Veliko Turnovo is one of the most ancient towns in Bulgaria. The medieval part of Veliko Turnovo the tsar's palace from the time when it was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1187 1393), is situated on 3 hills Tsarevets. Trapezitsa and SvetaGora.
This is Tsarevets located in the Bulgarian old capital city - Veliko Turnovo. The performance is called "Sound and Lights"A unique audio-visual program
It tells the story from 1018 when the byzants enslave the bulgarians for 164 years and then in 1185 the riot of Asen I and his brother Peter gave back our freedom. Than in 1396 our pround nation has fallen again but this time we were defeated by the otomans. 500years later Turnovo raised again ..
Arbanasi is a village in Veliko Tarnovo municipality,(four kilometres away) It is known for the rich history and large number of historical monuments, such as 17th and 18th century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, which have turned it into a popular tourist destination.
Preobrazhenski Monastery is located in an exceptionally picturesque area some 10 km away from the ancient fortress of Tsarevets. A beautiful view opens from the court of the Monastery towards the river's gorge and the opposite vertical rocky hill, at the foot of which another monastery - the Patriarch's Monastery of the Holy Trinity lies.
Preobrazhenski Monastery was established during the 14 Century and it is still functioning today. The cathedral of St. Preobrazhenie is of unique architecture with hardly any analogy to other Bulgarian monasteries. The picturesque ornaments made by the outstanding Bulgarian painter Zahari Zograf are impressive.
The Holy Trinity Monastery, also known as the Patriarch's Monastery, lies about 10 km away from the ancient fortress Tsarevets and the former Bulgarian capital Veliko Turnovo. The Monastery was built high above the town in an exceptionally beautiful area, huddling at the foot of a vertical rocky massif.
Shortly before the liberation from the Ottoman domination the Monastery was restored with the participation of the famous master Kolyo Ficheto. The master rebuilt the church while another famous artist of that time, Zahari Zograf, pained its frescos. Unfortunately, the earthquake in 1913 turned the church and the other buildings into ruins. The design of the reconstructed church which has been preserved till the ELi present day, was different from that of Kolyo Ficheto, since it has domes, which were banned for Orthodox churches during Ottoman times.
The Petropavlovski Monastery, known also as Lyaskovets Monastery, is one of the 14 monasteries built in the neighbourhood of the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Turnovo. during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12-14 Century). The Monastery, and especially its 31 m bell- tower. are well seen from the lows, and according to many, it resembles a mysterious medieval castle. The terrace of the Monastery reveals a beautiful view over the Danube Plain and the Balkan Range.
In 1874 Metropolitan lllarion Makariopolski opened the first Bulgarian Seminary within the Monastery which was functioning till 1885. Regretfully, the 1913 earthquake destroyed the Monastery's Church, the east wing of the Monastery and a few smaller buildings. Nowadays, following a long reconstruction, St. Peter and St. Paul's Monastery welcomes visitors from all over the world.
The historical Dryanovo Monastery „St. Archangel Michail" lies some 4 km away from the town of Dryanovo amidst the picturesque gorge of the Dryanovo river. The Strazhi rocks rise above it, lofty and impressive.
Bacho Klro Cave:
Bacho Kiro" is one of the most visited caves in Bulgaria. It is among the 100 national tourist sites of the Bulgarian Tourist Union.
The Dryanovo ecological pathway is in the region of the Dryanovo Monastery and it starts from the valley of the Andashka river, a feeder of the Dryanovo river where the famous tourist Bacho Kiro Cave is located. The region is rich in rocky wreaths, rocky bays, several types of caves (aquatic and dry, horizontal, vertical, etc.), shoots, waterfalls and unique erosion cauldrons, imposing rocky blocks, gorge valley sectors, whirlpools, hollows, etc.
The geographic position of the ecological pathway area is really good. The Dryanovo Monastery is 3.5 hours away from Sofia. 4 hours away from Varna, 3 hours away from Plovdiv and 2.5 hours away from Rousse, which makes possible even one-day visits from the biggest towns of the country.
The Boruna Fortress
One of the fortresses in the area of the Dryanovo Monastery is the Boruna Fortress. It is situated on the plateau behind the Boruna rock. It was established during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.
The City Fortress
The City Fortress is located in the historical place of Strinava which is a plateau about 2 km to the south-west of the town of Dryanovo. It covers an area of 6 sq km. From almost all sides it is surrounded by high vertical rocks. It is located on the very important and short way from northern to southern Bulgaria running through the Krun pass. Besides, the plateau on which it is located, has a major position amidst the surrounding mountain hills and by means of a system of signal fires, it is possible to warn for a coming danger.
Gostilitsa the Discoduraterra Fortress 2 km to the south of the village of Gostilitsa. by the Yantra River, are the ruins of the old Roman fortress Discoduraterra built during the second half of the II Century. It was an important junction and a trade centre in the late antiquity and the Middle Ages.
The Merdanski Monastery „St. Forty Martyrs" is situated in the eastern end of the village of Merdanya in the region of Veliko Turnovo, on the main road connecting the town of Veliko Turnovo with the town of Elena.
In the 19 Century the Monastery was transformed into a female one which it still is.
The Kilifarevo Monastery, The Holy Birth of Virgin Mary, lies in the valley of the Belitsa River, about 4 km to the southeast of the town of Kilifarevo. At the very beginning of its existence, the cloister was situated on the near-by hill.
