Updated: Jun 10
Dear friends of "Photo moments", it is an incomparable pleasure for me to invite you to an unforgettable and colorful walk in my most beloved city!
Personally for me, and I am sure and probably for many of you, Hisarya is one of the calmest, most beautiful, greenest, most charming and most pleasant cities for walking, relaxing, hiking or just solitude.
Hisarya is particularly charming and holds a special place in our hearts.
The city is located in a place unique in its magnificence and location, and proof of this is the panoramic view from the top of "The Camels", which captivated many!
Dear fatherland, how beautiful you are!
From here, you can see the beauty and wealth of Bulgaria at a glance!
The symbols of Hisarya
It is the main southern gate that is part of the city's logo. Known today as "The Camels", the gate will forever remain an iconic and iconic place associated with this city, its history and destiny.
You will come across this symbol wherever Hisarya is spoken, written or mentioned!
The upper part of the Hisarya logo is precisely the main southern gate "The Camels".
In the lower part of the logo-emblem of Hisarya we see its warm healing mineral springs.
How to get to the city of Hisarya?
Hisarya is a city in the central part of Southern Bulgaria, located under the southern slopes of Sochtinska Sredna Gora, at an altitude of 346 meters above sea level.
It is located in the Plovdiv region, 44 kilometers north of the regional city and is the administrative center of the Hisarya municipality.
The relief is shaped by the smooth transition from the slopes of Sachtinska Sredna Gora to the Upper Thracian Plain. The climate is transitional-continental with warm and mild winters, and snow is rare.
Three large, peaceful and charming parks have been built on the territory of the city in every season.
The parks of Hisarya
Momina salza park
Orpheus dale park
Momina banya park
Spring in Hisarya is early, relatively warm and very, very beautiful. The flowers of Hisarya wake up from winter sleep, making everyone around smile!
At the end of April and the beginning of May, the blooming of the wild carob in "Orpheus dale" park is a spectacular event that must be experienced!
The flowers of the Japanese cherry trees near the Momina salza fountain give an incomparable exotic extravaganza!
Sunny flowers are smiling at us from the dozens of carefully designed flower beds of "Momina Salza" park!
At the end of spring and at the beginning of summer, the song of the charming and noisy waterfalls can be heard throughout the Orpheus dale park, which sprinkle freshness and beauty around.
Summer is characterized by high temperatures, lots of sun, low humidity and light winds.
Autumn is sunny, warm, long and incredibly beautiful.
The Indian lilac colors the parks of Hisarya with its magic!
The gold in the branches of the ancient ginkgo turns dreams into reality!
Hisar's magnificent parks are definitely one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria, and the combination of a happy walk plus healing mineral springs, from which the tired and thirsty to drink living water-elixir, is healthy, useful and soothing.
Mineral waters and balneotherapy
On the territory of Hisarya there are 22 mineral springs with different physico-chemical characteristics and temperature and with proven healing properties - 16 natural and 6 deep-drilled.
All waters are clear, colorless, thermal and with pleasant drinking and tasting qualities.
In terms of chemical properties, they are sodium-sulfate-hydrocarbonate, with a high alkaline reaction and low hardness. The content of hydrocarbonates and sodium is predominant and therefore fall into the category of slightly mineralized waters.
The mineral waters of Hisarya are used both for drinking treatment of kidney-urological, biliary, gastrointestinal and liver diseases, and for bathing in the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system, metabolism and endocrine system and gynecological diseases.
The foundations of the organized balneotherapy in Bulgaria were laid in the city.
In 1882, the government of Eastern Rumelia issued the "Regulations for the Operation of Hisar Baths". In the laboratory of the Sanitary Council in Plovdiv, the Czech chemist Sosterjonek made a chemical analysis of the water from five Hisar springs - this is the first chemical analysis of mineral water in Bulgaria.
Momina banya spring
The mineral water from the "Momina Banya" spring has the highest radon content, which makes it the most indicative for the treatment of urological diseases and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The water is alkaline, hydro-carbonate-sodium and fluorine, without color and smell and with such a pleasant taste.
Detailed chemical composition, indications and method of treatment of the living water gushing from the "Momina Banya" spring can be found here.
The radioactivity of the mineral water, especially of "Momina Banya", makes it possible to carry out radon inhalations.
The catchment* of the "Momina Banya" spring supplies healing mineral water, both the "Momina Banya" drinking pavilion, which you can find in the "Momina Banya" park, and the fountain in the same park.
*it is built in the presence of a source, i.e. water on a self-spill, in practice a concrete tank is built with a sediment in which the water is collected and distributed.
One of the springs that Sosterjonek explored in 1882 was "Momina Banya".
Near the spring "Momina Banya" and opposite the colorful sign HISARYA, we find a water kiosk "Kolonada Momina Banya".
