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Rising foreign interest in Veliko Tarnovo


Veliko Tarnovo coat of arms

Representatives of Austrian companies are expected to visit Veliko Tarnovo. The businessmen will be led by the Austrian Ambassador Gerhard Reiweger, who is visiting town for the opening concert of Austrian Music Weeks in the Old Capital.

The diplomat  will support Municipality’s application for EU funding for infrastructure projects, tourism and sports facilities.

In mid-May, a delegation from the Italian city of Ferrara are also visiting the Old Bulgarian capital. The city of Ferrara, too, is applying for the European Capital of Culture in 2019 and the governors of the two cities will share experience and opportunities for collaboration & partnership.

The Prime Minister Marin Raikov suggested that Veliko Tarnovo should also partner with a French city, which like Veliko Tarnovo has a rich cultural heritage. Following a French fashion, the municipality will pass an ordinance that will  oblige the owners of traditional graded/listed Bulgarian houses to renovate them, informed  Mayor Daniel Panov.

He also added that on April 18, the Ambassador of Ukraine (who has Bulgarian roots) will also visit the Boyar town and attend the International Exhibition for Cultural Tourism.

Last week the Mayor hosted 60 diplomats from all over the world.


Sixty diplomats arrive tomorrow in Veliko Tarnovo

Warders of Tsarevgrad Tarnovo

Warders of Tsarevgrad Tarnovo

Sixty diplomats from around the world arrive tomorrow for their visit in Veliko Tarnovo. Diplomatic corps will be accompanied by the Bulgarian Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister Marin Raikov. They are visiting the Old Bulgarian Capital at the invitation of Mayor Daniel Panov.

The Mayor is holding a presentation at the Museum of Revival and Constitution Assembly at 2 pm tomorrow regarding Veliko Tarnovo’s application for European Capital of Culture in 2019.

After the presentation, the guests will watch the mini-spectacle “Warders of Tsarevgrad Tarnovo” at the Tsar Asen I Square and will take a stroll through the Samovodska Charshia (bazaar).

The last time Diplomatic corps were in Veliko Tarnovo was 14 years ago.


Saint George’s Church in Arbanasi

St George's Church in Arbanasi

St George’s Church in Arbanasi

The Church of Saint George, or Sveti Georgi in Bulgarian, is located at the southwester part of the historical village of Arbanasi, 5 minutes from Veliko Tarnovo. It is a massive stone building  sized 21 x 10 metres, with a two-slope roof. It has a single nave and apse, with a narthex to the west and a gallery to the north.

Built at the end of 17th & beginning of 18th centuries, the church has kept its authentic look. An inscription above the door on the western naos reads that the frescoes were painted in 1709-1710 “by the hands of teachers Hristo and Stoyo”. The frescoes were painted on the walls of the naos (the central space in front of the altar) and on the eastern wall of the narthex (the westernmost transverse part of an Orthodox Church).

The iconographic cycles presented are those of the Great Christian Holidays, the Passions of Christ and the Post-Easter Cycle.

Archaeological and architectural surveys have revealed that within the current naos and earlier temple existed. It consisted of an altar, naos and narthex under a single massive vault and was built in the second part of the 16th century. In the mid-seventies of the 20th century the Italian restorer Sergio Pigazzini removed the frescoes and the church remained closed for decades.

In 2009 the Ministry of Culture initiated a project for restoration and preservation of St George’s Church, funded with EU funds. 200 sqm of the original frescoes were restored and reapplied to the church walls. The church yard was also renovated.

The church is now open for visitors and included in the tourist route, following the late medieval Arbanasi churches.


St. George Church Veliko Tarnovo

St. George Church

St. George Church

The Church of St. George is located at the east foot of the Trapezitsa Hill, on the right bank of the Yantra. It is a massive stone building sized 11 by 5 metres with one nave, one apse, a little narthex and semi-cylindrical vault. The current church was built in 1616 on the foundations of an older church, which was probably active during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, when Tarnovgrad (the old name of Veliko Tarnovo) was the capital.

the frescoes are easily perceiver and not complicated. The central conch is occupied by the fresco called “Holy Mother of God Larger Than Heaven” and “The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles” above it, as well as “The Eucharist” (The Communion) below it.

