Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria and is in the middle of the country. It’s famous for its Roman ruins and historical churches. I found the city a peaceful oasis with wonderful parks and ruins that lacked the large tourist crowds of Sofia, Velinko Tranvovo, and the coast get.
Since the city is in the middle of the country. It’s easy to stopover and visit. It’s a must for any historic buff and someone looking to see the quieter side of the country.
Plovdiv City of Art and Culture
Plovdiv is a city of art and you can feel it in the air. If you're an art aficionado, head to the Old Town, the small galleries in the streets around the central pedestrian zone, and the Kapana district, a specially designated art area. Discover some of the best art galleries in Plovdiv, both state and private, with our guide to the best in town. By the way, did you know Plovdiv was awarded the title "European Capital of Culture 2019" ?
City Art Gallery
The City Art Gallery has been showing precious examples of Medieval, Revival, and contemporary Bulgarian art since 1952. The gallery has several buildings around the city specializing in more specific topics – a permanent exhibition building in the Old Town, a temporary exhibition building in the main pedestrian street, an Orthodox icon exhibition (in the form of the Icon Collection – see below), a Mexican art exhibition, and an exhibition dedicated to the painter Encho Pironkov (in the form of the Encho Pironkov Collection).
|Address||14a Saborna Street, Plovdiv, Bulgaria|
|Telephone||+359 32 624 221|
Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery
Zlatyu Boyadzhiev is one of the iconic Bulgarian painters of the 20th century, famous for his portraits and landscapes and his specific artistic style, which most Bulgarians can easily recognize. He has two distinct periods in his work – after a severe stroke in 1952, he started drawing with his left hand. This gallery is in a historical house in the Old Town, which was used as a royal residence for a short period, and showcases 72 of his works.
|Address||18 Saborna Street, Plovdiv, Bulgaria|
|Telephone||+359 32 635 308|
Small Basilica Plovdiv
On the territory to the East and Northeast of the Forum (Agora) of Philippopolis in the years of Early Christianity were formed neighborhoods where several Christian churches were built. In the same area were found also the ruins of a synagogue - a unique building from that period.
The ruins of the Small Early Christian basilica were found during the construction works of "Maria Louisa" Blvd. The Small basilica is situated in the eastern outskirts of the Ancient city, next to the fortification wall with a tower from 2nd - 4th century AD.
The basilica has a central nave, flanked by two aisles.
It's with one apse and with a narthex. A small chapel was built to the South and a baptistery is erected just next to the Northern aisle. The overall length of the basilica, including the apse, is 20 meters, and the width is 13 meters.
The basilica was built in the second half of 5th century AD with rich architectural decorations – marble colonnades separating the aisles, marble altar wall, pulpit and synthronos. The floors were covered with rich multicolor mosaic with geometrical motifs. The mosaic includes a panel with donor inscription. Remnants of an altar table were found.
After the building had been burnt down, it was reconstructed and renovated. The outer dimensions of the building were not changed, but the floor level was raised with approximately 0.70 m. The new flooring was made of bricks. The layout of the narthex, the altar wall and the pulpit were changed and a baptistery was added next to the Northern aisle.
The baptistery had a square plan, cross pool and polychrome mosaic flooring, where Christian symbols - deer, pigeons and others - were depicted. The basilica functioned until the end of 6th century AD.
Two donor inscriptions were found during excavation works. One of them was carved on the lining marble slab from the altar of the basilica. The other was shaped in the mosaic of red tesserae on white background, just opposite to the altar apse. It mentions "patrician" and "winner", but the name was erased. Probably it was the name of Basilisk, a Byzantine Emperor in 475-476 AD, and erasing it from the mosaic shows that it was made intentionally after his dethronement.
|Address||boulevard "Knyaginya Maria Luiza" 31, Plovdiv|
|Telephone||+359 87 666 2882|