The Ancient Plovdiv
National Institute for Cultural Monuments16, Knyaz Dondukov Blvd - Sofia
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The locality of Plovdiv on the transport corridor, which is crossing the Balkans, ensures its strategic position in the communications between the East and the West even from the remote past. The Ancient Plovdiv includes the very old part of the town, which had preserved over the centuries its integrity as a historical centre with a homogeneous structure and remarkable historical stratification. The accumulated over the Three Hills layers contain some valuable proofs about the millenary development – marks from the prehistory, Thracian, Hellenic and Roman cultures, from the Middle Ages, the Ottoman period, the National revival and from the XX century. The highest concentration of early layers is in the archeological site “Nebeth tepe”. The first evidence of human presence is dated from the end of the III millenary B.C. The most valuable expression of the antique layer is the Antique Theatre - one of the most imposing examples of the theatric architecture of Roman provinces. The fortification system of the city acropolis is spread between the Nebeth Tepe and the Ancient Stadium. Thus the antique and the middle ages structures both find expression in the town, even just fragmentary revealed. The architectural layer from the National Revival has the highest concentration, integrity and degree of preservation. Its stylistic characteristic is a unique variety of the Balkan’s vernacular architecture from the end of the Ottoman domination – XVIII-XIX centuries. The continuity of the medieval structure is evinced in this historical layer: the compact buildings, homogeneous silhouette; irregular street network; dominants of cults; expression of the fortification axes. Together with this a new spirit of the lay-out of the public and private areas has its expression here.