Ancient and Eternal

Plovdiv is located in the large thracian plain between the Rhodope Mountains in the south of Bulgaria and the Balkan Range, or Old Mountains (Stara Planina) that runs through the center of Bulgaria. Both ranges are visible on clear days. the Maritsa River flows through the city on its way southeast to the Aegean Sea.The oldest continuously-inhabited city in Europe is now located on six hills. The first thracian settlement on Nebet Hill has been dated back to 6000 BC. The first inhabitants of the city were supposedly Thracian Tribes – The Bessi And Odrisi.

The Thracians were famous for three main things: waging war, making jewelry and exquisite ornamentation, and producing wine. The Thracians were skillful and insatiable warriors, which is evidenced in the numerous wars they were engaged in. The Thracians were also well-known for producing fine jewelry and ornamentation and there are multiple impressive golden treasures from Thracian origin discovered in Bulgaria. Some theories that support the notion of the Thracians being the original inhabitants of this land point to the Thracians as the creators of the oldest golden treasure in the world discovered in northeastern Bulgaria near the city of Varna and dating back to 6 000 years BC. However, it was their wine that gave the Thracians the undisputable reputation of wine-making masters. The Thracians were avid consumers of wine and had multiple rituals connected to wine.

In Plovdiv, archaeologists have discovered pottery and other objects of everyday life from as early as the Neolithic Age, showing that in the end of the 7th millennium B.C there already was an established settlement there. According to Ammianus Marcellinus, Plovdiv’s post-Bronze Age history places it as a Thracian fortified settlement named Eumolpias.

The city was incorporated into the Roman Empire, where it was called Trimontium (City of Three Hills) and served as capital of the province of Thrace

The Roman times were a period of growth and culture in the city. The surviving ruins show a city with numerous public buildings, shrines, baths, and theatres, though only a small part of the ancient city has been excavated. The city had a water system and sewerage. It was defended with a double wall.

 The city has more than 200 archaeological sites, 30 of which are of national importance. There are also many remains from antiquity. Plovdiv is among the few cities with two ancient theatres; remains of the medieval walls and towers, a well-preserved old quarter from the National Revival period with beautiful houses, churches and narrow paved streets. There are numerous museums, art, galleries and cultural institutions.