Amphi theater | античен театър

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The amphi theater was build in the second century a.C. It has place for 7000 people and it’s amazing. Interesting fact: In the fifth century it got destroyed during an attack led by Attila the Hun. After that the theater was forgotten and abandoned and got covered with earth. It got rediscovered around 1970, when part of the theater was revealed after an earth quack. It got rebuild and reconstructed and is now open in the summer for concerts and performances. You can also visit and take a look around.

The view is amazing. When you sit down on one of the marble stone seats you can enjoy a performance with the best background ever. It’s really amazing.

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Want to go to a performance there? There are performances in the sumer and you can buy tickets in the city center, on the square with the fountain, close to McDonalds. There’s a Costa Coffee there, and across there’s a little white cottage with posters on the walls. They sell tickets for different performances, also the ones in amphi theater. It’s a little bit old style ticket selling and I don’t think they speak English, so here’s the Bulgarian phrase to buy tickets:

Mozhe li dve (2) bileti za … molja? Can I have 2 tickets for … please?

There’s an international folklore festival every summer with performances in the amphi theater. It’s the best and you can go for free! Probably around the end of July / beginning of August.

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Address: ulitsa Hemus | улица Хемус
Coordinates: 42.147490, 24.751233

How to get there?
Somewhere in the middle of the shopping street you find the mosque (pink), part of the ancient stadium and a little park(green). Walk between the mosque and the park and take the street to the right of the church, going uphill. You will see a big yellow building, which is the academy of music and dance. Keep this building on your right. After the building there’s a little staircase, go there, and you will see a big gate and a terrace. Go to the gate and amaze yourself. The entrance for sightseeing is on the left.

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Asens fortress | Асенова крепост

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DSCN6055The remains of a fortress with a strategic location and a two-story church. That’s Asens Fortress. You can go there by car, although there are also people who prefer to walk there. At the entrance of the area the view is already incredible, and it only gets better. The stairs will lead you around the top of the hill towards the church. It’s also possible to walk the stone stairs up the hill from where you will have a wide view. Because after all that’s the reason the fortress was build here. I’ve never seen a church with 2 floors that are both open for public. The idea for the first floor was an ossuary, a place for graves, but it was never used this way. Now it’s some sort of mysterious ceremonial place, with chairs, candleholders and rock formations.

On the second floor you will find the main part of the church. The plaster isn’t what it used to be and the paintings aren’t intact, but it’s beautiful. With a little bit of luck the sun will shine through the windows which makes it magical. It’s a light, silent, bright, old place.

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The Thracians saw the potential of the location in the 5th century and build the first fortress. It was rebuild in times of the Roman Empire, as a defend against Slavics. When in hands of the Byzantines, the first tower was build. In 1204 the Crusaders took over, but not for long. In 1231 king Asen II led the expansion and rebuilding of the fortress. The fortress got his name, aswell as the city next to it, Asenovgrad (City of Asen). In times of the Ottomon Empire, Sultan Bayazid took over. After his death in 1402 and a short time of leadership by one of his sons the fortress was destroyed to make ure opponents of the throne wouldn’t take over and use it’s strategic location. Only the church was saved.

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howtogettoasensfortressHow to get there?
Drive to Asenovgrad on the 86. This road will lead you through the town. For those of you who love wedding dresses, make sure to keep your eyes wide open! When you see the river in front of you the road will bow to the right a little bit. You will have a rock formation on the right after which will be the exit to Asens fortress. There’s a brown sign on the left side of the main road that says ‘Asens fortress, 2 km, –>’. Follow this road, it will lead you to the entrance of the fortress. There’s a little parking lot behind the ‘office’ where they sell tickets, to get there follow to road until after the bend. It’s really close, you just have to know it! A ticket will cost you aroud 3 leva.

November – March
Wednesday – Sunday
10.00 am to 5.00 pm

April – November
Wednesday – Sunday
10.00 am to 6.00 pm

Closed Monday and Tuesday

Hostel Old Plovdiv

1359625375677408 This is a beautiful and cozy hostel in the center of the Old Town of Plovdiv. You’re surrounded by an ethnographic museum, the amfi theater, the top of the hill with an amazing view (watch a sunset there!), part of the ancient stadium, church of the holy mother of god, restaurants, shops with handmade products, the dzhumaya mosque and many more. Wander around in the old streets and take time to look around.

The hostel has several rooms, for 2,3 or 4 people. It’s also possible to have a single room, or to ask kindly for a room for 5. Each room has something special, unique bedframes and antique accessories. There’s even a room with an amazing painting on the wall. None of them have a bathroom, you can find those next to the hallway with the reception.

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In the morning there’s a good breakfast, which you can eat outside in the garden. There’s also a ‘livingroom’ with a big baroque-ish couch and chairs. There’s a computer aswell.
The staff is great, they speak English and know a lot about the old town and Plovdiv. The staff I met was also great to hang out with in the garden! There’s always someone at the reception.

Adress: ulitsa ‘Chetvarti yanuari’ 3, 4000 Plovdiv | улица ‘Четвърти януари’ з
Coordinates: 42.149872, 24.752254

How to get there?
Walking from the shoppingstreet
Somewhere in the middle of the shopping street you find the mosque (pink), part of the ancient stadium and a little park(green).
Walk between de mosque and the park all the way up. Keep the church on your right. When you arrive on a little square go left. You will find the hostel at the left side.

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The busses stop at boulevard Tsar Boris III Obedinitel right after the tunnel. When you get out walk the stairs (red), with the tunnel on your right. Take the second street right, then a left and a right and you will find the hostel at the right side.

From the train/bus station (they’re pretty much next to each other) you can take bus 7, 20, 26 or shuttlebus2. You can buy bustickets in the bus. When with a car or taxi you can either stop at boulevard Tsar Boris III Obedinitel and walk the red route or follow the green line. Taxi’s will bring you halfway up there. There a possibility to park your car when you get on the ‘blue’ street, right before the church.

 

Tsarevets | Царевец

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Tsarevets. There’s a lot of history in this monument. A beautiful entrance, on a bridge which will lead you through a gate to what once was a community. The Byzantines build here between the 5th and the 7th century, after which it was rebuild by the Slavs, the Bulgars and the Byzantines again. The Turkish empire destroyed a lot after it’s invasion in 1393. In communist times Bulgaria has left a stamp on it aswell, trying to restore parts.

On top of the hill you will find the restored church. On the outside it fits in with the rest but inside it has been painted in what I would describe as ‘Lord of the Rings’ inspired. It’s beautiful, but when you don’t expect it it can be, well, strange. When you walk to the back of the church there’s an elevator. For 2 leva it will take you to the tower from where you have a great city view.

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In the back you can climb the restored Baldwin tower, where Baldwin I of Flanders – the perfidious Crusader who led the sack of Christian Byzantium in 1204 – got imprisoned and executed after his defeat by the Bulgarians a year later. There are great views from the top.

There’s more to find, like the remains of one of the churches, part of the big wall around Tsarevets and the foundations of the Royal Palace from where 22 kings ruled Bulgaria.

Adress: Tsar Asen Square, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Coordinates: 43.082316, 25.648665

How to get there?
howtogettotsarevetsTake the E85 to Veliko Tarnovo. North of the city (in this picture on the right) go to Street Tsar Ivan-Asen II | ул. Цар Иван-Асен II-ри. Follow this road until you passed the bridge in front of the fortress. You will be able to park your car on the left side right after you crossed the bridge. When you go right you will drive all the way to the entrance.