Heritage


    • The mosque that became a church

      The mosque that became a church

      In the centre of Sofia there is an imposing and very popular church, but few people know that before it became a Christian temple it had been a mosque for centuries. The name of the church is Sveti Sedmochislenitsi and it is dedicated to Saints Cyril and Methodius, the two brothers who devised the precursor of the Cyrillic alphabet, and their five disciples - Clement, Naum, Angelar, Gorazd and Sava.

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    • A story that is 8,000 years old

      A story that is 8,000 years old

      Within the city of Stara Zagora's boundaries there is a unique in situ museum which demonstrates how the ancient inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula lived during the Neolithic Age, some 8,000 years ago. The museum complex is called “Neolithic dwellings” and comprises the remains of two houses preserved in situ, arranged as an exhibit along with artefacts discovered in and around them

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    • The legion's proud home

      The legion's proud home

      Only four kilometres to the east of Svishtov and 80 kilometres to the north of Veliko Tarnovo, on the bank of the River Danube lie the remnants of an old Roman fortified military camp which subsequently developed into a city. Known as Novae, it was established in 69 AD by decree of Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasian, but as early as 48 AD, the 8th Legio Augusta encamped at this place to safeguard the Danube border of the empire from the Barbarians.

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    • A street of old crafts

      A street of old crafts

      The ethnographic complex Samovodska Charshiya is one of the most remarkable tourist attractions in Bulgaria's old capital city of Veliko Tarnovo. It came into being in the second half of the 19th century, when the city began expanding. Every market day early in the morning farmers from the nearby village of Samovodene would come to the Charshiya (from a Turkish word for “market”) and would lay out vegetables and fruit right on the ground in the hope to sell their produce. That was how the name Samovodska Charshiya emerged.

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    • The city of whistling winds

      The city of whistling winds

      One of Bulgaria's most interesting cities on the River Danube is Svishtov, located at the southernmost point of the river, on a steep bank. The city became an important centre already in the times of the Roman Empire when it played a key role in stopping Barbarian invasions on the Balkans.

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    • Monastery by marketplace

      Monastery by marketplace

      The Strupets Monastery of Saint Prophet Iliya is located about 100 kilometres to the northeast of Sofia near the village of the same name and belongs to the Vratsa diocese. Its other name is Tarzhishte (Marketplace) Monastery because there was a big marketplace near it which emerged as early as the Middle Ages.

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    • A village of 'blue bloods'

      A village of 'blue bloods'

      In the folds of Sarnena Sredna Gora mountain, not far from the geographical centre of Bulgaria and only 60 kilometres to the north of Plovdiv, there is a small village dating back to the National Revival period, which has a tell-tale name - Svezhen (derived from “svezh” - Bulgarian for “fresh”). The village has this name because even in the scorching heat of summer the air here remains fresh and pleasant for breathing. Until 1934, the settlement was called Adzhar (from a Turkish word meaning “robust”).

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    • Inherited from the Romans

      Inherited from the Romans

      Storgozia is a late-antique and early-Byzantine fortress and settlement. Today, its remnants can be seen in the present-day Kailaka park in the city of Pleven, northern Bulgaria. According to historical data, the ancient settlement had its origin as a roadside station along Via Trajana and was most probably built on the site of an old Thracian settlement. A garrison of the 1st Italic legion deployed in Nove, near the present-day town of Svishtov, was stationed here.

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    • Resurrection of Saint Spas

      Resurrection of Saint Spas

      Very soon the citizens of Sofia and tourists coming to Bulgaria's capital will be able to visit the medieval church of St Spas, the remnants of which are preserved right at the heart of the city. The archaeological layers uncovered at this place are abundant in artefacts and date back to different epochs. Among them are an antique street from the 2nd-3rd centuries, part of the fortification wall of ancient Serdica with a round tower and a medieval church from the 11th-13th centuries. All these monuments will be converted into a new archaeological complex.

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    • Guarded by Saint Luke

      Guarded by Saint Luke

      The Granitsa monastery of St Luke is located at the foothills of the Osogovo Mountain near the village of Granitsa, eight kilometres from the town of Kyustendil, in a locality known as Pustia Manastir. The only monastery in Bulgaria named after St Luke, it is situated in immediate proximity to the Granitsa medieval fortress which guarded the road between Velbazhd and Sip at the times of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

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