A Thracian Polis
For centuries, the roads passing through the territory of Bulgaria have been connecting Europe to Asia and Africa. Plovdiv is situated exactly on the corridors from Western and Northern Europe to the Eastern and Southern part of the continent.
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria with Maritsa River passing through it. Its unique location on the ancient roads has stimulated the cultural and political influences from other civilizations and maintained its specific cultural and spiritual identity. Cities like the Eternal City - Rome, also Athens, Carthage, and Constantinople are found later. Plovdiv is a city upon layers of towns and epochs. The archeologists are convinced it is a contemporary of Troy and it has survived the Mycenae civilization. Plovdiv is all in one: a Thracian and Greek polis, one of the favorite cities of Philip of Macedon, the capital of the Thrace region under the Roman Empire, a centre of Byzantium, a stronghold of the Bulgarians, a strike point for the crusaders, important city for the Turks.
Kendros, Eumolpia, Philippopolis, Pulpudeva, Thrimonzium, Pulden, Populdin, Ploudin, Filibe - those were the ancient names of Plovdiv throughout its 6000 to 8000 years of existence.
In the distant past Plovdiv was situated on seven hills: Taxim, Nebet, Jambaz, Sahat, Jendem and Bunarjik. The seventh hill, Markovo Tepe, has nowadays subsided completely under the pavement of modern Plovdiv.
Plovdiv is a picturesque town with many parks, gardens and green areas, museums and archaeological monuments. Its old part carries the name Old Town and it is like an open air museum established on three hills of the ancient Thrimonzium. One can find beautiful houses from the National Revival period (18-19th century) in it. Remarkable sights are the Ancient Theatre (a well preserved Roman theatre, where there is still open-air performances), the Odeon and the remnants of the Roman gladiators' stadium.
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