The Old Plovdiv : the architectural and historical reserve in 55 pictures

Old Plovdiv

Plovdiv is the oldest living city in Europe and among the six oldest cities in the world. There’s a lot to love about Plovdiv. The Old Plovdiv is one of our lovely part of the city, offering an impressive architectural and historical reserve. I share with you my last ride.

The Old Plovdiv is an unique city within the city of Plovdiv, and its history going back to a Neolithic settlement dated at roughly 6000 B.C. From the Central Square where the Post Office is, turn left to get on the main pedestrian and commercial street Knyaz Alexander I and walk up the Roman Stadium, built in the beginning of 2nd century AD during the reign Emperor Hadrian, and where you can also take a drink (with the Dzhumaya Mosque just behind).

Old Plovdiv@Madame Bulgaria, Roman Stadium and Dzhumaya Mosque, Old Plovdiv

The Old Town is on your right – take any of the narrow streets climbing up the hills. At this point, you can start saying “Ouhaaa !”, you are arrived in the Old Town of Plovdiv. I love this part of the city, definitely my favorite one, an impressive historical treasure ! When I spend time in Plovdiv, I spend time in the Old Town. It stronger than me ! Every time I discover this neighborhood as if it was the first time. Every time I take hundreds of pictures (sometime the same!), and every time I leave saying “next time I will do this .. another way”. As I stroll on the old town, I feel like I’m in a history book, discovering buildings or evidence from almost every historical period. The architectural reserve features archaeological sites, museums, art galleries, old houses and public buildings, religious temples, cafes and restaurants, romantic courtyards and picturesque cobblestone streets. The Old Plovdiv is a popular venue for concerts and exhibitions, casual and business meetings, sightseeing or just strolling around. And the life seems so calm here. That winter morning, during a short weekend in Plovdiv, I left my little family and so friendly hotel located in the heart of the Old Plovdiv (Alafrangite Hotel : check my article about, here) to walk once more the old street of this wonderful place.

Plovdiv Hotels@Madame Bulgaria, view from our room of the Alafrangite hotel, Old Plovdiv 

It was so quiet, so relaxing ! Too early, the neighborhood seemed to belong to me only for a few hours. So I took a lot of pictures that I look forward to sharing with you. Here are some of the sites and attractions in the area – Follow the pictures : Enter the courtyard of the house House of Veren Stamboljan and observe the imposing and richly decorated house. Or very close of it, the House of Georgy Pavlity (Built in 1850) currently occupied by a private company (It changes from impersonal offices, no ?) and the Nedkovich’s House, built in the 1860s, which excels with the most exuberant exterior decoration in the historic reserve.

Old Plovdiv@Madame Bulgaria, House of Dimitar Georgiadi, Old Plovdiv 

After have passed the House of Dimitar Georgiadi, a cultural monument of national importance and the Hisar Kapia, whose the unique architectural and historical ensemble around the eastern gate of the Acropolis fortress wall is one of the symbols of Plovdiv, take the height from the Archaelogical Complex Nebet Tepe. 

Old Plovdiv@Madame Bulgaria, Archaelogical Complex Nebet Tepe, Old Plovdiv 

During the lunch, book a Bulgaria dish at Raha Tepe Restaurant, which offers a locale and delicious food (and a very nice garden during the summer). Then continue the visit of the old plovdiv with the amazing Regional Ethnographic Museum with its beautiful garden;

Old Plovdiv@Madame Bulgaria, Regional Ethnographic Museum, Old Plovdiv 

Observe the beautiful fresco of the Church “Sveti Sveti Konstantin and Elena”. Pass in front of the Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery and the Old Pharmacy “Hippocrates”. Climb the endless steps of the Church of the Holy Mother of God. Say Ouf ! and continue to Saint Dimitar Church which also deserve a stop. Go to the Ancient theatre of Philippopolis, one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the World.  

Old Plovdiv@Madame Bulgaria, Ancient theatre of Philippopolis, Old Plovdiv 

Lamartin House whose owner was the eminent representative of the Plovdiv merchant class, Georgi Mavridi, is impressive. Enter on the courtyard of the Dervish Monastery and observe the amazing fresco !

Old Plovdiv@Madame Bulgaria, Dervish Monastery, Old Plovdiv

It just beautiful. Why not to visit the permanent exposition in the building of the Young Girls’ College or the icons collection which represent the Eastern Christian art from the Plovdiv region and throughout South Bulgaria by the end of the fifteenth century to the late nineteenth century at in the City Art Gallery. Most of these have free admission and where it is otherwise, the entrance fee is usually minimal with further reductions for students and pensioners.

So, I believe that you have everything you need to discover the Old Plovdiv. Have a nice discovery ! Plovdiv has earned its status as a European Cultural Capital 2019 (more here). To know more about the places to visit, here.

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Marie Pietrzak

Founder & Editorial Director

Marie is the founder of Madame Bulgaria. She fell in love with Bulgaria when she came for the first time for a weekend in 2012.

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