Plovdiv is ancient and eternal, but for better or worse it is changing. While only twenty years ago the most remarkable event was the opening of a restaurant by the American chain McDonalds, recently new and interesting events are constantly happening in the city under the hills. Even after our election as European Capital of Culture 2019, the implementation of a number of projects for the improvement of the urban space and the cultural and musical scene began. The Kapana district has become a colorful center, where there is always a lot of fun and life, and we can say with firm conviction that we don’t miss the previous parking area in its place at all. Which are, however, the things we miss and remember with nostalgia!? Certainly, there will be at least a few different answers for everyone, so today we from the team of Lost in Plovdiv present what came to our minds without much thinking.
We look forward to your suggestions in the comments to remember together a part of the millennial city's past:
In September 2012, the trolleybus transport under the hills was finally stopped. The first trolleybuses crossed Plovdiv in 1955, and in the beginning, the traffic consisted mainly of them, carts and bicycles. Cars were rare. 8 years ago, due to constant problems with non-fulfillment of the routes, the lack of enough electric trains, as well as the frequent accidents with the poorly maintained trolleybus network in the city, the line service contract was terminated and the electric machines remained in the garage forever. Riding in them was a real adventure, and frequent stopping due to unplugging of the pantographs guaranteed you at least a 5-minute delay.
The stalls on Kapitan Raycho Street
Fifteen years ago, more than 200 canvas-covered stalls were located on the central street, starting from the former Trimontium Hotel and ending at the Kamenitsa Brewery, offering all kinds of things from clothes to household goods. Traders fought for a long time to maintain their way of trading, but eventually teamed up with investors and some of them later moved to the newly built shopping centers. Now in their place there are parking lots at the beginning, and the shopping destination of Plovdiv residents has moved to the big malls. And now only some of us remember what a crowd and lack of social distance there was in the days around Christmas and all kinds of holidays…
Plovdiv is a football city and for its inhabitants there are two possibilities: you are either from Botev or from Lokomotiv. The derbies between the two greats have always been legendary and full of emotions, and the stadiums are filled to the brim. Unfortunately, a few years ago only one official football field remained in the city under the hills. In 2014, the main tribune of the yellow-blacks finally remained in history, and since then only the sad remains have remained in its place. There is a reconstruction project, but no one knows yet when it will be completed. And from a historical point of view, the stadium of FC Botev is the second largest in the city and was officially opened in 1961. Only two years later it hosted the match Botev Plovdiv - Atletico Madrid (Spain), whose attendance exceeded its capacity of over 20,000 seats back then almost twice.
The cave behind the lake with the Bear in Tsar Simeon's Garden
Access is now restricted by iron bars, but before the site was renovated, the cave served as a hiding place in the game of Guards and Apaches of the neighborhood kids. Of course, there were periods when everything was littered with rubbish and neglected, so in 2011 the attraction was closed. Now only the statue of the dignified bear stands proudly for photos.
And at the very opening of the magnificent garden the cave was one of the most visited places during the First Bulgarian Exhibition. Its entrance was blocked by the streams of several waterfalls and it is believed that this was the favorite place of the creator of all this magic - Lucien Chevalas.
There is no way that a text in the only digital guide under the hills doesn’t end with an emblematic restaurant. Well, maybe for some the past is not so close, but there are still legends about the cult tavern. Born in Hotel Trimontium in the spring of 1959, the tavern quickly became a favorite for Plovdiv residents and guests of the city. It opened for customers at 4 pm and closed at 11 pm. And an hour before the opening, people were waiting outside in line. Today, there are almost no photos, the menu has disappeared, there is only a sweet bohemian memory of those living at that time.