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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Diocletianopol route

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Dear guests of Hisarya,

I'm Stefan from Photo moments and it's a great honor for me to be your guide today!


Diocletianopol route

Type of the route – entirely pedestrian.

Total length – about 4.5 kilometers.

Duration – between two and three hours, depending on the pace you walk and also the number and length of breaks you take.

Appropriate equipment - comfortable sports shoes, as well as comfortable clothing and outerwear according the season.

Recommended for people of all ages!


Right in front of the hotel entrance, turn right.


Alley leading to "Orfeev Dol" park in the city of Hisarya

After less than ten seconds, there are steps in front of us, leading in the direction of the wonderful park "Orfeev Dol" (i.e. Orpheus dale park translated in English).


Park "Orfeev Dol" in the city of Hisarya

We cross a small bridge, and after it we cross the wide park alley.

We will leave the walk through this magnificent park for the end of today's route, and now we boldly move forward along the alley towards the steps in front of us.


Park "Orfeev Dol" in the city of Hisarya in autumn

More steps follow and here we are in front of the majestic ruins of the ancient fortress walls of the Roman city of Diocletianopol (a.k.a. Diocletianopolis).


The most south-eastern point of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya
The most south-eastern point of ancient Diocletianopol

We are currently at the most south-eastern point on the outside of ancient Diocletianopol.

Along the outer walls of the southern and eastern fortress sides, wonderful pedestrian and bicycle alleys have been built.


Bicycle and pedestrian alleys along the walls of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya

Don't forget the photo moments and the smiles ;)


NB! Climbing on the ruins is prohibited and violators are fined!


The alleys are recommended for a walk in any season.

Our joint route continues along the alley along the southern fortress wall in the direction of the next landmark and main symbol of the city of Hisarya - the spectacular southern gate, best known today as the Camels.



Now it's time for a short break and more photo moments ;) Smiles please!


Main southern gate, named "The Camels", of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya
The main southern gate of the ancient Diocletianopol and a symbol of the city of Hisarya

Today, Ivan Vazov Boulevard passes under the giant massive gate.

We continue forward - along the southern fortress wall. We arrive at the path leading to the Momina salza (i.e. Maiden tear translated in English) water pavilion.


The southern walls of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya

Directly opposite the pavilion are the stairs leading to the Roman family tomb from the 4th century.



The trail to the site is easy and pleasant and in less than ten minutes we arrive at the tomb.


Roman family tomb in the city of Hisarya

On the way back, we return to our starting position and enter the boundaries of the ancient city of Diocletianopol.


Water pavilion "Momina Salza" in "Momina Salza" Park of the city of Hisarya
Momina salza water pavilion

My dear friends, our joint Diocletianopol route is definitely healthy and has an extremely good effect not only on our mental health, but, skilfully combined with drinking the healing mineral water from the numerous hot mineral springs of Hisarya, it leads to a significant improvement in our overall state of health! That's why we will now visit Momina salza water pavilion.



You will find more information about the healing features of the water flowing from Momina salza water pavilion by following the given link.


The "Stublata" fountain in the "Momina Salza" park in the city of Hisarya
Stublata fountain

Opposite the water pavilion we find the Stublata fountain, the water from which is the coolest one and is used to washing our eyes.



Around the water pavilion there are many benches on which to rest as we infuse our bodies with the elixir of life.


After the short, but so relaxing rest, we continue in the direction of the Roman baths.


But before we look at one of the few preserved authentic Roman baths in Europe, let's climb the stairs located right in front of the baths.


On the inside of the southern fortress wall between the main southern gate and the "Momina Salza" park are the remains of the ancient barracks complex, which we will now visit.


We are located in the middle of the beautiful Momina salza park.


Remains of Roman residential buildings in the middle of the "Momina Salza" park in the city of Hisarya
Remains of a Roman residential building

To the left of the alley we pass, we see the remains of a Roman residential building with an open courtyard and a beautiful colonnade.


Come up close and walk along the ruins, feel the incomparable atmosphere preserved even today. Take a photo moment.


Roman barracks complex and fragment of the southern fortress wall of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya
Remains of the barracks complex and fragments of the southern fortress wall

To the right of the alley are the remains of the ancient barracks complex, where the numerous Roman soldiers who guarded Emperor Diocletian during his visits to the hot mineral healing springs of Hisarya stayed.


You can view the remains up close and take some photo moments.


Blooming Indian lilac in the middle of Momina salza park in the city of Hisarya

In September, the magnificent Indian lilac blooms in the area, which you can view.


Our Diocletianopol route continues! Let's now go back and go down the stairs opposite the ancient ruins of a Roman residential building.


The Roman baths in the city of Hisarya
The magnificently preserved Roman baths

Here we are again at the entrance to the Roman Baths.


It is no secret that Hisarya is famous for its unique and numerous hot mineral springs. It has been so since ancient times, when these same springs gushed forth in these same places.


The Roman baths are well preserved and definitely impress us with their originality.



In this area, within a radius of one hundred meters, there are several hot mineral springs with different chemical features and temperature. Toplitsa is the hottest mineral spring with a water temperature of 51°C, and the first bath was built on it, used as far back as the Roman era.


Ruined remains of a Roman theater from the end of the 3rd century in the city of Hisarya
Ruins of a Roman amphitheater

Between the Stublata and Toplitsa fountains are the remains of an ancient Roman amphitheater.



Do not forget that all the time we are in the midst of the incredibly beautiful and so peaceful Momina salza park, located in the most southwestern part of our most beloved Hisarya.


