Plovdiv Museum Town

An ancient crossroad between the East and the West and Bulgaria's second largest city today, Plovdiv has preserved unique treasures from its 60 centuries-long history. Evmolpia - the city of the ancient Thracians, Philippopolis (372 B.C.) - the city of Philip II of Macedon, the Roman Trimontium - the city on three hills, and Old Plovdiv - a picturesque architectural National Revival period ensemble fashioned by the generous talent, heart and mind of the Bulgarian masters.
From the city's ancient buildings - the city forum, the stadium, the amphitheater of Philip II of Macedon, basilicas, thermae, houses and administrative buildings, today remain mostly fragments: columns, capitals, friezes, mosaics, bas-reliefs and street pavements. The 2nd century Antique Theater has been completely restored and performances are again presented there.
The Old town of Plovdiv is the center of Bulgarian National Revival architecture at its height. Developing in a natural way, the Bulgarian building traditions form the core, around which the new styles of the time evolved.
This becomes evident when one looks at the Georgiadi House (1846-48), the Koyumdjioglou House (1846-48), today's Ethnographic Museum, the Balabanov House or at the Alphonse de Lamartine museum-house (1830) where the French poet lived for a few months.
With multi-colored facades, yoke-shaped bay-windows, abundant decoration and lavish furnishings, softly colored silhouettes and carved ceilings, Plovdiv's two - and three-storey houses are as eye-catching as ever, fairly resembling small palaces.
During the National Revival period many churches were build in prominent places. Such are the three-nave basilical churches St. Nedelya and St. Dimitar (1831), the St. Constantine and Helena Church (1832), and the St. Marina main metropolitan church (1853-54).
There are many more things to see in Plovdiv: the permanent exhibition of Zlatyu Boyadjiev (1903-1976), one of Bulgaria's great artists who loved and painted Plovdiv. The workshops of the traditional masters of old Bulgarian arts and crafts - coppersmiths, furriers, potters - on Stramna Street (Steep street) are also worth visiting.
 

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