Multimedia visitor centre “Tsarevgrad Tarnov” is located near Tsarevets hill. Notable sculptures and paintings present historical figures and events of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It recreates lives of different social layer in medieval bulgarian society – monarchs, clergy, boyars and warriors, craftsmen.
Visitors will experience the rich history of Tsarevgrad as a symbol of royalty, glory and spiritual power.
The Holy Forty Martyrs church was built and decorated with murals by the will of the Bulgarian tzar Ivan Asen II, to commemorate his victory over the king of the Epirus kingdom Theodor Comnenus in 1230. In the middle of the XIII century, around the church was erected the royal monastery of the Great Laurel. The church became a centre of a series of important events and its nave comprises the most significant tokens of the Bulgarian history – the columns of khan Omurtag (815 – 831), of khan Krum (803-814) and of Ivan Asen II with inscriptions on them. During archeological researches were unearthed the tombs of significant medieval persons. The biggest interest drew the grave the Bulgarian king Kaloyan, who was assassinated during the siege of Thessaloniki in 1207. After his death his body was solemnly carried to capital, where he was buried with honours. In the church were also the graves of one of the greatest Bulgaria’s rulers – Ivan Asen II and his wife Anna – Maria. The church was the place where the relics of St. Sava of Serbia and St. Ilarion of Muglen were kept. Consequently the body of St. Sava was transferred to Serbia but his grave is still an attractive point for pilgrims. One of the most important events held in the church was the pronouncing of the Bulgarian independence on the 22nd of September, 1908.
The Archaeological museum which housed the exposition “Veliko Tarnovo – the capital of Bulgaria XII – XIV c.” is situated westward to the square of “Saedinenie”. The thousand year old history and culture of the region of Tarnovo is traced out there. The accent is on the period of the Second Bulgarian kingdom.
The prehistory is presented in the first hall. You can see some archaeological findings from the tumulus of Samovodene (5700-5000 BC), the settlement in the area of “Kachitsa”, V.Tarnovo (5300-3800 BC), Djulyunitsa (4800-4000 BC), tumuli of the village of Hotnitsa, the waterfall near Hotnitsa (3600 BC), the Thracian village on the hill of Tsarevec.
The point is on the golden treasure of Hotnitsa that dates back to about 4100 BC. It is worth to see the golden objects from the cave of the village of Emen and a piece with signs of proto-writing system.
It is interesting to know when and where was the ancient town of Plovdiv founded. What is the place where the people settled and remained to live there for 8 millennia? This place is the hill known today as Nebet tepe situated on the hilltop plateau in the northern part of the three hills (Trimontium).
The earliest settlements on the territory of the city are dated back to the 6th millennium BC. There were several prehistoric settlements on this territory, but the oldest and most important one was located on hill known as Nebet tepe.
Initially the village was situated in a naturally sheltered and consolidated place on the front side of the northern hill. It gradually expanded towards the other hills to become the most significant Thracian city on the territory of Bulgaria. At that time the lands of today's Plovdiv were inhabited by the Thracian tribe Bessi. The scientists are still not sure if the name of the city at that time was Eumolpia or Pulpudeva.
The complex of Nebet tepe continued to play an important role as an element of the fortification system of the city until the 14th century, with lots of improvements and supplements during the Antiquity and the Middle Ages. A notable finding of that later period is a reservoir of 350 cubic meters.
Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic museum is the second largest specialized museum of this type in Bulgaria. It is an acknowledged scientific-educational institution and an attractive center for cultural tourism. The museum was established in 1917 and since 1938 it has been located in Kuyumdzhieva house, a cultural monument of national significance. Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic museum provides coordinative, qualification and expert-consulting activities for all museums and collections of artifacts with ethnographic character on the territory of Plovdiv and the region. In addition, the museum lends its methodical support to the municipal and private museums.The museum is a co-organizer and a host of popular traditional festivals such as Festival the Annual Festival of Chamber Music, The Festival of Classic Guitar, etc., as well as concerts, biennials, fashion shows, theatrical plays, book presenting and performances. The demonstration of traditional crafts is another type of tourist attraction.
On the territory to the East and Northeast of the Forum (Agora) of Philippopolis in the years of Early Christianity were formed neighborhoods where several Christian churches were built. In the same area were found also the ruins of a synagogue - a unique building from that period.
