May 24, 2019

Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture

Ancient Theatre, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

A variety of entertainment events awaits the guests of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019

Тhe Bulgarian city of Plovdiv was named “European Capital of Culture 2019” inheriting the title from Leewaurden-Friesland, the European Capital of Culture 2018.

Plovdiv – one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, which is also the second largest city in Bulgaria, integrates an abundance of cultural events, a well-developing business sector and a rich history. With its striking cultural heritage, architecture and archeology it takes its visitors on a journey back in time.

Populated successively by Thracian, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs and Bulgarians, Plovdiv is currently a cosmopolitan city – a home of different nationalities, cultures and religions. The heart of Plovdiv is the famous Old town – the most picturesque part of the city with quite an impressive architecture.

The jewel of the Old town is the Ancient theatre, built in the 1st century A.D. and one of the best preserved in the world. Another ancient treasure of Plovdiv is the Bishop Basilica and the roman mosaic of Philipoppolis from V-VI century. The visitors of Plovdiv can also find here a lot of Orthodox churches, Muslim mosques, Catholic cathedral, Armenian church, Evangelist church.

The longest pedestrian zone in Europe is also located in Plovdiv and it includes everyone’s favorite – the creative art district Kapana. The fascinating artefacts in combination with the modern art make Plovdiv a must see town in your bucket list.

Plovdiv is celebrating its year in the spotlight with a reach programme of nearly 500 cultural events, which will enable you to enjoy quality music performed live by world-famous artists as well as delicious food, fascinating exhibitions and diverse spectacles.

The very opening of the initiative Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019 was remarkable. Over the weekend of 11th to 13th of January a series of events kicked off, with the most exciting and large-scale of them all – the spectacle We Are All Colors”. It combined music, lights and dance, and with over 1500 participants from Bulgaria and abroad, it recreated on an open-air stage a sweeping and colorful metaphor presenting all the main themes in the programme of ‘Plovdiv 2019’ and their unification under the slogan ‘Together’.

Bulgaria, Plovdiv Pana-Creative, District. Photography Credits to

If you are a music enthusiast, regardless of which your favorite genre is, Plovdiv will be the place to experience unforgettable moments in 2019. Opera Open, for example, will bring together the greatest talents from all over the world, and the event atmosphere will be remarkable. The audience will be entertained with 10 spectacles under the open sky and will take place on the stage of the Ancient theatre.

Opera Open’s diverse programme can be enjoyed from June 14 to July 31. Its kick-off will be the premiere of ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’- a spectacle put together by the leading opera director Stefano Poda. In the Ancient theatre, a large-scale coproduction will be held in partnership with Teatro Regio di Parma– namely, Verdi festival – for all those who are fans of classical music. The placard also includes a ballet spectacle with solo performers from the superb Bolshoi Theatre.

For the fans of heavier music, the festival Hills of Rock – for the third consecutive year – will offer three days of euphoria. Hills of Rock will take place from July 19th to 21st at the Rowing Base (Regatta Venue), in the center of the largest park in the city – the Recreation and Culture Park – and will attract world-class performers. 

Ancient Theatre, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

A delicious complement to the plethora of music events will be Plovdiv Jazz Fest, which will take place in November 2019. This international festival brings together the best performers of the genre and immerses the audience in this type of culture. In addition to the main programme, there are various attendant events – craft workshops, jam sessions, exhibitions. A prestigious award for overall contribution to jazz music and a Youth Competition have also been set up. 

With so much music, it would be impossible to miss out on dance. Love Swing Dance Festival will take place from 26th to 29th of September. In parallel to that – from September 19th to October 13th – ONE DANCE WEEK 2019 will be held. The festival will present the most significant performers in the field of contemporary dance practices from Europe, Asia and America.

NIGHT/Plovdiv is one of the most prominent annual city initiatives in Plovdiv. This year it will be held from September 13th to 15th.  More than 100 participants will join in and an extensive and diverse programme of events will be held in over 70 different spots in the city. NIGHT also offers a free entry to museums, galleries, the workshops of Plovdiv artists, cultural institutions, community centers, reading clubs as well as many open spaces. In 2019 NIGHT will incorporate specially designed projects by authors from Germany, Sweden, Austria Turkey, France, Israel, the USA and other countries as well as many initiatives developed in partnership with the cultural institutes inside the country. The youngest viewers will also be catered to: the programme ‘The Small NIGHT’ will be especially designed for them.

In order to experience the cultural diversity of Plovdiv and exhibit their art, 13 creative companies from Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland will take to the road. They will arrive in the European capital of culture on June 1st, coming on foot, on horseback, by bicycles, trailers or trucks. In the city this multitude of over 200 creative artists and their collaborators will set up three art camps. They will share their art with the public over the course of 10 days. 

The Week of Contemporary Art is also a large-scale international exhibition project with an over 20-year-old history and content of the highest standard of quality. In 2019, the Week of Contemporary Art will be held from September 1st to October 1st.

One of the distinctive features of Bulgarian culture is the language – complex, but rhythmic and beautiful. The written expression of the language is the Cyrillic alphabet – recognized as the third official alphabet of the European Union. The city of Plovdiv is the first European capital of culture which uses the Cyrillic alphabet.

Plovdiv – the European Capital of Culture 2019 is already welcoming its guests with a wide range of events, meeting places and breath-taking views. With some appetizing food and Thracian wine, you will get a taste of the contemporary feel of a Bohemian life. You can enjoy unique cuisine, including a number of food festivals, influenced by the many cultures that live in harmony under the Plovdiv hills. More about the programme you can find on the website of Plovdiv 2019 Foundation ( and the official pages of the initiative on social media platforms.

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