Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Turnovo - one of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns, standing in tiers above Yantra River which meanders through the elevations of Turnovo and the three hills - Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora, 241 km north-east of Sofia. Population of 67 000.

After the foundation of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1186), the town becomes its capital. A centre of medieval Bulgarian coin minting. In the 13th-14th centuries in the town and its outskirts numerous literary schools spring up - centres of educational and literary activity.

In 1393 the town is conquered by the Turks and burned down. During the years of Ottoman rule it is a fortress of the Bulgarian national spirit and one of the centres of the struggle for liberation. In 1879 the Constituent National Assembly has its first session here and adopts the Constitution of Turnovo - the first constitution of the Bulgarian state liberated in 1878.

Valuable architectural ensembles dating back to the Bulgarian National Revival have preserved the atmosphere of the past century. The buildings, perching one above the other, overhang rocks and precipices and Yantra River below, standing close to one another along narrow winding streets. The great master builder Kolyo Ficheto - a self-educated architect of the Bulgarian National Revival - worked here. The antique part of the town has been declared an architectural and historical reserve.

There are a lot of interestung palyces - St. Demerius of Thessaloniki Church, St. Peter and Paul Church ,The Church of the Forty, Holy Martyrs,  Sts. Constantine and Helena Church, Hadzhi Nikoli Han, The Old Town Hall (Konaka) - built in 1874-1876. Tsarevets - a historical hill of 12 hectares in the eastern part of Veliko Turnovo. In the 7th-14th centuries the capital residences of the tsar, the boyars and the patriarch are erected. Built over a Thracian settlement and Byzantine fortress, dating back to the 4th-6th centuries. Trapezitsa - a hill in Veliko Turnovo. In the 12th-14th centuries Trapezitsa and Tsarevets comprise the Inner Town of the Bulgarian capital.  The Transfiguration of Our Lord Monastery - situated in the Derventski Gorge of Yantra River.



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