Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe / Diagonal Road

Plovdiv, the Old town

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Plovdiv, the Old town

About the site


Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Bulgaria, Plovdiv
Type: Vernacular Architecture
Epoch: Modern Times
Theme: Vernacular Architecture
World Heritage:
Modern TimesVernacular ArchitectureVernacular Architecture

The Ancient town, located on the three hills in the town center, is an excellently preserved and homogenous ensemble, built mainly during the Revival period – 18th and 19th c. Harmoniously incorporated in its structure are also the traces of earlier historical periods – the remains of the ancient Thracian settlement, the ancient theatre, the fortification walls from Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The residential buildings are prevailing – big representative houses, two-threes storey high buildings, situated in richly laid out and artistically modeled courtyards.
The so-called “symmetrical house of Plovdiv” is the summit of the development of Bulgarian residential architecture during the Revival. Its specific characteristics are the impressive dimensions, symmetrical plan and space composition and rich art decoration. Their polychrome facades are often covered with wall paintings, mostly in geometrical style. The wall paintings in the interior are much more ornate and varied; the floral and landscape compositions are prevailing. Another typical element of the interior decoration is the woodcarving – on ceilings, columns, doors, railings and cupboards. On these lines of obvious striving for imposing appearance is also the ostentatious show-off of the buildings to the street. Strong West-European influence could be observed in the composition and decorative system of the Plovdiv house, along with the specific Oriental characteristics. Some of the most outstanding representatives are Kojumdjiouglu house, Georgiadi house, Hindilian house, Nedkovich house, Lamartin house, etc.
The urban structure of the Ancient town is quite picturesque – with the dynamic relief, rich range of colours, expressive plastic outlines of the houses and the irregular form of the street network. Significant accents in the Ancient town are the Revival church “St. Marina”, “St. Constantine and Elena” and “St. Nedelia” with their remarkable wall paintings and woodcarvings.

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