Last time we had done a little tour of Bulgaria. Unfortunately I did not have much time for sightseeing there. I will show you however one special place - the second largest city in the country called Plovdiv.
The history of Plovdiv dates back 6,000 years. Yes my friends, six thousand years. It was Thracian, then Greek (or more precisely - Maceodnian), then Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. Throughout a large part of its history it was known under its Greek name of Philippopolis. You can see this multi-cultural heritage in many parts of the city. Let's first place our feet on the main alley of the Old Town.
It is not easy to guess but this nice pedestrian zone hides a real treasure - an ancient stadium, built in the second century AD. It was 240 meters long and could accommodate 30,000 spectators. In antique times!
Only a small part of it has been discovered so far - you can see it as marked with the black rectangle. This is what it looks like today.
Just next to it you can see a memory from Ottoman times - a mosque.
Muslims are a minority in the city today so not many will answer the call of a muezzin.
Majority of the inhabitants are Christians, mainly Orthodox. The St Virgin Mary cathedral looks old but was only built in 1844.
I have told you that Plovdiv is a real cultural melting pot. We've seen Greek and Ottoman remainings, time to see what Ancient Rome has left to the city. Well, no less than an amphitheater.
After 2,000 years it is still in a pretty good shape and is used for concerts and shows. Obviously it was refurbished a bit to be safe and comfortable.
Let's walk back to the narrow streets of the Old Town. They have not changed much since the Middle Century and remember well the times of the Byzantine Empire.
This road will take you to another point of interest. Have I told you that Plovdiv is located on seven hills? Yes, seven hills like Rome. I will take you there. We need to turn here left. Easy to recognising that we are climbing up the hill. On the other side the windows are at ground level.
Now let's turn left. Feels Venetian, isn't it?
Finally we can admire the panorama of the city with the river Maritsa in the middle.
And here you can see some of the other hills.
Obviously the city was not sleeping over the last century, when we look on the right, you will see some modern apartment blocks.
This small building down there is a former Turkish bath, taking us again into Ottoman times. Today it is an art center.
Time to go down now. Climbing always makes me tired. Let's try to find a nice cafe and order some refreshements.
I hope that you have enjoyed this afternoon in Plovdiv. Time to get back to Poland again.