Bulgaria Tours: Fly and Drive - Proud Cities of Bulgaria
Programme Name: Programme PROUD CITIES OF BULGARIADAY 1
Programme Code: CB 02
Tour Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
|Arrival in Sofia. Departure from Sofia towards Veliko Turnovo - the Medieval Capital city of Bulgaria. En route stop to visit the Troyan Monastery. Arrival in Veliko Turnovo. Tour of the city. Overnight.|
Sightseeing during the day:
The Troyan monastery is known above all for the creative work of Zahari Zograph who painted both the exterior and the interior (a rare practice for the time) of the main church built in 1835, 7 km from the town of Troyan. It is a fine example of the impact of the popular conception of the world and the influence of housing architecture on religious construction. Here, Zahari Zograph repeated the social and moral in religious painting (the compositions Doomsday and the Wheel of Life), left his second self-portrait signed with amazing self confidence in spite of the Ottoman bondage, and painted the figures of Bulgarian and Russian saints. Besides, he painted a completely secular group portrait of the monastic brotherhood in the refectory - something highly unusual for the time.
Veliko Tarnovo - One of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns. Known under the name of Tsarevgrad Turnov (i.e. King's Town) and Turnovgrad. In the town and its outskirts traces have been uncovered of life dating back to the late Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, the Bronze and the Iron Ages. After the foundation of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1186), the town becomes its capital. In 1393 the town is conquered by the Turks and burned down. During the years of Ottoman rule it is a fortress of the Bulgarian national spirit and one of the centres of the struggle for liberation. In 1879 the Constituent National Assembly has its first session here and adopts the Constitution of Turnovo - the first constitution of the Bulgarian state liberated in 1878.
|Breakfast. Visit the museum village of Arbanassi with visit the Constancelieva House and the Church "Holly Birth". Departure towards Etura open - air ethnographic complex, Shipka peak, Kazanluk and Plovdiv. Tour of Plovdiv. Overnight.|
Sightseeing during the day:
Arbanassi - Austere houses that resemble minor fortresses on the outside with high, solid walls and heavy gates, iron, rids and secret hiding-places, but which are spacious and comfortable, richly decorated and furnished on the inside. The open air ethnographic museum "Etar" -was built in the middle of 20th century in the vicinity of the town of Gabrovo, an old industrial centre of Bulgaria. It was created to preserve for the coming generations the appearance and the spirit of the old time Bulgarian mountain villages and the manufacturing traditions of the region. The museum was built on the two sides of a small river and all the buildings and sites have their authentic appearance, the same as they had during the 19th century. The buildings are differentiated into three groups:
1. Workshops using simple machines moved by the running water of the river, most of them are unique and unknown in Europe.
2. The second group of buildings forms the trade and manufacture street (charshia). There are 15 examples of houses, where manufacturing workshops and small shops are situated on the first floor and the museum items are situated on the second floor.
3. The third group of buildings has public functions: a clock tower, bridges, stone water fountain and gravestones.
Shipka Memorial Church - Only 12 km north of Kazanluk, near the small town of Shipka, is the Shipka Memorial Church. It was erected after Bulgaria's Liberation from Turkish rule as a monument to both Russian and Bulgarian soldiers that died in the fierce battles here. The golden domes and the green and pink coloured facade loom against the mountains and attract the attention of the travellers in the Shipka Pass.
The Thracian Tomb in Kazanluk - It was built in 3rd c., discovered in 1944 and inscribed into UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. The Kazanluk Tomb in south Bulgaria is of the beehive type and famous for its beautiful wall paintings. A corridor, 2m long, 1.10m wide and 2.20m high leads to a domed tomb, which is 3.25m high and has a diameter of 2.65m at the base. The unique murals, done in wet fresco and tempera, show battles and scenes from daily life. The pictures are realistically, showing many details of clothing and armour.
|Breakfast. Sightseeing the Old Town of Plovdiv. Evening arrival in Sofia.|
Sightseeing during the day:
Plovdiv - The Ancient Theatre, the most impressive edifice of Roman time, was excavated during reinforcement works at the southern fortress wall. It offered almost 7 000 seats once. Nowadays it is used for staging opera and theatre festivals, concerts, municipal celebrations, etc. The present-day downtown section of Plovdiv lies on the ruins of an enormous Roman Stadium, which had a length of 180 m and was intended for 30 000 spectators. The contests held here were similar to the Greek Olympic Games and dated back to the rule of Emperor Septimus Severus (193 - 211 AD). An Ancient Forum was found next to today's Trimontium Hotel. Clearly visible here is the difference in the building structure of the Thracian agora made of sandstone and the Roman marble ruins. The beautiful houses in Old Plovdiv are dated back to the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Many of them have been proclaimed for cultural monuments revealing the genius of the Bulgarian builders.
All sightseeing tours include the architectural and historical reserve Old Plovdiv. The millennial history of Plovdiv is reflected here with all its cultural diversity. The Three Hills, on which Old Plovdiv was built, are named Nebet Tepe, Djambaz Tepe and Taxim Tepe.