Plovdiv 

Paloma is resting in front of the stunning stadium (well stunning to me- more on that later) all most in the heart of the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. (N42.150051 E24.721747)

 Plovdiv is around 6,000 years old and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in all of Europe. 

Not only that, it’s one of the oldest cities in the entire world!

 Plovdiv’s origins go back to the Thracian people 

Set to be the European capital of culture 2019, what could this city offfer us?

The Old Town,  is the place to start here you will be rewarded with the Ethnographic Museum, the Eastern Gate to the city, the Church of Constantine & Elena, and the Church of the Virgin Mary


A completely Asimeterical house….


At the top of the  Old Town, you’ll find ruins at the Nebet Tepe lookout point. This is an excellent spot to check out the ancient wall and the vast city scape in front of you.


The epic amphitheater, it was built during the reign of Emporan Trajan in the 2nd century AD, as it stands it’s an incredible piece of architecture sadly it wasn’t discovered until 1972, due to a freak mudslide. These days, you can see concerts, opera and cultural events at the amphitheater.- could this be one of best kept roman amphitheater in Europe ? 

Plovdiv boasts the longest pedestrian street in Europe, apparently beating Copenhagen’s. – making it a super friendly city to explore


The partially excavated Roman Ruins are located at one end of the street, though much of the ruins still lies hidden underneath the high street. The street is lined with cafes, bars and shops.

Along here you can meet one of the locals……..


The legend goes that Milo was Plovdiv’s charmer back in the day. He was a deaf man who roamed the streets and charmed the ladies. He apparently charmed a few of the wrong ladies, when a few jealous men flung him into the city fountain, after which he caught pneumonia and died.

As you reach the end of the pedestrian area you enter the central square, fountain to the front 


And to the side the magical Tsar Simeon’s Garden park, originally created in 1892 by the Swiss landscape architect Lucien Chevalas.

For all his contribution to the city, in 1901 he was declared an honorary citizen of Plovdiv, and also often is referred to as “the Minister of flowers”.

A full renovation of the Garden has been completed. The idea behind it is to resemble the look from time of the First Bulgarian fair in 1892 and bring back Bulgaria’s Kingdom spirit.- stunning job. !


The trees and the flowers turn the park into a paradise garden.

The jewel of the crown in the park is the renovated Lake with the Singing Fountains. 


Ok so you didn’t think I could come to Bulgaria’s second city and not find some uber cool poured concrete- did you ? 

Opened in 1974, the monument commemorates Bulgaria’s 1944 ‘Socialist Revolution.’ Shaped to resemble a Thracian burial mound, it contains the bones of partisans who fought to liberate Bulgaria from WWII-era Nazi occupation.


The monument was created by the architects Lubomir Chinkov and Vladimir Rangelov, while the figures that stand inside were the work of sculptor Lubomir Dalchev. 


This concrete barrow is located at the end of a long memorial path, in the ‘Park of Recreation and Culture’.

Typical of most communist things it fell into disrepair following the collapse of communism, and nowadays it lies in a neglected state, with its exterior covered in graffiti and locked tight…

Also the street art scene is alive and kicking, but they are a bit hidden away from the touirst route (happy hunting)

Oh yeah – The stadium……..


Disused, unloved and abandoned – would be the first three word that will spring to your mind……

Somehow the largest stadium in Bulgaria lies in a state.


Originally know as the 9th September stadium built in 1950, with a capacity of about 30,000.

Near the end of the 1980s a substantial renovation and expansion began to increase it to 55,000 but was never finished due to the lack of funding and a fall of the government, with no UEFA licence, no working lights and only a few games played there, it lays destitute……


 It is the only stadium in Bulgaria with two-storey stands. 

The biggest events held here was the 1999 Metallica concert. 
Paul.

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