Medieval Heritage North, Black Sea, Bulgaria
The cultural history of the region is millennium old. The oldest vestiges of life – pole dwellings from the chalcolithic and bronze age – have been discovered near the Beloslavsko Lake. Dark Hole (Temnata Dupka) Cave on its bank also preserves traces of a prehistoric life. Remains of ancient settlements, structures, necropolises, castles are found at many places in the region. The cultural monuments are evidence of the well-developed civilization in this area. A gold treasure was found in 1972 during archaeological excavations of the chalcolythic necropolis at Varna.
The treasure dates from 32–30th c. BC and is believed to be the oldest golden works of art. The largest Roman thermal (baths) that have been found so far in Bulgaria are those in Varna. Good evidence of the medieval culture in the region are the gold treasure from the beginning of the 6th c. found in 1961, Aladzha Rock Monastery, etc. Some architectural monuments of the National Revival period are preserved too.
One day tour : Varna- Ovech castle- Pliska castle- Great Preslav castle- Shumen castle
1. VLADISSLAV VARNENCHIK PARK MUSEUM
In the exposition every visitor has the possibility to see :
- arms and equipment from XV century, found on the battlefield (helmets, cross-bows, swords, shields, spears, etc.)
- paintings, sculptures, prints and other works of art, dedicated to the battle of Varna
- flags, models, tickets and coats of arms
On the territory of the museum there can be seen two Thracian mounds where a Thracian tomb from IV c. BC is situated.
In 1935 a token mausoleum of the perished 20-year-old King Vladislav Varnenchik is built above it.
The museum is open to visitors in 1964 in honour of 520th anniversary from the battle of Varna between the Christian armies of the Polish- Hungarian King Vladislav III Yagello and the Turkish armies under command of sultan Murad II.
In 1964 is raised a monument of Yanosh Hunyadi – commander-in-chief of the King Vladislav’s army, Transylvanian leader, regent of Hungaria from 1446.
In 2004 the museum and the exposition are entirely modernized .
- The museum disposes with a hall for temporary exhibitions. Among the interesting exhibitions, presented in it to this moment , they are :
- “Historical medieval costumes”
- Exhibition- Printing of Varna’s graphic artist Borislav Kuzmanov
- “Poland in the epoch of the Yagellons ”(made in the Museum to the Polish army in Warsaw)
- The photo-exhibition “Knight’s skirmishes beside the fortress Varna” (photographed at the time of the recovery of the battle of Varna on 18th May 2008)
- The international exhibition “Warriors of freedom”, dedicated to the 130th anniversary from the Liberation of Bulgaria, etc.
- A special hall in the museum building is dedicated to the commander-in chief Yanosh Hunyadi.
- In the Exhibition hall Petar Dimkov are exposed personal belongings , photographs, orders and documents about the life and the activity of “cosmic Bulgarian” whom today we call The Healer.
2. Ovech Castle. Ovech Castle lies in Provadia town in the northeastern Bulgaria, in Varna Province, close to the Black Sea. The medieval Bulgarian name corresponds directly to ovca = sheep. Ovech was key center of the First Bulgarian Empire with an important monastery at the modern village of Ravna, of the church consecrated in 897, and a major scriptorium of the Preslav Literary School. The rebel leader and subsequently emperor of Bulgaria Ivaylo defeated in 1279 a 10,000-strong Byzantine army near the city. During the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 14th century Ovech was the seat of a metropolitan. Ottomans captured Ovech after a long siege in 1388. In the 17th and 18th century Provadia /Turkish name/ was a commercial center of the Ottoman Empire and inhabited by many Jewish and Ragusan /Dubrovnik/merchants. The 16th-17th-century Dubrovnik-style church still stands in the nearby village of Dobrina.
Just like Pliska, the fortress of Preslav consisted of inner and outer fortification systems. The inner fortress was located almost at the centre of the Inner Town. It was r-shaped and had round towers at the corners and square ones along the walls. The palaces were built on a high plateau.
There are also hundreds of artefacts illustrating the life and the farming habits of the old inhabitants of Preslav. Veliki Preslav National Historical-Architectural Reserve is one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria and was declared a reserve by virtue of Ordinance No 161 of the Council of Ministers of 1958.
5. Shumen Fortess. Just 3 kilometers west of the modern town Shumen lay the ruins of what use to be a great Bulgarian fortress. The first settlement on the site is of Thracian origin and dates to XII c.BC. Later on it fell under the power of Rome. At that time the first fortifications were made. Still, it could not withstand the invasion of Slavic and Avarian tribes. The magnificent Shumen Fortress was build up from the ruins by Khan Omurtag, who ruled between 814 and 831 AC the founded by Khan Asparuh 150 years ago Bulgarian state. The fortress played a vital role in the history of Bulgaria. In 11 th century the fortress was conquest by Byzantine, but regained back with the restoration of the Bulgarian State. It was in fact one of the few strongholds to resist the first wave of the Ottoman invasion. Still in 1444 it was raided and burned down by the Crusade armies of Wladyslaw III Warnenczyk.