Bulgaria and Veliko Tarnovo
The oldest country in Europe
Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries in Europe which is located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula. Although small in size, as one author states “earth as a human hand”, Bulgaria is incredibly beautiful country with ancient history and rich historical past. Even before the establishment of the Bulgarian state, its lands were inhabited by Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Slavs and proto-Bulgarians. Indeed, it is often considered as the birthplace of the mythical Thracian musician Orpheus. There are many historical monuments as all of the tribes which were mentioned above have left extremely valuable artistic and architectural evidence of the existence of their cultures throughout the whole country, turning it into one of the most attractive destinations for people interested in history and culture. Furthermore, UNESCO listed nine Bulgaria sites- seven cultural and two natural in their World Heritage List. The list includes sites of great importance for the whole human race and its conservation and preservation.
Why Veliko Tarnovo?
Veliko Turnovo, or the “City of the Tsars” as it is often referred to, is the medieval capital of Bulgaria and one of the oldest cities in the country. A number of archaeological excavations have proven that its history date back to more than five thousand years ago. The upsurge of Veliko Tarnovo is related to the period of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1393). In 1185 the city was proclaimed as the capital of the restored Bulgarian State. Its rapid development between the 12th and 14th century turned it into the most unconquerable region in Bulgaria, as well as a cultural and intellectual center of the country.
The old part of the city is situated on three hills, namely Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora raising amidst the meanders of the Yantra river. The Old City is a place with magical atmosphere where visitors can see houses built over 200 years ago and walk along the market street where many craft workshops, souvenir shops and galleries represent the glorious past of the city. However, the most significant monument of culture in Veliko Tarnovo is the medieval fortress Tsarevets which housed the palaces of the Bulgarian Emperors and the Patriarchate, as well as a number of administrative and residential edifices. The castle is not just a tourist site, but also a scene where the most unique and spectacular show of light and sound is performed. A recent ranking of the ‘’10 Heavenly Places Where You Can Easily Start a New Life’’ by BrightSide listed Veliko Tarnovo in their article along with Český Krumlov, Guanajuato and the Pearl Islands.