The Mayors of Veliko Tarnovo and Alexandria, Daniel and Victor Panov Dragusin, have signed an agreement for joint application for cross-border project between Romania and Bulgaria. It is called “Building eco urban zones in the Lower Danube Euro-region – models for sustainable urban development” and would cover the time period 2014-2020.
From early September the chief architects of the two towns will be consulting about the preparation of projects to create riverside recreation areas, said Daniel Panov.
The Veliko Tarnovo project is based on an early development plan, designed by the local architect Matey Savov. Projects should be ready by 2014 and and be implemented in 2015.
The Veliko Tarnovo project so far is planned to be 2.5 km long, running along the Yantra. It would from the tunnels next to the Tsarevets Castle. The project envisions cycling trails and walkways, decorated with greenery. The Yantra coast will be reinforced with gabions and supporting walls. Two panoramic elevators will lead from the town to the street, shared Daniel Panov.
a postcard of hotel Tsar Boris III
In a previous blog post, I mentioned that this monumental building was purchase by Edmund Beck, the US millionaire that also restored the Hadji Nikoli Inn to former glory.
The businessman purchase the crumbling Veliko Tarnovo property on Opalchenska Street via his company, “Bulbeck” about two months ago.
The millionaire invested approximately $3 million to restore the Hadji Nikoli Inn. The restoration of the hotel is expected to cost more. It will be a 4-star hotel and owner is keeping its historic name.
Currently architect Nikolay Georgiev has undertaken safety and security measures of the former hotel, which is in poor condition. A team of architects will most likely be assigned to restore the building.
Several projects are to be considered, whose approval will likely take about a year, since the building is of cultural importance in Veliko Tarnovo.
Hotel Tsar Boris III now
Sokolski Monastery is a beautiful Orthodox Monastery in the Veliko Tarnovo area, situated about 10 km southeast of Gabrovo and very close to the ethnographic complex Etara. It can be reached via regular public transport from Gabrovo or via a beautiful and easy 2-hour hiking trail from Etara.
Even though the Monastery is less than 200 years old, there are quite a few legends that go along with it. One of them is about the abyss next to the Monastery. The legend has it that during the Ottoman rule many young Bulgarian maidens met their death here – they chose to jump down and die rather than change their religious beliefs and convert to Islam.
Another legend hovers about the beautiful stone basin in the monastery yard. It has 8 falcon-shaped faucets and is believed to never dry out. They say that its water can cure many diseases and protect from evil spells. In the St Pantaleimon Chapel next to the Church you can see a rock in the cracks of which pilgrims leave notes with wishes. The water that runs from underneath this rock is believed to have healing powers as well.
Plan a longer time to spend at the Sokolski Monastery if possible since there is a lot to see inside and in the beautiful Stara Planina surroundings. There is a scenic picnic spot in front of the monastery and the walking trails around are incredible.
View at Asenov Quarter
The Asenov Quarter of Veliko Tarnovo is located at the foothills of the Tsarevets Hill and Trapezitsa Hills and on both sides of the Yantra. The location became populated as early as the first rulers of the Asenevtsi dynasty and it was first mentioned as a distinct neighbourhood in written sources dating back to the 18th century.
The neighbourhood cam about when the city grew and the two hills did not offer much space for the growing population. After Tsarevets and Trapezitsa Fortresses were built, there were two transverse walls descending to the river that used provide protection to this part of the medieval city.
Remains of such those wall were found during archaeological excavations of south of the main entrance of Tsaravets. In construction works in 1981, remains of a watch tower were unearthed near the Bishop’s Bridge.
Bishop’s Bridge / Vladishki Most
Today important cultural sites are preserved in the Asenov Quarter – Churches of St. Demetrius, St. Forty Martyrs, St. George and St. St. Peter and Paul, which are subject to archaeological, historical and artistic research, conservation and restoration.
Tsarevets fortress is probably one of the most widely visited historical sites in Bulgaria. The hill on which it was built is close to the centre of the modern town of Veliko Tarnovo.
There are several city buses that can take you to the Ivan Asen II square in front of the castle.The fortress is open for visits throughout the year:
- 8 am – 7 pm from April till October
- 9 am – 5 pm from November till March.
Entrance fee to Tsarevets is 6 leva but there is a free admission each last Thursday of the month.
The spectacular Sound and Light show recreates the tragic history of Tsarevets, Veliki Tarnov and the Second Bulgarian Kingdom through colourful light and laser effects, church bells and dramatic music.
Since this is an open site you should bear in mind the usual rules and precautions, such as: move only along the lanes, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, be prepared to encounter insects and reptiles, abide the signs, etc.
Archaeological Museum Veliko Tarnovo
You can reach the museum by public transport if you take any of these bus lines: 20,40,50,110 and get off at Tsarevets.
Little to no information about the beautiful building of the museum can be found at this time. The Archaelogical Exposition of Veliko Tarnovo‘s Museum of History is on display in an old historical building close to the Tsarevets hill. It boasts a 130-old tradition and a permanent exhibition dedicated to the fascinating history, culture and lifestyle of the medieval Bulgarian capital.
Open Tuesday-Sunday from 09:00 till 17:00, the Museum offers free entry each last Thursday of the month. Discounts for students, groups, families and senior citizens apply. Guided tours are available at extra charge.