NORDSCI will welcome you in Plovdiv with a guided city tour in the preliminary conference day.
The Social program day in the last day of the conference will get you in the heart of the marvelous Rhodope mountain, we will visit a fortress from the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and a legendary sacred monastery.
After pick up from the hotel, we will head south to Asen's Fortress situated on the top of a cliff in Rhodope Mountain. There we will see the remarkable remains of King Ivan Asen’s Fortress – a wise ruler of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. In the complex, there is an ancient church dating from the 13-th century painted with some authentic pieces of iconography.
At the top of the fortress, we will enjoy an awesome 360 degrees panorama all over the Rhodope Mountains, Asenovgrad town, The Thracian Valley and the imposing Balkan Range with its highest Botev Peak in the far distance. Admire this medieval building and breathtaking views across the valley.
Next, we will go deeper into the lovely Rhodope Mountains towards the picturesque Bachkovo Monastery. The cloister is the second largest in Bulgaria, founded in 1083 and one of the most sacred places in Bulgarian history. Inside the monastery, we will visit the main church of the Virgin Mary built in 1604 where a valuable icon of Saint Mary from 11-12th century AD is being kept. According to the legend and the big number of healed people this remarkable icon is believed to be miracle-working. Attached to the Virgin Mary church we see the Archangels Church dating to the 12th century.
The monastery refectory is another jewel in the complex which has preserved colorful murals from 1643. Together with the Doomsday fresco, we witness the images of some prophets, saint-monks, ancient philosophers and writers such as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato and many more. The panoramic mural painting on the outside wall of the refectory represents a bird’s eye view of the monastery with all the surrounding buildings from 1807. This is the biggest scenic mural on the Balkan Peninsula! In the second monastery yard, we finally visit Saint Nikola church built between 1834 and 1837.
Plovdiv walking tour
On the preliminary day of the conference, you'll be invited to join a walking tour around charming town of Plovdiv.
Explore the oldest European city, full of history and discover all the facts, myths and secrets that you won’t find in your guidebook.
English-speaking local experts will share their knowledge and passion for Plovdiv with you. Get an inside look at the Cradle of Western Civilization on foot and discover many of the city’s hidden gems that tourist buses can’t reach.