Пловдив  (Bulgarian)

From top, left to right:
Hills of Plovdiv • Ancient theatreAncient stadiumHistorical MuseumHisar KapiaEthnographic Museum • Tsar Simeon's garden •


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The city of the seven hills
Градът на седемте хълма  (Bulgarian)
Gradăt na sedemte hălma (transliteration)
Motto: Ancient and eternal
Древен и вечен  (Bulgarian)
Dreven i vechen (transliteration)

Location of Plovdiv within Bulgaria

Coordinates: 42°9′N 24°45′E / 42.150°N 24.750°E / 42.150; 24.750
Country  Bulgaria
Province Plòvdiv
Municipalities Plovdiv-city
Established 6000 BC
  Mayor Ivan Totev (GERB)
  Total 101.98 km2 (39.37 sq mi)
Elevation 164 m (538 ft)
Population (12/31/2014)[1]
  City 341,567
  Urban 544,628 [2]
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 4000
Area code(s) (+359) 032
Car plates PB

Plovdiv (Bulgarian: Пловдив, pronounced [pɫovˈdif]) is the second-largest city in Bulgaria with a population of 341,567 inhabitants as of 2015, while 544,628 live in its urban area. It is an important economic, transport, cultural, and educational center. Plovdiv has evidence of habitation since the 6th millennium BC when the first Neolithic settlements were established. It is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world.[3][4][5]

Plovdiv was known in the West for most of its recorded history by the name Philippopolis (Greek: Φιλιππούπολη; Turkish: Filibe; "Philip's Town") as Philip II of Macedon conquered it in the 4th century BC and gave his name to it. The city was originally a Thracian settlement,[5] later being invaded by Persians, Greeks, Celts, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgarians, Slav-Vikings, Crusaders and Turks. On 4 January 1878, Plovdiv was liberated from Ottoman rule by the Russian army. It remained within the borders of Bulgaria until July of the same year, when it became the capital of the autonomous Ottoman region of Eastern Rumelia. In 1885, Plovdiv and Eastern Rumelia joined Bulgaria.

Plovdiv is situated in a fertile region of south-central Bulgaria on the two banks of the Maritsa River. The city has historically developed on seven syenite hills, some of which are 250 metres (820 feet) high. Because of these hills, Plovdiv is often referred to in Bulgaria as "The City of the Seven Hills".

Plovdiv is host to cultural events such as the International Fair Plovdiv, the international theatrical festival "A stage on a crossroad", and the TV festival "The golden chest". There are many remains preserved from antiquity such as the ancient Plovdiv Roman theatre, Roman odeon, Roman aqueduct, Roman Stadium, the archaeological complex Eirene, and others.

The oldest American educational institution outside the United States was founded in Plovdiv in 1860, which was later moved to Sofia – today's American College of Sofia.

On 5 September 2014, Plovdiv was selected as the Bulgarian host of the European Capital of Culture 2019.[6] This happened with the help of the Municipal Foundation “Plovdiv 2019″ - a non-government organization which was established in 2011 by Plovdiv’s City Council. The main objectives were to develop and to prepare Plovdiv’s bid book for European Capital of Culture in 2019. The organization has a board of directors, which consists of 9 members and an Executive Director. The foundation also has a Public Council, chaired by the mayor of the city, and a Control Board supervises the organization’s activities. The main objective of the foundation is strategic development and implementation of the bid book.


Ancient settlements with names related to "deva". Pulpudeva denotes Plovdiv in which the latter name is rooted.
Map describing the city as "Philippopolis, que et Poneropolis, Duloupolis, Eumolpiada, item Trimontium, at que Pulpudena"

Plovdiv was given various names throughout its long history. Some names are suggestive. The Odrysian capital Odryssa (Greek: ΟΔΡΥΣΣΑ, Latin: ODRYFA) is suggested to have been modern Plovdiv by numismatic research[7][8] or Odrin.[9] Theopompus[10] mentioned in the 4th century BC a town by the name Poneropolis (Greek: ΠΟΝΗΡΟΠΟΛΙΣ "town of villains") in pejorative relation to the conquest by king Philip II of Macedon, who is said to have settled 2000 men, false-accusers and witnesses, sycophants, lawyers, and other possible bad mean.[11] According to Plutarch, the town began to be called so by this king after he had peopled it with a crew of rogues and vagabonds,[12] but this is possibly a semi-legendary name that actually did not exist,[9] as well as the names Dulon polis (Greek: ΔΟΥΛΩΝ ΠΟΛΙΣ "slaves' town")[13] and possibly Moichopolis (Greek: ΜΟΙΧΟΠΟΛΙΣ "adulterer's town"). The city have been called Philippopolis (ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΠΟΛΙΣ pronounced [pilpopolis]; Modern Greek: Φιλιππούπολη, Philippoupolipronounced [filpupoli]) or "the city of Philip", from Greek Philipos "horselover", most likely in honor of Philip II of Macedon[14] possibly after his death or in honor of Philip V,[7][15] as it was first attested in the 2nd century BC by Polybius in connection with the campaign of Philip V.[7][15] Philippopolis was identified later by Plutarch and Pliny as the former Poneropolis.[16] Strabo identified Philip II's settlement of most "evil, wicked" (ponerotatus) as Calybe (Kabyle),[17] whereas Ptolemy conisdered the location of Poneropolis different than the rest.

Kendrisia (Greek: ΚΕΝΔΡΕΙϹΕΙΑ) was an old name of the city.[5] It is attested earliest on an artifact, mentioning, that king Beithys, priest of the Syrian goddess, brings gift to Kendriso Apollo,[18] the deity is recorded to be named multiple times after different cities. Later Roman coins mentioned the name, which is possibly derived from Thracian god Kendriso equated with Appolo,[19] cedar forests, which ancient writers mentioned, or from Thracian tribe from artifacts - kendrisi.[5][15] An assumed name is the 1st century Tiberias in honor of the Roman emperor Tiberius, under whom the Odrysian Kingdom was a client of Rome.[9] After the Romans had taken control of the area, the city was named in Latin: TRIMONTIUM, meaning "The Three Hills",) mentioned in the 1st century by Pliny.[16] At times the name was Ulpia, Flavia, Julia after the Roman families.

Ammianus Marcellinus wrote in the 4th century that the then city had been the old Eumolpias/Eumolpiada (Latin: EVMOLPIAS, EVMOLPIADA),[20] i.e. the earliest name in chronological terms.[9] It was named after the mythical Thracian king Eumolpos, son of Poseidon[21] or Jupiter[22] in mythology, who may have founded the city around 1200 BC[23] or 1350 BC,[24] or after the Vestal Virgins in the temples - evmolpeya.[5] In the 6th century Jordanes wrote that the former name of the city was Pulpudeva (Latin: PVLPVDEVA) and that Philip the Arab named the city after himself.[25] The latter name is most likely a Thracian oral translation[5] of the other as it kept all consonants of the name Philip + deva (city), nevertheless the two names sounding similar, may not share the same origin as Odrin and Adrianople do not, and Pulpudeva may have predated the other name[26][27] meaning "lake city" in Thracian.[15] Since the 9th century[28] the Bulgarian name began to appear as Papaldiv/n Plo(v)div, Pladiv, Pladin, Plapdiv, Plovdin, which evolved from a Thracian variant Pulpudeva.[29] As a result, the name have lost any meaning. In British English the Bulgarian variant Plòvdiv have become prevalent after World War I.[26] The Crusaders mentioned the city as Prineople, Sinople and Phinepople.[15] The Ottomans called the city Filibe, a corruption of "Philip", attested first in a document of 1448.[30]


Plovdiv seen from space
A view around the banks of the Maritsa.
A view of Plovdiv with the Balkan mountains in the background.

Plovdiv is on the banks of the Maritsa river, southeast of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. The city is in the southern part of the Plain of Plovdiv, an alluvial plain forming the western portion of the Upper Thracian Plain. The heights of Sredna Gora rise to the northwest, to the east are the Chirpan Heights, and the Rhodope mountains surround the plain from the south.[31] The city had originally developed to the south of Maritsa, and expanded across the river only within the last 100 years. Modern Plovdiv covers an area of 101 km2 (39 sq mi), which is less than 0.1% of Bulgaria's total area. This makes Plovdiv the most densely populated city in the country with 3,769 inhabitants per km².

