1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Philippopolis

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PHILIPPOPOLIS (Bulgarian, Plovdiv; Turkish, Felibe), the capital of Eastern Rumelia, and of the department of Philippopolis, Bulgaria; situated in the midst of picturesque granite eminences on the right bank of the river Maritza, 96 m. E.S E. of Sofia and 97 m. W.N.W. of Adrianople. Pop. (1906) 45,572, of whom a large majority are Bulgarians, and the remainder chiefly Turks, Greeks, Jews, Armenians or gipsies. Philippopolis is on the main railway from Vienna to Constantinople, via Belgrade and Sofia. The Maritza is navigable up to this point, and as the city has communication by rail both with the port of Dédéagatch on the Mediterranean and that of Burgas on the Black Sea, and is situated in a remarkably fertile country, it has become the chief commercial centre of southern Bulgaria, and is the seat of both Greek and Bulgarian archbishops. The residences of the richer Greeks and Bulgarians occupy the slopes of the largest eminence, the Jambaz-tépé, in the centre of the city; between it and the Nobtet-tépé, from the summit of which there is a magnificent view of the city, is the Armenian quarter; near the bridge over the Maritza is the poorer Turkish quarter; and south-west of the Jambaz-tépé there is a suburb of villas. On the Bunari-tépé a monument has been erected by the Russians in commemoration of the war of 1877, and near this is the new palace of the king of Bulgaria. The Sahub-tépe is crowned by a clock-tower. Not far from it are the beautiful Exhibition Park laid out in 1892 and the fine Journaia-Jami Mosque. Near the Maritza are the remains of the ancient konak (palace) of the Turkish pashas, the public park formed by the Russians in 1877, the gymnasium, and the new Greek cathedral. The city has a large commerce in rice, attar of roses, and cocoons; other exports being wheat, wine, tobacco, alcohol and hides.

Eumolpia, a Thracian town, was captured by Philip of Macedon and made one of his frontier posts, hence its name of Philippopolis, or “Philip's City.” Under the Romans Philoppopolis or Trimontium became the capital of Thracia; and, even aftei its capture by the Goths, when 100,000 persons are said to have been slain, it continued to be a flourishing city till it was again sacked by the Bulgarians in 1205. It passed under Turkish rule in 1363; in 1818 it was destroyed by an earthquake; and in 1846 it suffered from a severe conflagration. During the war of 1877-78 the city was occupied by the Russians (see also Bulgaria: History).