Travels in Bulgaria: Old Town Plovdiv

The last post was about our first couple days in Plovdiv, and we learned of a package ticket for visiting five homes that have been restored in the Old Town (along with a pharmacy from the early 1900s and a couple of ancient sites), and since we had planned on visiting two or three anyway, we bought the pass and headed for our first historical house.

Our first stop: The house of Veren Stambolyan. Built in the second half of the 19th century, the two story home has a courtyard and archways leading inside.

Once inside, the ceilings are truly remarkable (which is a theme amongst these historic homes).

The Bulgarian Artist Dimitar Kirov lived here with his wife in the 1960s; his art now hung throughout the house; and he did many paintings we really liked. Here are just a few.

We continued our trip through Old Town Plovdiv, past the Plovdiv History Museum (though we did not go inside, it is another house built in the mid-19th century), under an ancient gate, and past a the remains of a Byzantine watch tower.

Our next visit was the The House of Nedkovich, which was built in the 1860s, and has some of the original furniture owned by the original owner of the home, the merchant Nikola Nedkovich. Another beautifully restored home, inside and out.

The next day we continued our Old Town tour, beginning with the House of Hindlian built in 1834-35; Stepan Hindlian was a famous merchant originally from Armenia.

The house inside was great, as you’ll see, but my favorite part was that they had an interior fountain on the second floor that Rose Water ran from. It smelled wonderful as we explored the second floor, and now I want one of these in my future home.

The frescoes were also something to see as well.

Of course the ceilings were beautifully restored.

The ceilings just became more and more impressive, and the last house we visited had the best. But before we reached there, we went to the fourth stop on our tour of historical Old Town Plovdiv, the Hippocrates Pharmacy Museum, which was housed in the former pharmacy of a local doctor, Dr. Sotir Antoniadi. It was a functioning pharmacy from 1872 until 1947.

The only house I was aware of before that I wanted to visit was the Klianti House. It is one of the oldest homes, from the 18th century, and was in major disrepair until restoration efforts were undertaken. We watched a video about the extensive and expensive work that needed to be done to bring the house back to its former glory. The two story house builds as one walks through it, up the stairs to the main room.

It is the two former bedrooms that truly shine.

In the above room, there are frescoes on the wall, one depicting Constantinople, the other Vienna, from 1817.

The other room has the ceiling that is pictured at the top of this post; it is the coolest ceiling we saw in all the homes (which was some stiff competition, as you’ve seen).

I also liked the below frescoes from this room.

While we skipped the ancient sites (we have seen so many on our trip this summer, from Turkey, to Athens, to Albania, that to even link them all would be linking to most of the posts) so we skipped those, but if you only visit Plovdiv it may be worth visiting those too. We found the historical homes so interesting and different that for the value and close proximity of all the homes (we could have easily visited all five of them in the same day), the five visit ticket package was totally worth it. Next post is about our final days in Plovdiv!

Published by Phil Barrington

Currently living in Spain, Accountant by Day, Writer by Night. Lover of baseball, travel ,and spreadsheets. Check out my blog:

%d bloggers like this: