Bulgaria's oldest city honored as European culture capital
By Associated Press
Jan 12, 2019 9:46 AM CST
People look at exhibits at the Art Liberte the first traveling exhibition marking the 30 years anniversary of fall of the Berlin wall in the town of Plovdiv ahead of the opening ceremony of Plovdiv as one of European Capital of Culture, Bulgaria, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Plovdiv is the first Bulgarian...  (Associated Press)

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Plovdiv, the oldest city in Bulgaria, has been officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture for 2019.

Some 50,000 people gathered on a central square Saturday to watch the opening show dubbed "We are all colors" with 1,500 local and foreign artists on several stages.

Squeezed between the Balkan and the Rodopi Mountains, Bulgaria's second-largest city has survived for thousands of years on the crossroads between Western Europe and the Middle East.

Plovdiv claims to be the oldest continually inhabited European city, with more than 6,000 years of history. Evidence of that can be seen in many architectural landmarks dating back to Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times.

Plovdiv is the first Bulgarian city to become a European culture capital. It shares the title with the Italian city of Matera.

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