We all know that the Main Street in Plovdiv is the longest pedestrian street in Europe with its 1750-meter non-motorway route. And while walking on it is a must at any visit under the hills, the shorter sections are often forgotten, and sometimes they hide as much beauty and history.
Starting the tour from the Post Office, just a few meters below, just outside the Municipal Building, here is one of the examples of a short intersection, which is filled however with architectural jewels, memories of the past and interesting places. Gurko Street in the center houses a lot of urban history. Once starting from the garden behind the Municipality and ending up with the Catholic Church, today it is much shorter due to the formation of Stefan Stambolov Square, the tunnel drilling and the construction of Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Boulevard. Although not so well known for its name and impressive for its length, Gurko Street boasts one of the most valuable historical landmarks in the city under the hills - the ancient Roman Forum and the Odeon. Be sure to take the time to stroll on it, sit down for coffee, or dine at one of the establishments, because the atmosphere there is a lot like the little Italian streets full of life and silence all day and late into the evening.
A little further down, from the stairs of Kamenitsa, begins the second straight line, only a few meters long. 11 Avgust is more popular with the locals of Plovdiv as the Italian street, because in the 1980s it had numerous pizzerias. Today, in fact, its beginning also marks the location of a popular brand for the preparation of Italian specialties. Unfortunately, there are no other establishments anymore, and the passage is mostly used by people in a hurry, who want to shorten a few steps on their way to the Dzhumaya or Old Plovdiv.
The next mini street is located across the central boulevard and on the side of Monday Market. Saedinena Bulgaria divides the Three Hills from the excavations to Monday Market and - in some way - connects the Monday Market square to the south tunnel entrance. Much of it has been dug. At both ends, until Monday Market and the Tunnel, a paved road has remained, as well as part of the sidewalk. The street that used to be in the heart of the city today is just a dead-end parking lot. Many of the houses have been demolished and only 4-5 buildings remain. Some of them were destroyed in the beginning of socialism during the construction of today's Tsar Boris Blvd and the Tunnel, while others were destroyed in the 70's and 80's, during the construction of the unfinished and subsequently destroyed Archeological Museum, where the present a huge hole under the Three Hills emerged.
Nestled at the foot of Sahat Tepe, Burago Street begins with the ruined stone steps and ends at No.8 with no exit. Its biggest landmark is the only Seventh-day Adventist church in Plovdiv. It is the largest and most maintained building on it. The street is no more than a hundred steps, with a total of about 15 buildings on both sides.
The last few meters of our short walk along the shortest central streets of Plovdiv belong to the Atanas Samokovetsa in Kapana. It was named after the first mayor of the city since the Liberation and is almost as long as his term. The prominent Abadzhi trader resigned. He estimated that he could not cope with the mayor's obligations. People rarely go down the street. Today, the closest memory of the craft of Atanas Samokovetsa is one of the oldest shops in the neighborhood.
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