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Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and the administrative center of Plovdiv District, Plovdiv Municipality, Maritsa Municipality and Rodopi Municipality. The city is situated on both banks of the Maritsa River, in the central part of the Upper Thracian Plain. Its territory comprises 102 sq. km and the population is 365 139 inhabitants.
Plovdiv is the most important administrative, academic, economic, commercial and transportation center of the south central region.
Plovdiv is the oldest city in Europe and the sixth oldest in the world, where life has never stopped /The Daily Telegraph in 2010/. It is estimated that it was founded around the beginning of 6th century BC. Having established itself as a Thracian center, the city grew during the times of Philip of Macedonia, flourished in the heyday of the Roman and Byzantine empires, was preserved in the years of the Ottoman Empire and was on the rise again during the Bulgarian National Revival.
The old town in Plovdiv is an architectural and historical reserve located on three of Plovdiv's hills: Nebet Tepe, Dzhambaz Tepe and Taksim Tepe.
The complex has been formed as a result of the long sequence of habitation from prehistoric times to present day and combines the culture and architecture from Antiquity, Middle Ages and Bulgarian revival. The old town in Plovdiv is included in UNESCO World Heritage tentative list since 2004.
The Roman theatre of Plovdiv is one of the world's best-preserved ancient theatres. It was constructed during Roman Emperor Trajan (reigned 98–117 AD), it can host between 5000 and 7000 spectators and it is currently in use. The theatre is one of the most valuable monuments from the ancient city of Philippopolis.
Bulgaria is situated in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkan peninsula, bordering the Black Sea (geographic coordinates 43 00 N, 25 00 E). The country covers an area of 110879 km2 (slightly larger than Tennessee).
The climate is temperate with cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers. The terrain is very diverse, with many mountains over 2000 meters and a number of valleys and plains. The country is abundant with mineral springs and is famous with its winter ski, spa and summer sea resorts.
The official currency is Bulgarian lev (BGN). 1BGN ≈ 0.5 EUR. Officially, only local money is accepted in shops, restaurants, taxis etc. Exchangeservices are offered at many locations, including the airport, in all banks, in numerous exchange bureaus, hotels, and in some major shopping centers.Furthermore, major credit cards such as Visa, American Express, and Mastercard, are widely accepted.
The voltage in Bulgaria is 220/240 V, 50 Hz, with the standard European two pin system electrical outlet sockets.
Bulgaria is member of European Union and NATO.
(Photos are provided by Ilian Bozhanov and Andrey Andreev)