|Residents :||347,851 (December 31, 2019 )|
|Area :||102 km²|
|Population density||3,410.3 inhabitants / km²|
|Height :||160 m|
|Postal code :||4000|
|Telephone code :||(+359) 032|
|License plate :||PB|
|Mayor :||Ivan Totew|
|Ruling party :||GERB|
Plovdiv [ ˈpɫɔvdif ] (common transliteration Plovdiv , Bulgarian Пловдив ; Turkish Filibe ; Greek Φιλιππούπολη ) is the second largest city in Bulgaria with 347,851 inhabitants . It is located in the Thracian Plain on both banks of the Mariza not far from the Rhodope Mountains . The city is the administrative center of the municipality and the province of the same name and the seat of two other municipalities, Mariza and Rodopi . Furthermore, the Bulgarian Orthodox Diocese of Plovdiv has its seat in Plovdiv. Plovdiv was one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2019.
Plovdiv is located in the Thracian Plain on both banks of the Mariza at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains . It includes the following six hills ( Tepe , from Turkish): Nebet Tepé , Dschambas Tepé , Taksim Tepé (these three hills are in the center, the ancient city was originally built on them), Sachat Tepé , Jendem Tepé and Bunardzhik . Another hill, Markowo Tepé , existed until the middle of the 20th century, but it was destroyed. The closest larger cities to Plovdiv are (starting in the north clockwise): Karlovo (58 km), Stara Sagora (90 km), Burgas (270 km), Svilengrad (140 km) or Asenovgrad (19 km), Smoljan , Pazardzhik (37 km) and Sofia (143 km).
The city had the following names in its history: Thracian Pulpudeva or Eumolpia / Eumolpias ; ancient Greek Φιλιππόπολις (Philippopolis) / Φιλιππούπολις (Philippoupolis) after the city founder Philip II ; Latin Trimontium , after the location on three hills; Slavic Pulden or Pupulden ; Ottoman Filibe .
Prehistoric times and antiquity
The oldest traces of settlement in today's urban area date from the 6th millennium BC. Chr.
A settlement of the Thracian tribe of the Bessi was on the hill of Nebet Tepe; her name was Eumolpia or Pulpudeva. It was founded in 341 BC. Conquered by Philip II of Macedonia , father of Alexander the Great , and re-founded under the name of Philippopolis . At an unknown point in time, the city came under Thracian rule again, before being rebuilt in 183 BC. . For a short time AD back under the control of Philip V came. After that the city became the seat of the Thracian kings again.
In connection with the 3rd Mithridatic War , the city was 72 BC. Conquered by the Romans and incorporated into the province of Macedonia . The city was now also called Trimontium (three-hill city). In 46 AD it became part of the province of Thracia under Claudius . The city gained strategic importance with its location on the important Roman road Via Militaris , which led across the Balkan Peninsula to Byzantion . In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the place was the capital of the province of Thracia. This was the culmination of the economic and cultural development of Philippopolis. The Romans built roads, public buildings, temples, a stadium and a theater. The city limits now extended beyond the three hills.
Since the Tetrarchy , Philippopolis belonged to the eastern part of the empire. At the end of the 4th century AD, the Byzantine period of the city's history began. The Roman Emperor Justinian the Great completely renovated the city. Philippopolis had been an episcopal city since the 4th century; the ruins of the basilica have been excavated since 2016.
Slavs first settled in the region in the 5th century , and the city was given the name Paldin , derived from the Thracian name Pulpudeva , in the 6th century . After the establishment of the Bulgarian state in 681, the importance of the city increased due to its location on the border between Byzantium and Bulgaria. After the conquest by Krum Khan in 812, the city belonged to the Bulgarian territories for the first time. However, the affiliation changed several times in the following years. Also Simeon the Great (893-927), his successor Peter (927-969) and Samuil (980-1014) conquered the place several times.
After the establishment of the Second Bulgarian Empire , Thrace belonged to the Bulgarian Empire as a whole. During the reign of Ivan Assen II , Bulgaria became a great power in Eastern Europe. During the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the area was conquered by the Crusaders who occupied what was then Paldin and gave it to Rénier de Trith . The place was the starting point for serious looting in the area. A year later, after the Battle of Adrianople (1205) , the Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan managed to recapture the region.
