Just a little over a week ago, two new spaces which are definitely worth a visit were opened in the city under the hills


Our first suggestion is to enjoy the renewed City Garden, which was officially opened to visitors after a long renovation with three days of celebrations. For many years it was the "forgotten" city park of Plovdiv, but now we can safely say that it will become a favorite place for meeting friends and for fun children's games.

Although the people of Plovdiv call the Tsar-Simeon Garden as the "City Garden" and despite its long history, it is far from the first park under the hills. About 14 years earlier, immediately after the Liberation, the first city garden with representative and public functions not only in Plovdiv, but also for Bulgaria was created. Today it is better known as the "garden next to Energoto".

It is the work of the famous "minister of flowers" Lucien Chevallaz, and the main inspiration and organizer for its design was the Governor General of San Stefano Bulgaria, Knyaz Dondukov-Korsakov. For a long time, it was assumed that this was the reason why it was named after him, but recently the representatives of the State Archives and the Ivan Vazov National Library Natasha Kostadinova and Petko Georgiev revealed that not a single document was found proving that the green zone received the name Dondukov Garden by administrative route.

The fact is that the garden is called the City Garden, and we find it with that name in all the plans and sketches. According to Petko Georgiev from the library, the first written document that mentions the garden and is associated with the name of Dondukov is Ivan Vazov's poem "In Fields and Forests".

It is dedicated to the largest tree in the garden that he saw as a student. In his work, Vazov says that the tree is still sitting and can be seen in "Knyaz Dondukov's garden". It is currently being discussed whether the park should bear the name of Ivan Vazov, the Patriarch of Bulgarian literature.

Today, the area is a real oasis in the very center under the hills - with 4 water attractions, electrical installations, video surveillance, internet, lighting, granite pavement, landscaping and a completely renovated city toilet. A perfect place to rest after a walk in the city center.

Another gem also opened its doors – the late antique building Irini from Philippopolis, together with an antique street network with a crossroads, are exhibited in situ (on site) in the so-called Archaeological underpass and are accepting visitors again.

They were discovered by archaeologists Zdravko Karov and Mina Bospachieva during rescue archaeological research in 1983-1984 in connection with the reconstruction of the former Georgi Dimitrov Blvd. (today Tsar Boris III Obedinitel) and the construction of a collector and an underpass.

The name of the building comes from a beautiful central mosaic - a female image with an inscription in ancient Greek - Eirene, or as it is now accepted to pronounce Irini, which means peace. There are many other different symbols surrounding the image, one of the most characteristic being the Solomon's Knot. It can still be seen in the Great and Small Basilicas as an element of the mosaics.

In fact, according to archaeologists, it was the banqueting hall of the home of a prominent citizen of Philippopolis. The building functioned between the 3rd and 6th centuries, and for the time later, the researcher believes that it was the residence of the bishop of Philippopolis, and this is only a fragment of the representative part of the building.

The ancient streets - cardo (north-south) and decumanus (east-west) have been leveled and preserved and serve as the main artery of the underpass, and the premises of the ancient buildings along them have been adapted for use as shops. For example, an interesting fact is that the flower shop next door is believed to have housed the household part of the building.

The aristocratic home with the beautiful mosaics welcomes visitors with working hours from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm with no day off.