Inside the city proper are six syenite hills,. In the beginning of the 20th century, there used to be seven of them, but one (Markovo tepe) was destroyed. Three of them are called the Three Hills (Bulgarian: Трихълмие Trihalmie), the others are called the Hill of the Youth (Bulgarian: Младежки хълм, Mladezhki halm), the Hill of the Liberators (Bulgarian: Хълм на освободителите, Halm na osvoboditelite) and the Hill of Danov (Bulgarian: Данов хълм, Danov halm).[32]


Plovdiv has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with considerable humid continental influences. There are four distinct seasons, with large temperature jumps between seasons being common.

Summer (mid May to late September) is hot, moderately dry, and sunny with a July and August maximum average of 31 °C (88 °F). Plovdiv sometimes experiences very hot days which are typical in the interior of the country. Summer nights are mild.

Autumn starts in late September; days are long and relatively warm in early autumn. The nights become chilly by September. The first frost occurs on average by November.

Winter is normally cold and snow is common. The average number of days with snow cover in Plovdiv is 33. The average depth of snow cover is 2 to 4 cm (1 to 2 in) and the maximum is normally 6 to 13 cm (2 to 5 in), but in some winters it can reach 70 cm (28 in) or more. Average January temperature is −0.4 °C (31 °F).

Spring arrives in March but that season is cooler than autumn. The frost season ends in March or in April at the latest. The days are mild and relatively warm in mid spring.

The average relative humidity is 73%, being highest in December, with 86%, and lowest in August, with 62%. The total precipitation is 540 mm (21.26 in) and is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest months of the year are May and June, with an average precipitation of 66.2 mm (2.61 in), while the driest month is August, with an average precipitation of 31 mm (1.22 in).

Gentle winds (0 to 5 m/s) are predominant in the city with wind speeds of up to 1 m/s, representing 95% of all winds during the year. Mists are common in the cooler months, especially along the banks of the Maritsa. On average there are 33 days with mist during the year.[33]

Climate table:

Climate data for Plovdiv(1952-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.0
Average high °C (°F) 5.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.9
Average low °C (°F) −3.0
Record low °C (°F) −23.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 27
Average precipitation days 4.8 5.1 5.8 4.7 6.5 6.2 3.8 3.1 3.1 3.9 5.8 6.2 60.7
Average relative humidity (%) 76 67 60 53 53 50 45 46 48 59 69 76 59
Mean monthly sunshine hours 94 110 170 200 252 281 328 315 230 162 120 77 2,339
Source #1:
Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (sun and relative humidity),[34]

Climate table:

Climate data for Plovdiv(2004-2015)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.5
Average low °C (°F) −1.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 94 114 170 224 275 301 335 321 242 172 120 77 2,445
Source #1:
Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (sun and relative humidity),[34]


History of Plovdiv
Timeline of events
6000-5000 BC Establishment of the earliest settlements on the territory of modern Plovdiv (Yasa Tepe 1 and Yasa Tepe 2)
V century BC Ancient Plovdiv was incorporated into the Odrysian kingdom
347–342 BC The Thracian town was conquered by Philip II of Macedon who named it Philippopolis
46 Philippopolis was incorporated into the Roman Empire by emperor Claudius
I–III century Philippopolis became the central city of the Roman province Thracia
250 The whole city was burned down by the Goths
IV century Philippopolis regained its previous size. The city was part of the Eastern Roman Empire
836 Khan Malamir incorporated the city into the First Bulgarian Empire
976–1014 Basil II based his army in Philippopolis during the war with Samuel of Bulgaria
1189 The city was conquered by the crusader army of Frederick Barbarossa
1205 Philippoupolis was conquered and raided by the Latin Empire and Kaloyan of Bulgaria
1371 Phillipopolis was conquered by the Ottomans. The city name was changed to Filibe
January 1878 Plovdiv was liberated from Ottoman rule during the Battle of Philippopolis
July 1878 Plovdiv became capital of Eastern Rumelia
1885 Plovdiv is at the center of the events that led to the Bulgarian unification
1920–1960 Period of industrialization
1970-1980 Discovery of the archeological sights in Plovdiv, the Old town was restored
1999 Plovdiv was host of the European Cultural Month
2014 Plovdiv was awarded the title European capital of culture 2019


Plan of the known parts of the Roman city superimposed on a plan of modern Plovdiv.

"This Plovdiv is the biggest and loveliest of all cities. Its beauty shines from faraway..."

Roman writer Lucian.

Part of a series on the ancient city of
Buildings and structures
Related topics
  History  Timeline

The history of Plovdiv spans more than eight millennia. The numerous nations that lived here have left their traces on the 12m thick cultural layers of the city. The earliest signs of habitation on the territory of Plovdiv date as far back as the 6th millennium BC.[4][5] Plovdiv has settlement traces including necropolises dating from the Neolithic, roughly 6000-5000 BC, like the mounds Yasa Tepe 1 in Philipovo district and Yasa Tepe 2 in Lauta park.[35][36][37] Archaeologists have discovered fine pottery[38] and objects of everyday life on Nebet Tepe from as early as the Chalcolithic, showing that at the end of the 4th millennium BC, there already was an established settlement there which was continuously inhabited since then.[39][40][41] Thracian necropolises dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BC have been discovered, while the Thracian town was established between the 2nd and the 1st millennium BC.[42]

The town was a fort of the independent local Thracian tribe Bessi.[43] In 516 BC during the rule of Darius the Great, Thrace was included in the Persian empire.[44] In 492 BC the Persian general Mardonius subjected Thrace again, and it became nominally a vassal of Persia until 479 BC and the early rule of Xerxes I.[45] The town was included in the Odrysian kingdom (460 BC-46 AD), a Thracian tribal union. The town was conquered by Philip II of Macedon[46] and the Odrysian king was deposed in 342 BC. Ten years after the Macedonian invasion the Thracian kings started to exercise power again after the Odrysian Seuthes III had re-established their kingdom under Macedonian suzerainty as a result of a somehow successful revolt against Alexander the Great's rule resulting in neither victory, nor defeat, but stalemate.[47] The Odrysian kingdom gradually overcome the Macedonian suzerainty, while the city was destroyed by the Celts as part of the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe, most likely in the 270s BC.[48] In 183 BC Philip V of Macedon conquered the city, but shortly after the Thracians re-conquered it.

In 72 BC the city was seized by the Roman general Marcus Lucullus but was soon restored to Thracian control. In AD 46 the city was finally incorporated into the Roman Empire by emperor Claudius;[49] it served as metropolis (capital) of the province of Thrace and gained a city status in the late 1st century.[50] Trimontium was an important crossroad for the Roman Empire and was called "the largest and most beautiful of all cities" by Lucian. Although it was not the capital of the Province of Thrace, the city was the largest and most important centre in the province.[51] As such the city was the seat of the Union of Thracians.[52] In those times, the Via Militaris (or Via Diagonalis), the most important military road in the Balkans, passed through the city.[53][54] The Roman times were a period of growth and cultural excellence.[55] The ancient ruins tell a story of a vibrant, growing city with numerous public buildings, shrines, baths, theatres, a stadium and the only developed ancient water supply system in Bulgaria. The city had an advanced water system and sewerage. In 179 a second wall was built to encompass Trimontium which had already extended out of the Three hills into the valley. Many of those are still preserved and can be seen by tourists. Today only a small part of the ancient city has been excavated.[56]

In 250 AD the whole city was burned down by the Goths, led by their ruler Cniva, and many of its citizens, according to Ammianus Marcellinus numbering 100,000, died or were taken captive.[57] It took a century and hard work to recover the city. However, it was destroyed again by Attila's Huns in 441-442 and by the Goths of Teodoric Strabo in 471.[58]

Middle Ages

Monument of Krum in Plovdiv, who was the first Bulgarian ruler to capture Plovdiv.