In 1364 Plovdiv fell under Ottoman rule and was given the name Filibe (derived from the Greek Philippopolis). The city was thus located in the interior of the Ottoman Empire and therefore lost its strategic importance as a border town. As a gateway to the Orient , however, it developed into a trade and handicraft center with good connections to Constantinople and Thessaloniki on the one hand and Vienna and Leipzig on the other. Since the city was not exposed to any external threats, most of the city walls were torn down and new buildings were erected. Filibe developed into a cosmopolitan Ottoman city. The largest population groups were Bulgarians , Turks , Greeks , Armenians and Jews . The hills were no longer cultivated, but there was a brisk commercial life around them. The market at that time had more than 1,100 stores. Its location roughly corresponds to that of today's shopping area.
The name Plovdiv first appeared for the city in the 15th century . This in turn is based on the former Bulgarian Paldin (occasionally Puldin ).
Plovdiv as the center of national revival
Until the 19th century, Plovdiv increasingly became a center of national revival . There were more and more wealthy Bulgarians, their importance in society increased. Through their trade relations with Russia and Europe, these people were open to modern political and cultural influences. In the first half of the 19th century, Plovdiv was, alongside Istanbul, Thessaloniki and Edirne, an important economic center in the European part of the Ottoman Empire. Goods reached the Mediterranean Sea and from there all over the world by land or via the Mariza river. In 1853 the city already had 50,000 inhabitants. Plovdiv artisans and traders grew wealthier and more confident, and the residents strove to build their houses ever more splendidly.
At that time Plovdiv played a leading role in the struggle for an independent Bulgarian church . On December 25, 1859, the entire Christmas liturgy was held in the Bulgarian language in the Sweta Bogorodiza Church , which was the first time in Bulgaria. The Plovdiv Metropolitan Paisii held another mass on January 10, 1860 in Bulgarian. He officially announced the separation of his community from the Greek patriarchate and the desire for independence. This led to a religious power struggle, the center of which was Plovdiv. A council of churches was founded to promote this struggle. A delegation sent to the Turkish government was given the task of working for an independent church at a high level. In 1870 this independence was actually granted by the Turks (see Ferman on the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate ), which indirectly confirmed the Bulgarian nation as such. Before the Turks only generally referred to the Bulgarians as Christians.
Plovdiv also played a pioneering role in Bulgarian education. In 1839 one of the first Bulgarian schools was built in the city. The class school Sw. sw. Kyrill i Method created the basis for a modern, secular education. On May 11, 1858, the festival of the brothers Cyril and Methodius was celebrated there for the first time , a festival that is still the national celebration of the Cyrillic script and Bulgarian culture today.
The first Bulgarian publishing house was established here and, at the request of Prince Alexander Michailowitsch Dondukow-Korsakow, the first Bulgarian printing company opened by Christo Gruew Danow and Josif Kowatschew in 1878 , which was founded in Vienna in 1874 and also had a location in Sofia a year later.
Development since the 19th century
In 1877 the Russo-Turkish War began . After the capture of Sofia, Russian troops marched on Plovdiv under the leadership of General Gurko . On the evening of January 16, 1878, Captain Burago swam across the Mariza River with his squadron and in January 1878 drove the Ottomans out of the city. The peace treaty of San Stefano led to the establishment of the modern Bulgarian state. Plovdiv - the largest and richest city in Bulgaria at the time - became the capital and seat of the temporary Russian government headed by Alexander Mikhailovich Dondukov-Korsakov . But the great powers - above all the United Kingdom and Austria-Hungary - did not agree with this situation, as they feared a growing influence of Russia. The Treaty of Berlin followed , which divided Bulgaria in two. Plovdiv remained in Eastern Rumelia , which was subordinate to the Ottomans as a vassal province, while Sofia became the capital of the remaining Bulgaria. Many refugees from the Aegean region and Macedonia now settled in Eastern Rumelia. But there were strong internal forces that campaigned for a unified Bulgarian empire. On September 6, 1885, Bulgarian insurgents in Plovdiv announced the unification of the Principality of Bulgaria with Eastern Rumelia. Since then, this date has been considered the day of reunification. To commemorate these events, the central square in Plovdiv was renamed Saedinenie (German reunification). The main street that passed it was named September 6th Bouldevard .
In the 20th and 21st centuries
Plovdiv was an international trade fair city from the 1960s until the end of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. The socialist states and many exhibitors from the “non-socialist economic area” presented their products here as part of the Council for Mutual Economic Aid and concluded contracts with exhibitors and visitors. In this context, the states developed a strong cultural bond with one another.
