11 Must see Places in Plovdiv

1. Ancient Theatre

One of the world’s most intact ancient theatres.

Built almost 2000 years ago this building is still in use. You can catch a show there almost every week. The capacity of the Ancient theatre is up to 7000, and the structure cuts into one of Plovdiv’s six hills – Taksim Tepe . As you step down the slope towards the terraces the views of the city andthe Rhodope Mountains behind are astounding.

If you’re in town in the summer don’t miss the chance to see an opera or theatre performance in this dreamy setting.

Plamen Agov •studiolemontree.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, viaWikimedia Commons

2. Plovdiv Old Town

The car-free streets of Plovdiv, where traditional houses blend with Plovdiv’s roman ruins, is a great place for a joyful walk.

Most of the houses in this part of the city are half-timbered and some of the wealthier examples are painted in vivid colors.

You can enter several houses in the Old Town and see the lavish interior decorations.

Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Plovdiv Roman Stadium

This second century stadium could seat up to 30,000 people, although today you can see only little fragments of this structure.

It sits beneath parts of the old town of Plovdiv and like the Roman theatre was excavated in the 20th century and is among the largest and best preserved buildings from the time of the Roman Empire in the Balkan peninsula.

Today, the stadium is located in the centre of Plovdiv, under the main pedestrian street. The larger portion still lies beneath the buildings along the main street, running south from the visible part where parts are visible in basements of several shops.


Explorer1940, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
4. Regional Ethnographic Museaum

This merchant’s house is an Old Town attraction built in the 19th century, belonging to Argir Kuyumdzhioglu who was originally from Bulgaria.

The museum features six exhibitions, each occupying a separate room, gathering more than 40,000 items like authentic musical instruments, fabrics, clothing, handicrafts and farm tools related to Bulgarian folk culture over the centuries.

Leon.anavi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


5. The Clock Tower

The Tower can be reached from the Roman Stadium Square in a few minutes of walking. The building with its conical lead roof atop a gallery is at least 300 years old with the earliest record of the Tower dates back to 1623. In 1883 the clock that you see today was installed, having been purposely made in Vienna.

 

Чигот, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Asen’s Fortress

А car drive or bus ride southeast of Plovdiv will take you to a medieval castle that teeters on the edge of a ridge over the Asenitsa River.

As you come closer you’ll see this magnificent building. The walls of the fortress zig zag down the precipitous mountainsides, guarding a perch that has been a stronghold for as long as 6,000 years, back to the time of the Thracians.

Todor Bozhinov / Тодор Божинов, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Plovdiv Aviation Museum

This attraction at the city’s airport will catch the interest of anyone interested in Bulgaria’s communist past and Cold War history.Built in 1991, there is a fab outdoor collection of migs and yaks that you can get right up to.

The most impressive plane is the Arado 196 A-3, a German seaplane manufactured in 1938. It’s the last surviving model in the world.

 Vislupus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

8. Bachkovo Monastery

This monastery, founded in 1083, is the second largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It combines Bulgarian, Georgian and byzantine religious traditions.

The oldest part to survive is the ossuary that is a few hundred metres away from the main buildings.

In this monastery are the frescoes from the 1300s, one of them depicting Tsar Ivan Alexander of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Plovdiv’s hills

Plovdiv’s six hills rise like big humps from the body of the city.There used to be seven, but one of them, Markovo Tepe, was quarried for its syenite stone in the 19th century.

As a matter of fact, most of the paving around Plovdiv is made from this syenite, so if you walk on the city streets you’re basically walking on Markovo Tepe!

The remaining six hills are full of woodland, and locals will tell you that you need to climb all of them to see the sunsets from each one.You might not have time for that, so try Dzhendem Tepe, a natural landmark and the tallest of the six hills, reaching more than 300 meters.

 

VladislavNedelev, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Dzhumaya Mosque

The mosque is located at the centre of Plovdiv and was built in 1363–1364 on the site of the Sveta Petka Tarnovska Cathedral Church after the conquest of Plovdiv by the Ottoman army.

In the 15th century the building was renovated during the rule of Sultan Murad II, which is what you see today. A small but eye-catching addition took place in the 1800s when the north side of the mosque was reconstructed with wooden kiosks.

 Explorer1940, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

11. Church of St. Konstantine and Elena

Church of St. Konstantin and Elena is one of the oldest churches in the city, built in 337 at the sight of an ancient pagan temple in the acropolis on one of the fortified hills. The church is named after Emperor Constantine the Great and his mother Elena.The interior is from the Bulgarian National Revival in the 1800s and decorated in a lavish neo-baroque style.

 

Gitanes232, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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