The Roman and Thracian heritage near Plovdiv

Description

Our journey begins in Starosel.

The village is in central Bulgaria, only 40 km away from Plovdiv. It is the oldest Thracian complex with a mausoleum found in Bulgaria and dates back to the end of 5th century BC. The temple is built in a sacred place, in a region with a large number of ancient rock temples and mounds. The smaller of the two tombs is called “Horizon” and is the only Thracian tomb with a colonnade to date. The columns are in an early Dorian style - six unadorned columns out front and 2 on each side. The façade of the building is uncovered. The larger tomb is called the Chetinyova mound, and it gives you the chance to see what remains of the sites the Thracians of this region used for winemaking, ritual sacrifice, and the burial site itself.

After our walk around the temple complex, we can attend a wine degustation at Starosel Winery. The wine tasting will take place in the wine cellar, which is built and decorated in the style of a Thracian tomb. We’ll be trying a selection of 3 wines, complemented with appetizers and mineral water.

The town of Hisarya is one of the oldest and most popular balneological resorts in Bulgaria. It is known for its 22 mineral water springs, 16 of which are natural ones. The climate here is mild and favorable, and a notably unusual feature is the lack of fog throughout the year. For this reason, the town is known as one of the sunniest places in Bulgaria.

The history of Hisarya dates back to the Neolithic era, in the 5th millennium BC. It was later settled by the Thracians. In the year 46 AD, it fell into the hands of the Romans. It was during the reign of Emperor Diocletian that it reached its peak. The city’s famous fortress wall, with a length of 2327 meters and a height of 13 meters, was built in this period. The city continued to prosper as part of the Roman Empire, then the Byzantine Empire, then after the founding of Bulgaria and all the way up to the Ottoman invasion, when it was razed to the ground. It would not be revived until the latter half of the 17th century, when the small town of Hisarya was founded atop the ancient ruins.

In the modern day, Hisarya’s wall is remarkably intact. It curves through and around the town, and its most famous section is the so-called “Camels” – its southern gate, which up until its restoration stood split in two like the humps of a camel. Most of the other archeological discoveries uncovered are concentrated in and around "Momina Sulza" park. Hisarya’s thermae, built on an area of 3000 square metres, are today amongst the few preserved thermae in the Balkans. Some of them are intact almost up to their roofs.

Three hundred metres south of the fortified city there is a Roman family tomb. Its original structure is preserved and it is accessible to visitors. It is notable for its long corridor, burial chamber and colorful floor mosaic.

Lastly, we’ll be heading towards the Archeological museum to see the fascinating artifacts from various historical eras discovered in the town and the nearby settlements.

Price per person

• For a group of 6 or more: 40 €

• For a group of 2-5: 60 €

• For a single tourist: 90 €

Inclusions / exclusions

The price includes

• Tour guide

• Transfers

The price does not include

• Lunch

• Entrance fees for the Thracian Tomb, Roman thermals and the Roman tomb

Notes

Price for groups of over 10 people: on request

27 €

per person

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Excursions

4180 Hisarya, Bulgaria

Starting point - Plovdiv, Bulgaria

1 day

Summer, Winter, Autumn

Live tour guide available in English

Maxiumum number of participants - 10 people

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