The ruins of the Small Early Christian basilica were found during the construction works of "Maria Louisa" Blvd. The Small basilica is situated in the eastern outskirts of the Ancient city, next to the fortification wall with a tower from 2nd - 4th century AD.
The basilica has a central nave, flanked by two aisles. It is with one apse and with a narthex. A small chapel was built to the South and a baptistery is erected just next to the Northern aisle. The overall length of the basilica, including the apse, is 20 meters, and the width is 13 meters.
The basilica was built in the second half of 5th century AD with rich architectural decorations – marble colonnades separating the aisles, marble altar wall, pulpit and synthronos. The floors were covered with rich multicolour mosaic with geometrical motifs. The mosaic includes a panel with donor inscription. Remnants of an altar table were found.
Ancient Plovdiv Architectural and Historical Reserve (The Old Town) is located in the Central part of the city of Plovdiv on the Three Hills (Nebet Tepe, Taksim Tepe and Dzhambaz Tepe) and covers an area of about 35 ha. It was formed due to the continuous life over the centuries – from Prehistoric, Thracian, Hellenic, Roman, Late-ancient, Medieval, National Revival, and Post-Liberation periods to present days. The combination of the prevailing Antiquity, Middle Ages and Revival in an independent core within the modern city is one of a kind for our country.
From the Roman and the Late-ancient period in the Old Town have been best preserved the Ancient Theatre, the Ancient Forum, the Roman Stadium, Early Christian basilicas, public and private buildings, pipelines, street network and parts of the fortress walls, constructed in the Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
From the National Revival period the authentic architecture of houses as well as several churches and school buildings have been preserved. The residential buildings are divided into two main groups. The first group of houses corresponds to the mountain asymmetrical type, but it has been expanded and enriched for the needs of the urban life. The second group is the so-called “Plovdiv symmetrical urban house”. This group of buildings is characterized by a unique national interpretation of the European baroque.
The Numismatic Department of Plovdiv Regional Archaeological Museum boasts a collection of 60,000 coins, dated VI c. B. C. - XX c. A. D. The department is constantly enriching its fund either through acquisition from various archaeological excavations or by buying out coins from private collectors.
A substantial part of the numismatic treasure of the Archaeological Museum is comprised of coins minted in the period of I - V c. A. D. Philippopolis was the first town in the inner part of Thrace that began to mint the so-called "pseudo-autonomous" bronze coins. The Emperors Domicianus (81 - 96), Trajan (98 - 117) and Hadrian (117 - 138) gave permission to the town to issue coins without the mediation of the Roman legates, temporarily governing Thrace. Alongside with the coins, the Museum collection holds a considerable amount of medallions, issued as commemorative signs to eminent representatives of the Emperor in the province or to town notables. In some periods they were also used as legal tender.
The Museum boasts one of the richest collections of 100.000 exhibits of artefacts related to the history of Plovdiv and its region. Plovdiv is the heir to one of the biggest and most famous ancient towns in the Balkan Penninsula - Philippopolis.
Steering just a little from the Main Street in Plovdiv and imperceptibly you find yourself in “Kapana” (literal translation: “The Trap”). Once you get there you would never want to go back.
You will find galleries, workshops, ateliers, studios, cozy restaurants and shops, as well as other art spaces, and there is even a vinyl shop! And to back our words up, here is a list of places you should not miss in “Kapana”: Vinyl’s home place Soul Searchin’ – Point-Blank Gallery – Darvodelie Atelier – What A monster – Kotka and Mishka....
All these places fill “Kapana” with modern cultural content not only with their daily activities but also organizing events with social, economic and cultural effect for the city. What happens in the new/old art district of Plovdiv is so much – concerts, exhibitions, festivals, forums, brainstorming sessions and discussions, theatrical performances, art installations, screenings, workshops and many more.
The Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the World. It is located on the Southern slope of the Three Hills, in the saddle between Taksim and Dzhambaz tepe. Discovered by archaeologists from Plovdiv and reconstructed in the beginning of the 80s of XX century, the Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is among the most significant findings from the Roman period. Recently found and deciphered inscription on a monumental pedestal reveals that the theatre has been constructed in the 90s of I century A.D., when Philippolol was under the rulership of Titus Flavius Cotis – an heir of a Thracian Royal Dynasty, the high priest of the Tracian province, representative of the Metropolitan Court of Justice and a person in charge of the construction sites.
