10 attractive tourist routes have been developed by the Municipal Enterprise “Tourism” in Plovdiv. If you follow their path you can plunge into the heart of the city under the hills and discover its secrets, which sometimes remain outside the traditional packages offered to tourists.
Among the most interesting and well-known sights in Plovdiv are those of the time when the city was within the boundaries of the Roman Empire. If you decide to tour the monuments of this age, do not miss to visit the Antique Theater, the Roman Stadium, the Forum of Philippopolis, the Aqueduct and the late antique building “Eirene”, where besides well-preserved mosaics you can see a unique collection of glass vessels. This route is enriched every year after the ongoing archeological works, and you can soon find the “Great Basilica”, which is among the municipality’s proposals for an object to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the East Gate of Philippopolis.
The second alternative route offered by the Municipal Enterprise “Tourism” is to visit the sights of the Ottoman domination. From this period in Plovdiv, there are many preserved monuments, most of which are in the very center of the city. Dzhumaya Mosque will amaze you with your unique decoration, and to feel the spirit of the era, you can also enjoy a Turkish coffee with a baklava close to it. Among the other objects included in the route is the Lala Pasha Bridge, which is actually today’s covered bridge and the complex with an imaret or place, usually near a mosque where free food was given to the poor. You can also visit Chifte bath, Uzun charshiya, Hyunkyar hamam, Kursumum inn, Sahat Tepe clock tower, Nebe tepe and Mevlevihaane complex – a dervish center in the past, now turned into a restaurant.
If you fly on the wings of love, take a walk through the objects on the Romantic Road or organize your wedding ceremony in one of them. The romantic road of Plovdiv starts in front of the garden of the Roman Stadium, continues through the Ritual Home in the Old Town, the church “St. Mary“, the monument of the artist Tsanko Lavrenov, the Hippocrates pharmacy, the Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery, the ancient port of Philippopolis Hissar Kapia, the ethnographic museum of Kuyumdzhiev’s house, the retro-photo gallery, Balabanova house, the Hindliyan house and ending the house of Nikola Nedkovich. Besides, you can also enjoy the performance of the Opera House – Plovdiv “Bulgarian Wedding”, the performance can be performed on a preliminary request.
The old town of Plovdiv is also known as a favorite place for Bulgarian artists, so if you are fascinated by the art, do not miss to visit the sites related to some of the biggest Bulgarian masters of the brush. You can see their works at the City Art Gallery, the Zlatyu Boyadjiev Gallery, which keeps an incredible collection of the artist’s works, the houses in the Old Town and the private gallery “Philippopolis”.
In Plovdiv, you can return to the Age of the Roman Empire and on another route, with an emphasis on preserved mosaics of the period. For a few years now, guests of the city can enjoy the paintings, assembled of small marble pieces in the Little Early Christian Basilica. We are already working on the reconstruction of the Grand – Episcopal Basilica. Due to its unique well-preserved mosaics of 2,000 square meters, the landmark was proposed by the municipality of Plovdiv for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Be sure to uncover the hectic floors of the Eirene Sturgeon, which is today the Cultural Center and the Trakart Museum.
For the other 5 routes with sightseeing in Plovdiv, which you can visit, read in the second part of the article tomorrow.