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 an art city 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 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 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 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, in use as a royal house for a short period. It 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 neighborhoods formed in the years of Early Christianity. Several Christian churches emerged here. In the same area were also the ruins of a synagogue - a unique building from that period.
The ruins of the Small Early Christian basilica appeared during construction works of "Maria Louisa" Blvd. The Small basilica is 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 has one apse and a narthex. A small chapel appeared to the South and a baptistery next to the Northern aisle. The length of the basilica, including the apse, is 20 meters, and the width is 13 meters.
The basilica is from the second half of 5th century AD with rich architectural decorations – marble colonnades separating the aisles, marble altar wall, pulpit and synthronos. Rich multicolored mosaic with geometrical motifs covered the floors. The mosaic includes a panel with donor inscription. Remnants of an altar table were also found.
Reconstruction and renovation
After the building burnt down, reconstruction and renovation took place. The outer dimensions of the building were not changed, but the floor level raised with about 0.70 m. The new flooring consisted of bricks. The layout of the narthex, the altar wall and the pulpit changed and a baptistery appeared next to the Northern aisle.
The baptistery had a square plan, cross pool and polychrome mosaic flooring, depicting Christian symbols. The basilica functioned until the end of 6th century AD.
Two donor inscriptions emerged during excavation works. One of them was carved on the lining marble slab from the altar of the basilica. The other was shaped in a mosaic of red tesserae on white background, opposite to the altar apse. It mentions "patrician" and "winner", but the name was erased. It was the name of Basilisk, a Byzantine Emperor in 475-476 AD, and erasing it from the mosaic shows that it was made after his dethronement.
|Address||boulevard "Knyaginya Maria Luiza" 31, Plovdiv|
|Telephone||+359 87 666 2882|
Explore Plovdiv With The Plovdiv City Card
The Plovdiv City Card offers you an immersive experience of Plovdiv and its best sightseeing locations! With free admission to 11 of the top sightseeing locations + a free wine tasting tour, you can discover the rich cultural past and present of the oldest living city in Europe.
The special designer map will help you navigate the city and will become a treasured memory for a lifetime. The free mobile app will provide you with all the necessary information you might need - from opening times to tips from locals, so that your Plovdiv experience is as smooth as possible!