From top, left to right: Hills of Plovdiv • Ancient theatre • Ancient stadium • Historical Museum • Hisar Kapia • Ethnographic Museum • Tsar Simeon's garden •
From top, left to right:Hills of Plovdiv • Ancient theatreAncient stadiumHistorical MuseumHisar KapiaEthnographic Museum • Tsar Simeon's garden •
Flag of Plovdiv
Coat of arms of Plovdiv
Coat of arms
The city of the seven hills
Градът на седемте хълма  (Bulgarian)
Gradăt na sedemte hălma (transliteration)
Ancient and eternal
Древен и вечен  (Bulgarian)
Dreven i vechen (transliteration)
Plovdiv is located in Bulgaria
Location of Plovdiv within Bulgaria
Coordinates: 42°9′N 24°45′E / 42°9′N 24°45′E / 42.150; 24.750
Country Bulgaria
 • MayorZdravko Dimitrov (GERB)
 • Total101.98 km2 (39.37 sq mi)
164 m (538 ft)
 (31 December 2018)[3]
 • Total346,893
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)(+359) 032

Plovdiv (Bulgarian: Пловдив, pronounced [ˈpɫɔvdif]) is the second-largest city of Bulgaria. It has a population of 346,893 as of 2018 and 675,000 in the greater metropolitan area. Plovdiv is the culture capital of Bulgaria. It is an important economic, transport, cultural, and educational center. There is evidence of habitation in Plovdiv dating back to the 6th millennium BCE, when the first Neolithic settlements were established. It has been considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world.

During most of its recorded history, Plovdiv was known in the West by the name Philippopolis (Greek: Φιλιππούπολη; Turkish: Filibe; "Philip's Town") after Philip II of Macedon conquered the city in the 4th century BCE. The city was originally a Thracian settlement[4] and subsequently was invaded by Persians, Greeks, Celts, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Slavs, Rus people, Crusaders, and Turks. On 4 January 1878, at the end of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Plovdiv was taken away 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 joined Bulgaria.

Plovdiv is situated in a fertile region of south-central Bulgaria on the two banks of the Maritsa River. The city has historically developed on seven syenite hills, some of which are 250 metres (820 feet) high. Because of these hills, Plovdiv is often referred to in Bulgaria as "The City of the Seven Hills".

Plovdiv is host to a huge variety of cultural events such as the International Fair Plovdiv, the international theatrical festival "A stage on a crossroad", the TV festival "The golden chest", and many more novel festivals, such as Night/Plovdiv in September, Kapana Fest, and Opera Open. There are many preserved ruins such as the ancient Plovdiv Roman theatre, a Roman odeon, a Roman aqueduct, the Plovdiv Roman Stadium, the archaeological complex Eirene, and others.

The oldest American educational institution outside the United States, the American College of Sofia, was founded in Plovdiv in 1860 and later moved to Sofia.

On 5 September 2014, Plovdiv was selected as the Bulgarian host of the European Capital of Culture 2019 alongside the Italian city of Matera.[5] This happened with the help of the Municipal Foundation "Plovdiv 2019″, a non-government organization, which was established in 2011 by Plovdiv's City Council whose main objectives were to develop and to prepare Plovdiv's bid book for European Capital of Culture in 2019.


Ancient settlements with names related to "deva". Pulpudeva denotes Plovdiv in which the latter name is rooted.
Map describing the city as "Philippopolis, que et Poneropolis, Duloupolis, Eumolpiada, item Trimontium, at que Pulpudena"

Plovdiv was given various names throughout its long history. The Odrysian capital Odryssa (Greek: ΟΔΡΥΣΣΑ, Latin: ODRYFA) is suggested to have been modern Plovdiv by numismatic research[6][7] or Odrin.[8] The Greek historian Theopompus[9] mentioned it in the 4th century BCE as a town named Poneropolis (Greek: ΠΟΝΗΡΟΠΟΛΙΣ "town of villains") in pejorative relation to the conquest by king Philip II of Macedon who is said to have settled the town with 2,000 men who were false-accusers, sycophants, lawyers, and other possible disreputables.[10] According to Plutarch, the town was named by this king after he had populated it with a crew of rogues and vagabonds,[11] but this is possibly a folk name that did not actually exist.[8] The names Dulon polis (Greek: ΔΟΥΛΩΝ ΠΟΛΙΣ "slaves' town") and possibly Moichopolis (Greek: ΜΟΙΧΟΠΟΛΙΣ "adulterer's town") likely have similar origins.[citation needed]

The city has been called Philippopolis (ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΠΟΛΙΣ pronounced [pilpopolis]; Greek: Φιλιππούπολη, in modern Greek, Philippoupoli pronounced [filipupoli]) or "the city of Philip", from Greek Philippos "horse-lover", most likely in honor of Philip II of Macedon[12] after his death or in honor of Philip V,[6][13] as this name was first mentioned in the 2nd century BCE by Polybius in connection with the campaign of Philip V.[6][13] Philippopolis was identified later by Plutarch and Pliny as the former Poneropolis. Strabo identified Philip II's settlement of most "evil, wicked" (ponerotatus) as Calybe (Kabyle),[14] whereas Ptolemy considered the location of Poneropolis different than the rest.

Kendrisia (Greek: ΚΕΝΔΡΕΙϹΕΙΑ) was an old name of the city.[4] Its earliest recorded use is on an artifact mentioning that king Beithys, priest of the Syrian goddess, brought gifts to Kendriso Apollo;[15] the deity is recorded to be named multiple times after different cities. Later Roman coins mentioned the name which is possibly derived from Thracian god Kendriso who is equated with Appolo,[16] the cedar forests, or from the Thracian tribe artifacts known as the kendrisi.[4][13] Another assumed name is the 1st century CE Tiberias in honor of the Roman emperor Tiberius, under whom the Odrysian Kingdom was a client of Rome.[8] After the Romans had taken control of the area, the city was named in Latin: TRIMONTIUM, meaning "The Three Hills", and mentioned in the 1st century by Pliny. At times the name was Ulpia, Flavia, Julia after the Roman families.

Ammianus Marcellinus wrote in the 4th century CE that the then city had been the old Eumolpias/Eumolpiada, (Latin: EVMOLPIAS, EVMOLPIADA),[17] the oldest name chronologically.[8] It was named after the mythical Thracian king Eumolpos, son of Poseidon[18] or Jupiter,[19] who may have founded the city around 1200 BCE[20] or 1350 BCE.[21] It is also possible that it was named after the Vestal Virgins in the temples – evmolpeya.[4]

In the 6th century CE, Jordanes wrote that the former name of the city was Pulpudeva (Latin: PVLPVDEVA) and that Philip the Arab named the city after himself. This name is most likely a Thracian oral translation[4] of the other as it kept all consonants of the name Philip + deva (city). Although the two names sound similar, they may not share the same origin as Odrin and Adrianople do, and Pulpudeva may have predated the other names[22][23] meaning "lake city" in Thracian.[13] Since the 9th century CE the Slavic name began to appear as Papaldiv/n Plo(v)div, Pladiv, Pladin, Plapdiv, Plovdin, which evolved from a Thracian variant Pulpudeva.[24] As a result, the name has lost any meaning. In British English the Bulgarian variant Plòvdiv has become prevalent after World War I.[22] The Crusaders mentioned the city as Prineople, Sinople and Phinepople.[13] The Ottomans called the city Filibe, a corruption of "Philip", in a document from 1448.[25]