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Veliko Tarnovo

Situated in the mountain recesses of the Balkan mountain Veliko Tarnovo town reveals the ancient historical traces leading to present-day Bulgaria. The ancient Bulgarian town was constructed in central part of North Bulgaria , 210 km above sea level, almost at equal distances of the biggest cities of the country – 241 km north-east from Sofia, 228 km west from Varna, 192 km north-east from Plovdiv and 224 km north-west of Burgas. The town is spread on  three historical hills – Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora, hanging over the River Yantra.
Veliko Tarnovo is a town of great historical heritage. The architecture embed in the main buildings and hotels keep the spirit of Bulgarian history.
The fist historical remains dated back to the 3 millenium BC were found on the Trapezitsa hill. In 1187 the two boyar brothers Asen and Peter organized a successful rising against the Byzantines and proclaimed Veliko Tarnovo a capital of the Bulgarian state.
On 17.07.1393 the town fell under Ottoman domination.
During the Revival period Veliko Tarnovo lived through an economical and historical upsurge. Crafts developed very quickly, trade flourished, exceptionally beautiful buildings and churches were built. Veliko Tarnovo became a spiritual center of the struggles for church independence and national liberation. On 07.06.1877 the town was liberated from the Ottomans.
In april 1879 the Tarnovo constitution was promulgated which was the most democratic constitution in Europe of that time. The Tsarevets hill (pic 4), situated in the east part of the town, was proclaimed an architectural reserve. The front gate, the Baldwin tower *(pic 10), the palace and patriarchal complexes of the Second Bulgarian kingdom (12-14 C.).

17 churches were found on the Trapezitsa hill, the most important of them are the “St.Dimitar” (pic 8) and the“St. Forty Holly Martyrs”.
The other churches are also unique – “St.Nickolas”, “St. Cyril and Methodius”, “St. Constantine and Helen”. 

The thankful population of the town has created an audio-visual show “Tsarevets-sound and light” to memorize the great historical past. (pic 7).
Veliko Tarnovo is the most visited by tourists Bulgarian towns.


* The Baldwin tower on the Tsarevets hill in Veliko Tarnovo – that is the tower where as per historians the Latin Emperor of Constantinople Baldwin of Flanders was taken prisoner after his defeat in the battle against the Bulgarian Tzar Kaloyan in 1205.