In 2019 Plovdiv will be the first Bulgarian city chosen to become European capital of culture.
Plovdiv is the second biggest city in Bulgaria after Sofia in terms of population, area and importance. Maritsa River is the biggest in the Balkan Peninsula with the highest waters and the largest water-catchment area in Bulgaria. The two parts of Plovdiv, divided by the river, are connect by six bridges.
Plovdiv has a millennial history. Traces of the earliest inhabitants of these lands go back to pre-historic times. It comes into being as a Thracian settlement under the name Eumolpia during the 1st millennium BC on Nebet Tepe Hill, (Nebet, Taxim and Dzambaz).Later it took on the name of Philipopulis. During the 3rd- 1st centuries BC the settlement was already called Poulpoudeva and was the target of incessant Celtic invasions. With their advent in the 1st century AD, the Romans called it Trimontium (The Three Hills) because of the tree hills on which it was built.In the Middle Ages the town was known the name of Philipopulis .Falling under Roman administration , the town rapidly developed into in economic, cultural and political centre of the Roman province of Thrace. After the 4th century AD, during the disintegration of the Rome Empire, the town remained in its eastern part, viz. Byzantium. It was incorporated within the boundaries of the Bulgarian state during the campaigns of Khan Kroum in the early 9th century and was mentioned under the Bulgarian name Puldin, as well as its similar form Plovdiv, Pluvdiv, Pluvdin.
The town was liberated on January 17, 1878. This biggest Bulgarian town became the capital of Eastern Roumelia, after the fragmentation of Bulgaria by the stipulations of the Berlin Congress.Later on Plovdiv continued to live an eventful and full-fledged life as the second city in Bulgaria. The famous International Plovdiv Fair is held here as a kind of a follow-up of the First Bulgarian Exhibition on 1892. The fair grounds are along Maritsa River, in the northern part of Plovdiv. The Fair is held twice a year – early in May for consumer goods in September– for industrial goods. Plovdiv is also known as the centre of a rich agricultural region, with plenty of most varied. Low-priced and ecological fruit and vegetables on its markets. The city is likewise a major cultural and educationalcentre. Apart from opera, theatre and puppet-theatre performance, numerous concerts and artistic events, Plovdiv is the host city of traditional events, Plovdiv is the host city of traditional festivals, exhibition, biennials and many others culture events. Landmarks Ancient Theatre of the Phlipopulis was built in the 2nd century AD under RomanEmperor Trayan and existed until about 5th century, when it was destroyed by fire during an attack against the town. It seated about 6 000 spectators, who watched performance from 28 rows of benches, divided in two levels by a passage. Numerous inscription in Greek have been found and can be seen on platforms, along the frieze of the stage, in the upper part of some seats, on the pediments of the statues. The theatre has been well preserved in its original architectural plan and is one of the signification Roman theatres. Today this is one of the most attractive culture centres in Bulgaria. Where open-air shows are held