Nowadays, the Ancient theatre is symbolical for Plovdiv and adjusted to the city’s modern cultural life. It is operating as a stage of opera, music and drama. Some of the best annual events are the International Folklore Festival, the Opera Festival "Opera Open", the Rock Festival "Sounds of Ages" and many others.
The Stadium of Philippopolis was built in the beginning of 2nd century AD during the reign Emperor Hadrian. It is situated in the Northern part of the fortified city surrounded by defence walls, in the natural terrain between Taksim Tepe and Sahat Tepe.
The facility, approximately 240 meters long and 50 meters wide, could seat up to 30 000 spectators. According to the epigraphic and numismatic monuments games similar to the Pythian Games in Greece were held in the town. To honour the visit of the Roman emperor Caracalla in 214 the games were called Alexandrian while the games for the visit of emperor Elagabalus in 218 were called Kedrisian Games.
There you can dive underground at the original level of the Ancient town. The space open for visitors includes a part of the track, the semi-circular part of the spectator seats (sfendona) and a panoramic wall with hypothetical reconstruction of the missing space of the facility. Some of the discovered elements of the Stadium are identified along the main street of Plovdiv.
The building was erected as an officers club in 1895. In the period 1905-1923 it was Peoples Home, which housed workers theatre, brass band and evening classes.
In 1951 the building was turned into a Museum of the History of Capitalism, Working Class Movement and Socialist Construction. Nowadays it accommodates the Museum Centre of Modern History with a large, fully equipped hall, which allows the arrangement of art and photographic exhibitions, presentations, seminars and other public events.
Tsar Simeon's Garden in Plovdiv is created in 1892 by the Swiss landscape architect Lucien Chevalas (1840-1921). In 1879 Bulgarian knyaz Aleksandar Bogoridi invited Chevalas to become the official gardener of Plovdiv. For all his contribution to the city, in 1901 he was declared an honorary citizen of Plovdiv. Often he is referred to as “the Minister of flowers”.
A Viennese pavilion is built in the centre of the park. The pavilion is with a metal openwork construction and is a replica of the 1936-Central Pavilion. All this was possible with the help of archival photographs and historical evidences from the Book of the fair. In addition there is new lighting in the park, and also new benches and modern children's playgrounds are installed. The trees and the flowers turn the park in a paradise garden.
The pearl on the crown of the park is the renovated Lake with the Singing Fountains. You can enjoy the light show of the lake intertwined with water effects.
The place brings together the rich history, and attracts its visitors with many different possibilities for relaxation and entertainment. The archaeological values found on that place such as the fortress walls of the ancient city of Terme (Thermopolis), the Roman baths of the 1st century AD with a warm and cold swimming pool, and various medieval rooms are accessible to tourists through the modern footbridges that facilitate their passage and viewing.
The complex allows citizens and guests of Burgas to visit the fully renovated bathroom of Suleiman the Magnificent. Upon restoration, the original vision is strictly adhered, lined with marble and typical oriental ceramics. The authenticity is complemented by natural and artistic lightning that performs the act of a functioning museum where visitors can watch a movie based on 3D mapping. It leads the tourists to a virtual walk from the Thracian times and the Sacred Spring of the Three nymphs-healers through the Roman period, the Crusades – until the time of Suleiman the Magnificent.
House of the People in Bucharest, also known as the Palace of the Romanian Parliament is the second-largest administrative building for civilian use in the world, after the US Pentagon. It is the heaviest building on Earth, made from 1.5 billion lb of steel and bronze for doors, capitals and windows, all of them monumental, 7,7 million lb of crystal glass for 480 chandeliers and more than 1,400 ceiling lights and mirrors and 35,3 million ft of marble. In the House of People in Bucharest, the parquet and wainscoting were made from 900,000 cubic meters of wood. There are also in the Romanian Parliament building, velvet and brocade curtains with embroideries in silver and gold. Only the floor area is 360,000 square meter and the underground parking is large enough for 20,000 cars.
