What to See in Veliko Tarnovo and Vidin (Bulgaria)

Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria)

The city of Veliko Tarnovo is located 200 km west of Varna. Until 1965 it was called Tarnovo. The exact date of foundation of Veliko Tarnovo is not known. Traces of a Byzantine fortress of the 5th-6th centuries were found here. and Slavic settlements. During the Byzantine domination of the XI-XII centuries. it was already a significant city. It was first mentioned in written sources around 1185 as the center of the Bulgarian uprising against Byzantine domination. In the XII century AD. the city becomes the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Ancient travelers wrote about the beauty and power of Tarnovo and called it “the second after Constantinople”. Fateful events are associated with this city, such as the apogee of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and the adoption of the first Bulgarian constitution in 1874.

To this day, travelers describe Veliko Tarnovo as the most beautiful Bulgarian city. It stands on 4 hills.

Hill Tsarevets is the site of patriarchal churches and royal palaces. The Tower of Baldwin still stands on this site, associated with the legend of the Latin emperor Baldwin of Flanders, who was captured by Tsar Kaloyan. It is also worth looking at the ruins of a stone palace of the 12th-14th centuries, which had a terraced composition, ceremonial halls with mosaics and paintings. On the Tsarevets hill, an audiovisual performance “sound and light” takes place, leaving an indelible impression.

On Trapezitsa hill, during the excavations, the remains of stone fortifications and 17 churches built in the 12th-14th centuries were discovered. Traces of murals and mosaics, ceramic details have been preserved in the churches.

Above the southern bank of the Yantra rises the hill of Light Gora. Once it was the spiritual and cultural center of the nation. The Tarnovo school of literature and painting gave the world such masterpieces as the Chronicle of Manasseh and the Four Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander.

The Old Town area is quite well preserved. Along the streets there are cafes and houses of the Bulgarian Revival era with their beautiful interiors, handmade items. Since 1955, the Old Town has been a museum-reserve.

Among other city monuments, the churches of Demetrius (1185, later rebuilt), Forty Martyrs (1230), Petra and Paul (XIV century) – all with paintings; N. Fichev’s buildings – the inn of Hadji Nikola (1858-62), the Church of Constantine and Helena (1872-74), Konak (now the building of the city People’s Council; 1872).

Vidin (Bulgaria)

According to thereligionfaqs, Vidin is located in the very north of Bulgaria, on the border with Romania. Initially, the Romans built the fortress of Bononia on this site, which gradually grew into a city. By the 16th century Vidin was the largest city in Bulgaria.

Vidin has unique excursion resources. On the site of the old Roman fortress today stands the medieval fortress of Baba Vida, which is a cultural and historical monument of national importance. The fortress was used in the defense of the city during the wars. It consists of internal and external walls. The courtyard is lined with domed buildings. Not far from the fortress there is a synagogue, built in 1894. The building plan is absolutely symmetrical, with a main entrance, galleries and four towers. The interior impresses with colorful tones and Hebrew classical architectural forms. The floors in the Synagogue are partly covered with mosaics.

The Cathedral of the Holy Great Martyr Dmitry is the second most important memorial church in the country after the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky in Sofia. The cathedral was founded in 1885 on the site of the previous church of the Holy Great Martyr Dmitry, which existed for 240 years and collapsed over time. Inside, the modern building is painted by talented icon painters who turned the cathedral into a work of art.

Church of St. Nicholas built in 1926 by architect Kosta Nikolov. Its walls are covered with amazingly beautiful paintings.

The Church of St. Petka was built in 1627 on the site of an old church. The main entrance to it is decorated with arches, and a Slavic inscription has been preserved on the doors, certifying that the church was painted in 1633 with the help of the voivode Matei Basaraba.

Mosque and library of Osman Pazvantoglu (1798-1800) belong to the Pazvantoglu complex, which once also included a school. The mosque is a massive stone building with a vestibule in the form of an open gallery. The prayer room is a spacious room, furnished with wooden furniture and decorated with a beautiful slatted ceiling. Wood carving is highly artistic. The library is designed and built like a mausoleum. It is a square building with a tin dome, a small open lobby. Above the entrance there is an inscription with the words: “I, Osman Pazvantoglu, built this library, which contains valuable books, to provide visitors with the opportunity to gain knowledge and bless my late mother.” Some of his books have gained worldwide popularity – literature, history, medicine and law in Turkish and French.

The cross barracks was built in 1801. There is a weapons workshop next to it. Both buildings are connected by a covered wooden bridge. Today, the barracks houses an ethnographic exposition.

Beyond the turn of the Danube is the Kaleto fortress. It has the shape of a semicircle with a diameter of 1800 m. On the side facing the land, four ancient gates have been preserved, in the vaults of which there were guard rooms.

Vidin (Bulgaria)