March 22, 2015
Wedding on a tour - Free Plovdiv Tour

Encountering a wedding ceremony during the tour

The wedding ceremony The wedding is not only an institutional union between two people, but also building a relationship between a woman and a man in love with each other. In Bulgaria the traditional wedding continues up to a whole day. (What an exhausting event!) The wedding begins with ‘taking’ the bride from her home. This moment is usually connected with the custom of ‘looking for’ the bride’s shoe. When the groom finally manages to find it, he is made to put some money (not coins, of course) in order to make the shoe the right size for his beloved. The ‘visit’ at the girl’s house ends up with a traditional Bulgarian dance – horo. Horo is a common dance It is widely spread on the Balkans, in which people arrange either in a line, or in a circle. The next destinations are the ritual home and the church. In our country the civil marriage is the only legitimate form in the Bulgarian Family Law. In order to be legal, […]
March 4, 2015
Pijo-Penda-Baba-Marta-Martenitsa

Baba Marta

Baba Marta is a traditional Bulgarian holiday celebrated on the 1st March. It is believed that this day marks the beginning of spring. You can hardly see a person on the 1st March without a Martenitsa either on his coat or on his wrist. The origin of the Martenitsa The tradition dates back to the 7th century. Khan Asparuh (the ruler of Bulgars in the second half of the 7th century) had a sister named Huba. She was a captive in another kingdom. One day, Asparuh sent his sister an announcement that he had found a land (southwards from the Danube river, today’s Bulgaria) for them to settle down. Huba managed to run away and reached the river. As she looked for a path, Asparuh’s sister tied a white thread to a falcon’s leg. The other end of the thread remained in her hand, but as soon as the falcon found a way he was speared by an arrow and his blood coloured the thread. In the long run, Huba […]
February 24, 2015

Plovdiv is turning into a cultural hotspot

You might have heard that in 2019 Plovdiv will be the European capital of culture along with the Italian town of Matera. To pave the road, though, Plovdiv is preparing by increasing its cultural events year by year. These are just a few of what lies ahead in 2015. ONE Foundation is to host three major festivals this year. ONE DESIGN WEEK will be held 19-28 June and will focus on the works of Bulgarian and foreign artists, in which digital technology will be the main highlight.   Source   ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK will take place from 18 to 27 September and this year’s topic will be the Integration of the River (the Maritza river that runs through the city). The festival will try to make communities around the river and make it a cultural and sociable spot and not just a border within the city. ONE DANCE WEEK from 23 October to 1st November and will showcase the most progressive choreographies of the foreign and Bulgarian dance scene.   […]
April 5, 2014

CouchSurfing Interview with Svetla

Our teammate Adelina took an interview from a host in Plovdiv about all her CouchSurfing experinces. Enjoy learing about it and getting to know Svetla. A: How did you find out about CouchSurfing? S: I learned about CouchSurfing in a very interesting way – from an article in a newspaper. I can’t remember whether it was published in “Trud” or in “24 hours”. The article was about a girl from Thessaloniki – Nastia, who traveled all around the world using CouchSurfing. In addition, she hosted people 300 days a year. I was eager to meet her and to try CouchSurfing. Thessaloniki is somewhat close to Plovdiv so it was the perfect opportunity. I registered on the website and I wrote to the girl. She came to Plovdiv, we met and soon after, everything started. A: When did you start hosting? S: Initially I was just meeting foreigners in Plovdiv and I was going to CouchSurfing meetings because my mother wouldn’t let me to host. At that time, I had a serious boyfriend […]
November 22, 2013

Sofia Architecture Week 2013

Does architecture fascinate you? Would you like to hear some interesting ideas about sustainable urban planning and discuss them with well-known architects from around the world? Do you want to share your vision of a city of the future? Well, if the answer to all these questions is “Hell yeah!” then you should definitely visit the 6th edition of Sofia Architecture Week!  From the 22nd of November untill the 1st of December, the guests of the festival can enjoy all kinds of entertaining and educational events related to architecture! This year the theme of the festival is “Future city” and for the first time SAW takes place in Plovdiv! The official opening is on the 22nd of November, at 19:00, at the House of culture.  Later, the ceremony continues with an opening party at club “Gramophone” on 37 Kniaz Aleksander Batenberg at 22:00. The first weekend of the festival hosts 9 exhibitions. Six of them are of the famous architect studios – Atelier OSLO, Mjolk Architects , Amin Taha Architects, […]
June 24, 2013

Lyusien Shevalas – The Minister of Flowers

Lyusien Shevalas is Swiss by birth, but his heart always belonged to Plovdiv Lyusien Shevalas graduated from the Forestry College in Paris. He worked not only in Europe, but also in Africa, Brazil and the Ottoman Empire. In Bulgaria he came at the invitation of knyaz Aleksander Bogoridi.  That was after the Liberation of Bulgaria and he was given the task to teach Bulgarian gardeners to design beautiful gardens, like the ones in Europe. In Plovdiv Once in Plovdiv, he fell in love with the city. The Gardner knew in his heart that he will never leave. He gave it his best effort and Plovdiv bloomed in his care. Shevalas created his best work here and his gardens are still appreciated and loved today – over 130 years later. In 1901 he received the award for Honourable Citizen of Plovdiv. Since then he was endearingly called the Minister of flowers. And it’s no wonder – he transformed what was a wasteland into a beautiful park with bamboo, palms, pines, cacti […]
May 10, 2013

Sasho the Sweetheart

There are many stories about Sasho the Sweetheart. Some of them are true, some are little white lies for us to remember him by. One thing we know for sure – Sasho was truly a sweetheart. Sasho the Sweetheart was born Aleksandar Nikolov on September 15, 1917. He was a famous musician, poet, painter and spoke five foreign languages. Music was his greatest passion, though, and this passion led him to graduate from the Music Academy in Prague and later on play in the famous restaurant “Bulgaria”. Some of his contemporaries say that he had something of a Viking presence, hot Macedonian blood and Slavic pride in him, hence the dreamy looks he received from the ladies. Sasho was also very witty and talkative and had a joyful disposition and loved to tell jokes, that’s how the nickname the Sweetheart came to be. And even though people from Plovdiv loved Sasho, politician weren’t so happy about him and his jokes and music. Even nowadays we can hear some of the […]
March 11, 2013
Miljo the Crazy - Free Plovdiv Tour

Miljo the Crazy

We all know that Plovdiv is a city with a lot of stories to tell. But the real, beating heart of the city are its citizens. Miljo the Crazy was one of the well known people in town. Miljo the Crazy The ones that plan to (or have already) visit the tour probably know the story of Miljo the Crazy. That is the charming idiot, who made people laugh and remember what it really is to be alive. Even though he was mentally unstable and a laughingstock a bit too often, Miljo remains a big part of the Plovdivian spirit. Even after 40 years, people still remember him with a smile. Noone minds, that Bulgarians from other cities judged them for making a monument for a crazy guy. Why is that? Every person from Plovdiv knows – Miljo is a symbol of everything purely, Plovdiv’s mascot, loved and befriended by everybody in town, was known for his good heart, flirtatiousness and gossip of his “gift”. If you come to Plovdiv don’t forget […]