Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria, standing on the banks of the Maritsa river in the historical region of Thrace. It has a population of 346,893 as of 2018 and 675,000 in the greater metropolitan area. Plovdiv is the cultural capital of Bulgaria and was the European Capital of Culture in 2019. It is an important economic, transport, cultural, and educational center. During most of its recorded history, Plovdiv was known by the name Philippopolis after Philip II of Macedon.