Cover photo: jelev92
Plovdiv is a big city and often rushing around all the popular places, we miss some secret places. They are not widely advertised, they are not tourist sites and there are no queues in front of them, but they can also make us laugh, astonish us with their beauty and diversify the popular routes.
The secret house of tastings or the museum of distillation in the Old Town:
For 2 years there’s been a place in the Old Town of Plovdiv that isn’t exactly a museum, but not a simple Revival house with a wonderful architecture either. Here in the form of a talk, father and daughter will introduce you to the history of distillation on our lands, will introduce you to its subtleties and will tell you why this process is considered state-of-the-art. Their task of presenting a variety of typical Bulgarian high-alcohol drinks is not easy, but a testimony to their success are the smiles we all leave with and the pleasant impression they leave for Bulgaria and some of the products we are famous for in the world. And the best part is that the entire conversation also has a tasting part where you will try several products of the distillation process that will surely stun you in the best way.
Climbing to Nebet tepe on the convenient route through Old Plovdiv and strolling the last sunshine to document the most impressive sunset, you can hardly pay attention to the stairs that lead directly to the hill on its northern slope. This is the part that is least visited - and logically, as it is the steepest, there is hardly any infrastructure. The staircase was cut into the rocks thousands of years ago and it was used by the inhabitants of the fortress to descend to the river. The bravest Plovdivians or guests, however, can enjoy these terrible stairs - whether dare to climb them or just look at them from afar.
The excavations under Excelsior shopping center and H&M shop
Everyone who has seen the Roman Stadium and is familiar with its history and architecture knows well that its length is 240 meters and is currently only exposed to its northern end. The rest is located under the main street of Plovdiv. Separate parts of the vast ancient facility can be seen in the underground premises of some of the buildings on the central pedestrian street –the Excelsior Center and the H&M shop. The treasure that lies beneath the buildings is really impressive. The stadium seats and a huge water tank are preserved and exposed. The whole archeology is quite large, but there is no way to see it at this moment. Unfortunately, no direct access to them is currently available, and only fragments of them can be seen from certain locations in the retail outlets.
The Fire Museum
It is believed that the fire-fighting in Plovdiv and the region has over 170 years of history. It is not clear when, but a clock tower erected above SahatTepe was first used to watch the city for fires. It is one of the oldest in Europe, presumably, it was built at the beginning of the 16th century.
At the end of the 19th century, the Plovdiv fire command moved to the old Turkish farmhouse in "GulBahcha" on Preslav Street, where it is housed today. Right there in the administrative building is the museum area of firefighters. On the first floor, you will be able to see the special photo exhibition with archive footage of emblematic fires and firefighting contests prepared for the 130th anniversary from all press photographers under the hills.
In the archive collection on the second floor in the building of the regional directorate are also kept helmets, emblems of a uniform, awards, thematic editions, and a hook, with which the fire-fighters have served centuries ago.
An old fire bell hangs on the wall of the inner entrance through the yard. There is no data from which year it is.
United Bulgaria or a forgotten street in Plovdiv, through which no one ever passes:
It borders Dzhambaz Tepe from the south, divides the Three Hills from the excavations near the Monday Market, and - somehow - connects the square on the Monday Market with the southern entrance of the Tunnel.
The street was part of the stormy life between the churches of Santa Marina and St. Petka, the market and all other activities in the lively neighborhood, but today there is no sign of it, as most of it serves as a huge field for excavations.
The whole area that remains between the excavations and the hill is like a ghost. Although it is in the heart of the city, almost no one passes by, doesn’t go there, there is almost no way to reach it.