Water pavilion "Colonnade Momina banya"
The mineral water from well No. 3 is hyperthermal, hydrocarbonate-sodium, fluorine and contains radon.
You will find detailed chemical composition of the living water gushing from spring well No. 3 at the "Colonnade Momina Banya" water pavilion here.
Momina salza spring
The catchment* of the "Momina Salza" spring supplies healing mineral water to both the Colonnade fountain and the "Momina Sulza" drinking pavilion, which you can find in the "Momina Salza" park.
This is the most delicious Hisarya water!
The mineral water from the "Momina Salza" spring is poorly mineralized and contains many trace elements.
You will find the Colonnade next to "Ivan Vazov" boulevard and directly opposite the "Momina Salza" fountain.
It is used for drinking treatment - mainly for gastrointestinal diseases.
Water pavilion Momina salza
Detailed chemical composition, indications and method of treatment of the living water gushing from the "Momina salza" spring can be found here.
The Stublata fountain is located opposite the "Momina Salza" water pavilion.
The mineral water gushing from the tap is the coolest – 31°C.
Use to wash the eyes.
Several springs with different chemical content and temperature are located in the area around the "Momina Salza" water pavilion.
Toplitsa is the hottest spring with a temperature of 51°C, and the first bath was built on it, used as far back as the Roman era.
The water was used for balneotherapy and was suitable for gynecological diseases.
Near the "Toplitsa" spring I find the "Bistritsa" spring.
The temperature of the spring water is 45°C. It was only used for bathing.
The water from the "Bistritsa" spring was particularly suitable for skin diseases - it refreshed the skin, making it soft, soft and very beautiful.
That is why in the past this gift from the Lord was mainly used by ladies.
Opposite the two springs is a third named "Freshness".
Even today you can see the building of the "Freshness" mineral bath located opposite the "Toplitsa" mineral bath, both of which are currently not functioning.
The water in the mineral bath had a temperature of 41°C, and in the pool it cooled to 37°C. It was used to treat mainly neuroses.
It is said that at the beginning of the last century, the Freshness mineral bath had no changing rooms, which is why the bathers took off their clothes in the opposite building of the Toplitsa mineral bath and hurried to Freshness.
SPA "Rusalka" (means Mermaid tralnslated in English) is fully functional today. It is located near Dimitar Blagoev Street, which curves under the huge arch of the main western gate of the ancient city.
The water temperature slightly above the normal body temperature of the human body.
The water gushing from the "Mermaid" spring is particularly useful for the skin, and it also relieves various joint diseases and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
It also helps with stomach ailments.
This unique and so healthy wealth, with which our most beloved Hisarya is so graciously endowed - the hot healing mineral springs gushed in these same places already thousands of years ago.
The Romans were well aware of the healing power of healing mineral springs, which is why not only Roman thermal baths (mineral baths - once ancient spa centers), but also large, beautiful and rich cities grew up nearby.
Archaeological Reserve "Diocletianopol"
Today, on the territory of Hisaria, you can see the remains of the ancient Roman city of Diocletianopol.
Did you know that in 1976, by Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 199, the area surrounded by the fortress walls of the Roman city of Diocletianopol was declared a National Archaeological Reserve!
The fortress walls of Diocletianopol
According to its authenticity, preservation and originality of the fortification system and architecture, the Roman fortress city of Diocletianopol ranks among the first places in Europe!
The majestic ruins of the ancient fortress walls surrounding Diocletianopol leave us speechless today!
In 293 AD, Emperor Diocletian spent some time here because of the same healing mineral springs that we know today.
Fascinated, the emperor gave the settlement the status of a city, as well as his name - Diocletianopol (also known as Diocletianopolis).
To be protected from enemy attacks, the city was surrounded by a solid fortress wall, built by the skilled hands of Thracian craftsmen. It has the shape of an irregular quadrangle, is 2,327 meters long, about 20 meters high in places, and surrounds an area of 300 acres.
The ancient Roman city was built according to all the requirements of Roman urban planning - with wide and straight streets (two main streets intersected at right angles in its center, secondary streets ran parallel to them).
The Baths of Diocletianopol
The pearl in its crown was the warm mineral springs that I presented to you!
Thanks to them, the city has become a top SPA destination.
The Roman baths today are one of the few preserved authentic Roman baths in Europe, they are almost completely preserved and definitely impress with their originality.
They are located in the "Momina Salza" park and are part of the Roman residential complex, which covers an area of over 3,000 square meters. They are fed with warm mineral water from the "Toplitsa" spring.
But totally satisfied with the SPA treatments, the famous and prominent Roman guests were thirsty for entertainment! This is why the amphitheater of Diocletian was built.
Opposite the thermal baths, I find the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater - one of the most visited places of the ancient city of Diocletianopol.
