New Destinatin Network - about Plovdiv!
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria, behind the capital Sofia, and is one of the most historic cities in the whole of the Balkan’s.
It is one of the most ancient locations on the planet, being the 6th oldest inhabited city in the world.
No matter how many movies or television programmes you have watched about those ancient times, seeing structures from that period for yourself, can only impress.
This city has been Thracian, Greek, Roman and Ottoman, it is literally a record of the history of that region if the world, in one location.
This city was originally named after the 7 hills that surrounded it and these hills are seen on their Flag and Coat Of Arms. After the Romans occupied the region it was renamed after the 3 major hills it is situated within. When you stand at the top of any of these hills and see the spectacular views, you will see why they were so influential in its name throughout its history.
The ‘Old Town’ of Plovdiv is amazing, it does not only have many houses that were built by the upper classes of the Ottoman Empire, but it has an original medieval street too! Picture yourself walking down a normal ‘high street’ with shops,cafés and offices and then all of a sudden you turn into a side street and find yourself in a cobbled floor town with buildings constructed hundreds of years ago, it’s not only humbling, but thought provoking too!!
The most spectacular places I saw in Plovdiv were The Ancient Theatre, Roman Odeon and Stadium. If you can imagine scenes from Ben Heir and The Gladiator, then put yourself in the middle of them, that is what it feels like!
Bulgaria and especially Plovdiv has numerous Churches, Mosques, Temples, Museums and Galleries to visit too, so you really do need time to take them all in. If you can, try and schedule it, so it coincides with one of the many festivals, as the locals love to get into their traditional dress for a song and dance.
I went to a young Wine Festival and it was fantastic. All the new season’ wines were available for tasting, along with traditional food. Then groups of young people dressed in their red and yellow traditional dress broke into song and dance. After several hours of going in and out of numerous local houses and sampling all the wine, everyone at the festival then joined in too.
I also went to an outdoor theatre production, which was based on a young couple and an eventual wedding. The acting was excellent and it moved between beautiful Ottoman houses and gardens. The last scene was the wedding were all the audience turned into the guests and everyone danced, but also eat and drank, as they were actually at a wedding reception!!
If you get a chance, go on a Winery Tour, as Bulgarian wine is now well established in the world market. It’s not only the wine tasting that is good, it’s the history of each Winery, plus the buildings, scenery, methods used and some traditional food too.
I have mainly commented on the history and culture of this amazing city, but it also has the Spa’s, Shops, Bars, Restaurants and Clubs to make it a brilliant destination to visit.
It also has many excellent Hotels you can chose from and they are very varied and interesting. They have the normal chains, but some of the boutique and smaller ones are far more interesting and cheaper too!!
Plovdiv has been awarded - City European Capital of Culture 2019, so they will be promoting themselves a lot more and asking for backing and support. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to go there and experience the city for yourself and you will see they have received this accolade!
Plovdiv is definitely a place for you to visit in the FUTURE, so you can see how civilisations lived in the PAST!