Plovdiv is an ancient city in southern Bulgaria, built around seven hills. It boasts being the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe dating back some 8000 years! As you explore the city you will find many areas that are still being dug up by archeologists.
Ancient Roman Ruins in Plovdiv
The Ancient Theater is the most complete Roman theater you will ever see, being the most intact in the world. The really fascinating part is that it is still being used today, almost 2000 years after it was constructed. It seats 7000 and it cut into one of the 7 hills. It was accidentally discovered after a 1970s landslide that exposed parts of it. If you are here in the summer, take advantage of the opera and theater performances at this gorgeous and ancient setting.
Also discovered in the 20th century is a 2nd-century stadium that could seat 30,000 spectators. Unfortunately, today you can only see fragments of this structure. The Plovdiv Roman stadium sits beneath parts of Old Town. Walk down and you can navigate a vaulted passageway that runs underneath the northern curve. Drop by the visitor center that will fill you in on the stadium’s history.
Unique Design in Plovdiv
The cobblestone streets of old Plovdiv, Bulgaria are a joy. Where traditional homes blend with Plovdiv’s Roman ruins in an area that is free of vehicles. Houses in this part of the city, are half-timbered and some of the better examples are painted in vivid colors. Check out the House of Stepan Hindliyan, dating to the mid-1800s, which is blue with characteristic delicate sgraffito designs around its window frames.
That isn’t a typo. Sgraffito is a decorative design made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color. This is typically done in plaster or stucco on walls. You can enter this lovely old house, and several others in the Old Town, to see the extravagant wall decorations. The murals in one room of Stepan Hindliyan’s House took six months to paint by hand!
Once again, a tour will feature the best and most prominent attractions in the city, given by a local. There are many more ancient sites and Medieval locations to visit and you will never get an experience matching this from a flier or article.
A Little Food
We will wrap up our taste of Plovdiv, Bulgaria with a look at a famous restaurant. Megdana is one of the best. At a Bulgarian Mehana, there will be traditional dance performances from a stage or courtyard while you eat.
Dinner here means big cuts of chargrilled meat, clay pot stews, mushrooms on skewers, halloumi cheese, yogurt, and fresh shopska salad, made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers. This is the way many people take their meals in this part of the world. You will be surrounded by locals as well as the lucky tourists that find it.
Does this look appealing to you? It does to us. We love places that few westerners have heard of. Schedule your free consultation today and we can begin planning your trip to Plovdiv, Bulgaria.