Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia, with a city population of 346,893 as of 2018 and 675,000 in the greater metropolitan area. It is the economic capital of Bulgaria and an important transport, cultural, and educational centre. Plovdiv is situated in a fertile region of south-central Bulgaria on the two banks of the Maritsa River. The city has historically developed on seven syenite hills, some of which are 250 metres (820 feet) high. Because of these hills, Plovdiv is often referred to in Bulgaria as “The City of the Seven Hills.” The city is host to a huge variety of cultural events such as the International Fair Plovdiv, the international theatrical festival “A stage on a crossroad,” the TV festival “The golden chest,” the Night/Plovdiv in September, the Kapana Fest, and the Opera Open. There are many preserved ruins such as the ancient Plovdiv Roman theatre, a Roman Odeon, a Roman aqueduct, the Plovdiv Roman Stadium, the archaeological complex Eirene, and others. The oldest American educational institution outside the United States, the American College of Sofia, was founded in Plovdiv in 1860 and later moved to Sofia. On 5 September 2014, Plovdiv was selected as the Bulgarian host of the European Capital of Culture 2019 alongside the Italian city of Matera. Credit: Wikipedia.
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