The Slavs had fully settled in the area by the middle of the 6th century, peacefully as there are no any records for their attacks.[59] With the establishment of Bulgaria in 681 Philippoupolis, the name of the city then, became an important border fortress of the Byzantine Empire. It was captured by Khan Krum in 812 but the region was fully incorporated into the Bulgarian Empire in 834 during the reign of Khan Malamir.[60] It was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 855–856 for a short time until it was returned to Boris I of Bulgaria.[61][62] From Philippoupolis the influence of dualistic doctrines spread to Bulgaria forming the basis of the Bogomil heresy. The city possibly remained in Bulgarian hands until 970.[63] However, the city is described at the time of Constantine VII in the 10th century as being within the Byzantine province (theme of Macedonia). The historian John Fine describes Philippopolis as being a Byzantine possession at the time it was sacked by the ruler of Rus' Sviatoslav I of Kiev in 969 who impaled 20,000 citizens.[64] Before and after the Rus' massacre, the city was settled by Paulician heretics transported from Syria and Armenia to serve as military settlers on the European frontier with Bulgaria. Aime de Varennes in 1180 encountered the singing of Byzantine songs in the city that recounted the deeds of Alexander the Great and his predecessors, over 1300 years before.[65]

Byzantine rule was interrupted by the Third crusade(1189-1192) when the army of the Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa conquered Philippopolis. Ivanko was appointed as the governor of the Byzantine Theme of Philippopolis in 1196, but between 1198 and 1200 separated it from Byzantium in a union with Bulgaria. The Latin Empire conquered Philippoupolis in 1204, and there were two short interregnum periods as the city was twice occupied by Kaloyan of Bulgaria before his death in 1207.[66] In 1208 Kaloyan's successor Boril was defeated by the Latins in the Battle of Philippopolis.[67] Under Latin rule, Philippopolis was the capital of the Duchy of Philippopolis, which was governed by Renier de Trit, later on by Gerard de Strem and was possibly at times a vassal of Bulgaria or Venice. Ivan Asen II conquered the duchy finally in 1230 but the city had possibly been earlier conquered.[68] Afterwards Plovdiv was conquered by Byzantium, according to some information, by 1300 Plovdiv was a possession of Theodore Svetoslav of Bulgaria. It was conquered from Byzantium by George Terter II of Bulgaria in 1322.[69] Andronikos III Palaiologos unsuccessfully besieged the city, but a treaty restored Byzantine rule once again in 1323. In 1344 the city and eight other cities were surrendered to Bulgaria by the regency for John V Palaiologos as the price for Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria's support in the Byzantine civil war of 1341–47.[70]

Ottoman Rule

In 1364, the Ottoman Turks under Lala Shahin Pasha seized Plovdiv.[71][72] According to other data, Plovdiv was not Ottoman until the Battle of Maritsa in 1371 following which the citizens and the Bulgarian army fled leaving the city without resistance. Refugees settled in Stanimaka. During the Ottoman Interregnum, in 1410 Musa Çelebi conquered the city killing and displacing inhabitants. The city was the centre of the Rumelia Eyalet between 1364–1443, a sanjak centre of it between 1443-1593, the sanjak centre in Silistra Eyalet between 1593-1826, the sanjak centre in Eyalet of Adrianople between 1826-1867 and the sanjak centre of Edirne Vilayet between 1867–1878. During that period Plovdiv was a major economic center along with Constantinople, Edirne and Thessaloniki. The richer citizens constructed beautiful houses many of which can still be seen in the Architectural reserve Old Plovdiv.

National revival

Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Filibe, the name of the city then, was a focal point for the Bulgarian national movement and survived as one of the major cultural centers for Bulgarian culture and tradition.

Filibe was described as consisting of Turks, Bulgarians, Hellelnized Bulgarians, Armenians, Jews, Vlachs, Arvanites, Greeks and Roma people. In the 16-17 century a significant number of Sephardic Jews settled along with a smaller Armenian community from Galicia. The Paulicians adopted Catholicism or lost their identity. With the abolishment of Slavonic as the language of the Bulgarian Church and the complete abolition of the church in 1767, the introduction of the Millet System, a doctrine of ethnic division by religion, Christian and Muslim Bulgarians were subjected to Hellenization and Turkification respectively. A major part of it was fully or partly Hellenized and was of Greek identity more in the sense of “Romei than Ellines, in a cultural rather than an ethnic sense, the "Langeris" are also described as Greeks from the area of the nearby Stenimachos. This process of Hellenization flourished up until the 1830s and declined with the Tanzimat, the idea of the Hellenic nation instead of the Romeic millet as Hellenes meant pagans to the Christians and finally with the re-establishment of the Bulgarian Church in 1870. According to records of the households and owners/renters in the central part of Plovdiv in the middle 19th century provided by Bulgarian and Greek chroniclers Genchev and Lyberatos, of a total of 358/421 the Bulgarians were either 141 or 118 and constituted 39.4% or 33.7%, the Gudilas were 94 or 141 constituting 26.3% or 38.1%, while the Langeris were 36-39 and between 10.1% and 10.5%, while according to the Bulgarian author the Bulgarian parents with children Gulidas were another 41 (11.4%).[73][74] Thus, although there is a little doubt about the Bulgarian origin of the Gulidas, the city could be considered of Greek or Bulgarian majority in the 19th century, on whether the Gudilas were considered part of the one or the other community.[75] According to the statistics by the Bulgarian and Greek authors there is no Turks in the city, according to an alternative estimate the city was of Turkish majority then.[76]

Filibe had an important role in the struggle for Church independence which was according to some historians a peaceful bourgeois revolution. Filibe became the center of that struggle with leaders such as Nayden Gerov, Dr Valkovich, Joakim Gruev and whole families. In 1836 the first Bulgarian school was inaugurated and in 1850 modern secular education began when the "St Cyrill and Metodius" school was opened. On 11 May 1858 the day of Saints Cyril and Methodius was celebrated for the first time, this later became a National holiday which is still celebrated today (but on the 24th May due to Bulgaria's 1916 transition from the Old Style (i.e. Julian) to the New Style calendar, i.e. the Gregorian calendar). In 1858 in the Church of Virgin Mary the Christmas liturgy was served for the first time in the Bulgarian language since the beginning of the Ottoman occupation. Until 1906 there were Bulgarian and Greek bishops in the city. In 1868 the school expanded into the first grammar school. Some of the intellectuals, politicians and spiritual leaders of the nation graduated that school.[15]

The city was conquered by the Russians under Aleksandr Burago for several hours during the Battle of Philippopolis on January 17, 1878.[72] It was the capital of the Provisional Russian Administration in Bulgaria between May and October. According to the Russian census of the same year Filibe had a population of 24,000 citizens, of which ethnic Bulgarians comprised 45.4%, Turks - 23.1% and Greeks - 19.9%.

Eastern Rumelia

Main article: Bulgarian unification
Nebet Tepe, drawing from The Graphic - London, 1885
Taat tepe, in Plovdiv, with the governor's palace and Maritsa river in the foreground. Drawing from The Graphic - London, 1885

According to the Treaty of San Stefano on 3 March 1878 the Principality of Bulgaria included the lands with predominantly Bulgarian population. Plovdiv which was the biggest and most vibrant Bulgarian city was selected as a capital of the restored country and for a seat of the Temporary Russian Government.[77] Great Britain and Austria-Hungary, however, did not approve that treaty and the final result of the war was concluded in the Congress of Berlin which divided the newly liberated country into several parts. It separated the autonomous region of Eastern Rumelia from Bulgaria and Plovdiv became its capital. The Ottoman Empire created a constitution and appointed a governor.[78]

In the spring of 1885 Zahari Stoyanov formed the Secret Bulgarian Central Revolutionary Committee in the city which actively conducted propaganda for the unification of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia. On 5 September several hundred armed rebels from Golyamo Konare (now Saedinenie) marched to Plovdiv. In the night of 5–6 September these men led by Danail Nikolaev took control of the city and removed from office the General-Governor Gavril Krastevich. A provisional government was formed led by Georgi Stranski and universal mobilization was announced.[79] After the Serbs were defeated in the Serbo-Bulgarian War, Bulgaria and Turkey reached an agreement according to which the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia had a common government, Parliament, administration and army. Today 6 September is celebrated as the Unification Day and the Day of Plovdiv.

Recent history

After the unification, Plovdiv remained the second city in Bulgaria in population and significance after the capital Sofia. The first railway in the city was built in 1874 connecting it with the Ottoman capital, and in 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.

