Stroll along the Main Street of the city with hands in your pockets, drag your feet slightly as if you're trying to erase the pavement. And look up - you will see a lot. This is a typical native exercise on Saturday and Sunday. Try it and you might decide to move here. For several centuries the Main Street of Plovdiv began from the only at the time bridge over Maritsa River and reached Dzhumayata. It was called Uzun bazaar which means the Long Street. It was the center of the city economical life. The first surfacing were big rocks. Later in 1900 began the efforts to pave Plovdiv. First was the Main Street! 20 years earlier, the first elected mayor tried to pave it in European example, but he only succeeded to replace the broken rocks with cobblestones.
Only in 1896 Plovdiv passed over other country centers, by acquiring Master plan. The author of the Plan – Joseph Shniter, predicted the central arteria to be 50 meters wide. It was from “Tsar Simeon” garden to Maritsa bridge. The professional followed the European models because he knew that the city will grow and the Main Street will assume even bigger movement. But there was a problem with many municipal councilors. Most of them have had houses that had to be demolished because of the plan. After long and painful dispute was decided that the street will be wide 8 meters from Maritsa bridge to Dzhumayata and 12 meters wide from Dzhumayata to “Tsar Simeon” garden.
In present time, the name of the street is “Knyaz Alexander Battenberg I”, but everybody calls it just the Main Street. It is divided in two – the big and the small Main Street. You can see preserved authentic buildings from different Bulgarian eras and also find many places for entertainment. When you take a walk by it, look up! You’ll be amazed how many small and fine details the buildings have.
The Main Street is highly developed economic place where you will see fashion magazines, shops for sport products, accessories and more. The stores are varied – from H&M to Indian store. There are also places for food. Restaurants, ice cream houses, fast food. You can enjoy Italian culinary or fine Belgium chocolate. There are bars and clubs that are part of the nightlife and hostels where you can accommodate for a few days. It’s a street combining color and different nations who gather in Plovdiv. Check it out! You be surprised how many things you will find.
Photos: Stefka Georgieva