Golden Apple for Plovdiv: European Capital of Culture 2019
ALL FIJET MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO TAKE PART IN THE CEREMONY: September 7-11
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Plovdiv District, the most important administrative, academic, economic, commercial and logistics centre of the South central region. The city is situated on the two banks of the Maritsa River, in the central part of the Upper Thracian Valley.
The city is a major link in the chain of transport routes connecting Europe and Asia, as well as an intersection of three pan-European corridors (IV, VIII and X). Plovdiv is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe and 6th in the World (The Daily Telegraph). It is estimated that it was founded around the beginning of 6th century BC. Having established itself as a Thracian centre, the city grew during the times of Philip II of Macedon (the father of Alexander the Great), flourished in the heyday of the Roman and Byzantine empires, was preserved in the years of the Ottoman Empire and was on the rise again during the Bulgarian National Revival. After the Liberation of Bulgaria, Plovdiv became the capital of the autonomous region of Eastern Rumelia. Plovdiv is defined as a tourist destination by its unique cultural, historical and natural attractions; the sports facilities (European City of Sport for 2014); the International Fair, the cultural calendar rich in all kinds of events. Plovdiv is the starting point of many tourist destinations in the country and abroad, too The city’s development focuses on revitalizing and socializing monuments from the Roman era such as the Ancient Theatre, the Roman Stadium, the Forum Complex and the
arly Christian Basilica, also working on new projects like the ones for the Bishop Basilica, the first 3D planetarium in the Natural History Museum and through parallel works on renovating public spaces, the biggest of which is the City Garden.
In 2019 Bulgaria will have its very first European Capital of Culture. In early September 2014 it was decided that this will be Plovdiv. With its unique atmosphere and ambitious programme Plovdiv promises to be a must-visit destination for everyone interested in cultural tourism.
Plovdiv’s bid and programme is summarized by the slogan TOGETHER which focuses on the city’s desire to work towards uniting citizens from different ages, ethnic and religious backgrounds. But togetherness also includes bringing different areas in the city and periods in its history closer together, incorporating its vast cultural heritage from Classical Antiquity into contemporary life.
The programme puts the spotlight on the whimsical regional festivals celebrating the area’s natural and cultural richness. And rich it is indeed! Apart from the various arts and folklore festivals, there are multiple rose celebrations (Bulgaria is the world’s leading producer of rose oil), potato, beans, tomato and pepper festivals, celebrations of mineral water and wine, Thracian heritage and cuisine and many more. All of these will be united in a large platform highlighting the cultural diversity of the region.
The beautiful Rhodope Mountains will host a travelling European fairy-tale festival with puppet theatre, storytelling performances, and concerts along pre-determined routes, featuring artists from all parts of Europe. In Plovdiv young explorers will have their own Children City to govern on one of Plovdiv’s seven hills, fully equipped with their own railway.
Reach Out for the High Art
One of the most ambitious projects Plovdiv has planned is about turning a currently-abandoned 90 000 sq. m. island in the Maritsa River into an autonomous state for artists. They will live in a temporary settlement on the island and create land and green art there. Visitors will be allowed on the island but only if they obtain a visa beforehand. 2019 also gives Plovdiv a unique opportunity to establish itself on the European cultural map by launching the first and only in Bulgaria Biennial for Contemporary Art.
The city already hosts the most prominent events in the field of design, architecture, and contemporary dance on the Balkans and a world-class opera festival. Opera Open takes place against the breathtaking backdrop of Plovdiv’s Ancient Theatre every summer. It hosts some of the biggest opera stars in the world and takes visitors on a journey across time and space.
Plovdiv is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, a hidden gem in the heart of the Balkans. With its substantial heritage from Classical antiquity, through the Ottoman period, to more recent Bulgarian Revival it has a unique architectural style and artistic atmosphere. Its recent nomination for European Capital of Culture, however, will likely change this, so many peoples make their plans for 2019 by now.
According Lonely Planet Plovdiv is a must destination.
Plovdiv is in Top 3 of the Best European Destination 2016.
Welcome in Plovdiv!