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Where to go

Arbanasi

Bansko

Bistrilitza

Bourgas

Bozhentzi

Gabrovo

Koprivshtitsa

Kotel

Kyustendil

Leshten

Melnik

Nessebur

Petrich

Plovdiv

Plovdiv

Rousse

Sofia

Sozopol

Tryavna

Varna

Veliko Turnovo

Zheravna



Black Sea Resorts

Mountain Resorts



What to see

The Tracian Tomb in Kazanluk

The Tracian Tomb in Sveshtari

The Horseman of Madara

The Boyana Church in Sofia

The Rock Monasteries of Ivanovo

The Rila Monastery

The Old Nessebur

The Nature Reserve Srebarna

Pirin Mountain

Monasteries and Churches



 

BULGARIA



THE BOYANA CHURCH IN SOFIA

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 XI c. According to an original manuscript, in 1295 the two - storey part of the church was built and the rest was added in the middle of the XIX c.

The Boyana Church in Sofia

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 iconagraphical canons with real life. 89 scenes are depicted, containing 240 human images - a real art gallery of the XIII c. 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.

 



Festivals and Fairs


The Great Koprivshtitza Folklore Festival

The Great Koprivshtitza Folklore Festival is Bulgaria's largest gathering of traditional musicians and singers and is a cross between a pop festival and a medieval fair. It is a sight that knows no equal: thousands of musicians and singers making the hillside above the picturesque village of Koprivshtitza their home for a few days. Coupled with this you have the colourful stalls of the traders and the thousands of visitors who come for the festival.

This is Bulgarian music as it was always played, played by the ancestors of those who first played it. But perhaps it is what happens on the periphery that is the most authentic. Strolling players or soloists, simply playing for the sheer enjoyment. forming new bonds with other musicians or just letting their music ring out over the hillside.

The Bourgas International Folk Festival

The Bourgas International Folk Festival, held annually, attracts a host of Bulgarian and international artists and is held in the second half of August.

The Kazanluk Festival

The Kazanluk Festival of the Roses is held annually in early June, and has grown from a local to an international event. Not only are the roses, Kazanluk's main industry, in full flower. but the town itself blossoms while visitors enjoy the "Rose Picnic" and all the fun of a folklore festival, with its costumes, songs and dance. Should you still have the energy left, you can always visit the old factories where the rose oil is extracted.

St. Trifon's Day

In the agricultural calendar, St. Trifon's Day celebrates the pruning of the vines, and is held on February 14.

Kukerov Den

On the first Sunday before Lent, Kukerov Den celebrates the start of the agricultural year, and all over Bulgaria you can witness processions led by the dancing. leaping Kukeri dressed in colourful masks and costumes.

Baba Marta

Baba Marta is celebrated on March 1 when peasant house-holds brush out the winter cobwebs with a traditional spring clean. and people offer each other tokens of good luck called martenitsas.

Kukeri
Like western countries. the Bulgarian calendar is dotted with important feast days and festivals. The festival of the Kukeri re-enacts ancient surovaki rites to ward off evil spirits and Kukeri fertility rites. Although only held once every five years, it brings together dancers from all over Bulgaria in a rainbow of colours and styles.

St. Lazarus Day

Lazaruvane is also celebrated in spring on St. Lazarus Day, and here village girls considered fit for marriage perform ritual songs and dances.

St. Konstantin and St. Elena Day

The coming of summer is traditionally celebrated on St. Konstantin and St. Elena Day on May 21, and in some of the remoter villages in the Stranzha hills fire dancing, dancing on heated coals, is still practised in celebration of summer's arrival. Ethnologists have suggested that this practice is directly descended from Dionysina rites of the ancient Thracian.

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