Nearly 10 years - exactly the same amount of time it takes the owners of the newest boutique hotel in Plovdiv - Villa Flavia, to reach the final stage of the opening activities. When they first bought the old building, they didn’t have a firm intention to welcome tourists and guests of the city there. They were considering turning it into offices or dividing it into separate apartments.
However, starting the activities, they came across a truly unique find - a well-preserved room from a large complex of Roman baths. It is probably located under the neighboring buildings in the western, southern and northern directions, too, and is connected in some way with the Roman stadium.
This discovery complements the map of the unknown Plovdiv from the past, as it is the first time you come across such an object in this part. So far, only two other similar areas have been known in the city - next to the Bingo (formerly Balkan Cinema) and next to Yoakim Gruev School, now a high school for home appliances.
In Villa Flavia the find is perfectly preserved and very well exhibited, and along with the impressive architecture, it surprises with its unique heating installation - hypocaust. This is the name of a system known for centuries, whose construction is still used in some residential heating solutions. For this purpose, floor columns of masonry bricks and walls were discovered, between which warm air circulates from pre-separated hearths. They transfer heat directly to a small pool in the center. On the right, through glass openings in the floor, you can look directly at the tunnels, which were probably used by the staff to maintain the heat in the building.
The whole space around the archeology is designed with care for everything discovered and skillfully weaves it into an interesting hall, which can be used to organize family celebrations and cocktails, book presentations, music and all kinds of cultural events in a small circle.
The small courtyard serves as a stage on which original columns of the find are exhibited and together with it is presented a beautiful modern sculpture depicting the path from antiquity to the future and hope. Tucked away from the street, it is like a real oasis, where visitors to the villa will be able to relax after a walk around Plovdiv.
In the beginning, the newest landmark under the hills will be available only to hotel guests, but we look forward to special events and opportunities, when under certain conditions and in small groups, each of us will be able to be transported to ancient Rome and see another part of ancient Philippopolis.
On the upper floors of the impressive building, we find ourselves in the cozy modern world of amenities, with only some of the elements reminding us that we are literally walking on thousands of years of history.
And from the open terrace in front of us one of the most amazing views in the whole city is revealed. And we’re not exaggeratinhg! The inscription PLOVEDIV, Dzhakova House and with eyes soaring high above the roofs of the houses perched at the foot of the hill - on the roof of Villa Flavia it is definitely easy to feel light, free and away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. Stepped proudly on history, but also eagerly flying towards the future!