Nature and development of Bulgarian civilization
In the Bulgarian lands you will find the treasures of some of the most ancient peoples that inhabited Europe. Situated between the East and the West, and having favorable climate and natural resources, the country has always been a site of continuous cultural exchange. Every local city museum has an abundant and rich collection of antiques and cultural remains that will reveal to you the world of the country’s most ancient citizens, as well as their religious, cultural and everyday necessities. One of the most famous treasures, the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis, provides the world with the oldest processed golden treasure in Europe (dated back to the 5th millennium BC). The Bulgarian state was established in 681 by the union of Proto-Bulgarians and Slavic tribes. In ceaseless battles for supremacy and through a continuous transfer of values, Bulgaria created its rich and idiosyncratic civilization. The country established itself through the ages as one of the centers of spiritual and material cultural heritage like literature, architecture and jewelry. Even today, in the capital cities of Pliska, Veliki Preslav and Veliko Tarnovo, you can feel the glorious past of the country’s heyday. An important moment in the country’s development was establishing Christianity as the official religion. Thanks to the Slavic alphabet, which was created here, the literary movement in the kingdom achieved a strong spiritual uplift. This new religion started to spread from these lands all across the Balkan Peninsula.
The church and monastery frescoes from this period are magnificent. The Boyana Church near Sofia can be compared to the Renaissance paragons, although it precedes them by a century and a half. The monasteries near Ivanovo, the Aladzha Monastery and the Bachkovo Monastery will amaze you with the mastery of their builders, artists and woodcarvers, as well as with the splendid combination of natural environment and location of the religious facilities. Particularly imposing is the capital Veliko Tarnovo together with the Tsarevets hill and with its astonishing urban plan, walls, churches, towers, and everyday life facilities.
When conquered by the Turks in the 14th century, Bulgaria ceased its state development. However, this provided an opportunity to create a number of Christian monuments that helped to preserve the population’s ethnicity and integrity. Iconography, wood-carved alter making, and church and monastery building schools were established. The country experienced its Renaissance, called „the Revival”, hence entering the Modern Age. Today, Bulgaria is part of the European Union and has modern urbanized cities. Eclectic and at the same time distinctive, modern Bulgaria can be enjoyed by everyone who appreciates and seeks historical sites. This is a country where legends are being told, images and architecture speak of great times and treasures lead us toward worlds of gods.