In the beginning of the 20th century Plovdiv grew as a significant industrial and commercial center with well-developed light and food industry. In 1927 the electrification of Plovdiv has started. German, French and Belgian capital was invested in the city in development of modern trade, banking and industry. In 1939 there were 16,000 craftsmen and 17,000 workers in manufacturing factories, mainly for food and tobacco processing. During the Second World War the tobacco industry expanded as well as the export of fruit and vegetables. In 1943 1,500 Jews were saved from deportation in concentration camps by the archbishop of Plovdiv, Cyril, who later became the Bulgarian Patriarch. In 1944 the city was bombed by British-American coalition.

Tobacco Depot workers went on strike on May the 4th, 1953. On 6 April 1956 the first trolleybus line was opened and in the 1950s the Trimontsium Hotel was constructed. In the 1960s and 1970s there was a construction boom and many of the modern neighborhoods took shape. In the 1970s and 1980s antique remains were excavated and the Old Town was fully restored. In 1990 the sports complex "Plovdiv" was finished. It included the largest stadium and rowing canal in the country. In that period Plovdiv became the birthplace of Bulgaria's movement for democratic reform, which by 1989 had garnered enough support to enter government.

Plovdiv has hosted specialized exhibitions of the World's Fair in 1981, 1985, and 1991.

Plovdiv was the first geographic location to be featured as a theme day in Reddit's Picturegame[80]


The population by permanent address for the municipality of Plovdiv for 2007 is 380,682,[81] which makes it the second in population in the nation. According to the data of NSI (National Institute of Statistics) the people who actually live in Plovdiv are 346,790.[82] According to the 2012 census 339,077 live within the city limits, and 403,153 in the municipal triangle of Plovdiv, including Maritsa municipality and Rodopi municipality, of which the city is the municipal center.[83] Population of Plovdiv:

Year 1887 1910 1934 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2005 2009 2011 2013
Population 33,032 47,981 99,883 126,563 161,836 225,508 299,638 342,131 341,058 338,224 341,9 338,2 338,153 341,041
Highest number 348,465 in 2009
Sources: National Statistical Institute,[84][85] „“,[86] „“,[87] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences[88]

At the first census after the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1880 with 24,053 citizens[89] Plovdiv is the second largest city behind Ruse, which had 26 163 citizens then,[90] while the capital Sofia had 20 501 citizens then. As of the 1887 census Plovdiv was the largest city in the country for several years with 33,032 inhabitants compared to 30,428 for Sofia. According to the 1946 census Plovdiv was the second largest city with 126,563 inhabitants compared to 487,000 for the capital.[77]

Ethnicity and religion

Census Total Bulgarians Turks Jews Greeks Armenians Roma Others Unspecified
1878 24 053[91] 10 909 (45.35%) 5558 (23.10%) 1134 (4.71%) 4781 (19.88%) 806 (3.35%) 865 (3.60%) 902 (3.75%)
1884[92] 33 442 16 752 (50,09%) 7144 (21,36%) 2168 (6,48%) 5497 (16,44%) 979 (2,93%) 112 902 (2,70%)
1887 33 032 19 542 56152202 3930 903 348 492
1892 36 033 20 854 6381 26963906 1024 237 935
1900 43 033 24 170 4708 3602 3908 1844 1934 2869
1910 47 981 32 72729464436 1571 1794 3524 983
1920 64 415 46 889 5605 5144 107137731342 591
1926 84 655 63 268 47485612 54958812746 1851
1934 99 883 77 4496102 5574 340 53162728 2374
1939 105 643 (100%) 82 012 (77,63%)6462 (6,12%)5960 (5,64%)200 (0,19%)6591 (6,24%)2982 (2,82%) 1436 (1,36%)
2001[93] 338,224 302 858 (89.5%)22,501 (6.7%)5,192 (1.5%) 5,764 (1.7%)1,909
2011[94][95] 338,153 277 804 (89.9%) 16 032 (5,2%)9,438 (3.1%) 1436 (1,36%)31,774

In its ethnic character Plovdiv is the second or the third largest cosmopolitan city inhabited by Bulgarians after Sofia and possibly Varna. According to the 2001 census from population of 338 224 inhabitants the Bulgarians were 302 858 (90%). Stolipinovo in Plovdiv is the largest Roma neighbourhood in the Balkans, having a population of around 20,000 alone, further Roma ghettos are Hadji Hassan Mahala and Sheker Mahala. Therefore, the census number is a deflation of the number of Roma people and they are most likely the second largest group after the Bulgarians, most of all because the Muslim Roma in Plovdiv claim to be of Turkish ethnicity and Turkish-speaking at the census ("Xoraxane Roma").[96] For further information see the article Roma people in Plovdiv. Like elsewhere in the country, Roma people are subjected to discrimination and segregation (See the Bulgaria section of the article Antiziganism).

After the Wars for National Union (Balkan Wars and World War I) the city became home for thousands of refugees from the former Bulgarian lands in Macedonia, Western and Eastern Thrace. Many of the old neighbourhoods are still referred to as Belomorski, Vardarski. Most of the Jews left the city after the foundation of Israel in 1948, as well as most of the Turks and Greeks. Prior to the population exchange, as of 1 January 1885, the city of Plovdiv had a population of 33,442, of which 16,752 were Bulgarians (50%), 7,144 Turks (21%), 5,497 Greeks (16%), 2,168 Jews (6%), 1,061 Armenians (3%), 151 Italians, 112 Germans, 112 Romani people, 80 French people, 61 Russians and 304 people of other nationalities.[92]

The vast majority of the inhabitants are Christians – mostly Eastern Orthodox — and there are Catholics, Eastern Catholics and Protestant trends (Adventists, Baptists and others). There are also some Muslims and Jews. In Plovdiv there are many churches, two mosques and one synagogue (see Plovdiv Synagogue).

City government

Plovdiv is the administrative center of Plovdiv Province, Municipality of Plovdiv, Maritsa municipality and Rodopi municipality. The mayor of the Municipality of Plovdiv, Ivan Totev,[97] with the six district mayors represent the local executive authorities. The Municipal Council which consists of 51 municipal counselors, represents the legislative power and is elected according to the proportional system by parties' lists.[98] The executive government of the Municipality of Plovdiv consists of a mayor who is elected by majority representation, five deputy mayors and one administrative secretary. All the deputy mayors and the secretary control their administrative structured units.

According to the Law for the territorial subdivision of the Capital municipality and the large cities[99] the territory of Plovdiv Municipality is subdivided into six district administrations, their mayors being appointed following approval by the Municipal Council.

Districts and Neighbourhoods

Number Neighbourhood Number Neighbourhood Number Neighbourhood Number Neighbourhood
1 Center 12 Sadiiski 23 Hristo Smirnenski 34 Sheker Mahala
2 Old Town 13 Stochna Gara 24 Proslav
3 Kamenitsa 1 14 Kyutchuk Paris 25 Mladezhki Halm
4 Kamenitsa 2 15 Vastannicheski 26 Otdih i Kultura
5 Izgrev 16 Belomorski 27 Marasha
6 Stolipinovo 17 Institut po Ovoshtarstvo 28 Maritsa Sever
7 Izgrev 18 Ostromila 29 Zaharna Fabrika
8 Industrial zone - East 19 Yuzhen 30 Karshiaka
9 Trakia 20 Tsentralna Gara 31 Gagarin
10 Industrial zone - Trakia 21 Komatevo 32 Industrial Zone - North
11 Industrial zone - South 22 Komatevski Vazel 33 Filipovo

In 1969 the villages of Proslav and Komatevo were incorporated into the city. In 1987 the municipalities of Maritsa and Rodopi were separated from Plovdiv which remained their administrative center. In the last several years the inhabitants from those villages had taken steps to rejoin the "urban" municipality.[100]

Main sights

The city has more than 200 archaeological sites,[101] 30 of which are of national importance. There are many remains from antiquity – Plovdiv is among the few cities with two ancient theatres; remains of the medieval walls and towers; Ottoman baths and mosques; a well-preserved old quarter from the National Revival period with beautiful houses, churches and narrow paved streets. There are numerous museums, art galleries and cultural institutions. Plovdiv is host to musical, theatrical and film events.

