Plovdiv is the second largest Bulgarian city after the capital. Philipopolis (the town of Philip), Trimonzium (the town of the three hills), Puldin (the Slav interpretation of its Thracian name), the present day Plovdiv is a city with many names. It is one of the oldest settlements in Europe with millennium old history. It changed hands many times between Thracians, Greeks, Romans and later in the middle ages it was under the rule of Byzantines, Bulgarians and Turks. All civilizations have left their mark on the contemporary look of the city. Remnants from Roman, Ottoman and Bulgarian Revival period are to be found all over the town.
Among the most impressive sites is the Roman Theatre (2nd c). Built by the Roman Emperor Trajan it could accommodate up to 7000 people. Nowadays it is a popular scene for many regional and international festivals and events. The Roman Stadium is another impressive monument from Roman times. It is considered one of the largest structures of its time which could seat up to 30 000 spectators. Gladiators games in honor of the Emperor were organized on this site. Other monuments of interest from Roman period are the Forum (1st-2nd c.) as well as the Odeon (2nd-5th c.) - a smaller scene for theatre performances in the antiquity.
The revival architecture of Plovdiv can be best seen in the old quarter of the town situated on three hills (Dzhambaz, Nebet and Taxim Hills). During the National Revival period Plovdiv was inhabited by many wealthy and educated people who travelled around Europe. They exchanged not only goods but also new cultural trends. So the newly rich merchants demonstrated their prosperity by constructing beautiful richly ornamented houses that became emblematic for the town. From this period worth to be seen are the Ethnographic museum, The Balabanov's house-museum, The Hyndlian's house-museum, the church of St. Konstantine and Elena, the church of Virgin Mary and more.