The House of the People was part of a gigantic project, called The Civic Center, a copy of Pyongyang city in North Korea. Nicolae Ceausescu decided to build this state within a state in 1978, after the 7.2 earthquakes that devastated Bucharest on March 4, 1977. The capital had to be rebuilt and the Civic Center was part of the plan. Ceausescu wanted The House of the People, or The House of the Republic, a new Minister of Defense, a new Museum of the Communist Party, a Guests House( now Marriott Hotel), a huge park near the House of the People( Izvor Park) and a boulevard called The Victory of Socialism Bd. ( actual The Unification Bd). A very young architect won the national contest with her plan for the Civic Center and House of People: Anca Petrescu, 28 years old. In 1982, soldiers and ordinary workers began to put down all the buildings in the area.
The Contemporary Art Museum in Bucharest houses a great collection called Seeing the history from 1947 to 2007, which is an exhibition about the communist period, the progress of the Eastern European civilization, about the life of people in this period, including the Romanian Revolution in 1989 and the process of modernization of the country after the communists and the integration in the Euro-Atlantic civilization. Of course, the most important pieces of the collection are the art masterpieces exhibited, but the social, political and economical contexts are also explained on the first floor of the museum. There are also events organized here, like the recent one called The art condition in Russia and Eastern Europe in postmodern society, by an art historian Yunnia Yang from Taiwan. An impressive collection of photos made after masterpieces signed by great artists is also housed by the Museum. We are talking about 3 millions of copies in a digital archive.
The Botanical Garden in Bucharest is a cultural institution, part of Bucharest University. It was founded by Alexandru Ioan Cuza in 1860, near COTROCENI PALACE.
The great exhibition, where tropical plants, huge palm or banana trees, awesome members of the orchids family, gigantic decorative trees or wild ferns can be seen. There are thematic greenhouses, very well organized in the order you to need only one hour, or one hour and a half to see all plants and trees and make free amazing pictures.
The Decorative Sector is at the entrance in the Botanical Garden and here you can find more than 500 plants that assure all over the year a great view. The flowers,Tullipa collection, Paeonia and not only, are cultivated in large groups. It was arranged in 1956.
Rare Plants Sector is the home of rare, special plants that need protection in Europe. They found it here and many of them would have been gone for a long time now if this area of the Botanical Garden hadn’t been arranged in 1962. There are plants from Dobrogea or southern Muntenia but no only. So, while you travel to Bucharest, you can visit the rare plants sector although it is an area where scientists have a lot of work to do, taking care of plants in Paeonia family, Salvia Transilvania or Fritillaria Orientalis.
Bucharest National Opera House needed headquarters since the beginning of the 19th century. The nowadays building housing the National Opera in Bucharest was designed in 1946.
The first Italian theater was opened in Bucharest in 1843 and it has to do with the National Opera, for it was opened with the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, followed by the Barber of Seville by Rossini. In 1870, the composer and conductor George Stefanescu tried to persuade the authorities to build a headquarters for the Opera. Thus he launches the Opera Company in 1885 with the performance of Linda di Chamonix by Donizetti, sung in Romanian. Only in 1921, the Opera Company receives the necessary funds in order to organize itself in the new institutional order, becoming the Romanian Opera. The premiere of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner, with George Enescu conducting, was the opening performance that year.
The theater was built in classical style. The main hall ha 2200 seats, surrounded by lodges and amazing acoustics. There are four caryatids, four statues, Drama and Poetry statues, a bas-relief called Music and another one called The Dance. George Enescu’s monument is in front of the building.
Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in the Principality of Transylvania. Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle. Due to its lovely landscape and charming people, Bran-Moeciu is one of the most popular touristic areas in Brasov County and the ideal place to spend a great week-end or your holidaysEvery historical episode is characterized by certain factors that function as a constant, such as time and space. These factors define its place in the evolution of the human community.The region between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului has sparked a series of historical episodes, from prehistoric days until current times, all due to one major geographical and historical factor: the Bran Gorge.The Bran Gorge, one of the most important trans-Carpathian passages, has had a dynamic history. Its story has been characterized by two major components: the trade routes of its crossroads, and the recurring military invasions that utilized them.A natural amphitheater, guarded from the East by the Bucegi Mountains and from the West by the Piatra Craiului Massive, the Bran Gorge offered, due to its concave space, a wide panorama both to Burzenland (Ţara Bârsei), and to the hills and valley of Moeciu.