The city is a starting point for trips to places in the region, such as the Bachkovo Monastery at 30 km (19 mi) to the south, the ski-resort Pamporovo at 90 km (56 mi) to the south or the spa resorts to the north Hisarya, Banya, Krasnovo, Strelcha.[102]

Roman City

The Ancient theatre (Antichen teatur) is probably the best-known monument from antiquity in Bulgaria.[103] It was built in the beginning of the 2nd century during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan. It is situated in the natural saddle between two of the Three Hills. It is divided into two parts with 14 rows each divided with a horizontal lane. The theatre could accommodate up to 7,000 people.[104] The three-story scene is on the southern part and is decorated with friezes, cornices and statues. The theatre was studied, conserved and restored between 1968 and 1984. Many events are still held on the scene[105] including the Verdi festival and the International Folklore festival. The Roman Odeon was restored in 2004.[106] It was built in the 2nd–5th centuries and is the second (and smaller) antique theatre of Philipopolis with 350 seats. It was initially built as a bulevterion – edifice of the city council – and was later reconstructed as a theatre.

The Ancient Stadium[107] is another important monument of the ancient city. It was built in the 2nd century during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. It is situated between Danov Hill and one of the Three Hills, nowadays – beneath the main street from Dzhumaya Square to Kamenitsa Square. It was modeled after the stadium in Delphi. It was approximately 240 meters long and 50 meters wide, and could seat up to 30 000 spectators. The athletic games at the stadium were organised by the General Assembly of the province of Thrace. In their honour the royal mint of Philippopolis coined money featuring the face of the ruling emperor as well as the types of athletic events held in the stadium. Only a small part of the northern section with 14 seat rows can be seen today; the larger part lies under the main street and a number of buildings.

The Roman forum dates from the reign of Vespasian in the 1st century and was finished in the 2nd century. It is near the modern post office next to the Odeon. It has an area of 11 hectares and was surrounded by shops and public buildings. The forum was a focal point of the streets of the ancient city.[108]

The Eirene Residence is in the southern part of the Three Hills on the northern part of an ancient street in the Archeological underpass. It includes remains of a public building from the 3rd–4th centuries which belonged to a noble citizen. Eirene is the Christian name for Penelopa – a maiden from Megadon who was converted to Christianity in the 2nd century. There are colourful mosaics which have geometrical forms and figures.[109]

On Nebet hill are the remains of the first settlement which in 12th century BC grew to the Thracian city of Eumolpias, one of the first cities in Southeastern Europe. Massive walls surrounding a temple and a palace have been excavated. The oldest part of the fortress was constructed from large syenite blocks – the so-called "cyclopean construction".

Museums and protected sites

The Archaeological Museum was established in 1882 as the People's Museum of Eastern Rumelia.[110] In 1928 the museum was moved to a 19th-century edifice on Saedinenie Square built by Plovdiv architect Josef Schnitter. The museum contains a rich collection of Thracian art. The three sections "Prehistory",[111] "Antiquity"[112] and "Middle Ages"[113] contain precious artifacts from the Paleolithic to the early Ottoman period (15th–16th centuries).[114] The famous Panagyurishte treasure is part of the museum's collection.[115]

The Historical Museum of Plovdiv[116] was founded in 1951 as a scientific and cultural institute for collecting, saving, and researching historical evidence about Plovdiv and the region from 16th to 20th centuries. The exhibition is situated in three buildings.[114]

The Regional Ethnographic Museum – Plovdiv was inaugurated in 1917. On 14 October 1943 it was moved to a house in the Old Town. In 1949 the Municipal House-museum was reorganized as a People's Ethnographic Museum and in 1962 it was renovated. There are more than 40,000 objects.[114]

The Museum of Natural Science was inaugurated in 1955 in the old edifice of the Plovdiv Municipality built in 1880. It is among the most important museums in the country with rich collections in its Paleontology, Mineralogy and Botanic sections. There are several rooms for wildlife and it contains Bulgaria's largest freshwater aquarium with 40 fish species.[114] It has a collection of minerals from the Rhodope mountains.

The Museum of Aviation was established on 21 September 1991 on the territory of the Krumovo airbase[117] 12 km (7 mi) to the southeast of the city. The museum possesses 59 aircraft and indoor and outdoor exhibitions.[114]

The Old Town of Plovdiv is a historic preservation site known for its Bulgarian Renaissance architectural style. The Old Town covers the area of the three central hills (Трихълмие, Trihalmie). Almost every house in the Old Town has its characteristic exterior and interior decoration.

Churches, mosques and temples

There are a number of 19th-century churches, most of which follow the distinctive Eastern Orthodox construction style. They are the Saint Constantine and Saint Helena, the Saint Marina, the Saint Nedelya, the Saint Petka and the Holy Mother of God Churches. As the city have been for a long period of time a gathering center for the Orthodox Christians Plovdiv is surrounded by several monasteries located at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains - like "St. George", "St Kozma and Damian", St Kirik and Yulita(Ulita). They keep a good examples of the late Middle Age Orthodox architecture as well some iconography masterpieces typical for the region. There are also Roman Catholic cathedrals in Plovdiv, the largest of them being the Cathedral of St Louis. There are several more modern Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other Protestant churches, as well as older style Apostolic churches. Two mosques remain in Plovdiv from the time of the Ottoman rule. The Djumaya Mosque is considered the oldest European mosque outside Moorish Spain.

The Sephardic Plovdiv Synagogue is at Tsar Kaloyan Street 13, in the remnants of a small courtyard in what was once a large Jewish quarter. Dating to the 19th century, it is one of the best-preserved examples of the so-called "Ottoman-style" synagogues in the Balkans. According to author Ruth E. Gruber, the interior of the Plovdiv Synagogue is a "hidden treasure…a glorious, if run-down, burst of color." An exquisite Venetian glass chandelier hangs from the center of the ceiling, which has a richly painted dome. All surfaces are covered in elaborate, Moorish-style, geometric designs in once-bright greens and blues. Torah scrolls are kept in the gilded Aron-ha-Kodesh.[118]


Theatre and music

A preserved medieval street in the Old town
A performance in the Roman Odeon

The Plovdiv Drama Theatre[119] is a successor of the first professional theatre group in Bulgaria founded in 1881. The Plovdiv Puppet Theatre, founded in 1948, remains one of the leading institutions in this genre. The Plovdiv Opera was established in 1953.

Another pillar of Plovdiv's culture is the Philharmonic, founded in 1945.[120] Soloists such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yuri Boukov and Mincho Minchev have worked with the Plovdiv Philharmonic. The orchestra has toured in almost all of the European countries.

The Trakiya Folklore Ensemble, founded in 1974, has performed thousands of concerts in Bulgaria and more than 42 countries.[121] The Trakiya Traditional Choir was nominated for a Grammy Award. The Detska Kitka Choir is one of the oldest and best-known youth choirs in Bulgaria, winner of numerous awards from international choral competitions. The Evmolpeya choir is another girls' choir from Plovdiv, whose patron when it was established in 2006 became the then mayor Ivan Chomakov. The choir was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador and a municipal choir.


Plovdiv is among the nation's primary literary centres – in 1855 Hristo G. Danov created the first Bulgarian publishing company and later the first printing-press.[122] The city's traditions as a literary centre are preserved by the first public library in Bulgaria, the Ivan Vazov National Library, by the 19 chitalishta (cultural centres) and by numerous booksellers and publishers. The library was founded in 1879[123] and named after the famous Bulgarian writer and poet Ivan Vazov who worked in Plovdiv for five years creating some of his best works.[124] Today the Ivan Vazov National Library is the second largest national library institution with more than 1,5 million books,[125] owning rare Bulgarian and European publications.


The Art Gallery of Plovdiv

The city has traditions in iconography since the Middle Ages. During the Period of National Revival a number of notable icon-painters (called in Bulgarian zografi, зографи) from all regions of the country worked in Plovdiv  Dimitar Zograf and his son Zafir Zograf, Zahari Zograf, Georgi Danchov and others.[72] After the Liberation, the Bulgarian painter of Czech origin Ivan Mrkvička came to work in the city. The Painters' Society was established there by artists from southern Bulgaria in 1912, whose members included painters Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Tsanko Lavrenov and Sirak Skitnik.

Today the city has 30 art galleries. The Art Gallery of Plovdiv was founded in the late 19th century.[126] It possesses 5,000 pieces of art in four buildings. Since 1981, it has had a section for Mexican art donated by Mexican painters in honour of the 1,300-year anniversary of the Bulgarian State.

European Capital of Culture

On 5 September 2014 Plovdiv was selected as Bulgarian host of European Capital of Culture in 2019.[6] The city will co-host the event with Matera and another city (yet to be decided).