This monumental building of the ancient city was built very successfully in the southwestern part of the city very close to the great Roman baths at the Toplitsa spring.
The amphitheater was originally used to hold gladiator fights, but after the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 313, its function was changed to a facility for sports competitions and animal fights.
Satisfied with SPA treatments and gladiator fights, the emperor has retired to his chambers in the imperial residence.
Today, these are the ruins of the only Roman building in Hisaria that has preserved walls up to its second floor.
The barracks complex
While everyone was resting, the guard kept watch!
These are the remains of the ancient barracks, where the numerous Roman soldiers who guarded the emperor during his visits to the warm mineral healing springs of Diocletianopol stayed.
The complex was located along the entire length of the southeast wall and in the southern part of the northeast wall. The barracks were built after the construction of the walls and were attached to them.
Roman residential buildings
The service staff, inhabiting the ancient Roman city, lived opposite the barracks complex.
The ruins of the former Roman building with an open courtyard and a beautiful colonnade cover an area of 2,637 square meters. It is a typical representative of Roman civil architecture of the type of Italian town houses.
Diocletianopol was entered through four main massive fortress gates, and currently only two of them are preserved - the southern and the western.
Main west gate of Diocletianopolis
Due to its specific location on the terrain, the gate can also be encountered as southwest.
It was built in the middle of a small valley in one of the wall breaks in the northwest third of the southwest wall.
The western gate is a typical Roman construction with a vaulted entrance closed by a double door. The entrance is flanked by two battle fortress towers, which, due to the peculiarities of the terrain, are strongly moved to the side of it.
"The Camels" – the symbol of Hisarya
When it was erected some 1,700 years ago, this huge gate towered an impressive 20 meters high. It represented a complex defense facility, ending in its upper part with battle platforms spread over three levels.
The gate consisted of two imposing arches, which can still be seen today, and above them it is said that there was a third smaller arch, probably with a purely decorative purpose.
Today, the archaeological museum of the city of Hisarya is located within the ancient city.
The Archaeological Museum of the city of Hisarya was founded by the local patriot Major General Todor Markov.
The museum has a rich collection of archaeological and ethnographic finds.
Here you will find excellently preserved specimens from prehistoric times, Thracian, Roman and Byzantine vessels, columns, marble slabs and statues.
Gold, silver and bronze coins and objects discovered during various archaeological investigations and exhibited trace the history of the peoples who inhabited the area.
The museum's collection of kidney stones contains about 10,000 calculi thrown out during and after balneotherapy in the city's sanatoriums. It is located in the building of the Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital.
A small part of the calculi were removed after surgery. The collection was discovered in 1981 and represents an incredible proof of the healing effect of the Hisarya mineral water. The most impressive exhibit is a kidney stone weighing 560 grams, surgically removed.
Minutes from the archaeological museum, the beautiful summer theater of the city of Hisarya has been erected.
It was built in the style of ancient amphitheatres, fully in the spirit of ancient Roman cities, and has 1,700 seats.
Or perhaps you would like to explore the entire ancient city from a bird's eye view?
Or rather see it as "in the palm of your hand"? It is completely possible and Hisarya offers it to you!
In the Tourist Information Center - Hisarya you can see a model of the fortress city of Diocletianopol, made by Mr. Tono Mekikov.
"Ivan Vazov" community center is located next to the building of the Tourist Information Center of the city of Hisarya.
Community Center "Ivan Vazov"
It was founded on November 14, 1904.
The writer Ivan Vazov personally gave his consent for it to bear his name and donated his autographed books as well as books by other authors for the initial collection.
An original metal seal with his image has been preserved from that time.
The community center has a rich library fund. In addition to it, an improvised folklore dance troupe, a theater troupe "Theatre without a diploma", piano and accordion schools were created. Exhibitions, poetry evenings, concerts are organized every year.
"Ivan Vazov" Community Center preserves traditions and the Bulgarian spirit by collecting and recreating ancient rituals, crafts and song folklore.
Opposite the buildings of the community center and the tourist information center are the ruins of one of the city's basilicas.
The basilicas of Hisarya
It is an interesting fact that in Bulgaria, only on the territory of today's Hisarya, the largest number of early Christian basilicas have been discovered - a total of ten in number, and only three of them are exposed and accessible to visit today.
All of them are distinguished by their diverse architectural form.
Basilica No. 1 is located on the ruins of the barracks complex within the ancient city.
The extreme southwestern building, after its second consecutive demolition, was rebuilt into a two-nave basilica - the only one known so far in Bulgaria.
The only basilica whose name can be confirmed to date is Basilica No. 3, dedicated to "Saint Stephen the First Martyr".
The basilica is located south of the main southern fortress gate.
The first archaeological research on it dates back to 1936.