If you are an art lover you should not miss this place. They have a permanent collection exhibiting historical artefacts and they always have a temporary exhibition bringing new items. Housed in the neoclassical Sutu Palace(1834), the museum features some 300,000 artefacts, from coins, books, maps, engravings, paintings, arms and furniture to old traditional costumes. Among the most valuable exhibits are the document attesting for the first time the name of the city of Bucharest, issued by Vlad Tepes in 1459.
Designed in 1845 by the German landscape architect Carl Meyer, the garden opened to the public in 1860. The name, Cismigiu, comes from the Turkish cismea, meaning "public fountain." More than 30,000 trees and plants were brought from the Romanian mountains, while exotic plants were imported from the botanical gardens in Vienna.
The Cathedral of Saint Joseph is the most important Roman Catholic Church in Bucharest serving, at the same time, as cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archbishopric in Bucharest and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Romania. The crucial role of this place of worship in the religious life of the community of Roman Catholic believers in Bucharest and nationwide alike is, thus, understandable.
Built between 1873 and 1884 (the construction works took so long because of the War of Independence in 1877), the cathedral is an architectural monument erected by following the design of Friedrich Schmidt, combining elements typical of the Roman style with discreet Gothic touches. The inner highlights of the cathedral refer to the main white Carrara marble altar (built in Rome by following the designs of the same Friedrich Schmidt), to an impressive organ (the present organ was built in 1930 in order to replace the original 1892 Parisian organ) said to be one of the best in the country, to the Parisian chandelier, to the decorative pictorial works by Georg Roder and Fr. Elsner, as well as to the decorative plasterwork on the walls, columns and pillars.
Romanian Athenaeum is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest and cultural center and also host for GEORGE ENESCU FESTIVAL.
In 1886, authorities bought the land where the future Athenaeum was to be built. This is how the history of the Romanian Athenaeum begins. The French architect Albert Galleron and the Romanian architects Grigore Cerchez, Alexandru Orascu, Ion Mincu and I.N. Socolescu started the project. Works began in 1886 and were finished in 1889. It was built in neoclassical style, it has Greek temple elements but also French decorations from the end of the 19th century. A circus was on the land of the nowadays Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The entrance has 6 Greek columns, the dome is Baroque style, 41 meters high.
The interior of the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest includes exhibits rooms, concert halls and conferences halls. 12 Greek columns sustain one of the main halls, the Rotonda. 4 monumental stairs start from here, imitating Carrara marble, made by the famous architect, Carol Stork. The honour stairs also start from here. The great circular hall is 16 meters high, 28,50 meters in diameter and 784 seat capacity. There is also an ensemble of 75 meters long and 3 meters high of paintings, made in alfresco style, representing 25 scenes from Romania’s history. In 1944, during the war, the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest was devastated by German and American bombs but it was rebuilt in 1945.
Theodor Pallady Museum is an interesting landmark for two reasons: it is housed by one of the oldest dwelling buildings in Bucharest, Malic House and here you can see the collection of more than 1700 items, valuable paintings but not only.
Theodor Pallady, one of the greatest Romanian painters, was born in 1871. He will study the Polytechnics in Dresda but soon will realize he was made for painting. In 1892 Theodor Pallady enters Gustave Moreau’s workroom in Paris where he will also meet Henri Matisse. It is in Paris where Pallady will become the friend of Gheorghe Raut whose guest will be a few years and who will also donate his collection, including Pallady’s works to the Romanian State. This happened in 1970.
The Arch of Triumph in Bucharest was a modest monument, in the beginning, made of wood and built in 1878 after the Independence War to mark the victory parade on October 8 the same year. Two inscriptions were written in front of it: The defenders of Independence and Bucharest City. A statue representing The Victory was placed on the Arch. There were also written the names of the places were Romanians fought for freedom to remain on this symbol of triumph in the War of Independence against the Turkish Empire and of its domination which lasted for more than 300 years.
Made of pink marble from Ruschita and stone brought from 5 important Romanian quarries, the Arch of Triumph is 27 meters high and 25 meters wide and is considered a modern new Romanian architectural masterpiece. It is also one of the symbols and highlights of Bucharest.
Now, the Arch of Triumph is part of the tour the authorities thought might help foreign tourists and not only to discover the Romanian capital.
