Asenovgrad (Bulgarian: Асеновград, until 1934 Stanimaka, Bulgarian: Станимака; Greek: Στενήμαχος) is a town in central southern Bulgaria, part of Plovdiv Province. It is the largest town in Bulgaria that is not a province center.
Restaurants in Asenovgrad
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Ordinary visitor needs at least a day and archeologists a week. All kinds of ruins are in the central part, mainly from antique times, some are even older. Main part is preserved, some neglected. Different churches and mosques are all around. A line of small museums and reconstructed houses (from different periods) are at the top of the old town. They are good for visit even in cold or rainy time. Top attraction is old, partly reconstructed Greek theater, interesting is pedestrian zone with a stadium under the street. You can visit an old basilica with mosaics.
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The Bachkovo monastery is one of most important monasteries of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. It is a real place of cult and religion that is very respected by the believers. The monastery is also a National monument of culture, reach of history, art and traditions. It conserves a huge number of icons, paintings, church buildings and very precious examples of church utensils from XI to XIX centuries. It is very possible to stay at the monastery, to have pleasure assist at an Orthodox mass, fill the spirit of Orthodoxy, see the wonderful paintings and picturesque surroundings, try the monastery's cuisine, wine and rakia.
There are three famous and large monasteries in Bulgaria and all of them stauropegic, meaning that they were subordinated directly to the patriarch in Constantinople - at least in the beginning. The biggest and most beautiful to look at is the monastery of Rila, followed by Bachkovo and the most intimate of all: Troyan.
Maybe because there was restoration work going on and because parts of it were closed and inaccessible to visitors, of all the three I was the least impressed here in Bachkovo, especially from the point of view of atmosphere. But it is definitely a very worthwhile halfday tour to come here from Plovdiv and to combine it with a visit of the nearby Asen's Fortress.
From the parking lot to the entrance gate of Bachkovo one has to walk past several stalls, selling mainly local villager's products like jam and honey, of which I took some home on the way out. The monastery itself has two courtyards and three churches besides the monk cells and a refectory.
The only building, which has apparently survived from the times of its foundation in the 11th century is the ossuarium, outside the monastery itself and closed to visitors. The main church, dedicated to Sveta Bogoroditsa (Mother of God) - from the early 17th century - is all covered with wall paintings from a later period.
Inside the church one will usually see a queue of people, holding a candle and trying to get close to the miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin. To finally reach the silver encased icon they have to walk up three steps, something I don't remember having seen in any other orthodox church.
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Villa Yustina is situated in the village of Ustina on the foot of Yakata, the Rhodope Mountain in Thracian valley, 26 km away from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The winery location is specifically chosen, because Plovdiv region is among the few with a significant wine history. In this area, you can hear many tales about Thracians and their wine, ancient rites and mysteries. Herodotus described the local Thracians as warlike tribe with an independent spirit, that undertook the difficult task to be guardians of the sanctuary of Dionysus. It is beleived that the ancient Thracian capital - Besapara was located near Ustina. The beginning of vine growing and wine making in this area was set by the Thracians. They are also considered to be the best winemakers. People produced wine 5000 years ago on the Balkans, which is a proof that the Thracians were the first to transform grapes into wine. The first vines were brought by them from the Middle East to what is now southern Bulgaria. According to Homer, the most famous wine with the rich aroma and full body was from Thracia. At the end of 2006 the boutique winery Villa Yustina was established and started to process grapes from its own vineyards into terroir wines. The Mission of Villa Yustina is to develop quality wines from Yakata, the Rhodope Mountain and wine tourism in a region with rich heritage and magnificent scenery. Villa Yustina wines are divided into three lines - VILLA YUSTINA, 4 SEASONS and MONOGRAM. VILLA YUSTINA is the line presenting the best of vintage blends or cuvees, designed to find an excellent balance between price and quality. In it you can feel the diverse and colorful imagination of our technologists, who transform grapes into the divine drink we all love. In this line you will find our Red Cuvee - a blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our Cuvee was awarded Bronze medal at FHT, Thailand, Gold medal from MUNDUS VINI, Gemany and Bronze medal at Decanter, United Kingdom. