The Temples of Plovdiv
Plovdiv is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in Bulgaria, where big Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Greek, Armenian and Orthodox communities live together.
This tour is for those of you that want to learn more about all the religions and ethnicities - how did they form historically, where do they live and where do they go for prayer.
We will go around functioning temples, and we will also visit historic locations of Roman basilicas and explore the museums they are nowadays.
• See the pearls of Orthodoxy - “St. Constantine and Helena “,” St. Dimitar “,” St. Sunday “, ” St. Marina”
• Discover the ancient Roman mosaics of the Little and the Great Basilicas.
• Visit the neo-classical Catholic Cathedral of St. Ludwig and the Gothic Evangelical Church.
• The Temple of Armenians hides precious treasures, including a piece of the Holy Cross.
• Find out why Plovdiv was the capital of the most dangerous heresies - Arians, Paulicians and Bogomils
Destroyed and rebuilt, the magnificent churches of Plovdiv remember almost the entire history of Christianity.
The flame of faith under the hail has lit one of the 70 Christ’s Apostles Erm. According to tradition, he founded the Christian community in Plovdiv in 37 AD. Apostle Herm is the author of one of the most famous ancient theological treatises - the “Shepherd”.
Here is the earliest and startling image of Christ (IV century) - the Son of God performs miracles with the help of a magic wand. The mural is painted on a tomb exhibited at the Archaeological Museum.
During the great persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian in 304, the 38 Plovdiv martyrs of today’s Hissar Kapiya were executed. The church “Sts. North and Memnes “, which was later renamed” St. Konstantin and Elena “. Today’s church was built in the first half of the nineteenth century, when almost all the temples in the city were repaired and rebuilt.
The city was also involved in the first great schism - in 343, the Second Ecumenical Council was assembled in Serdika (present-day Sofia), which affirmed the Nicene symbol of faith. At the same time, a meeting of the Arians was held in Philippopolis, where 75 bishops, led by the city bishop Evtihii, took part.
The churches are built in special places - ancient sanctuaries and pagan temples, places of saint feats, miraculous spring. Among the earliest temples are the Episcopal Basilica (IV century) and the Little Basilica (V century), whose exquisite Romanesque mosaics, Plovdiv, applied for UNESCO.
Among the old sanctuaries is the Armenian Church “Surp Kevork” (St. George), which was originally built in the fifth century. The Armenian presence in Philippopolis was testified in the 6th century, the last wave of Armenians arriving in the town of the hills after the persecution in Turkey in the 1920s.
The settlement of the Paulic Armenians in Philippopolis in the 9th century is also associated with one of the greatest disruptions in medieval Christianity. Their co-operation is based on the heretical teachings of the Bogomils, which later set fire to half Europe and Russia.
According to numerous testimonies, it is Plovdiv and the region around it, the capital of the Bogomils and, according to the Byzantine princess Anna Komnina. The Bogomils profess moderate dualism, which considers the material world as unclean and created by Satan, and the human soul for the spark of God caught in the prison of the flesh. The Bogomil preachers play a role in the creation of the patriarchs’ sects in Bosnia and the Cathars in France, as well as the sharps and rulers in Russia.
Despite the persecution, the Bogomils (under the name Paulicians) survived until the 17th-18th centuries in the region of Plovdiv and Rakovski when they were baptized in the Catholic faith. The Catholics have shelters and monasteries in Rakovski, and in Plovdiv the largest one is built - the Cathedral of St. Ludwig.
Here in the nineteenth century was built the most beautiful Gothic cathedral in the country - an abode of the Evangelical church.
The Orthodox temples in the Old Town were rebuilt in the early nineteenth century when Plovdiv became the capital of the Bulgarian National Revival - the struggle for church and national independence in rivalry with the Greek community.
On May 11, 1851, the celebration of the Slavonic alphabet and the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius is celebrated here for the first time, and eight years later, for the first time, a liturgy in Bulgarian language is served in the temple “Assumption of the Blessed Virgin”.
Price per person
• For a group of 11 or more: Contact us for an offer.
• For a group of up to 10 people: 90 €
• For a single tourist: 90 €
Inclusions / Exclusions
The price includes
• Tour guide
The price does not include
• Enterance Fees for the Small and Big Basilicas
Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes – the tour involves walking through the cobbled streets of the Old Town.
For groups over 10 people - conatct us!
Starting point - Roman Stadium
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Live tour guide available in English
Maxiumum number of participants - 10 people
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