Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria with a population of 366,511 people at its current address, as of December 15, 2021. It is located in the western part of the Upper Thracian lowland, on both banks of the Maritsa River. It is 15 km north of the Rhodopes and 50 km south of the Balkan Mountains. The city is built at the foot of six syenite hills, which is why it is often called the “City under the hills”. Plovdiv is the management center of Plovdiv district, Plovdiv municipality, Maritsa municipality, Rhodope municipality and is the largest economic core of the South Central region.
Plovdiv is a city of over 8000 years, whose past can be traced from prehistory to the present day. The first Neolithic settlements within the boundaries of today’s city began in the VI millennium BC, and since the Stone-Copper Age (IV-III millennium BC) life in the city has not stopped, which ranks it among the most ancient permanently inhabited cities in the world. Ancient monuments such as the ancient theater, the Roman Odeon, the agora (Roman Forum), the Roman stadium, the late antique building “Eirene”, the Episcopal Basilica, the small basilica and others have been preserved and preserved.
The city is the most dynamically developing center in Southern Bulgaria. Its economy is based on a well-developed multidisciplinary industry, services, tourism and information technology.
Many cultural events are held in Plovdiv: the International Fair, the International Theater Festival “Scene at the Crossroads”, “Kapana Fest”, “Night of Plovdiv”, the music forum “Sounds of The Ages”, the International Folklore Festival “Plovdiv” and others.
Plovdiv was chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2019 together with another European city – Matera in Italy.
Ancient and Eternal
Sofia is the main administrative, industrial, transport, cultural and university center of the country, and it is home to 1/6 of Bulgaria’s industrial production. Here are also the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, many universities, theaters, cinemas, as well as the National Art Gallery, archeological, historical, natural and other museums. Visible archeological monuments from Roman times have been preserved in many places in the city center.
Sofia is named after the late antique early Christian cathedral of the city “St. Sophia” (Greek Ἁγία Σοφία in Latin: Sancta Sophia; or “Holy Wisdom of God” (one of the names of the young Jesus Christ)). However, the city’s holiday is on September 17, when the Orthodox Church celebrates the Holy Martyrs Sofia, Faith, Hope and Love. The date was set for Sofia Holiday by a decision of the Sofia Municipal Council of March 25, 1992.
Sofia was declared the capital on April 3, 1879 by the Constituent National Assembly at the suggestion of Prof. Marin Drinov, as an old Bulgarian city, far from the Turkish border and centrally located in the Bulgarian ethnic land.