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are intertwined in the Blanc - awarded Gold medal at the biggest wine contest in North America - Selections Mondiales des Vins, Canada. Rose is a blend with Syrah and Cabernet Franc - given Bronze medal at BIWC 2013 and also won the "Debut" and "Rose Cavalier" awards at Rose Wine Expo. 4 SEASONS line shows pure varietial characteristics of our wines and tells you a little bit more about our terroir. Here you will find the already gained significant popularity in Bulgaria Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and also the white wines Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer. This line reveals the best of our own vineyards. In following harvests 4 SEASONS will also show you the charm and charisma of other varieties. MONOGRAM is the boutique line of carefully selected grapes of Villa Yustina. The wines have matured in French and Bulgarian oak barrels and are in limited quantities in order to show the best of the winery. Here you can find a very interesting blend with Mavrud and Rubin, which became almost a synonym of our brand. It is a worthy representative of Bulgaria in the international wine scene, created by two Bulgarian varieties and matured in 100% Bulgarian oak barrels. The wine was awarded three consecutive gold medals for vintage 2007, 2008 and current vintage 2009 at the competition Vino Balkanika, assessing only local Balkan varieties. In addition it was awarded Bronze medal from FHT, Thailand, Gold medal from MUNDUS VINI, Germany with the very impressive 93 points and Silver medal at Vinalies Internationales, France. In the other bottles labeled MONOGRAM you can find also pure varietial Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the very attractive Chardonnay Barrique which won Bronze medal at Chardonnay du Monde, France. Mavrud & Rubin and Chardonnay Barrique won the Gold Medals at BIWC 2013, while the other two pure varietial Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were awarded Silver Medals at the same competition In order to satisfy even the most particular wine lovers Villa Yustina has already it's first attempts for making natural sparkling wines. That takes us even more closer to the global models for boutique wineries. As a proof and recognition for wine excellence the chief winemaker of Villa Yustina - Vassil Stoyanov, won the prize "Enologist of 2011" after a secret vote among the Bulgarian enologists. This award is the culmination of years of hard work and gives us confidence that we are moving in the right direction. To ensure the wines quality Villa Yustina takes special care to the vineyards. The French and world vineyard leader "Mercier" was selected for consultant. Currently the winery has 25 hectares of own vineyards with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Traminer, Aligote, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is located in Gorkata area with southern slope and with an average altitude of 300 meters and a wonderful view to the Mountains. Central Thracian region, where Ustina is located has a humid continental climate. Although the area soils are mainly clay - suitable for red varieties, most of our vineyards are actually calcareous - providing excellent conditions for white varieties. So Villa Yustina is able to achieve excellent balance between solid reds and very attractive and stylish white varieties. This is very difficult in southern Bulgaria, which is well known for its traditionally good red wines. At the same time Villa Yustina is working on a new project, which is going to double the area of their vineyards. The new area is planned to be planted with red varieties such as Mavrud, Rubin and Petit Verdo. In order to provide an year-round employment of its employees, Villa Yustina has also 20 hectares of fruit orchard. Villa Yustina as a project began simultaneously with the construction of own vineyards. The boutique winery has a capacity to process 300 tons own grapes. It has a cellar for wine aging in oak barrels and barriques. Villa Yustina has a modern tasting room for 50 people, and at the final stage of the project there will be several guest houses within a beautiful park and a shop, where tourists will be able to buy wine, fine arts and craft works. According to the French standard Villa Yustina replaces 1/3 of its oak barrels each year. Seven leading suppliers from France and two from Bulgaria are used so that variety and quality can be guaranteed. Thanks to its close partnership with Tomika-Metal SA, Villa Yustina is one of the most modern wineries in Bulgaria. It is fully equipped with the finest cellar technology of new generation. The winery is equiped with tangential filter and fermenters type "Eureka". The celler has decided to do microvinification using modern technological means and equipment. There is a possibility for full control of the whole process. It begins by hand picking grapes, sorting with a vibrating trailer, manually sorting, possibility for cold maceration, fermentation in small volumes with excellent process control and various fermentation