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Founded seven thousand years ago, Sofia is the second oldest city in Europe. It has been given several names in the course of history and the remnants of the old cities can still be seen today.
Old Sofia is literally buried beneath a modern facade. The Sheraton Hotel, for instance, sits atop ruins of a city council hall built by Sofia's Thracian founders in the seventh century B.C. And an ancient Roman residence, elaborate murals and all, lies under the Hotel Rila. The cityscape reflects various rulers over the centuries, notably the Turks. Sofia's most prominent landmark is the domed Alexander Nevski Memorial Church, honoring Russian casualties during Bulgaria's 1877 - 88 War of Liberation that ended 500 years of Ottoman rule. Luxurious mineral springs attracted ancient visitors to Sofia, and still draw modern tourists. Relief is also to be found on Mount Vitosha -- a granite peak eight km south of the city -- offering skiing in the winter and splendid views of the city all year around.
Arbanassy is a small picturesque village – architectural reserve. The village was a flourishing trade and cultural center in the 16c. The atmosphere of that time is still intact. Arbanassy is famous for its exclusive monumental architecture. There you will admire fortress-like houses as well as majestic churches. The most attractive are the Museums Konstantsaliev’s House, Hadjiiliev’s House and Kandilarov’s House. You will discover rich interior decoration, woodcarving as well as wonderful mural paintings in the churches “Birth of Christ”,
“Achangel Michail and Gabriel”, “St. George”. Arbanassy will inspire you with the unique valuable architecture and atmosphere of tranquility and spirituality.
The small town of Sozopol is an architectural and historical reserve situated at the southern Black Sea coast. For various reasons since the remote 7th century BC when the ancient Greeks founded the city it has always been an attractive place. The old city enchants its visitors with its picturesque location, specific architecture, ancient excavations and summer cultural events, especially in September when “Appolonia” art and music festival is organized.
The capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (XII - XIV c.), known at that time as the second most beautiful city in the world after Constantinopol, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The restored architectural image of the ancient city with its richly decorated churches, the impressive Medievalcastle, the surrounding fortification walls and towers, the picturesque winding up and down, narrow streets creates a special atmosphere with unforgettable memories.
The well-preserved cultural heritage of the second biggest city of Bulgaria, dating back to Thracian and Roman times, enriched by the multicoloured, plastic Baroque facades of its Renaissance houses, is the authentic architectural setting, gathering on various occasions artists, musicians and art admirers from all over the world, creating and experiencing different forms of modern art in a spiritual surrounding, stimulating their creative activities.
A a town in the south-western foothills of Pirin Mountain. Sandanski is built in the place of an old Thracian settlement that appeared close to the mineral springs and inhabited by a Medi tribe from whom Spartacus is supposed to descend. Balneological sanatorium, mineral baths and pools are available to the tourist. The town is also a starting point for hiking in Pirin Mountain.
The smallest town in Bulgaria, with only 250 inhabitants at present was once a prosperous, flourishing wine-production centre, exporting its famous red wine all over Europe. The fantastic surrounding natural scenery with the ghostly yellowish-grey sand pyramids hung over the imposing Medieval houses of the wealthy wine merchants attracts many tourists, who can try the famous wine in the authentically preserved wine cellars of the old houses.
is the newest resort center in the country known for the church “St. Petka Bulgarska” and for Vanga, the Bulgarian prophet. It is located just outside the town of Petrich, a developing industrial and agricultural center, situated at the foot of the Belassitza Mountain.
The beautiful architectural, ethnographical and natural ensemble with the coloured, richly decorated facades of the old Renaissance houses, provides a unique romantic atmosphere, attracting tourists from all over the world.
Etara and Bojenzi
I in these ethnographic complexes tourists have the chance to see and experience the magic of Bulgarian craftsmanship.The Ethnographic museum Etar is situated 8 km South of the town of Gabrovo. The living premises and the workshops are detached in the so called "craftsmen's street" where the visitors enjoy the opportunity to observe the ancient technologies, the original instruments, to have a conversation with the masters. There the craftsmen are manufacturing different products and selling them directly from the workshops. In the museum
It is one of the crucial points in the heroic Shipka epopee, one of the greatest battles of the Liberation War (1877-1878) took place there. On the peak there is a monument of Freedom (31.5 m. high). In the town of Shipka there is a temple, The Shipka Monastery, built in the style in the style of Russian XVII c. churches to commemorate the heroism of the worriers.
Situated in the famous Rose valley, where the Bulgarian rose perfume is produced, the town is also well known with the ancient Thracian tomb, dating back to the IV - III c. B.C. and included in the World Heritage List.
The Madara Horseman, included in the World Heritage List, is a rock statue, symbolising of the power of the creators of the First Bulgarian State. POMORIE
The ancient village Anhialo was formed in VI-V century BC, near the salty lake called by the ancient Thracians "sacred" because of its curative abilities. Thousands of Bulgarian and foreign tourists take therapy in the sanatorium complex every year, taking advantage of the healing qualities of the famous Pomorie mud It is proved that according to its qualities Pomorie curative mud, extracted from the salty lake, is among the best in the world. Among the most interesting places in Pomorie are the Ancient Dome Tomb from the epoch of the late Roman dominance on these lands ( II - III century), the functioning monastery ''St George'' - a monument of Medieval architecture- in which icons are kept from XVIII and XIX century, the little church ''Christ Transfiguration'' from 1764 and the church ''Virgin Mary'', built from the best student of Kolio Ficheto - Usta Gencho.
During the age of the Roman Empire the town (called Augusta by the Romans) was a wealthy resort center with Emperor’s palaces, wide stone streets, marble baths, a lot of statues of Roman Gods and a luxuriant vegetation It was in the 17 th century when the Turks appreciated its natural assets and re-populated the ex-resort, giving its present name – Hissarya (Fortress), because of the many fortress remains in it.
Today Hisarya is a flourishing resort of national importance with more than 20 mineral springs. The mineral water’s temperature is 24 to 49oC and its flow is 40 liters per secondThe most famous spring is the one in Momina Banya (Maiden Bath) residential area.
Hissarya tomb is a late- Roman (4 th century) family tomb, consisting of an overarched passage, a staircase and a burial chamber with colour frescoes and 4-colour-mosaic.
Borovets is the oldest international and most popular mountain resort in Bulgaria. It is located at 1350 above the sea level (with highest pistes at 2600 m), on the Northern slopes of Rila mountain among age-old pine woods, at the foot of Mousala peak (2925 m) the highest one on the Balkan peninsula
The resort has twice hosted World Cup competitions in Alpine skiing. Its biathlon track is one of the best in Europe. In the summer Borovets is just as marvelous as it is in the winter. It offers everything a perfect vacation takes: clean and fresh air, serene centuries-old pine forests, green meadows sprinkled with fragrant flowers and herbs, blue lakes and majestic snow-capped peaks. For nature-lovers the resort is a favorite vacation spot and starting point of many hiking routs in the Rila Mountains. And when the sun has gone down, the resort begins to pulse with the numerous lights of the nightlife...
Bansko ski resort is situated in South-western Bulgaria, at the foothills of one of the most beautiful Bulgarian mountains - Pirin, which is a national preserve, included in the WORLD NATURAL HERITAGE list.
The town itself attracts visitors by its 120 cultural monuments, its museum-houses and the permanent ethnographic and Bansko school of icon painting exhibitions. A very interesting sight is the Holy Trinity Church with its 30m high bell tower and clock, splendid murals and woodcarvings. The region is famous for its cuisine and colorful folklore and offers various entertainment opportunities