After Plovdiv was elected as European Capital of Culture in 2019, an ambitious cultural program has started its realisation. According to it in Plovdiv there will be an Island of Arts in the middle of the Maritsa River. The "Kapana" area (the "Trap") will become a quarter of the arts, where the creative industries are going to be developed and presented. For 2019 the City Under the Hills is planning a number of concerts, including "Balkan Music in Plovdiv".The city will host the Plovdiv Biennale and a number of international forums, such as a meeting of collectors from Europe, a summer art school, dance projects, etc. [127]


Main article: Economy of Plovdiv

GVA by sector (2013)

  Agriculture (5%)
  Industry (57%)
  Services (38%)

Employees by sector (2014)

  Manufacturing (36%)
  Commerce (16%)
  Education (8%)
  Healthcare (7%)
  Transport (6%)
  Other (27%)

Located in the middle of a rich agricultural region, since the beginning of the 20th century Plovdiv grew as an industrial center. Food processing, tobacco, brewing and textiles were the main pillars of the industry.[128] During Communist rule the city's economy greatly expanded and was dominated by heavy industry; it still produces lead and zinc, machinery, electronics, motor trucks, chemicals and cosmetics. After the fall of Communism in 1989 and the collapse of Bulgaria's planned economy, a number of industrial complexes were closed.

Plovdiv has one of the country's largest economies, contributing for 7.5% of Bulgaria's GDP as of 2014.[129] In 2014, more than 35 thousand companies operate in the region which create jobs for 285,000 people.[129] The advantages of Plovdiv include the central geographic location, good infrastructure and large population. Plovdiv has international airport, terminal for intermodal transport, several connection with Trakia motorway (connecting Sofia and Burgas), proximity to Maritsa motorway (the main corridor to Turkey), well-developed road and rail infrastructure.

The economy of Plovdiv has long tradition in manufacturing, commerce, transport, communications and tourism.

Economic Indicators

Indicator Unit 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
GDP BGN million 5,539 6,062 6,178 6,374 6,273
Share in Bulgaria's GDP % 7.5 7.6 7.6 7.8 7.5
GDP per capita BGN 7,924 8,888 9,087 9,394 9,268
Population Number 696,300 680,884 678,860 678,197 675,586
Average annual number of employees under labor contract Number 208,438 207,599 205,876 203,933 207,057
Average salary of employees under labor contract BGN 6,462 6,889 7,418 7,922 8,504
Economic activity rate % 64.9 64.2 67.7 70.7 71.7
Unemployment rate % 8.5 8.8 11.2 13.4 13.1
FDI EUR million 1.118 1.259 1.340 1.648 1.546

Source: The National Statistical Institute[129]


Industry has been the sole leader in attracting investment. Industry has been expanding again since the late 1990s, with manufacturing plants built in the city or in its outskirts, mainly the municipality of Maritsa. In this period, some €500,000,000 has been invested in construction of new factories. Trakia Economic Zone which is one of the largest industrial zones in Eastern Europe, is located around Plovdiv. Some of the biggest companies in the region include the Austrian utility company EVN, PIMK (transport), Insa Oil (fuels), Liebherr (refrigerator plant), Magna International 9automotive industry), Bella Bulgaria (food manufacturing), Socotab (tobacco processing), ABB Group, Schneider Electric, Osram, Sensata Technologies, etc.

Shopping and commerce

The commercial sector is developing quickly. Shopping centers have been built mainly in the Central district and the district of Trakiya. Those include Shopping Center Grand,[130] Market Center[131] and two more all on the Kapitan Raycho Street,[131] Forum in Trakiya, Excelsior and others. Plovdiv has three large shopping centers: malls – the €40 million Mall of Plovdiv (opened 2009) with a shopping area of 22,000 m2 (236,806.03 sq ft), 11 cinema halls and parking for 700 cars,[132] €50 mln. Markovo tepe Mall (opened 2016),[133] and Galeria Mall which is 6 stories high with 127 000 sq.m area, half of which is the parking lot and the rest is shopping area.

Due to high demand for business office space new office and commercial buildings have been built. Several hypermarkets have been built mainly on the outskirts of the city: Metro, Kaufland, Triumf, Praktiker, Billa, Mr. Bricolage, Baumax, Technopolis, Technomarket Europa, and others. The main shopping area is the central street with its shops, cafés and restaurants. A number of cafés, craftsmen workshops and souvenir shops are in the Old Town and the small streets in the centre, known among the locals as "The Trap" (Bulgarian: Капана).

The Plovdiv International Fair, held annually since 1892, is the largest and oldest fair in the country and all of southeastern Europe, gathering companies from all over the world in an exhibition area of 138,000 m2 (1,485,419.64 sq ft) located on a territory of 352,000 m2 (3,788,896.47 sq ft) on the northern banks of the Maristsa river.[134] It attracts more than 600,000 visitors from many countries.[135]

The city has had a duty-free zone since 1987. It has a customs terminal handling cargo from trucks and trains.[135]


Plovdiv has a geographical position which makes it an international transport hub. Three of the ten Pan-European corridors run into or near the city: Corridor IV (DresdenBucharestSofia-Plovdiv- Istanbul), Corridor VIII (Durrës-Sofia-Plovdiv-Varna/Burgas) and Corridor X (SalzburgBelgrade-Plovdiv-Istanbul).[136][137] A major tourist centre, Plovdiv lies at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains, and most people wishing to explore the mountains choose it as their trip's starting point.

The city is a major road and railway hub in southern Bulgaria:[138] the Trakia motorway (A1) is only at 5 km (3 mi) to the north. It lies on the important national route from Sofia to Burgas via Stara Zagora. First-class roads lead to Sofia to the west, Karlovo to the north, Asenovgrad and Kardzhali to the south, Stara Zagora and Haskovo to the east. There are intercity buses which link Plovdiv with cities and towns all over the country and many European countries. They are based in three bus stations: South, Rodopi and North.

Railway transport in the city dates back to 1872 when it became a station on the LyubimetsBelovo railway line. There are railway lines to Sofia, Panagyurishte, Karlovo, Peshtera, Stara Zagora, Dimitrovgrad and Asenovgrad. There are three railway stations  Plovdiv Central, Trakia and Filipovo  as well as a freight station.[136]

Plovdiv has a large public transport system,[139] including around 29 main and 10 extra bus lines. However, there are no trams in the city, and the Plovdiv trolleybus system was closed in autumn 2012.[140] Six bridges span the Maritsa river including a railway bridge and a covered bridge. There are important road junctions to the south, southwest and north.

Map of Plovdiv's cycling infrastructure
Green: built
Orange: planned

Plovdiv has a well-developed cycling infrastructure which covers almost all districts of the city. The total length of the cycling roads is 60 km (48 km are completed and 12 km under construction). The city has a total of 690 bike parkings. Map of the cycling infrastructure in Plovdiv: External link

The number of registered private automobiles in the city increased from 178,104 in 2005 to 234,298 in 2009.[141] or some 658 cars per 1,000 inhabitants[142]

The Plovdiv International Airport is near the village of Krumovo, 5 km (3 mi) southeast of the city. It takes charter flights from Europe and has scheduled services with Ryanair to London and Frankfurt-Hahn and S7 to Moscow. Many small airports are in the city's surroundings, including the Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Graf Ignatievo to the north of Plovdiv.

The BIAF Airshow is held every two years on the Krumovo airbase, one of the biggest airshows in the Balkans.


Around two thirds of the citizens (62,38%) have secondary, specialized or higher education. That percentage increased in the period from 1992 to 2001.[143]

Plovdiv has 78 schools including elementary, high, foreign language, mathematics, technical and art schools. There are also 10 private schools and a seminary. The number of pupils for 2005 was 36,964 and has been constantly decreasing since the mid-1990 due to lower birth rate.[143] Among the most prestigious schools are the English Language School, the High School of Mathematics, the Ivan Vazov Language School, the National Schools of Commerce  Plovdiv,[144] the English Academy,[145] the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts Plovdiv,[146] and the French High School of Plovdiv.[147]

The city has six universities and a number of state and private colleges and branches of other universities. Those include Plovdiv University,[148] with 900 lecturers and employees and 13,000 students; the Plovdiv Medical University, with 2,600 students;[149] the Medical College; the Technical University of Sofia  Branch Plovdiv;[150] the Agricultural University  Plovdiv;[151] the University of Food Technologies;[152] the Academy for Music, Dance and Fine Arts;[153] and others.[143]

The 2009 International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) was held at the University of Plovdiv "Paisiy Hilendarski", between 8 and 15 August 2009. The 2009 IOI Honorary Patron was Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.