techniques, according to the different grape varieties. At this point of time our first guest house is already done and Villa Yustina is able to host your visit and be your home away from home. The house has 3 double rooms each with private bathroom. Soon several additional houses will be built within a beautiful park next to the winery. During your stay you can see historical landmarks and the beauty of nature around Ustina. The area has huge amount of interesting sights. Here is Hisarlaka - a Thracian fortress, which includes one of the largest and most beautiful rock towers in the Rhodope Mountain. On a later stage the stronghold was called Justina, in honor of the Emperor Justinian. Near Ustina there are also the Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv, Bachkovo Monastery, an ancient Thracian sanctuary - Belintash, the Biosphere Reserve - Red Wall. The exceptional nature and ancient history of the region is complemented by the Ustina Waterfalls and the ruins of the Red Church - a rarely beautiful temple, nowadays described as one of the masterpieces of the early Christian architecture in Europe. For the true nature lovers, Villa Yustina is building several eco paths planed in a way to reveal the beauty of the Rhodope Mountains. You will be able to enjoy fishing in our private lake surrounded by an incredibly beautiful scenery near our vineyard as well. So except our proposal for a luxury wine tourism there are available also bike tours, hunting, photo, rural and cultural tourism and of course pure relaxing with a glass of wonderful wine from Villa Yustina. Thank you for your time.
I have been several times in Villa Yustina tasting excellent wines but also learning a lot about the wines. Unique and amazing experience. All the stuff was professional and very friendly. Definitely I will visit Villa Yustina again as I have the happiness to live near to this lovely place.
4.5 based on 18 reviews
The church is located on the mountain of the Asen's fortress. The mountain itself offers great views of the plains on one side and Mountains on the other side. There is not much to see of the fortress though, most is destroyed. The church is restored and serves its purpose with two floors of church. It is not a grand church, but a simple nice one worth looking into.
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4.5 based on 922 reviews
Stone antique theater is real attraction. It was built between two hills and disappeared during the history. After excavations in was partly reconstructed and serves for the same purpose as centuries ago. It is still a theater for different Performances. Stone seats, really steep staircases and scene with pillars and sculptures are worth visiting.
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There's a maze of paths going up there, some more easy to take than others but even on the hottest of days the view is the best one you'll get of Plovdiv.
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Personally, I was not too impressed with this site. I found the fortress or what was left of it was not photogenic but the church was from the outside. Not much to see inside.
You do have nice views overlooking the valley. They charge four Levs for entrance fee.
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There are three reasons to visit this place. First the beautiful architecture of the building itself, second the typical interior decoration of a wealthy 19th century Plovdiv merchant house and third the ethnographic museum proper.
After passing a gate one comes into a green yard and can see the fascinating painted front, curved in its central part. There are curves on the roof too and also plenty more curves inside, especially with the elliptic ceilings. This is obviously the reason why this Bulgarian Renaissance mansion has gotten the sobriquet 'Baroque'.
The almost regal house consists of two floors. On the upper part one gets an idea of the 'alafranga' (Frankish, thus western) life-style of the Plovdiv 'upper class'. The mansion in fact had been be built - in 1847, as it says at the entrance - by a wealthy Greek merchant in homespun textiles. He had to leave the town, together with all other Greeks, during the ethnic cleansing in the area that followed the Bulgarian independence in 1878.
In the ground floor there are exhibits, which inform about the different economic activities in the area during mainly the 19th and early 20th century: Viticulture, Rice growing, Vegetable farming, Stock breeding, Cultivation of Tobacco and Damask Roses and also Goldsmithing and Jewellry-making.
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The ancient Stadium of Philippopolis is another well-preserved building from the Roman times in Plovdiv and the biggest Roman structure on the Balkan Peninsula. It runs beneath, along the shopping pedestrian street downtown,it is partially restored and can be accessed close to Dzhumaya Mosque.
There are some info boards, a small souvenir shop and you can also watch a short 3D movie for a very cheap price.
It is commendable that such an old structure is so well taken care of.
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