Manila Times - - World - AP

SOFIA, Bul­garia: 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 main square Satur­day to watch the open­ing show dubbed “We are all col­ors” with 1,500 lo­cal and for­eign artists on sev­eral stages. The en­ter­tain­ment in­cluded tra­di­tional Bul­gar­ian folk dancers, 200 choir singers, a brass orches­tra and a mu­si­cal and laser spec­ta­cle. 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 is in cen­tral Bul­garia, 144 kilo­me­ters (90 miles) south­east of Sofia, the cap­i­tal. 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.

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