Veliko Tarnovo is a town in Northern Bulgaria, the administrative centre of Veliko Turnovo district. The location of the city as a crossroads and the crossroads of many road and commercial connections and routes has boosted its economic and cultural development from antiquity to the present day. Veliko Tarnovo is one of the oldest cities in the country, with its history dating back more than five millennia, as witnessed by archaeological excavations.
The bloom of Veliko Tarnovo is connected with the period of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185 – 1393). In 1185, the city was proclaimed the capital of the restored Bulgarian state by the brothers Asen and Peter, who announced the end of Byzantine domination, which lasted 167 years.
After its election to the capital, the city evolved rapidly, and in the period XII-XIV century, it was the most impregnable Bulgarian fortress, as well as a cultural and spiritual centre of Bulgaria.
The most significant monument of culture in Veliko Tarnovo is the medieval fortress Tsarevets, situated on the same peak, surrounded by three sides of the river Yantra. Excavations show that Tsarevets, although hanging from a fortress wall, was not a closed fortress, but a real medieval town in the centre of which the palace was built, the church “St. Petka “, numerous residential and commercial buildings, water reservoirs and battle towers. The highest part of Tsarevets was the residence of the patriarch and in the immediate vicinity the patriarchal church “Ascension of Christ”.
Near Tsarevets there is another historical hill – Trapezitsa. His historical wealth is great and not yet fully revealed. Archaeological excavations on the hill continue, and new interesting discoveries are coming.
Apart from its historic hills, Veliko Tarnovo is also famous for its many Orthodox temples. One of the most iconic medieval churches is the temple “St. Forty Martyrs “
Architecturally, the appearance of the old part of the city takes visitors to the past. Walking along Gurko Street or the Samovodska Charshiya (the street of crafts), the city’s guests have the opportunity to explore buildings raised over 200 years ago, as well as to feel an entirely different atmosphere. The pride is an ethnographic complex with craft workshops, souvenir shops and galleries.
The old part of the city is home to most of the local museums, including the Archaeological Museum, the Renaissance and Constituent Assembly Museum, New and New History Museum, the Sarafin House, the House Museum of PR. Slaveikov, Stambolov’s Inn, the inn of Hadji Nikoli and others.
March 22 is the official holiday of Veliko Tarnovo.
Traditionally, the evening of the festive day is given for a free spectacle on the Tsarevets hill. The audio and visual performance “Sound and Light” tells the glorious and tragic story of Bulgaria through music, lights, lasers and church bells, making it a unique attraction for the country.