Mosaic Week in Plovdiv 2021

Partners: Balkan Heritage Foundation and the Municipality of Plovdiv

Period of the project: October 4- 24, 2021

Funded by: Balkan Heritage Foundation and the Municipality of Plovdiv

Mosaic Week in Plovdiv is a pilot project of the Balkan Heritage Foundation, which aims to promote mosaics and draw public attention to their preservation, future and impact as art and media. Through the creation of a mosaic tour, two different segments of the city’s mosaic heritage will be presented – the ancient floor mosaics of Philippopolis (3rd – 4th century AD), whose number increased significantly after the discovery and the conservation of the mosaic floors of the Episcopal Basilica (2015-2020), and the modern wall mosaics of Plovdiv, executed in the 1970s and 1980s, found mainly on the facades of public buildings.

The newly created mosaic tour will be presented on a website offering basic textual and visual information about the mosaics, an online map and directions to each of the 12 mosaic sites. The sites are as follows:

  1. The Small Basilica (visitor center): a mosaic floor from the first half of the 5th century and a mosaic floor of a baptistery from the 6th century
  2. The Episcopal (Bishop’s) Basilica of Philippopolis (visitor center): mosaic floors, built in stages between the middle of the 4th and the beginning of the 6th century
  3. Central Post Office Building (interior): mosaic “Postal pigeons” by Georgi Bozhilov-Slona, 1977
  4. The former Communist Party House (facade): mosaic by Ioan Leviev and architect Vladimir Rangelov, 1969-1970
  5. Ancient residential building “Еirene” / Trakart Cultural Center: mosaic floors, built between the middle of the 4th and the middle of the 5th century
  6. Underpass to Banya Starinna (Chifte Ottoman Baths): mosaic panels by Ioan Leviev, 1970s
  7. Chitalishte “Aleko Konstantinov” (facade): mosaic by Valchan Petrov, 1980s
  8. Plovdiv Regional Archaeological Museum: fragments of the mosaic floors of the Narcissus building (3rd century) and the Ancient Synagogue (4th century), a mosaic with birds (3rd century)
  9. Plovdiv International Fair Central Building (facade): mosaic “Mercury” by Hristo Stefanov and Valentin Starchev, 1987
  10. The roundabout at the Plovdiv International Fair: mosaic “Yuri Gagarin” by Ioan Leviev, 1970
  11. Block 18 next to the Old Town Hall of Trakiya neighbourhood (facade): mosaic by Trifon Nedelchev, Margarita Tomova and Sasho Baldev, 1980s
  12. The polyclinic of Trakiya neighbourhood (water facility in front of the main facade): mosaic by Trifon Nedelchev and Margarita Tomova, 1980s

The mosaic tour will be presented to the citizens of Plovdiv and the guests of the city through an open air exhibition. The mosaics from the tour will be presented visually and textually (Bulgarian and English) on vinyl panels. The exhibition will open on October 4 (Monday) at 5.00 PM and will close on October 24, 2021.

The history, technique and technology of the mosaics will be the subject of a public lecture in the Episcopal Basilica of Philippopolis on October 4 (Monday), 6.00 – 8.00 PM; the lecture will open the Mosaic Week in Plovdiv.

On October 9 and 10 a two-day free training program for up to ten city guides from Plovdiv is planned, and will include both a lecture course and a demonstration tour to all the mosaics.

Mosaic Week in Plovdiv 2021 is a project of the Balkan Heritage Foundation, supported by the Municipality of Plovdiv and included in the Cultural Calendar of the city for 2021.