In 1981 the hunting exhibition "Exposition Cynegetique Mondiale Bulgarie" took place in Plovdiv, and in 1985 and 1991 the "World Exhibition of Achievement of the Young Inventors".
In 2012, Plovdiv hosted the World Rowing Championships .
In 2019, Plovdiv and Matera (Italy) were European Capitals of Culture.
The last census to date took place in the spring of 2011, which was also the first since Bulgaria joined the European Union. Since it was subject to EU regulations, there was the possibility of not answering questions about ethnic and religious affiliation or about the mother tongue. Only 308,866 citizens of Plovdiv answered the question of ethnicity. Of these, 277,804 identified themselves as Bulgarians, 16,032 as Turks , 9438 as Roma , and 3,105 people stated another ethnic affiliation.
The changing population figures partly result from the respective territorial status.
The numbers come from:
- Censuses (¹),
- Estimates (²) or
- official updates of the statistical offices (³).
Lord Mayor since 2007
The mayoral elections in 2007 were won by Slavcho Atanasov , candidate of the VMRO-BND in the first ballot with 53.65 percent of the vote (59,143 votes). However, he did not succeed in re-election in October 2011 when he was defeated by Iwan Totew, the candidate of the GERB party, with 49.16 percent of the vote (68,533 votes) in the second ballot. The victorious Totew received 70,871 votes.
The city council of Plovdiv consists of the mayor and the number of 51 city council members prescribed by the municipal code. The city council also functions as the local council and is responsible for overseeing all mayors of the localities. The city council is re-elected every four years. The next election will take place in 2019. The distribution of seats in the city council since the last local elections on October 23, 2011, with a turnout of 71.16 percent, is as follows:
|Party / coalition||Election result 2011||+ / - *||Votes||Seats||+ / - *|
|GERB||33.57%||+ 13.04%||47,724||19th||+ 6|
|Coalition VMRO-NIE , United Peasant Party, ODS, NDSW , Radical Democratic Party , Bulgarian Social Democrats||15.04%||k. A.||21,388||8th||+ 8|
|Bulgarian Socialist Party||12.07%||−3.39%||17,158||7th||- 3|
|Union for Plovdiv||6.54%||k. A.||9296||4th||+ 4|
|Movement for Rights and Freedoms||4.98%||+1.27%||7087||3||+ 1|
|Bulgarian People's Union of Peasants "Aleksandar Stambolijski"||4.90%||+1.28%||6964||3||+1|
|Blue coalition||4.20%||k. A.||5965||2||+ 2|
|Coalition Causa for Plovdiv||4.15%||k. A.||5895||2||+ 2|
* Changes to the 2007 local elections
Plovdiv is the seat of the three municipalities Plovdiv (with all districts of the city), Maritsa and Rodopi . The municipalities of Mariza and Rodopi are outside the city and have their administrative headquarters in Plovdiv.
According to its own information, Plovdiv has twinned cities with the following 29 cities:
Representations and consulates
There is a German, a Greek and a Turkish consulate in the village.
Economy and Infrastructure
The Plovdiv region is the most important industrial location in Bulgaria after Sofia. Numerous companies from the food and beverage industry, the consumer goods industry, non-ferrous metallurgy and the textile industry are based in the city and its surroundings. The Plovdiv International Fair has been an important economic factor for many years. It organizes the agricultural fair, wine fair, motorcycle show, exhibition nature, hunting and fishing as well as flower fair . As an important industrial company, there are two large Liebherr factories in the suburb of Radinovo (for refrigerators / freezers and for equipping rail vehicles). The lead and zinc smelter "KCM" is located in the south of the city. In 2010/2011, a subsidiary of the Austrian EVN Group built a new one to supply electricity and district heating in addition to taking over the outdated power plant, which is being gradually shut down.
Plovdiv is one of the most important transport hubs in Bulgaria. The railway connections and a motorway connect the city to the important commercial and tourist centers. The city center is served by a fine-meshed bus network. Two bus stations are starting points for connections to all other major Bulgarian cities.
The international airport , which is around 13 km from the city center and has poor public transport connections, has been served by the low-cost airline Ryanair since December 2010 . Ryanair also operates the Plovdiv-London airline. In addition, Plovdiv Airport is used as a reserve airport by Sofia as well as for charter and private flights.
