Explore Plovdiv – the second largest town of Bulgaria and one of the oldest in Europe. In the 1st millennium BC the Thracians founded a fortified settlement, Eumolpias, captured in 342 BC by Philip II (father of Alexander the Great). Lucian the Greek called it ‘the biggest and most beautiful of all towns in Thrace’.

Plovdiv, the Eastern Gate 'Hissar Kapiya' to the Trimontium Fortress, built during the reign of the Roman emperors Trajanus (98-117) and Marcus Aurelius (169-180)

The Old Plovdiv quarter is an architectural reserve with over 150 monuments of culture – buildings dating from the 19th, 18th (and earlier) centuries, in typical National Revival style, called the Baroque of Plovdiv. Wander along the narrow cobbled streets. Admire the picturesque houses hanging out into the street almost touching those opposite with their upper parts. While Plovdiv was part of the Roman Empire, it was called Trimontium (City of Three Hills) and served as capital of the province of Thrace. Trimontium was an important crossroad for the Roman Empire. ‘Via Militaris’, the biggest military path in the Balkan Peninsula, passed through.

Plovdiv, the Roman Amphitheatre (2nd century)

The Ethnographic Museum, in a house declared National Monument of Culture, strikes most with its undulated façade and wooden ceiling carvings. The house (the most distinguished example of the Baroque of Plovdiv) is declared National Monument of Culture.

Plovdiv, the Ethnographic Museum

St Marina Metropolitan Church (1856) is the main church in Plovdiv. It boasts a magnificent wooden iconostasis, perfectly preserved icons and boldly coloured murals beneath its porch.

Plovdiv, St Marina Metropolitan Church (1856)

Sts Constantine and Helena Church is considered to be among the oldest churches in Plovdiv. It was built in 337 replacing an ancient pagan temple in the acropolis on one of the fortified hills. The church was named after Emperor Constantine the Great and his mother Helena. Rebuilt in 1832, it boasts a fine gilt baroque iconostasis and magnificent frescoes and icons, painted by masters of one of the most famous Bulgarian Iconographic Schools: the Debar School.

Plovdiv, Sts Constantine and Helena Church (rebuilt in 1832)

The Hindlyan House (1840), National Monument of Culture restored in 1974 and fitted with Bulgarian Revival period furniture, impresses with its artistic decoration and preserved original murals.

Plovdiv, the Hindlian House (1840)

Mavridi House (1829), called ‘Alphonse de Lamartine House’. The French poet lived there in 1833. The house hosts an exposition of Lamartine’s photos, sculpture and maps with his route.

Plovdiv, Alphonse de Lamartine House (1829)


Watch our Plovdiv Impressions virtual tour (video clip, 02:27). Plovdiv Impressions video clip (02:27) See the ancient Roman remnants (1st – 2nd centuries) of the Amphitheatre, Forum, Stadium and Aqueduct.