- Day 1 : Welcome to Veliko Tarnovo
In the morning, you will meet with your traveling guide at the hotel. You will head south, to Bulgaria, passing the Danube River, the second largest river in Europe. At approximately 100 km from the Romanian border is the charismatic city Veliko Tarnovo. Once you entered the medieval town, you will be under the impression that you traveled back in time. You will find palaces, a fortress, houses with unique architectural style, museums, monasteries – all part of the region’s history. Walking on the cobble streets, the guide will tell you more about the history of the town which used to be the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. We will visit the Tsarevets fortress, surrounded by thick walls, up on the hill. The market consists of two streets bordered by shops, craftsmen’s workshops, and inns. You can buy souvenirs from this center which recreates the atmosphere of the first decades of the 20th century. When we return to Bucharest, we will stop at the nearby village of Arbanassi, known especially for the mural paintings in the churches and we will visit the Nativity Church.
STARTS: 08:00 AM
DURATION:12 hours, depending on the time spent at the border crossing point.
The fortress of Tsarevets
In the Bronze and Iron ages, the hill where the fortress is located today was inhabited by Thracians. The citadel became famous when the Second Bulgarian Empire established the capital at Veliko Tarnovo in 1186. It also used to be, in the same period, the location of Execution Rock from where the traitors were pushed to their deaths. The fortress had three entrances: the main entrance, located on the west side; the Little Gate, situated in the northwest part and the Frenkhisarska Gate, in the southeast end of the fortification. The Royal Complex, one of the main landmarks, is situated in the central sector and it’s composed of the Throne Room, the Palace Church, and the Royal Chambers.
The village was founded in the 15th century by Christians. A lot of tourists are drawn to this place which seems to be torn from the middle Ages. The medieval atmosphere is given by the local architecture. The oldest church found here is the Nativity church. The mural paintings in the chapel are from 1632 and they represent scenes from the most important moments from St. John the Baptist’s life, the patron of the chapel.
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