On the first row of the north and south naos (inner chamber of the temple) you can see depictions of St. Demetrius, St. George and St. Theodore Thyron, St. Theodore the Stratelates and others. The western walls bear images of female saints, the most prominent of whom is St. Petka (Paraskeva).

The Church narthex contains elements of two layers of paintings, depicting different scenes from the Bible.

The church had been restored between 1968 and 1971 (conducted by architect Boyan Kuzupov). The church now operates as a museum and is open for visitors 9 am – 6 pm



Veliko Tarnovo’s new Art Gallery

Tarnovo Art Modern

Tarnovo Art Modern

The newest art centre in Veliko Tarnovo is called Tarnovo Modern Art. It opened doors for visitors on March 22, at the Day of Veliko Tarnovo, at 35 Ivan Vazov Street.

Their first exhibition displays a total of 60 works of artists from 35 countries from all over the world. The artworks are owned by the Panev Gallery and have been collected over the past 15 years.

Visitors have the opportunity to see works of modern artists fro Kuwait, India, Egypt, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus, France, Germany, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

Forty paintings of Ivanichka, Hristo and Gabriel Panev are also exhibited in one of the centre halls, together with sculptures by the Hungarian artist Daniel Ludwig. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm. Check it out, if you are about or planning to visit Veliko Tarnovo.


Austrian Music Weeks will visit Veliko Tarnovo

Jazz Concert at Melon

Jazz Concert at Melon

Austrian Music Weeks comes to town. Alongside celebrating great Austrian music and musicians, the festival is an expression of cultural exchange and collaboration between Bulgaria and Austria. Various musical events and concerts will be held in a number of Bulgarian cities, starting today till April 19.

This year the festival focuses on Austrian musical art of modern classics to the latest contemporary works, combined with famous works of classical music. The festival also provides a unique playing field for talented Bulgarian composers and performers.

The festival includes 22 events & concerts in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Rousse, Veliko Tarnovo, Stara Zagora, Burgas, Shumen, Dobrich, Gabrovo.

Two such events will be held in the old capital. The Jazz Ensemble “Nee”  from Vienna will held a concert on April 6 at Club “Melon” and a classical concert is scheduled for April 17 featuring soloist Ulla Piltz, conducted by Atanas Varadinov. The concert programme includes works by Mozart, Schoenberg, Strauss and Weber.


Saint 40 Martyrs in Veliko Tarnovo

St 40 Martyrs Church

St 40 Martyrs Church

This is one of the most iconic churches in Veliko Tarnovo. Being situated at the foothills of the Tsarevets Castle, it has played its part in the history of Bulgaria.

It was built and frescoed during the rule of Tsar Ivan Asen II over the remains of a smaller church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is widely believed that the ruler had it built in honour of his victory against the Theodore Comnius in the Battle of Klokotnitsa on March 9, 1230 (which the Orthodox Church recognizes as the day of the Holy 40 Martyrs of Sevastia).

This church consists of two parts – the oblong basilica with six columns and one outhouse built later to the west side. It is assumed  that at the end of the 12th century, the Assens (Bulgarian royal dynasty  between 1187 – 1280) built a monastery around the church. According to sources dating back to 12-14 centuries, the monastery was known as the Great Lavra or the Royal Monastery and was one of the most significant monasteries around Veliko Tarnovo.

The conquest of Sofia by the Ottomans led to the decline of the monastery and it was turned into a mosque in the 17th century. After the Liberation in 1878, the temple became was restored to being a Church.

Here on September 22, 1908, Prince Ferdinand declared Bulgaria’s Independence.

The church now serves as a museum as well, where you can see some of the most significant Bulgaria epigraphic monuments, like Khan Omurtag’s Column, the border column from the Fortress of Rhodes from the reign of Khan Krum, and the famous Tsar Ivan Asen II column, which tells of the great deeds of Bulgarian kings. Here lie the tombs of Tsar Kaloyan, Tsaritsas Anna Maria and Irina, Saint Sava the Serbian and other royalty.