The Bulgarian Aviation Museum and the 24th Helicopter Air Base (Krumovo Air Base) of the Bulgarian Air Force are located on the south-western part of the airport . With the Graf Ignatievo Air Base Plovdiv is located 15 km north, another military airfield .
At the end of the 1870s, Plovdiv was connected to the Orient Express line between Istanbul and Sofia. Later a branch line was built to Burgas . In 1934 further branch lines to Karlovo and Panagyurishte were inaugurated.
The regional Plovdiv daily newspaper Mariza appears in the village .
Radio Plovdiv , a public broadcaster belonging to the Bulgarian National Radio , has been broadcasting since 1955 . His focus is on reporting. The public broadcasters that are received in Plovdiv on the VHF frequencies are: Hristo Botev (91.70 MHz, 92.20 MHz), Radio Plovdiv / Horizont (94.00 MHz), Horizont (100.90 MHz ).
The first private radio station in the city was Kanal Kom , which aired its first program in 1990. However, this happened without a license. Therefore, he could not officially continue his work until 1992. Shortly thereafter, numerous other private radio stations emerged. On March 22, 1971, a branch of the Bulgarian National Radio was established in Plovdiv. Initially she was only responsible for news production for the central news ( Po sveta iu nas ). 1974 was broadcast live for the first time from the studio Plovdiv. Since 1998 there has been an additional television channel Plovdiv , from which a regional program is broadcast daily between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
At the beginning of the 19th century, modern educational institutions found their way into Plovdiv. The Greek and Bulgarian communities vied for cultural supremacy. The first Greek school was opened in 1820.
Universities and colleges
- University of Plovdiv Paisii Chilendarski
- Medical University of Plovdiv
- Agricultural University of Plovdiv
- University of Food Technology
- Academy for Music and Dance (1972)
Culture and sights
Museums and theaters
- Archaeological museum , a particularly outstanding exhibit is the Panagyurishte gold treasure
- historical Museum
- Natural Science Museum (Christo-G.-Danov-Str. 34)
- Ethnographic Museum (Old Town, 2 Dr Stoian Chomakov St.)
- Bulgarian Aviation Museum
- Opera House (1953)
- Philharmonic (1946)
- Dramatic theater, successor to the first professional theater from 1881
- Puppet Theater (1946)
This includes the Plovdiv fairs with their thematic exhibitions. Also worth mentioning are the international festival of opera art (since 1985) and the television film festival Goldene Chest . The opera arts festival in the amphitheater in the old town mainly offers Verdi performances and concerts by well-known orchestras. The film festival, under the auspices of the State Television, makes new Bulgarian films and their directors and actors known to a wide audience.
The Roman stadium is located below one of the city's shopping streets, a few meters from the mosque. It was built between the hills of Sachat Tepé and Teksim Tepé. The stadium has a horseshoe shape, a length of 180 meters and a remarkable 30,000 seats. Historians assume that the games played here fall in the time of Emperor Septimius Severus (146–211 AD). The competitions were based on the model of the Greek Olympic Games . The most important sports were discus and javelin throwing , running , long jump , and wrestling . The games took place every four years and lasted for several days. The stadium is partially exposed and can be seen from the pedestrian zone. The parts that are no longer preserved can be seen through a 3D animation.
The ancient theater is one of the most impressive buildings from Roman times . The theater, discovered by chance during construction work, was exposed for ten years. A layer of earth 15 meters thick had to be removed. The 7,000 spectator seats are divided into two tiers with 14 rows each. The names of the districts were scratched on the benches of each seating area so that each visitor could take a seat according to their respective place of residence.
Nebet tepe archaeological park
The Thracian settlement remains excavated here are a special sight.
Houses in the old town
Most of the houses in the historic city center date from the era of the National Revival . The few buildings that have really been preserved in their original form give a good idea of Bulgarian architecture and are architectural monuments. They have a characteristic facade, are richly decorated inside and reflect the family spirit of that time with their comfort. A distinction is made between two types of houses.
The first type comes from the period of early Turkish feudalism . This represents a two-story, rarely a single-story, asymmetrical house, which is representative of the Bulgarian villages in the highlands. The first floor protrudes from the ground floor to the street, only rarely to the garden, and is supported by wooden beams. The house usually has 2–3 rooms, which are spread over the two floors. The second type of house was built at the beginning of the 19th century and is known as the symmetrical house. In addition, this type of house is constructed more stable, has a richer architecture with decorations. Recurring elements are the living room on the ground floor and the stairs that lead to a wide guest room and the other rooms. Inside these houses there are wooden decorations depicting romantic lace or flower-like shapes. The narrow streets are typical for the atmosphere of the old town.
