Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second biggest city, which treasures a history that goes back thousands of years, traces of which have survived to the present day. The Thracians founded Plovdiv during the Neolithic period in the 2nd millennium BC. Later, during the period of the Roman Empire, it was a major centre of the province of Thrace, many archaeological finds dating from the 2nd – 3rd century, testify for those glorious times. The Old Quarter was built in the 18th-19th centuries as the centre of the Bulgarian National Revival architecture. Along steep cobblestone lanes, behind stone walls and iron-studded heavy oak gates, one could glimpse at verdure and flowers, surrounding the typical Plovdiv symmetrical houses with their painted facades, oriels and jetties and grid windows.
The St. Constantine and St. Helena Church completed in 1832, contains murals painted in 1836 by Zachary Zograph, the best known Bulgarian National Revival painter. Bachkovo Monastery is the second most important after the Rila Monastery, with frescoes and murals from the 17th century, considered masterpieces of European Renaissance Art.
- Duration: 9 - 10 hours
- This is a full day trip from Sofia to Plovdiv and Backovo monastery
- Distance: From Sofia to Plovdiv is 150 km and takes about 2 hours drive
- Bachkovo Monastery is located 30 km south of Plovdiv, in the Rhodope Mountains, around 30-40 minutes drive from Plovdiv
- Departure is 08:30 in the morning from Sofia
- Return to your hotel in Sofia would be expected at around 17:30-18:00 in the late afternoon. Please note, that these timings are approximate and depend on actual traffic conditions.
Note: Our driver and guide will pick you from your hotel. Recommended sites of interest:
- The Roman Forum
- Fortress Walls
- Amphitheatre, which was built during the time of Emperor Trajan (98-117). It has 28 rows with tiers of marble seats, which can accommodate over 3 500 spectators and today is still functioning
- The Old Town with spectacular architecture of the National Revival period (18th – 19th century).
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Bulgaria Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History