Between 1875 and 1906, the Zariphios School was one of the local Greek educational institutions that provided elementary and secondary education.[154]

Sports and recreation

Plovdiv Sports Complex consists of Plovdiv Stadium with several additional football fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, a rowing base with a 2 km-long channel, restaurants and cafés in a spacious park in the western part of the city, just south of the Maritsa river. There are also playgrounds for the children. It is popular among the citizens and guests of Plovdiv who use it for jogging, walking and relaxation. Plovdiv Stadium has 55,000 seats which makes it the largest football venue in Bulgaria.[155]

Other stadiums include Stadion Botev (under re-construction), Lokomotiv (10,000 seats), Maritsa Stadium (5,000 seats) and Todor Diev Stadium (7,000 seats). There are seven indoor sports halls: Kolodruma, University Hall, Olimpia, Lokomotiv, Dunav, Stroitel, Chaika, Akademik, Total Sport. In 2006, Aqualand, a water park, was opened near the city centre.[156] Several smaller water parks are in the city as well.

Football is the most popular sport in the city; Plovdiv has three professional teams. The city has PFC Botev Plovdiv, founded in 1912 and PFC Lokomotiv, founded in 1926.[157] Both teams are a regular fixture in the top Bulgarian league. The rivalry between them is considered to be even more fierce than the one between Levski and CSKA of Sofia. There are two other football clubs in the city – Maritsa FC (founded in 1921) and Spartak Plovdiv (1947).[158]

Plovdiv is host of the international boxing tournament "Strandzha" which takes place since 1949.[159] In 2007, 96 boxers from 20 countries participated in the tournament. There is a horse racing club and a horse base near the city. Plovdiv has several volleyball and basketball teams.

A view from the City garden.

Three of the city's seven hills are protected natural territories since 1995. Two of the first parks in Bulgaria are located in the city center   Tsar Simeon garden - city garden (where the very first work of the Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi could be seen) and Dondukov garden - old city garden. Some of the larger parks include the Botanical garden, Beli Brezi, Ribnitsa and Lauta.

Notable citizens

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Sign showing Plovdiv 's sister cities.

Plovdiv is twinned with the following cities:[160][161]


The asteroid (minor planet) 3860 Plovdiv is named after the city. It was discovered by the Belgian astronomer Eric W. Elst and the Bulgarian astronomer Violeta G. Ivanova on 8 August 1986. Plovdiv Peak (1,040 m or 3,412 ft) on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, is also named after Plovdiv.


