Veliko Tarnovo - a glimpse into its past

Julian Tanase

Well-Known Member
As my business trips are usually done by driving, when I have some meetings or work to do in Bulgaria, I always stop for a day or two in Veliko Tarnovo. It is on the “easy” route to Sofia (Varna-Shumen-Veliko Tarnovo-Sofia), the capital city of Bulgaria. The “hard” route (although it is not hard at all) goes through the south of the country (Burgas-Haskovo-Plovdiv-Sofia). I have travelled that route and it is fascinating, but during the summer is crammed with tourists going to the Greek islands. That is why I always choose (if I have a choice that is) to drive through Veliko Tarnovo.

I love this city, mainly because of the impressive and exceptional Tsarevets fortress and because of the scenic landscape and feeling of the place. The Yantra River, which flows quietly in the valley, is a silent witness to a great glory this city and its fortress has seen in its days of old. The light show which the fortress put almost every night or so is almost hypnotic, and one has to see it with one’s own eyes. My words does not do it justice.

The city is deliciously crammed between these hills, not very high, but charming nonetheless; much of the city is still keeping buildings dating from the 18th and 19th century, where the Oriental style can be discerned, for those so inclined to look after old architecture. The local museum is a place that you do not want to miss, if you’re visiting the city. Excellent rendition of the golden age of the Assen tsars, and a good lesson in learning the fiery past of Bulgaria. I was amazed to learn it myself, little that I was able to do so. It’s fascinating.


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