Friday, June 27, 2014

A Morning in Plovdiv

Time to get my blog up and going again after nearly a year.  I had always meant to finish blogging my trip to Europe that I did last year and because I got so busy never managed.  However, I will now endeavour to do that and then get back into the swing of things on a regular basis again.

We got up nt too early and had breakfast at the hostel before heading out.  I was still feeling chesty but not as bad as the night before.  We had arrived in pitch black so I found what met us a delight.  The architecture was amazing but the cobblestones were very hard to walk on especially with my foot.

There was lots of art all over the buildings...

I made Anne pose...

I fired a couple of shots off in the church before getting told off - apparently it's a no no!

We wandered to the main part of the town to find some roman ruins excavated in the main street. It's an ancient stadium built in 240AD that seats 30,000 spectators and is 240m long.

We stumbled onto a market - and found some great presents.  Prices were fabulous.

Walkigng back towards the ancient stadium we stumbled on the end of the marching girls and their seemingly army band..

A little way up from the band, we found these huge carved men holding up a ceiling inside an arcade.  Ducking in we found more of the ancient stadium being excavated under the building.  Quite fascinating.

We wandered around and found the main square...

And some more ancient ruins being excavated around the town.

Walking back to the hostel, Anne disappeared up some steps.  We followed her but we came to a locked gate.  Vivie and I walked back down then waited for Anne but she never came.  So back up the steps and we fell into this stadium which was apparently closed to the public on this day.  But that gate wasn't locked afterall, so we wandered in then climbed up the top.  What a beautiful view.  It was here I learnt that Plovdiv is the second oldest city in Europe.  

 St Demetrius Orthodox Church was our next stop and again I fired off an image and again got told off!  Oops!  I took a photo of the information - built on the northern terrace of Dzhambaz Tepe Hill, probably on the site of an early Christian basilica. Archaeological investigations have found floor mosaics, remains of a massive late Antiquity walls and early christian graves. During the middle ages there was a church in honour of St Demetrius of Thessaloniki  on this site.  The present day church was built in the 19th century using marble from the Rhodope Mountain and was restored in 2007.

This is an old historic house and the architecture very typical of the area. This one was built in 1829/1830 by an unknown bulider for a local merchant.Due to the terrain displacement it has irregular foundations.

We kept wandering... past houses and ruins...

And found St Nedelya orthodox Church which was being restored.  This is one of the oldest churches in Plovdiv.  Built in 1578 and restored in the 1830s.

Nearly back at our hostel now we passed this amazing building.  Built in 1846 by a Rhodope Builder Hadzhi Georgi Hadzhiiski.  A rich merchant received this house as a dowry after his marriage to the daughter of a merchant and tailor Georgi Kendindenoglu. The house is desiged in the 'Konak Style' that was popular in the 19th Century.

While Anne and I were photographing the house, Vivie found a friend...

Still wandering...

And found another church, this one with amazing frescoes on the outside...

And back to our hostel where we picked up our luggage, piled into the car and drove to Sofia stopping a the Rila Monastery which I'll show you next.

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