See also


  2. "Functional Urban Areas - Population on 1 January by age groups and sex". Eurostat. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  3. 1 2 „Philippopolis Album“, Kesyakova Elena, Raytchev Dimitar, Hermes, Sofia, 2012, ISBN 978-954-26-1117-2
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 History (Plovdiv) Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Official website in English
  5. 1 2 "Plovdiv to be 2019 European Capital of Culture in Bulgaria". Official website of the European Union. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 Arch museum Archived 27 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Odrison Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. 1 2 3 4
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 32 quote
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kamen Kolev Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  16. STRABO GEOGRAPHY Archived 11 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. Ἀπόλλωνι Κενδρισῳ Βειθυς Κοτυος ἱερεὺς Συρίας θεᾶς δῶρον ἀνε-
  18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  20. Mikalson, Jon D. (2010). Ancient Greek religion (2nd ed.). Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 57. ISBN 9781444358193. ...whose champion was the Thracian Eumolpus, a son of Poseidon.
  21. "A Classical Dictionary".
  22. Alicia Morales Ortiz, Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas, Carmen Martínez Campillo (eds.). The Teaching of modern greek in Europe. EDITUM. p. 64. ISBN 84-8371-938-X.
  23. "Plovdiv Encyclopedia".
  24. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  25. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  27. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  28. Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration Among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900–1949, Theodora Dragostinova, Cornell University Press, 2011, ISBN 0-8014-4945-6,underline remark # 47.
  29. avtori Evgeni Dinchev ...; et al. (2002). Пътеводител България (in Bulgarian). София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. p. 145. ISBN 954-9942-32-5.
  30. "Седемте чудеса на България – Пловдив". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  31. Общински план за развитие на Пловдив 2005 – 2013 г. Archived 14 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine., посетен на 10 ноември 2007 г.
  32. 1 2 Cappelen, John; Jensen, Jens. "Bulgarien - Plovdiv" (PDF). Climate Data for Selected Stations (1931-1960) (in Danish). Danish Meteorological Institute. p. 42. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  33. Райчевски, Георги (2002). Пловдивска енциклопедия. Пловдив: Издателство ИМН. p. 341. ISBN 978-954-491-553-7.
  34. Кесякова, Елена; Александър Пижев, Стефан Шивачев, Недялка Петрова (1999). Книга за Пловдив. Пловдив: Издателство „Полиграф“. pp. 17–19. ISBN 954-9529-27-4. Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  35. Darik Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. "Plovdiv: New ventures for Europe's oldest inhabited city" Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. The Courier. January–February 2010.
  37. Детев П., Известия на музейте в Южна България т. 1 (Bulletin des musees de la Bulgarie du sud), 1975г., с.27, ISSN 0204-4072 Archived 23 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  38. Детев, П. Разкопки на Небет тепе в Пловдив, ГПАМ, 5, 1963, pp. 27–30.
  39. Ботушарова, Л. Стратиграфски проучвания на Небет тепе, ГПАМ, 5, 1963, pp. 66–70.
  40. Archeological investigation of Plovdiv Archived 14 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine. European Capital of Culture for 2019 (in Bulgarian)
  41. Елена Кесякова; Александър Пижев; Стефан Шивачев; Недялка Петрова (1999). Книга за Пловдив (in Bulgarian). Пловдив: Издателство „Полиграф“. pp. 20–21. ISBN 954-9529-27-4.
  42. The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth,ISBN 0-19-860641-9," page 1515, "The Thracians were subdued by the Persians by 516"
  43. The orders, medals, and history of the Kingdom of Bulgaria by Dimitri Romanoff, p. 9
  44. История на България, Том 1, Издателство на БАН, София, 1979, p. 206.
  45. Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great by A. B. Bosworth s,"page 12,"Cambridge University Pres"
  46. Bulgaria. University of Indiana. 1979. p. 4.
  47. Dimitrov, B. (2002). The Bulgarians – the first Europeans (in Bulgarian). Sofia: University press "St Climent of Ohrid". p. 17. ISBN 954-07-1757-4.
  48. История на България, Том 1, Издателство на БАН, София, 1979, p. 307.
  49. Lenk, B. – RE, 6 A, 1936 col. 454 sq.
  50. Римски и ранновизантийски градове в България, p. 183
  51. "Cultural Corridors of South East Europe/Diagonal Road". Association for Cultural Tourism.
  52. Николов, Д. Нови данни за пътя Филипопол-Ескус, София, 1958, p. 285
  53. Dimitrov, B. (2002). The Bulgarians – the first Europeans (in Bulgarian). Sofia: University press "St Climent of Ohrid". pp. 18–19. ISBN 954-07-1757-4.
  54. Archived 12 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine., посетен на 10 ноември 2007 г.
  55. Елена Кесякова; Александър Пижев; Стефан Шивачев; Недялка Петрова (1999). Книга за Пловдив (in Bulgarian). Пловдив: Издателство „Полиграф“. pp. 47–48. ISBN 954-9529-27-4.
  56. Roman Plovdiv: History Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  57. Dimitrov, B. (2002). The Bulgarians – the first Europeans (in Bulgarian). Sofia: University press "St Climent of Ohrid". p. 25. ISBN 954-07-1757-4.
  58. Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 66 ISBN 954-427-216-X.
  59. Gjuzelev, p. 130 (Gjuzelev, V., (1988) Medieval Bulgaria, Byzantine Empire, Black Sea, Venice, Genoa (Centre Culturel du Monde Byzantin). Published by Verlag Baier).
  60. Bulgarian Historical Review, p. 9 (Bulgarian Historical Review (2005), United Center for Research and Training in History, published by Publishing House of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, v.33:no.1-4).
  61. Делев, "Българската държава и общество при управлението на цар Петър", История и цивилизация за 11. клас, 2006.
  62. Fine, pp. 160–161, 186: John V.A. Fine Jr., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1983.
  63. Vacalopoulos, Apostolos E. Origins of the Greek Nation. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1970) p. 22.
  64. Агенция Фокус – Цар Калоян получава корона, скиптър и знаме от кардинал Лъв, посетен на 17 ноември 2007 г.
  65. Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 180 ISBN 954-427-216-X.
  66. Fine, John v.a. The Late Medieval Balkans. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-472-08260-5.
  67. Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 253 ISBN 954-427-216-X.
  68. Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 272 ISBN 954-427-216-X.
  69. Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 274 ISBN 954-427-216-X.
  70. 1 2 3 avtori Evgeni Dinchev ...; et al. (2002). Пътеводител България (in Bulgarian). София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. p. 139. ISBN 954-9942-32-5.
  71. Graecomans Archived 19 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  72. Detrez, Raymon (2003). Relations between Greeks and Bulgarians: The Gudilas of Plovid. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. p. 34,36. ISBN 978-0-7546-0998-8.
  73. Detrez, Raymon (2003). Relations between Greeks and Bulgarians: The Gudilas of Plovid. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7546-0998-8. deciding whether Plovdiv had a Bulgarian or a Greek majority depends on whether the gudilas are considered as Bulgarians or Greeks
  74. Roth, ed. by Ralf; Beachy, Robert (2007). Who ran the cities? : city elites and urban power structures in Europe and North America, 1750-1940. Aldershot [u.a.]: Ashgate. pp. 189–190. ISBN 9780754651536.
  75. 1 2 Очерци из историята на Пловдив (стр. 80 – Космополитен град. Махали и квартали в ново време)
  76. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, History and Geography Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Archived copy at WebCite (20 April 2006).
  77. Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 322 ISBN 954-427-216-X.
  79. "General Directorate of Citizens' Registration and Administrative Services: Population Chart by permanent and tempoprary address (for provinces and municipalities) as of 15 September 2010, (Bulgarian). Retrieved on 17 September 2010". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  80. "". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  81. "Население към 01.02.2011 година в област Пловдив". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  82. Bulgarian National Statistical Institute – Bulgarian towns in 2009 Archived 13 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine..
  83. Urban Audit - The City of Plovdiv.
  84. "WorldCityPopulation".
  85. "". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  86. (Bulgarian) Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
  87. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  88. Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  89. ИЗТОЧНА РУМЕЛИЯ МЕЖДУ ЕВРОПА И ОРИЕНТА, посетен на 17 януари 2008 г.
  90. 1 2 "Източна Румелия между Европа и Ориента" (in Bulgarian). Регионален исторически музей Пловдив. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
  91. "Municipal development plan of Plovdiv (incl. 2001 census data)" (PDF). Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  92. (Bulgarian) Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute
  93. Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (Bulgarian)
  94. "The Relations of Ethnic and Confessional Consciousness of Roma in Bulgaria", Elena Marushiakova, Vesselin Popov
  95. "Кмет". Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  96. "Община Пловдив".
  97. Law for the territorial subdivision of the Capital municipality and the large cities, посетен на 16 ноември 2007 г.
  98. Темите на 2007–ма: Ягодово – квартал на Пловдив,, 3 February 2008 г.
  99. Balabanov, G. (2005). This is Bulgaria (in Bulgarian and English). Sofia. p. 371. ISBN 954-91672-1-6.
  100. Balabanov, G. (2005). This is Bulgaria (in Bulgarian and English). Sofia. p. 395. ISBN 954-91672-1-6.
  101. "Античен театър – Пловдив, информация за градове, региони, забележителности::". PureBulgaria. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  102. "The Ancient theatre". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  103. avtori Evgeni Dinchev ...; et al. (2002). Пътеводител България (in Bulgarian). София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. p. 140. ISBN 954-9942-32-5.
  104. The Roman odeon Archived 25 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine..
  105. The Ancient stadium of Philippopolis Archived 14 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  106. avtori Evgeni Dinchev ...; et al. (2002). Пътеводител България (in Bulgarian). София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. p. 138. ISBN 954-9942-32-5.
  107. Eirene Archaeological complex.
  108. Archaeological Museum Plovdiv Archived 18 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  109. Archaeological Museum Plovdiv – Prehistoric art. Archived 18 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  110. Archaeological Museum Plovdiv – Roman art. Archived 4 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  111. Archaeological Museum Plovdiv – Middle Ages art. Archived 4 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  112. 1 2 3 4 5 Museums of Plovdiv Archived 26 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine..
  113. Archaeological Museum Plovdiv – Panagyurishte treasure. Archived 6 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  114. "Plovdiv Regional Historical Museum". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  115. "Museum of Aviation". Infoplovdiv. 16 February 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  116. "Synagogue of Plovdiv, Bulgaria". 5 October 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  117. "Drama Theatre Plovdiv". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  118. "Philharmonic of Plovdiv". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  119. Trakiya Folklore Ensemble Archived 29 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (in Bulgarian).
  120. "Hristo Danov". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  121. "History of the Ivan Vazov National Library". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  122. With the exception of Under the Yoke the other significant works of Ivan Vazov (Nemili-nedragi, Eppopee of the Forgotten, Uncles) were written in Plovdiv.
  123. "Structure of the Ivan Vazov National Library". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  124. "Art Gallery of Plovdiv" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  126. "Plovdiv – BGP". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  127. 1 2 3 NSI (in Bulgarian)
  128. Grand Trade Center to open in Plovdiv. Archived 11 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  129. 1 2 "Пет големи търговски центъра слагат край на сергиите в центъра на Пловдив". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  130. "Construction of Mall of Plovdiv begins". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  131. "A Bulgarian-Israeli company to build a mall in Plovdiv". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  132. "Plovdiv International Fair". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  133. 1 2 Balabanov, G. (2005). This is Bulgaria (in Bulgarian and English). Sofia. p. 393. ISBN 954-91672-1-6.
  134. 1 2 Transport in Plovdiv Archived 4 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine..
  135. See the map.
  136. avtori Evgeni Dinchev ...; et al. (2002). Пътеводител България (in Bulgarian). София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. pp. 143–144. ISBN 954-9942-32-5.
  137. "A map of the Plovdiv Public transport". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  138. Trolleybus Magazine No. 308 (March–April 2013), p. 47. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
  139. "Statistics of the European Cities  City of Plovdiv (in Bulgarian).
  140. "Eurostat. Transport in Urban Audit cities, core city".
  141. 1 2 3 "Information for Plovdiv – Education". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  142. "National School of Commerce – Plovdiv". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  143. "English Academy Plovdiv". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  144. "National School for Music and Dance Art Plovdiv" Archived 1 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine..
  145. Vassil Todorov. "French High School of Plovdiv". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  146. "University of Plovdiv "Paisiy Hilendarski"". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  147. "Medical University". 29 June 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  148. "Technical University of Sofia, Plovdiv branch". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  149. "University of Agriculture". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  150. University of Food Technologies. Archived 10 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  151. Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts. Archived 6 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  152. Cornis-Pope, Marcel; Neubauer, John (2006). History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe: junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 143. ISBN 978-960-98903-5-9.
  153. "World Stadiums". World Stadiums. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  154. webmaster (4 August 2006). "Aqualand". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  155. "Official site of Lokomotiv Plòvdiv". 28 May 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  156. "Spartak Plovdiv". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  157. "International boxing tournament Strandzha". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  158. "Plovdiv Sister cities". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  159. "Plovdiv Twinning". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  160. Gyumri: Sister Cities Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  161. Plovdiv: Sister Cities Archived 13 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  162. "Kardeş Şehirler". Bursa Büyükşehir Belediyesi Basın Koordinasyon Merkez. Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  163. "Twin cities of the City of Kosice". Magistrát mesta Košice, Tr. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  164. "Twinning Cities". City of Thessaloniki. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  165. "Plovdiv has yet another sister city". Retrieved 1 March 2015.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Plovdiv.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Plovdiv.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Philippopolis.

Coordinates: 42°9′N 24°45′E / 42.150°N 24.750°E / 42.150; 24.750

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.