Village Museum in Bucharest is an open-air exhibit for tourists who want to learn more about rural life in Romania. It is so fine that you might want to move into it. That was a joke. You wouldn’t want to leave in underground houses or in the same house with your parents, like people in Romania used to do and still do, do you? The Village Museum in Bucharest is a great history lesson for all the people all around the world about the life in South-Eastern Europe, under the Russian influence, Turkish influence and also, ancient and medieval influences.
The first try to create a museum dedicated to the country life in Romania was attempted in 1867 at the Paris Universal Exhibition. Romanian rural constructions were exhibited there. Then, a sociologist, Dimitrie Gusti sent students and volunteers to target and rebuild old houses from all Romanian provinces and villages.
In 1936, King Carol II opened the new museum which housed 33 authentic houses from Maramures, Moldavia, Transylvania and Muntenia and also churches. The Village Museum became in 1940 after Bucovina was taken by the Soviet Union, house for refugees and many of the buildings were damaged. In 1948, the Museum opened its gates again. 233 constructions could be visited.
Nowadays in Village Museum Bucharest, the tourists can visit 338 monuments brought from Transylvania, Banat, Muntenia, Oltenia, Dobrogea and Moldavia and also popular art artefacts.
The House of the Free Press (Casa Presei Libere), formerly called Casa Scânteii, is one of the landmarks of Bucharest reminiscent of the communist regime. The edifice was built during the regime (between 1952 and 1957) and served as headquarters of the party’s publication (Scânteia) being, thus, by design, an institution completely subject to the communist authorities. In reaction to this juncture, subsequently to the 1989 Revolution, the name of the building was changed into the House of the Free Press.
The building combines elements promoted by the Russian Soviet architecture with details typical of the religious architecture cultivated in Wallachia and Moldavia. Just like most of the megastructures erected during the communist regime, the building strikes by its dimensions. The horizontal coordinate of the edifice exceeds its vertical line, and the difference is so considerable, that the aesthetic impact can hardly be overlooked.
Bucharest Zoo Garden is a great place to spend an afternoon when you visit the Romanian Capital. The Zoo is outside Bucharest, near Baneasa Forest and also near Baneasa Shopping Center. So, if you have time and need some fresh air and also a shopping tour in an elegant mall, you might like the area.
The Zoo in Bucharest total surface is estimated at about 6 ha. It was founded in 1955. A ticket for children is 6,5 RON. Children always find the Zoo Garden very interesting.
The ZOO in Bucharest can be visited every day from 9 to 17. You are not allowed to feed the animals. The Romanian capital had no Zoo before 1955. Yet there were special corners in CISMIGIU GARDEN, CAROL PARK or HERASTRAU PARK where you could admire beautiful birds and mammals. Don’t forget, if you visit the ZOO in Bucharest, from 12 to 2 PM, keep quiet…some lions are sleeping.
St. Anastasia Island is located in the Burgas Bay in the Black Sea. It is a volcanic rock island, 12 meters high, at some places up to 17 meters high, and its area is almost 9 decres. Between 1959 and 1990 it was known as Bolshevik Island. It is surrounded by mystery and there are hundreds of legends and stories about it.
A healing place, offering wonder-working herbs and potions from old recipes, medieval monastery cell, where you can stay overnight, restaurant with authentic Burgas meals from old recipes… all this in the most romantic place in the Burgas Bay – St. Anastasia Island. You can get there on a boat, leaving from the Sea station Burgas.
Until recently, this sounded like a fairy tale, but for several years it is s part of Burgas’ reality, thanks to the project, won by Municipality Burgas – “Cultural-historical heritage on St. Anastasia Island” and “Burgas – an attractive and competitive tourist destination”, financed by the Operative Programme “Regional Development”
From the first glance, the Castle is made in the style of the classic Western European castles combining various styles from the Renaissance and Romantic periods – but this comes not to be true! The style of the Castle is one and only – the unique Fairy style. This is the secret of its magic impact – the dream that came true to make a castle existing only in fairy-tales.
The cathedral in Varna is one of the symbols of the city. It is situated on “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” square in the center of Varna. The view from the belfry towards the city is splendid, but you have to overcome the 133 stairs of the narrow caracol.