The cloister is one of the most important centres of the Bulgarian education and literature of the Middle Ages. A Kilifarevo school of literature was established for a very short period of time and in 1360 more than 460 students were trained there, the most famous of whom was the future Bulgarian Patriarch Evtimii of Turnovo.
In addition to the church, currently the Complex also includes two beautiful residential buildings in authentic renaissance style, the older of which dates back to 1849. The Monastery is declared a monument of culture.
The Kapinovo Monastery "St. Nikola" is built near the Vesselina River in the skirts of the beautiful Elena ridge of the Balkan Mountain. The monastery lies 18 km to the south of the town of Veliko Turnovo. When looked at from the North, it resembles strikingly a medieval fortress.
Massive wooden gates and steep stone stairs lead to the monastery yard and the monastery church which rises in its centre. The church hosts a rich collection of icons including one of Our Lady, most likely painted by Priest Vitan, and iconographic works from the near-by Plakovo Monastery.
The Hotnitsa ecological pathway is built up entirely in the gorge of the Bohot river. According to experts, the Hotnitsa waterfall in the gorge leads the ranking for most attractive waterfalls in North Bulgaria.
This wonderful spot of Bulgaria lies in the vicinity of the Hotnitsa village in the region of Veliko Turnovo. In the summer of 2006 the oldest gold in the world was found near by that village. It was 7000 years old. So far, the oldest gold was the one found in the region of Varna, dating back 5000 years.
Some 3 km long ecological pathway, starting from the border of the meadow with the Bulgarka Park, and transforming into a varied wooded area.
The village of Bozhentsi is an architectural and historical reserve and it is a part of the UNESCO cultural monuments. It has preserved the architecture of the Revival.
The Batoshevo Monastery lies several kilometres above the village of Batoshevo. which in turn is situated some 10 km to the south of the town of Sevlievo. on the bank of the Rossitsa River.
The Plakovo Monastery named after St. Prophet lliya is to be found close to the village of Plakovo. about 18 km to the south of Veliko Turnovo. At present, the monastery consists of a church, residential and farm buildings. Above the entrance and below the open narthex one can see the only fresco with scripts from the church donors. The church keeps a valuable icon of Jesus Christ and the 12 Apostles painted by Zahari Zograf (1845). This is not the only icon of Zahari Zograf that the Monastery shelters. In addition, it also preserves old manuscripts and religious books. The residential buildings as well as the majestic 26-meter bell-tower rising above the western residential building of the monastery, represent other sights of visitors' interest. Both were built by a famous local master Kolyo Ficheto (1856). The monastery which is functioning as an orthodox cloister is declared a monument of national culture.
The town of Gabrovo is located in the heart of the Balkan Mountain. The tourist area of Uzana which is the geographic center of Bulgaria, is near by the town.
The Etar Architectural and Ethnographic Center is the first Bulgarian museum of its kind. It hosts more than 50 sites technical water equipment, houses with craftsman's workshops and other sites of public significance.
The Sokolski Monastery was established at the beginning of 1883. The Uspenie Bogorodichno (Holy Mother's Assumption) Monastery is situated 15 km to the southeast of Gabrovo, in an area called Sokolova Peshtera (Falcon's Cave) in the northern flank of the Balkan Range.
It came into being during the second half of the 12 Century under the name of Turnava. In 1192 in the Tryavna Balkan, the Bulgarian tsars Assen and Peter defeated the armies of Emperor Isaak II Angel. In honor of this great victory, the Church .St. Archangel Michail" was built. It survived several fires and at present it is one of the oldest Orthodox churches in Central Bulgaria. Along with the .St. Nikola" Church (built during the 40-ies of the 19 Century), it played a vital role for the survival of the Bulgarian spirit among the population during the years of Ottoman yoke. The oldest official information on Tryavna is from the time of the Ottoman rule 15 & 16 Century. There the town was mentioned with its name Tryavna. During the Revival Tryavna developed as a prosperous economic, cultural and educational center. Icon-painting, wood-carving and building-trade were among the arts and crafts developed in the town. In 1839 in Tryavna, the second Bulgarian secular school was established.
The shrine-monument of Shipka was built to commemorate the dramatic historic events of the Russian-Turkish Liberation War. It is one of the most grandiose Bulgarian monuments impressive with its size and historical value.
The village of Shipka: The Shipka Monastery is the first most outstanding, beautiful and imposing monument of the Bulgarian-Russian friendship in Bulgaria. It was built as a token of gratitude and praise for the Orthodox Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers laying down their life for Bulgaria's freedom during the Liberation War.
If you are fans of the beauty of nature and pedestrian tourism, you can combine your hobby with a visit to the town of Dryanovo. The town offers good opportunities for eco-tourism on ecological pathways, one of which is Via Ferrata. Via Ferrata winds up from the Dryanovo Monastery, along the railway, the banks of the Dryanovo river, by the Sini vir, and up to stone and iron stairs it comes to the edge of the rocky wreath to the east of the Monastery and to a stony path which leads to the Strinava plateau. Afterwards the pathway sweeps down through the forest near by the monastery vineyard and it comes to an end at the parking place in front of the Monastery.
The route opens an incredible panoramic view towards the Dryanovo Monastery and the town of Dryanovo. The existence of historical sites, beautiful scenery and varied flora and fauna creates conditions for practicing pedestrian tourism, mountaineering, orientation, fishing, and gathering of mushrooms and herbs.