"Momina salza" Park in the city of Hisarya

In the middle of the park is the fountain with the boy, to the left of which we will see the ruins of the only Roman building in Hisarya, which has preserved walls up to its second floor.


Ruins of the imperial residence in the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya
Ruins of the Imperial Residence

This is the Imperial Residence where Emperor Diocletian himself stayed during his visits here.


The fountain with the boy in the middle of the "Momina Salza" park in the city of Hisarya

We climb the stairs leading to the fountain with the boy, not forgetting to take photo moments here!


The roe deer in the "Momina Salza" park in the city of Hisarya

Along the alley to the right of the fountain with the boy, we reach another bright symbol of the city of Hisarya - the roe deer!


The place is filled with happiness and joy, especially for the children!


The Colonnade Water Pavilion in Momina salza Park in the city of Hisarya
The Colonnade water pavilion

Opposite the roe deer is the Roman colonnade, which we will visit. It's time for photo moments and to quench your thirst with the hot mineral water gushing from the fountain on the colonnade.


The Colonnade Water Pavilion in Momina salza Park in the city of Hisarya
The Colonnade water pavilion

Opposite the colonnade is the Momina salza fountain. Let us sit on one of the many benches while I tell you the legend of the Momina salza spring.


Momina salza fountain in the city of Hisarya
Momina salza fountain

What a sensual legend, isn't it! It is immortalized by the statue of a young woman with a tray raised high above her head ready to swing!


Blooming tulips in front of Momina salza fountain in the city of Hisarya

From the beds by the fountain, sunny flowers smile at us and make these moments unique and so special!


Blooming Japanese cherry trees and magnolias in the city of Hisarya
Blooming magnolias and Japanese cherry trees in the spring

And the blooming of magnolias and Japanese cherry trees at the end of April and the beginning of May is an incomparable pleasure that is worth be experienced!


The western gate of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya
The western fortress gate

From the fountain, we choose an alley and quickly head to Dimitar Blagoev street, along which we will leave the ancient Diocletianopol for a moment through the excellently preserved main western gate.



The main western gate of Diocletianopol, together with the southern one, are the only fully preserved main gates to the ancient fortress city today.


Stop here, look around, marvel at its majesty, take photo moments...


The western gate and the western fortress wall of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya

On the outside of Diocletianopol, today, along the entire western wall, wonderful alleys for walking and cycling have been built.

I suggest that we go back inside the ancient fortress city through the western gate along Dimitar Blagoev street to its intersection with Augusta street.


Saint Panteleimon christian church in the city of Hisarya
Saint Panteleimon church

Going along Augusta street, we will have the opportunity to see the beautiful Christian church named "Saint Panteleimon".



The church was built in 1889. The most impressive are the wall paintings recreating a number of biblical stories. They were painted by a local artist in the style of the wall paintings you will see when visiting the Rila Monastery.


Saint Panteleimon church in the city of Hisarya
Saint Panteleimon church

From St. Panteleimon church we take back along Augusta street in the direction of the northern fortress wall.


The most northwestern point of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya
The most northwestern point of the ancient city of Diocletianopol

The northern fortress wall was the only double wall secured in this way due to frequent raids by barbarian tribes. For additional protection of the fortress, there was a moat and an earthen rampart around it.


Walking along the small street past the remains of the northern fortress wall, we will get to the place where the main northern gate of Diocletianopol once stood.



Today, Ivan Vazov boulevard passes through this place, and only fragments remain of the main gate.


The route takes us along the small street on the inside of the northern fortress wall to its most north-eastern point – this is the most interesting of all the 44 battle towers that the ancient fortress city had.


The most northeastern point of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya
The most northeastern point of the ancient city of Diocletianopol

Only this tower, the foundations of which you will see, is octagonal in shape, resting on two vast circular plinths.


The route leads us in a southerly direction along Krepostna street, winding along the eastern fortress wall.


The eastern fortress wall of the ancient city of Diocletianopol (Diocletianopolis) in the city of Hisarya

My suggestion is to take the diversion at the intersection of Krepostna street and Gladstone street. Then we take the first deviation at Alexander Stamboliyski street. In this way, we will arrive in front of the archaeological museum of Hisarya. Anyone can visit it - the exhibition is interesting!



Opposite it is the former children's sanatorium for lung diseases, at the time best known as Villa Momina - the pearl of Hisarya!


Villa "Momina", known as the pearl of Hisarya, home of General Todor Markov
Villa "Momina" (the pearl of Hisarya)

After Villa Momina we continue straight and find ourselves in front of the beautiful summer theater building.


The summer theater in the city of Hisarya
The summer theater

Now it's time to enter the wonderful Orpheus dale park, where several surprises await us!


A walk in the park is a real joy in any season – there is no doubt! But let me reveal to you a few miracles that I bet you don't even suspect!


Waterfall in the park "Orfeev Dol" in the city of Hisarya

In the spring, only here you can hear the roaring of waterfalls!


Cercis siliquastrum blooming in the spring in the park "Orfeev Dol" in the city of Hisarya
Cercis siliquastrum blooming

Also at the end of April and the beginning of May, the Cercis siliquastrum blooming is a kind of explosion of colors - a storm of hue & flowers that will fill all your senses!



Totally satisfied, pleased, happy & glad with this inquisitive, charming and certainly tiring, but healthy walk, we take the central alley of Orpheus dale park, cross the bridge, climb the stairs and it's time to enjoy a well-deserved and relaxing break at the Augusta SPA Hotel Hisarya!

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