The first stone upon the construction of the temple was placed by Prince Alexander I of Battenberg (1857 - 1893) in 1880. After the consecration, the prince reprieved all the prisoners from the Varna prison, for which three months of their sentences were remaining. The name that was chosen, The Assumption of Holy Mother, was to the memory of the Russian Empress Maria Alexanrovna, benefactor of Bulgaria and aunt of the Prince.
The foundations were laid by the project of the Odessus architect Maas, and the building itself is constructed according to the project of the municipal architect P. Kupka. The financing of the construction was relied on mainly by the donors. Additionally, a lottery with 150 000 tickets of BGN 2 each was conducted, as the tickets were sold in the country and abroad.
The Archaeological Museum of Varna was established in 1887 by the brothers Karel and Herman Shkorpil (archaeologists and scientists of Czech and Bulgarian origin, founders of the Bulgarian archaeology and museum activity).
The archaeological museum shows original finds from the Paleolithic Age /about 100 000 years BC/ to the Middle Ages /7th – 8th/ century, many of which are of great significance to the archaeology of Europe and the world. The largest Mesolithic collection of flint tools in South-East Europe, the largest collections of ancient terracotta, tombstone reliefs, lamps and glass vessels in Bulgaria are placed here.
Unique exponents of the Hellenistic age, the Roman age and the Late Antiquity are presented; as well as rare premonetary forms, more than 2000 golden, silver, bronze and copper antic and middle age coins. Stone inscriptions from the history of the Bulgarian state are also presented; and also the largest in the country collections of early Bulgarian belt decorations and jewels dating from the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1393).
Nowadays the Marine Gardens form an imposing park where you can visit the Natural Science Museum, the Naval Museum, the Copernicus Astronomy Complex planetarium, the first in the country, the zoo and the Terrarium. Here one can find the only Dolphinarium and Aquarium in the country.
There are also a swimming pool, tennis court, an open-air theater and a new children's complex (opened on 1 May 2002) with a lot of amusements: water wheels, slide, archery, trampoline.
Along the alley, which runs parallel to the coastline, there are a number of small cafes and restaurants, offering seafood specialties as well as attractive discos.
The National Art Gallery is the largest and the most representative museum of the Bulgarian fine arts in the country. It is housed in the building of the former royal palace (declared a cultural monument in 1978), together with the National Ethnographic Museum.
The beginning of the collection was set in 1892 when the art department of the National Archaeological Museum was established. In 1948 by resolution of the Council of Ministers, the National Art Gallery was established as an independent institution.
The exposition of orthodox arts is presented in the crypt of the monumental temple “St. Alexander Nevski” in Sofia. The collection of works of art covers a large period of time – from the adoption of Christianity as an official religion in the Roman Empire in the 4th century to the Age of Bulgarian Revival (18th – 19th century), and it mainly consists of icons.
The collections of contemporary and modern Bulgarian art of the museum – from the Liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Dominion (1878) to the 1990s, contain more than 30,000 works of art, and they are divided into three basic expositions – high quality paintings, graphics and sculptures.
The “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre is Bulgaria’s biggest theatre, as well as the oldest and most stand out and most imposing theatre in the country. This theatre is one of the major landmarks in Sofia due to its prime location and grandiose architecture.
The National theatre is located in the centre of Sofia and its edifice faces the City Garden. The Ivan Vazov National Theatre has a well-equipped main stage with 750 seats, a smaller 120-seat stage and an additional 70-seat one on the fourth floor. The theatre employs some of the country’s best actors and stage directors, many of whom are widely popular.
The oldest and best preserved monument of architecture since Roman times in Sofia is the rotunda church St. George. It was built in the beginning of the 4th century AD and, was considered, during the reign of the roman emperor Constantine the Great (reigned 306 – 337) and the flourishing of the ancient town Serdika (the old name of Sofia). It is believed that the rotunda is the oldest building in Sofia.
The temple is situated in the courtyard of the Government Office, just a couple of meters of the remains of the ancient fortress Serdika. It is a cylindrical domed structure, built on a square base. Its width is about 9.5 meters in diameter and its height is about 14 meters. The altar room has a square form and four symmetrically placed niches. The main entrance is at the western wall.
Originally the building was used for public purposes. After the recognition of Christianity as a religion in the Roman Empire, the rotunda became a baptistery (a building for conversion to Christianity), due to the many conversions, following the authorization of this religion.