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The medieval capital – Veliko Tarnovo

City of Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria, is astonishing with its unique beauty. The city is located in Central Bulgaria, at the foot of Stara Planina. The old part of the city is situated on the historical hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora. The investigation, preservation and restoration, and presentation activities carried out, as well as the large-scale construction and development works, have transformed this incredible city into a fairy tale, a desired place for a vacation and for reconnecting with antiquity and modernity. Unique cultural monuments related to the glorious history of the Bulgarian people were created and preserved here throughout the centuries-long existence of the city. The preserved remains of fortresses, palaces and churches are silent witnesses of the blossoming Bulgarian culture in the 12th-14th century.

Tsarevets Fortress
Tsarevets Fortress

The proximity of the ancient city Nikopolis ad Istrum, the unique architectural and historical village of Arbanasi and the numerous monasteries create favorable conditions to satisfy the scientific and cultural interests of people of all ages. Two glorious Bulgarian ages meet here, the Middle Ages, when Veliko Tarnovo was the Bulgarian capital (12th-14th century), and the Revival, when the city became a center of everything new and progressive. First among the most famous tourist attractions is the Tsarevets hill. During the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the hill was the residence of the king’s court, the boyars and the patriarch. It is surrounded by a fortified wall built upon natural vertical cliffs. Here you can find the Balduin tower, parts of the palace and the Ascension of Christ Patriarch Church. Other sanctuaries in the city include the St. Forty Martyrs, St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki, and St. Peter and Paul churches, as well as the Birth of the Holy Virgin Cathedral. The city is also impressive with its original and unique architecture of the Revival period. A unique attraction is presented by the Sound and Light audio-visual show.Dramatic music, colored lights, lasers and church bells tell the glorious and tragic story of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185- 1393). The show is a unique experience and adds up to the magic of Veliko Tarnovo. Hundreds of colored lights and three laser beams present moments of the battles against the Ottoman hordes, the years of the Turkish yoke, the revolutionary movement and the Liberation. e show can be best seen from the Tsar Ivan Asen II square in front of Tsarevets.