I am fascinated (some may call it obsessed) with ancient history. Every city has a past that exits today in the present. Every building tells a story of war, illness, natural disasters, and perseverance. Though many ancient cities are gone today; their past lives on in history books. There are, however, ancient cities that are very much alive today. Rome and Athens are two examples of ancient cities that are still around today. But there are other ancient cities that are very much alive, but not as well known as Rome and Greece.
I prefer to take the road less traveled when it comes to vacations. One ancient city that I have my eyes on is Plovdiv. Plovdiv is in modern day Bulgaria. Today, it is the second-largest city in Bulgaria. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe with a history of habitation going back more than 8,000 years – even older than Athens. The settlement was originally Thracian, but it became a major Greek and later Roman city.
Today, the city has more than 200 archaeological sites. It is like a candy store for those who love history. Probably the best-known site is the Ancient Theatre of Plovdiv. The theater was built in the beginning of the 2nd century when the city was part of the Roman Empire. Another history site in the heart of the city is the Ancient Stadium. The Ancient Stadium was the site of many athletic games (again during the Roman Empire). Sadly, time has taken a hold of the stadium. Today, you can only see a few rows of one section.
Some other places of interest in Plovdiv:
· Ruins of Eumolpias
History aside, Plovdiv also has a rich culture. The city is home to several museums and art galleries. If you need a recess from your history lesson, you can either hit the Pamporovo ski resort or one of the many spas south of the city.
When it is time to rest, you can head back to the International Vacation Home Exchange property that is located just an hour outside of town. The home exchange apartment is at the foot of the Rila Mountains. This home exchange is the perfect place to not only soak in some history, but also some scenery. This vacation is the perfect excuse to escape the present and live in the past.
Thank you to travel writer Carla Pruitt. You can follow Carla on Twitter at @crobscarla