Bulgaria is a successor of ancient civilizations - Thracians, Romans, Byzantines and proto-Bulgarians have left on these lands exceptionally valuable artistic and architectural evidence of their advanced culture. They are scattered throughout the country and make it one of the most attractive destinations for people interested in history and culture. Perperikon is one of the archaeological sites in Bulgaria that truly deserves to be seen. The rock city stands on a cliff top at a height of 470 metres. Religious activity continued through the entire Bronze Age (III-II millennium BC). At that time the oval hall with a huge circular altar in its centre was built. There, priests performed their sacred rituals with wine and fire, typical for the Temple of Dionysius. According to the legends, two crucial prophecies were made from the altar of this temple. The first one predicted great conquest and glory for Alexander the Great, and the second, in the 1st century BC, the same for Gaius Julius Caesar. The Madara Horseman is a unique rock relief, located in the northeast of the country, 18 kilometres east of the town of Shumen and 10 kilometres south of Pliska. An unknown artist has carved an impressive image on the cliff at a height of 23 metres. Although more than 1,000 years have passed since its creation, the image of a horseman with a spear, a wounded lion, fallen at the feet of the horse and a hunting dog, is still visible on the stone. In 1979 the Madara Horseman was included in the UNESCO List. In the valley of the Rusenski Lom River, in northeast Bulgaria, a complex of rock-hewn churches, chapels, monasteries and cells developed in the vicinity of the village of Ivanovo. The monastery complex, which unites the rock temples, was named after St. Michael and was founded in the early 13th century. The most impressive temple is the one of St. Mary, whose 14th-century murals testify to the exceptional skill of the artists belonging to the Tarnovo School of painting. The Rusenski Lom Park is a popular destination for birdwatching. Located near the Ivanovo rock churches is the beautiful Orlova Chuka cave. Another famous landmark is also situated in the territory of the park – the Basarbovski Monastery, which is the only working rock monastery in Bulgaria. The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak was included in the UNESCO List in 1983. It is located in a small park in the town of Kazanlak. The original tomb was sealed in order to preserve its unique murals, but an exact copy of the tomb was built near it, which is now available for tourist visits. The tomb was built in the 4th - 3rd century BC. The worldwide fame of the monument is due to the remarkable murals in the hall and the dome room - one of the best preserved ancient works of art from the early Hellenistic age. The original tomb can also be visited, but only for a few minutes and under certain conditions. Discovered in 1982 near the village of Sveshtari, this 3rd-century BC Thracian tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The tomb has a unique architectural decor, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. The 10 female figures carved in high relief on the walls of the central chamber and the decoration of the lunette in its vault are the only examples of this type found so far in the Thracian lands. The tomb of Sveshtari has been added to the UNESCO List of Global Heritage in 1985. It is about one hour’s drive from Sofia to get to the impressive Rila Monastery. According to UNESCO it is “a masterpiece of the creative genius of the Bulgarian people”. