Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s Gem

Topping Plovdiv’s list of attractions are its trove of Roman antiquities and the cobbled streets of Old Town, lined with colorful 19th-century mansions in the National Revival style. (Image by Nikola Belopitov from Pixabay ).

Plovdiv pride itself in being one of the oldest cities in Europe. Archaeologists have discovered pottery and other objects of everyday life from as early as the Neolithic Age, showing that in the end of the 7th millennium B.C there already was an established settlement there. The city of Plovdiv is situated in southern Bulgaria. During its long history it has been conquered by numerous peoples: Thracians, Macedon, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgarians, Ottoman Turks which contributed to the city’s various historical heritage.

The Slavs had settled in the area by the middle of the 6th century, changing the ethnic proportions of the region. With the establishment of Bulgaria in 681, Philipopolis became a border fortress of the Byzantine Empire. Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Plovdiv was a focal point for the Bulgarian national movement. During that period Plovdiv was an economic center along with Constantinople, Odrin and Thessaloniki. Due to trade, the emerging Bulgarian bourgeoisie became significant in the society.

After Unification Plovdiv remained the second city in population and significance after the capital Sofia. The first railway in the city was built in 1874 and after 1888 it was linked with Sofia. In 1892 Plovdiv became host of the First Bulgarian Fair with international participation which was succeeded by the International Fair Plovdiv. After the liberation the first brewery was inaugurated in the city. Plovdiv has hosted specialized exhibitions of the World’s Fair three times, in 1981, 1985, and 1991.

Plovdiv Amphitheatre

Plovdiv Amphitheatre

Food & Wine
Bulgarian cuisine, with its Turkish, Greek and Slavic influences, provides the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of local mavrud. In Bulgaria, meals are supposed to be enjoyed in company, and most Bulgarians relish the opportunity to introduce foreign friends to the pleasures of homemade banitsa, or rakia. Discover Bulgarian history, cuisine, and winemaking when you travel from Sofia to Plovdiv and the Thracia Valley. Spend the morning strolling through Plovdiv Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then visit a few lovely and secluded vineyard for a guided tasting.

Economy
Tourism is a growing industry with the rich cultural heritage of the province and the numerous mineral springs which are of international importance. Topping Plovdiv’s list of attractions are its trove of Roman antiquities and the cobbled streets of Old Town, lined with colorful 19th-century mansions in the National Revival style. Plovdiv abounds in museums and art galleries and it’s calendar of events is richer this year than ever as the city take center stage as a European Capital of culture.

The economy of the province is of great importance. The agricultural production is intensive and efficient with high levels of irrigation. Industry is very well developed as well producing ferrous metallurgy near Plovdiv; thriving electronics industry in Plovdiv, Saedineermelons, vegetablesnie, Voivodinovo, Radinovo and other villages in the area.

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