It has three naves with a vestibule and a courtyard. The apse is semi-circular on the inside, and three-sided on the outside.
The pre-abside part of the altar is separated from the nave by a partition, from which the decorative marble columns have been preserved. The supporting columns in the nave are masonry, with bricks on stone bases. During the excavations of the basilica, a tombstone of the priest Theodore was found, with an inscription in Greek, from which it is clear that, in addition to Theodore, his son John, whose relics rest in the vestibule of the temple, was previously buried there .
(As) a gift from God was transferred,
keeping God's commandments,
Theodore with bright memory;
And as he had to go to God
and had desired (to have) his eternal abode
in this honest home of the saint
glorious first martyr Stephen,
find solace here
of the month of October the third (day), indiction the seventh,
(after) sending before (yourself as)
his own son, John,
the tread that rests in the vestibule
(of this temple)
Paleographic features of the inscription show that both burials took place in the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Justinian, who ruled from 527 to 565.
Later, the basilica was burned during an enemy attack.
Basilica No. 8 is located between the colorful inscription HISARYA and the "Momina Banya Colonnade" water kiosk. The basilica has a semicircular apse, three naves with a vestibule and a baptistery (baptismal).
It is dated from the 5th century.
In the city of Hisarya you will find several beautiful Christian churches, which I am pleased to present to you.
Saint Panteleimon church
I start with "St. Panteleimon" church. You will find it at the intersection between Augusta and Oborishte streets within the ancient city of Diocletianopol.
The temple was built way back in 1889.
To see the Church of the Assumption, we head to the Momina Banya district of the city.
It is the largest temple in the neighborhood outside Plovdiv.
In front of the temple, you will see a memorial plaque indicating the place where the building of the old Momina banya School was erected in the distant 1870.
Church of Saints Peter and Paul
Then we head to the Miromir district of the city of Hisarya to see the beautiful church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
The temple dates back to 1882, when Father Pavel Tsakia, who was born in 1835 in Italy, and Father Carlos, born in 1838 also in Italy, laid its foundations.
St. Dimitar church
In the "Verigovo" district is the oldest church in Hisarya - "Holy Great Martyr Dimitar". The April Uprising is announced here, and the brave chainsaws join the fray!
Here I met Grandma Stoyna and Grandpa Petko, who continue to work tirelessly to maintain this popular place for chain workers.
A copy of the flag of Panayot Volov's troop has been preserved in the church, which you should also see.
And now I suggest you stand on the southern side of the "Camels", i.e. outside the outline of the ancient city.
A modest bas-relief is placed in this place.
On it you will find the following inscription:
Dear fatherland, how beautiful you are!
The place is marked and the date is given:
Hisarya - The Camels 1882
A large part of the work of the classic of Bulgarian literature Ivan Vazov is connected with Hisarya.
Here he wrote the novel "A New Land", a number of poems and travelogues.
The most inspired poems about the Bulgarian nature are born in the city!
Vazov adored Hisarya and the entire surrounding area!
From the Vazov trail near the Voden Kamak area, you can see incomparable views of the snow-covered ridges of the old Balkans.
In 1812, a temporary settlement was formed on the meadow above the area by the inhabitants of the village of Dudene, who were fleeing the plague epidemic and the Kardzhalian raids. In the middle of the meadow rises a huge massive rock, it served as an altar for worship services.
Besides Vazov, frequent guests of Hisarya are writers and poets such as Radoi Ralin, Valery Petrov, Yordan Yovkov, Dora Gabe, Elisaveta Bagryana, Lyuben Dilov, and others. Here they found much-needed comfort and peace and drew inspiration for their works.
Eco-paths and routes
The surroundings around the city of Hisarya are stunningly beautiful, which is why I offer you some ideas for adventures nearby.
The path to the cross above "Verigovo"
A cross rises above the "Verigovo" district, leading to a wonderful eco-path called "Kliment Ohridski", which I advise you to take.
Near the cross and the memorial plaque "In memory of people of Verigovo!", you will find the "St. George" chapel.
From the place there are incredibly fascinating views of the city of Hisarya and the entire surrounding area!
The trail to the cross above "Momina Banya"
In addition to the cross above the "Verigovo" district, a second cross towers over the city of Hisarya, located above the "Momina Banya" district.
There is a wonderful path leading to it, which I advise you to take.
Nearby there is a panoramic playground, a barbecue with benches and tables where you can rest and eat.
Siniata reka dam
Near the "Miromir" district of the city of Hisarya, you will find a beautiful dam, near which you can take unique walks in every season.
The reflections of the sky with the clouds in the waters of the dam is a sight not to be missed!
A wonderful sunny walk around Hisarya
And now I invite you for a walk, following the link below, and give you an unforgettable, sunny and smiling day in our most beloved Hisarya!
I wish you an exceptional and impressive walk!