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Artists of Veliko Tarnovo have figured out how to get rid of utilitarian eyesores

While I ago, when I moved back to the City of Tsars, I started noticing and taking pictures of the quirky art I was seeing on the walls of abandoned Bulgarian houses, electrical posts and panels.

Seems like entrepreneurial young artists, studying/living here, have figured out how to get rid of utilitarian eyesores and scratch their graffiti itch at the same time. These fun spirits leave their mark on a city that needs a bit of colour.

Victoria, Gergina and Lora turn electrical panels in Veliko Tarnovo into quirky and fun art. They paint a variety of images on them – human faces, geometric shapes and abstract paintings – and turn them into beautiful and interesting works of art.

They say they look for something ugly to be turned it into something beautiful. They think electrical panels are especially ugly, often with posted bills, notes or obituaries.

All three study Arts at the University in Veliko Tarnovo and come from different parts of Bulgaria. They do it out of their wish to express themselves. They work in daylight, when people can see them change the face of the panels.

Before starting work, they usually clean the panels and spend a reasonable time envisioning their projects. Artists use acrylic paints, which endure rain and snow.

Images: Author.


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.