Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The 7 day circuit to Bulgaria - Day 4 (cont.) - Plovdiv - the 15th of June 2011

Located on the banks of the Maritsa river, Plovdiv developed on seven hills, thus being often referred to as "the city of the seven hills". Its settlement traces dating from the Neolithic, roughly 4000 BC  are said to have appeared on the Nebet, Taksim and Dzhambaz hills.

We started our visit to Plovdiv by walking around the old town, which in architectural and historical terms is quite unique with remains of Roman foundations, a Roman theatre built in the beginning of the 2nd Century during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan and  amazingly impressive 18th -19th century Revival houses, which were constructed under the rule of the Otoman Empire by rich citizens.

Entrance to the old city with part of the Balanov house on the right.

The early 19th century Balanov house (left). The house where the French poet Alphonse Lamartine stayed at in 1833 (right).


Street walking in the old city

We then visited the Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum, which occupies the 1847 house of the rich merchant Argir Kuyumdzhioglu and exhibits a collection of over 40,000 artifacts distributed among crafts, fabrics, clothing, furniture, musical instruments and religious items.

An absolute "jewel" it was, not to mention the fact that the whole exhibition was very well organised.

I managed to buy a cross stich embroidered blouse in its little handicraft store and as I walked out I felt I was "hungry" for more and although it was time to have lunch, none of us seemed to be in a hurry to do so.

Our  morning scheduled visits still included the St. Constantine and Helen church and whilst walking towards it, we couldn't help but marvell at the sight of some Roman remains and the well preserved amphitheatre.

(To be continued)

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