Veliko Turnovo

Veliko Turnovo

Veliko Turnovo, the ancient capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1187-1393), when it became a significant political, economic, trade and cultural centre in Europe. It is the Turnovo Literary and Painting School that has given the world Manasses’ Chronicle and King Ivan Alexandre’s Four Gospels (the London Gospel), one of the most valuable Bulgarian manuscripts (1356), kept in the British Museum. The Tsarevets Architectural Museum Reserve, with the Palace and the Patriarchal Church. Tsarevets was the main fortress of the medieval capital.

Veliko Turnovo, the Patriarchal Cathedral, 4

The St Demetrius of Salonica Church (1185) is the place where Bulgaria’s independence was proclaimed and the rulers of the restored Bulgarian state – Assen, Peter and Kaloyan – were crowned.

Veliko Turnovo, St Demetrius Church

The Samovodene Market and the Sarafkina House (1861) architectural and ethnographic expositions.

Veliko Turnovo, the Sarafkina House (1861) architectural and ethnographic expositions

The Monument to the Assen Dynasty – the Bulgarian royal dynasty reigning from 1185 until 1277.

Veliko Turnovo, the Monument to the Assens Dynasty

The Church of the Forty Holy Martyrs was erected on the order of Tsar Ivan Assen II in commemoration of the major victory of the Bulgarians over the Byzantine troops at Klokotnitsa in 1230. According to experts, this is the tomb of Tsar Kaloyan.

Veliko Turnovo, the Fourty Holy Martyrs Church

The Museum of the National Revival and the Constituent Assembly (1872). Here was adopted the First Bulgarian Constitution (1879) and the decision was taken to recognize the Unification of the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia (1885).

Veliko Turnovo, the Constituent Assembly Museum

The Archaeological Museum with the unique golden treasure from the Neolithic age and the biggest collection of earthenware and pottery in Bulgaria, dating from Roman time.

Veliko Turnovo, the Archaeological Museum

The Sound & Light show, created by a team of Bulgarian and Czech specialists and first released in 1985 to commemorate 800 years since the rebellion of the brothers Assen and Peter, aims to create an immemorable and emotional image of the grandeur and glory of the ancient capital city of Turnovgrad – a synonym of the Bulgarian spirit and national pride.

Veliko Turnovo, the Patriarchal Cathedral, 5

The sound and light take you to an unreal world, far back into the centuries. Specially composed music is the leading element in the show, presenting the historical events by accompanying the fascinating visual effects. The music themes and rhythm graduation symbolize the creation of the Bulgarian State, the struggles for its consolidation and against the invasions of one enemy or another, the most painful ones being the Byzantine and the Ottoman slavery.

Veliko Turnovo, the Tsarevets Fortress, view 2

Finally, the song “Many Happy Returns” performed by a choir seems to come from the hill burning in red flames and festive bells toll in praise of the liberated city.

Veliko Turnovo, the Tsarevets Fortress, view 4


Watch our short Veliko Turnovo Impressions virtual sightseeing tour (video clip, 02:58)
Veliko Turnovo Impressions video clip (02:58).