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Bulgaria

Tsarevets Hill


The Tsarevets Hill Archaeological Reserve is situated in the eastern part of the town of Veliko Turnovo. It is a famous attraction for the tourists in Veliko Tarnovo and one of the Bulgarian symbols.

Veliko Tarnovo has been the capital of Bulgaria during the second Bulgarian Kingdom. After the Vlach-Bulgarian Rebellion and the establishment of the Second Bulgarian Empire with its capital in Veliko Tarnovo, the fortress became the most important one in Bulgaria, often compared with Rome and Constantinople in magnificence. In 1393, the stronghold was besieged by Ottoman forces for three months before finally being conquered and burnt down on 17 July, which marked the fall of the Bulgarian Empire.

The whole stronghold is girded by thick walls (reaching up to 3,6 m) and was served by three gates. The main gate was at the hill's westernmost part, on a narrow rock massif, and featured a draw-bridge.
The palace is located on the hill's central and plain part, which was a closed complex encircled by a wall, 2 towers and 2 entrances, a main one from the north and one from the south. It featured a throne room, a palace church and a royal residential part.

On the top of the hill is the patriarchate, a complex with an area of about 3000 m˛, whose church, built on the grounds of an Early Christian one, was reconstructed in 1981.

Baldwin's Tower, a modern reconstruction of a medieval tower built in 1930, is located in the southeastern part of the fortress. It is located at the place of the original medieval tower where Latin Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople found his death as a prisoner of Kaloyan -King of Bulgaria.

During the middle Ages, residential buildings, craftsman's workshops and numerous churches and monasteries were situated on the slopes of the Tsarevets hill. Archaeologists have discovered 400 residential buildings, differentiated in quarters, over 22 churches and 4 monasteries.

To commemorate the glory of the Bulgarian Kingdom, a spectacular “Sound And Light” show with colourful lights, lasers,and music is held on a regular basis. It presents the different periods in the history of Bulgaria and is a unique experience for tourists and locals.

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