Plovdiv has the longest pedestrian street in Europe. It starts from Central Square to the south and reaches the end of the Pedestrian Bridge on the Maritsa River in its northern part. Its entire length is 1750 meters and from 2014 until today it holds the championship, displacing Copenhagen.
For several centuries, the trade section reached only Dzhumayata and was called Uzun Bazaar, but in the past, it was the center of economic life under the hills and it is no wonder that the preserved authentic appearance of buildings from different eras and architectural trends can be seen.
An interesting fact is that the most common buildings on Main Street are in art deco style. This type of architecture was spread in Bulgaria - and around the world - in the 1920s. And in fact - whether because of the taste of the people of Plovdiv, or because of historical coincidence and economic factors - Plovdiv turned out to be the capital of art deco. This is also the period in which the Main Street was most actively built.
We start from the square in front of the Municipality of Plovdiv and the impressive building with Atlas. The sculpture itself is thematic about the period and the spirit of the time. The shapes of the facade are typical of art deco - elongated in height, narrow and tall windows. Characteristic in this case, and in general for the style, are the lack of eaves and stepped ends of the cornice of the facades.
In its current form, the building is not very close to its authenticity, but the main features are still visible.
Another impressive representative is “Covo and Sidi” (where the H&M store is today), built between 1926 and 1930 by architect Hristo Peev. Although not in the purest art deco style, we still see a strong emphasis on these elongated shapes and lines that run uninterruptedly throughout the facade.
Around the Roman Stadium Square, we look at the building of Kutsooglu, designed in 1924 by architect Stoyko Stoykov. With its beautiful railings, impressive staircase and typical facade layout, it is one of the most complete examples of art deco in Bulgaria. The architect Stoykov himself is in fact the author of most of the buildings in this style on Main.
On the other corner of the square, we also find a great example. The project of the building on the corner of Rayko Daskalov and Zhelezarska next to the Dzhumaya mosque dates back to 1922 and is by the famous architect Yordan Yordanov, together with Dimitar Koev. The angular cylindrical volume with a clock can easily be a symbol of Plovdiv. It was first built for a popular bank, then became a hotel. Today there is a bank again in the lower floors, and upstairs are the offices of the municipal foundation "Plovdiv 2019".
It is curious that the staircase was rebuilt a little later and is now in the style of modernism - with a mosaic of white and black squares, metal tubular railings, and clean semicircular shapes. The idea for this modernist reconstruction came from architect Hristo Peev.
The art deco heritage of Plovdiv is extremely rich and we can find it not only in the central part but also everywhere in the city. It is certainly worth looking more not only at the buildings rich in various classical motifs or rich floral ornamentation but also at the delicate elongated shapes that this elegant style offers us.