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World Heritage


The World Register of Historical Sites established by UNESCO, includes seven cultural sites and two nature reserves in Bulgaria.

Thracian tomb-Sveshtari


The tomb was discovered in 1982 under a large hill. It dates back to the 3rd century B.C. It consists of three chambers - an entrance chamber and two antechambers. It is covered by a mound.

This 3rd century B.C. Thracian tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The decoration of the burial chamber is exceptionally interesting, a unique blend of art and architecture.

The stone architrave, around the walls, is supported by ten caryatids. The wall opposite the door is painted in navy blue crayon and depicts the heroicisation of the deceased.

The central chamber is richly ornamented. The chamber was decorated as a facade of a temple with depicted horseman who takes a golden garland from the hands of a goddess with a religious procession following her. The three walls have high relief with 10 caryatides

It is situated in Northern Bulgaria, near the town of Isperih.


Thracian tomb-Kazanlak



One of the most famous monuments of Thracian culture, included in the World Register of Historical Sites, in 1979, was discovered in 1944.


A corridor, 1.95 m in length, 1.12 m in width and 2.24 m in height leads to a domed tomb, 3.25 m in height and 2.65 m in diameter at the base.The building material is brick, used two centuries later by the Romans. The frame is of blocks of stone and clay is used as bonding material. It is situated in the southern part of a mound, at ground level.


The entrance is from the south side. The tomb became world famous for its unique mural, done in wet fresco and tempera. The artistic decoration covers an area of 40 square meters and is an extraordinary art gallery, taking the visitor a long way back in time. The pictures show battles and scenes from daily life, realistically displayed, with great dynamism and details in the clothing and armour.


The scenes of a funeral procession, the musicians, the Thracian ruler and his wife, the chariots, the horses and other depictions are all very interesting. The tomb dates from the late 4th century - early 3rd century B.C. Nearby an exact copy has been built for tourists. The Thracian tomb is situated in the north-eastern part of Kazanlak




The Madara Horseman



This is a rare monument, dating from the 8th 9th century A.D. It is a unique symbol of young Bulgaria


An unusual place - a plateau rises in the middle of a plain which, when viewed from the west, resembles a petrified waterfall. The anonymous sculptor carved a relief of a majestic horseman 23 m above ground level in an almost vertical hundred-metre high cliff. The horseman is thrusting a spear into a lion lying at his horse's feet, while holding a wine cup in the other hand. There is a god behind the rider and a dog runs after the mysterious horseman.


The rock cliff is one hundred metres high. Low down, in the crevices and small caves, man lived in prehistoric times. In antiquity the Thracian tribes inhabited the plain. There was an ancient Thracian sanctuary in the large open cave under the rocks, which is known today as the Nymphs' Cave. Succulent plants and trickles of water fill this place with the natural juices of life respected by the Thracians and inhabited by their gods. Monumental in design and execution, this symbol of Bulgarian statesmanship is the only one of its kind in the whole of Europe.


The Madara Horseman is situated near the village of Madara - 14 km from the town of Shoumen




Sofia, Boyana Church



It is one of the most important and valuable antiquities of exceptional historical and artistic significance.


It is one of the most important and valuable antiquities of exceptional historical and artistic significance. It is situated at the foot of the mountain of Vitosha. The oldest part of the church dates back to the early 11th century. According to an original manuscript, in 1295 the two - store part of the church was built and the rest was added in the middle of the 19th century.


The most interesting part of the monument are the murals done in 1259. The frescoes are rich in tone. The artist skilfully combines the requirements of iconographical canons with real life. 89 scenes are depicted, containing 240 human images - a real art gallery of the 13th century. The portraits of the founder of the church - patron Kaloian and his wife Desislava and of prince Konstantin and his wife Irina are the supreme peak of the skill of the artist. The monument was included in the World Register of Historical and Natural Sites in 1979.






Rock Monasteries - Ivanovo




This is an area where a number of medieval churches, monastic cells and chapels were carved on both sides of the river Lom.


This is an area where a number of medieval churches, monastic cells and chapels were carved on both sides of the river Lom. A colony of hermits lived here from the 3rd century to the 17th century. The natural vesicles in the Karst rocks were widened and moulded to meet the needs of the colony. The chambers are at a height of 6-10m. and are connected by series of stairs, passages and galleries.


The walls are covered with pictures of biblical themes and compositions with many figures. Great artistic value, a refined colour scheme and admirable skill is displayed. The partly conserved frescoes are evidence of the notable achievements of the Bulgarian medieval art school. The remaining scriptures emphasise the significance of the literary school which developed in this area. The monasteries were included in the World Register of Historical Sites in 1979.


The Rock Monasteries - Ivanovo are situated 20 km from the town of Rousse





The Rila Monastery




This monastery is a holy place for all Bulgarians, for it preserved their pride, national identity, faith and hope through the centuries.


This monastery is a holy place for all Bulgarians, for it preserved their pride, national identity, faith and hope through the centuries. It was founded in the 10th century by followers of the Bulgarian hermit saint Ivan Rilski. The monastery is one of the most significant cultural centres in Bulgaria, where through the centuries intensive spiritual, educational and creative activities flourished. It was in close contact with spiritual centres abroad. After a devastating fire, the monastery was completely rebuilt in the 19th century. It is the biggest renaissance monument in Bulgaria.


The Monastery is still in use. There is a sumptuous library, a historical museum and a museum exhibition with a few subjects. The church was painted by the most famous representatives of the Bulgarian renaissance artistic school. The Rila monastery was included in the UNESCO World Register of Historical Sites in 1983.






Old Nessebar



Situated on a peninsula in the Black Sea, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, this is a town with a history going back millennia.


Situated on a peninsula in the Black Sea, connected with the mainland by a narrow isthmus, this is a town with a history going back millennia. Each era has left its permanent marks and today the town is unique. A huge museum displays the way of life of the different people that have inhabited it. On this tiny island castle walls from Thracian times, defensive structures, private and public buildings from the Hellenistic period, medieval churches and renaissance buildings combine to form a unique atmosphere. Nearby is the famous sea resort of "Slunchev Briag".


The churches were built during the early Byzantine period (5th and 6th centuries) and during the middle ages (10th to 14th centuries). The oldest of them are the basilicas, cruciform, with a single nave. The murals from the 14th to the 18th centuries have an exceptional historic and artistic value, displaying the traditions and craftsmanship of the artisans and icon-painters of that time. Old Nessebar was included in the World Register of Historical Sites in 1983







Sreburna Nature Reserve




Sreburna Nature Reserve was included in the list of the biosphere nature reserves under the aegis of UNESCO in 1977 and in 1983 it was included in the World Register of Natural Heritage.


Sreburna" was included in the list of the biosphere nature reserves under the aegis of UNESCO in 1977 and in 1983 it was included in the World Register of Natural Heritage. It is situated in Northern Bulgaria, at the delta of the river Danube. It is a lake, 1.5 m deep, fed by water from the river and Karst water. The temperature of the water during winter is 0C, and in the summer up to 28C. The natural habitat favours the growth of a wide variety of animal and plant species. Of great interest are the 160 species of birds, 90 of which nest and breed here. "Sreburna" is a stopping place for many migratory birds. It possesses one of the 4 known colonies of the curly-headed pelican in Europe. There is also a considerable colony of herons and other rare water birds. There are many species of mammals, river animals, different plants. The reserve covers an area of 800 hectares. In the vicinity there is a Nature museum and an Ecological research station.


The Sreburna Nature Reserve is situated 15 km from the town of Silistra.





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