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Plovdiv (plôvˈdĭf), anc. Philippopolis, city (1993 pop. 345,205), S central Bulgaria, on the Maritsa River. It is the second largest city of Bulgaria, a transportation hub, and the chief market for a fertile area. Plovdiv's major industries are food processing, brewing, and the manufacture of textiles, metal products, and carpets. Originally built by the Thracians, the city was captured in 341 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, who named it Philippopolis and established a military post there. Known under Roman rule as Trimontium, it was the capital of Thracia. It was razed by the Goths but recovered after Byzantine Emperor Constantine V settled the Armenian Paulicians there. Destroyed (early 13th cent.) by the Bulgarians, Plovdiv later became the center of the Bogomils. It was occupied by the Greeks in 1262 and was captured by the Turks c.1360. The city passed to Russia in 1877 and became the capital of Eastern Rumelia (1878–85); it was united with Bulgaria in 1885. Plovdiv is the seat of a Bulgarian Orthodox eparch and has several Orthodox churches and Turkish mosques, as well as a university and other higher educational institutions. The ancient town walls and gate still stand; remains of the Bishop's Basilica (5th cent.) were discovered in the 1980s.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in southern Bulgaria, on the Maritsa River. Picturesquely situated in the hills of the western part of the Upper Thracian Lowland, 25 km north of the Rhodope Mountains. Administrative center of Plovdiv District. Second largest city in Bulgaria; also second in economic and cultural importance. Population, 260,000 (1973).

A transportation junction, Plovdiv is an important center for the machine-building and electrotechnical industries. Local enterprises manufacture electric motors, electronic equipment, hydraulic machinery, and woodworking machines. The food and condiment industry is represented by enterprises that produce canned goods, sugar, and tobacco, and the textile industry, by plants that produce cotton cloth and silk. Other industries include the production of garments, footwear, glass, and pulp and paper and the processing of leather and furs. A growing chemical industry produces chemicals for agricultural uses, pharmaceuticals, and essential oils. Near the city is a large lead and zinc combine.

International trade fairs have been held in September since 1933. Educational establishments include medical, agricultural, and food-processing institutes. There are scientific research institutes for vegetable growing, fruit growing, and the food and condiment industry. Plovdiv has archaeological and ethnographic museums, a municipal art gallery, and drama and people’s amateur opera theaters.

Trimontium, the old section of Plovdiv, has an irregular layout. It was declared a historic district in 1956. Architectural monuments include remains of ancient fortifications, a minaret built in 1456, and the Dzhuma Mosque, which dates from the 15th to 16th century. Among numerous buildings from the Bulgarian Renaissance are the Church of St. Constantine and St. Helen, which dates from 1832 and has murals painted by Z. Zograf, and houses decorated with carving and painting. The latter include the Lamartine house and the Koumdzhioglu house, which was built in 1847 and is now the Ethnographic Museum. Since 1944, new residential areas have been built, as have the International Fair complex (1948–49), the Wedding Palace (1962), the Maritsa Hotel (1967), and the monument to the Soviet Army Alesha (1955–57, sculptor V. Radoslavov).


Plovdiv. [Album with text by S. Bosilkov.] Sophia, 1966. (Parallel texts in Bulgarian, Russian, German, English, and French.)
Plovdiv: Putevoditel. Sofia, 1960.
Iordanov, T. Plovdiv. Sofia, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in S Bulgaria on the Maritsa River: the second largest town in Bulgaria; conquered by Philip II of Macedonia in 341 bc; capital of Roman Thracia; commercial centre of a rich agricultural region. Pop.: 339 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
'Die Bauten und Bildwerke von Philippopolis. Zeugnisse imperialer und orientalischer Selbstdarstellung der Familie des Kaisers Philippus Arabs.' Damaszener Mitteilungen 6:293-311.
'Die Bauten von Philippopolis: Zeugnisse imperialer Selbstdarstellung ostlicher Pragung.' In E.-L.
Perdikatseva said she has guided Prince Charles, the Queens of Spain and Denmark and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, whom she escorted to dinner at a continental Old Town restaurant called Philippopolis.
The number of victims in the district of Philippopolis (Plovdiv) reached 15 000.
The city used to be called Philippopolis, after Philip II, who ruled this Thracian kingdom in the fourth century BC.

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