carpentry full of details with pleasure, make them very photogenic buildings. Although if you have to name a specific one, we invite you to discover the Lamartine House or the Zlatyu Boyadejiev House, converted into a museum.

The churches and mosques of Plovdiv

Sveta Nedelya Church - Juan Antonio Segal /

With so many civilizations and towns that have passed through here it is not strange that there are temples of different creeds. Although now we will only cite the most monumental. One of the most beautiful religious buildings is the church of St. Constantine and Elena, the oldest in the city and dedicated Constantine the Great and his mother.

You can also name the church of Sveta Nedelya for its walnut iconostasis, or that of Syeta Marina, whose wooden bell tower really reminds of a pagoda. The latter is outside the historic center, like the two great mosques that bequeathed here by the Ottoman Empire: the mosques of Dzhumaya and Imaret, two of the 50 that were.

The oldest remains of Plovdiv

Roman amphitheater - Dennis Jarvis /

But on the tourist tour of Plovdiv you also have to take time to see two of the most important archaeological sites in Bulgaria. First, highlights the impressive Roman amphitheater of Plovdiv, in which they got to sit up to 6,000 spectators to see the bloody shows of that time.

And in second place, you have to go to Nebet Tepe, that is to the ruins of Eumolpias, with the oldest remaining remains of the city that founded the enigmatic Indo-European civilization of Thracians millennia ago.

A place that today occupies the so-called Hill of Prayers, and that in addition to giving the pleasure of walking through the most remote history, also provides incredible views of the entire city.

Video: Episode 9 Eye on Bulgaria Touring Plovdiv, second largest city in Bulgaria (November 2019).