The decisive factor in its construction was the requirement that two horses with riders or two loaded mules can run past each other. Remnants of the old city fortifications are also among the buildings worth seeing, e.g. B. the city gate Hisar Kapija .
This includes the orthodox Sweta Marina Church with wall paintings and gold ornaments, which has a unique bell tower and a beautiful wood-carved altar wall. The Orthodox St. Konstantin-i-Elena Church with valuable icons, some of which were created by the icon painters Sachari Sograf , is one of them.
A British military cemetery is part of the Plovdiv Central Cemetery.
The synagogue , which is still in use today, was built in 1886/87.
The central Tsar Simeons Garden and Dondukow Garden were laid out by the Swiss Lucien Chevallaz after the liberation of Bulgaria.
The monument of the Soviet soldier "Alyosha" is located on the hill of Bunardzhik.
- Christo M. Danow : Philippopolis 1. In: Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XIX, 2, Stuttgart 1938, Sp. 2244-2263.
- Manfred Oppermann : Plovdiv - ancient three-hill town . Leipzig 1984.
- Iris von Bredow , Johannes Niehoff : Philippopolis. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 9, Metzler, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-476-01479-7 , column 796 f.
- Peter Soustal: Thrakien (Thrakē, Rhodopē and Haimimontos) (= Tabula Imperii Byzantini . Volume 6). Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1991, ISBN 3-7001-1898-8 , pp. 399–404.
- Dimana Trankova, Anthony Georgieff, Hristo Matanov: A guide to Ottoman Bulgaria. Vagabond Media, Sofia, 2011, ISBN 978-954-92306-5-9 , pp. 88-95.
- Information about the city under areas and municipalities
- Plovdiv City City Portal ( Bulgarian / English )
- The ancient Philippopolis ( English )
- Population by towns and sex. In: nsi.bg. Republic of Bulgaria - National Statistical Institute (NSI), April 12, 2019, accessed May 5, 2019 .
- Население по градове и пол | Национален статистически институт. Retrieved January 10, 2020 .
- Pre-historic Art Archaeological Museum Plovdiv .
- History on the Zone Bulgaria page , accessed on February 12, 2010
- Süddeutsche Zeitung of July 13, 2016, p. 11.
- Karmen Petra Moissi: Bulgarica of the 19th century printed in Vienna in the holdings of the Austrian National Library (ÖNB) , in: Wiener Slavistisches Jahrbuch , Volume 55/2009. Page 72, ÖAW , Vienna, 2009
- Statistical Office of the Republic of Bulgaria: Population by ethnicity. (.xls; 758 kB) Census 2011. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013 ; Retrieved January 27, 2012 (Bulgarian).
- Population as of June 15, 2012 (Bulgarian) at the registration office
- Population of Plovdiv by year , National Statistics Office, accessed on August 31, 2012
- Central Election Commission: Final results of the 2007 local elections in Plovdiv. Retrieved July 23, 2012 (Bulgarian). and Община Пловдив: Кмет (Bulgarian)
- Central Election Commission: Final results of the 2011 local elections in Plovdiv. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on July 12, 2012 ; Retrieved July 23, 2012 (Bulgarian). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Central Election Commission: Final results of the 2011 local elections in Plovdiv. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on May 17, 2012 ; Retrieved May 23, 2012 (Bulgarian). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Website Plovdiv , accessed October 13, 2016
- Information from the German Embassy in Sofia: New Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Plovdiv ; found on February 27, 2010 ( memento of the original from April 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Website of the Greek Consulate General in Plovdiv at 10 Rue Preslav
- Website of the Turkish Consulate for Plovdiv, with address: Rue Filip Makedonski 10 ( Memento from June 22, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
- Website Plovdiv Fair
- Liebherr in Bulgaria. In: www.liebherr.com. Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
- КЦМ 2000 Груп - КЦМ АД - Фирмен профил. In: www.kcm2000.bg. Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
- SH Beaver: Railways in the Balkan Peninsula . In: The Geographical Journal . 97, No. 5, 1941, , pp. 273-294, p. 292.
- Info about the city on 'Plovdiv guide'
- Details on the sights on Zone Bulgaria ; Retrieved February 12, 2010
- description and photo of the Djumaya Mosque; Retrieved March 4, 2010