About Plovdiv Ancient Forum
Plovdiv Ancient Forum contains the predominantly Roman ruins of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Once known as Philippopolis, Plovdiv covers a range of ancient sites.
Much of the structure of Plovdiv Ancient Forum dates to the 1st century AD. It spans an area of 11 hectares and was the beating heart of the city, with public buildings, shops and markets characterising the once busy city.
Arguably the highlight of the forum is the restored Plovdiv Amphitheatre, which was initially built between the 2nd and 5th centuries and was once the seat of the ancient city council. Today, this site hosts various events.
History of Plovdiv Ancient Forum
The Plovdiv Ancient Forum was the centre of administrative, commercial, and religious life in the ancient city of Philippopolis, in modern-day Bulgaria. It was discovered in 1971 during the construction of a central post office in Plovdiv, which revealed the north, eastern, and part of the southern ancient central square.
Plovdiv Ancient Forum was designed during the reign of Emperor Vespasian in the 1st century and was completed in the 2nd century. The design followed a new urban plan and Roman model, with a complex of buildings including the Plovdiv Amphitheatre, the library, and the treasury building.
The forum is almost square in shape. To the north were a complex of buildings which dominated the rest of the buildings in the forum. Three entrances, situated along the axes of eastern, southern, and western edge, provide access to the streets, which are located at the sides of the forum.
In 2012, works began in the north-western part of the forum, revealing an area of 400 square metres between the post office building and Tsar Siemon gardens.
Plovdiv Ancient Forum Today
The forum is located at the very heart of Plovdiv’s city centre and main pedestrian centre which, with the noise of the city and hustle and bustle, isn’t dissimilar to the signs and smells of ancient Philippopolis.
Today, though the site is fenced off and is still undergoing archaeological excavation, there is much to see from a number of angles around the site.
Getting to Plovdiv Ancient Forum
The Plovdic Ancient Forum is located near Plovdiv’s General Gurko Street and the main pedestrian street of the city, Knyaz Alexander of Battenberg Street. By car, the site is reachable in around 15 minutes from the centre of Plovdiv via Ruski Blvd. and Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Blvd. By foot, it also takes around 15 minutes, via Tsanko Dustabanov Street. There is also a regular bus schedule from the city centre – the 7, 20, and 26 – which depart every 4 minutes or so, and take 10 minutes to reach the centre.