Plovdiv 2019: Historic Moment in a historic city


Not Sofia, Plovdiv! Bulgaria’s second largest city capital of culture 2019 is next to Matera in Italy. Under the Motto “Together” has begun in the city with a large Celebration in your honor year.

“This is a unique and historic Moment for our city,” said Plovdiv mayor Ivan Totew before the opening ceremony. “There has never been in Plovdiv a little with such a large jet power such as the title ‘European capital of culture’. Since we were selected, we feel that.” The start of the year of culture in Plovdiv fell on 12. January – first of all, with a Grand Open-Air Show on Saturday evening.

Impressive light show for the opening of the Plovdiv 2019

The artists ‘ collective Phase7 staged in front of tens of thousands of visitors on a 40-Meter-high tower for a spectacular light show. The Performance with local music and dances gave us a taste of the Motto of the European capital of culture 2019: “Together” (“Together”) a total of one thousand residents of Bulgaria’s second-largest city in the hour-long Show on the stage.

The people in the city of Plovdiv should be on this evening, the protagonists – and in the coming year: in may at the art parade “Ayliak” on Europe’s longest Boulevard or on the already-opened exhibition on the history of the tobacco industry of Plovdiv.

Cultivation and processing of tobacco in Plovdiv with a great Tradition – already in the end of the 19th century. Century was produced on a large scale.

“Together” is a Headline that fits well to Plovdiv: In the so-called “Rome of the Balkans,” reject the ancient Greek columns to Roman walls and ancient Turkish baths. While you discovered in an alley with a synagogue and an early Christian Basilica, towers over the roofs in the city centre, the Djumaja mosque from the 14th century./15. Century. And still today, live in Plovdiv, Bulgarian Roma, and people of Armenian, Ukrainian or Turkish culture.

A Mulitkulti city, as in the book – and 8000 years ago, one of the oldest in the world. “It was always in such a way that people of different cultures or ethnic groups in this corner of the world have divided. It is part of our DNA,” says Svetlana Kuyumdhieva, the curator of Plovdiv 2019. This should also be reflected in the program again, it was in the run-up to a lot of dispute.

Curator Svetlana Kuyumdhieva at the inauguration of the exhibition “Art of Liberty”, consisting of painted Parts of the Berlin wall.

In June, the theatre project “Medea brings together” children and young people of different ethnicity and religions. Also, “100% Plovdiv”, by the famous theatre collective “Rimini Protokoll” guided projects, to decidedly Theaterleien of different backgrounds together.

As well as the project “Learn from Stopinovo”, trying to build a bridge to the Roma community in and around Plovdiv. Because in Plovdiv, although it is proud of its colorful diversity, but easily this is not living: it is Precisely the Roma are considered to be cleaved, the relationship is often strained and not infrequently it comes to racist hostility – even from the policy.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    All we need is Plov(e)div!

    What strikes every visitor immediately: The city is young, hip and creative. And English is – at least for the young people, of course. They see themselves as Europeans, finally, Bulgaria is a member of the EU. And the Plovdiv are proud that their city is one of the oldest in Europe.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time


    Plovdiv was built like Rome on seven hills, but it is very much older: While Rome is just 3000 years old, looks back to Plovdiv on a 8000-year history. Thracians, Celts, Romans and Ottomans have left their traces.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    Quite a large theatre

    The ancient marble theater of the 2. Century is one of the most beautiful memory of the Romans. About 6000 people were able to see ancient tragedies and comedies. Also in the capital of culture year, the Amphitheater will make performances a magnificent backdrop for concerts and the theatre.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    Ottoman Heritage

    Different era, different style: The Friday mosque was in the 15. Century, as Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire. With the walls and brick and the graceful minaret of the mosque is Central to the long Promenade of Plovdiv.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    Sleeping Beauty

    The Plovdiv call their old town, on three hills above the city perched. The cobbled streets lead up villas in a small corner of Paradise from churches, grocery stores and a Merchant. The pretty little old houses in Bulgarian style in comparison to the long history of the city is relatively young.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    Neighborhood dispute from the Finest

    In the 19th century. Century broke out with the end of the century-long Turkish rule in Bulgaria, a veritable construction boom. The rich merchants of the city spared no effort and tried to outdo each other. Each house should be more beautiful than that of the neighbors.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    Bulgarian Atmosphere

    The merchant Arghir Kuyumdzhiouglu put its back into it: His house is one of the largest and most magnificent in the old town. The Interior is impressive with wood-panelled Ceilings and stylishly decorated rooms. In this atmosphere today, the collections of the Ethnological Museum to be shown in Plovdiv.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    Street Art District

    Colorful graffiti is the trademark of Kapana. The old artisan quarters, has turned into the new In-district. It was restored in recent years and is, with its many cafes and shops, one of the meeting points, not only during the capital of culture year.

  • Plovdiv: Gorgeous old and young at the same time

    Waiting for tourists

    Many in Plovdiv, in the hope that the city of Culture 2019, the “sleeping beauty” comes to life. Because 30 years after the fall of the Iron curtain, Bulgaria and Plovdiv are still away from the big tourist flows. However, in 2019 the European capital of culture is expecting about two million visitors from all over the world.

    Author: Kerstin Schmidt

“We have, on the application of our problems here in the open, you are in our program written, and you want to tackle now, finally, with the help of this year of culture,” says mayor Totew compared to the DW. Already during the planning phase, only the title “European capital of culture have changed” so much. “Before, no one has spoken of contemporary art. Today, the whole city talks about it.” It is possible to put any more money into the schools in the neighborhoods of the Roma Communities. In addition, the could artist said to be a quarter Kapana car – free- something that was previously unthinkable.

IT Student Lubomir Marovski is looking forward to many international guests.

Bars, cafes, a Flair between rancid, weird and just nice and colourful. This is Kapana, quasi-Bulgaria is the only Hipster-quarter. IT Student Ludomir Marovski works in a cafe. He is of two minds about Plovdiv 2019. “I am excited about the many attractions and international people coming, clear. But what I don’t understand is why you are lifting at the same time, ticket prices for certain exhibitions. Now the money from the EU is there, and we have to pay more. This is not true.”

The 23-Year-old is not the only one it bothers that the city has recently increased the ticket prices for cultural offers of 20 percent. And this is just one of the many points of contention, which already existed in the run-up. One of them is this: critics accuse the person in charge, promised projects, not the establishment of a tobacco city from the Remnants of the old factory buildings – including. These are now left to the weather.

Penka Poydovska is confident that Plovdiv 2019, the city will do well.

Penka Poydovska is still proud of. “It is the Best thing that could happen to us. This year will do us all good. And if more tourists come, the better.” And the tourists come. Already during the planning phase for Plovdiv 2019, the was: in 2017, the number of visitors to a Million multiplied, for 2018 to 1.5 million. 2019 is likely to then blow up all the records – at least in the history books of Plovdiv.