Plovdiv – the second biggest city in Bulgaria
Plovdiv‘s history spans 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC, ranking it among the world’s oldest cities. Plovdiv was known in the West for most of its recorded history by the Greek name Philippoupolis , which was introduced in 340 BC. Plovdiv was originally a Thracian city before later becoming a Greek city, and then a major Roman city. In the Middle Ages, it retained its strategic regional importance, changing hands between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. It came under Ottoman rule in the 14th century. On 4 January 1878, Plovdiv was liberated from Ottoman rule by the Russian army. It remained within the borders of Bulgaria until July of the same year, when it became the capital of the autonomous Ottoman region of Eastern Rumelia. In 1885, Plovdiv and Eastern Rumelia itself became part of Bulgaria. It is probably the most visited city in Bulgaria after Sofia, and has always amazed all its visitors with the breath taking architectural mixture it offers.