Hadzhi Hasan Mahala, called Adzhisan Mahata or Adzhisana by locals, is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the ancient and eternal city. It is located in the central part of the city, between Monday Market, Old Plovdiv, Shahbazyan Square, Trimontium Square, Shesti Septemvri Blvd., Kn. Maria Louisa Blvd. and Iztochen Blvd. There are archeological excavations in it, revealing part of the Eastern Gate of the ancient Roman city of Trimontium.
It dates back to the 15th century, and is believed to have been founded by a Turkish military leader and clergyman, after whom the no longer existing Hadzhi Hasan Mosque was named. In the past, the neighborhood stretched along the eastern and northern hills of Nebet Tepe, reaching near Banya Starinna.
The inhabitants of the neighborhood are a colorful mix of Roma with a Turkish identity, ethnic Turks, Armenians and Bulgarians. The diversity of ethnic groups with their specific culture of living, the indelible boundary between different epochs and social inequalities can be traced in the specific landscape of collapsed buildings coexisting with the dignified houses of petty bureaucrats of the 1920s, socialist blocks and new absurd architectural "masterpieces".
Compared to other ethnic neighborhoods, Hadzhi Hasan Mahala is the most civilized and richest in population. It is a kind of enclave in the city, an unexpected entry into another time and a space between the past and the present. No official guide will take you there, but we will take you virtually through its streets - perhaps the most charming part of the neighborhood - crooked, sometimes narrow, twisted, passing in front of the open doors of neighbors who trust each other and don’t lock their homes. Sometimes, passing through a narrow passage between two buildings, you will find yourself on a small square. Many streets end at a dead end without you suspecting, and if you sneak into them, you will be greeted by a good-natured local who will tell you whether you can continue or the street is a dead end.
It is impressive that adobe houses with trimmer joists can be found, not as impressive as those on the Three Hills, but definitely with a long history. They are often next to larger palaces, in the eclectic nouveau riche style, which we see not only in Roma neighborhoods but also on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast - plaster ornaments, railings on the terraces with rich decoration.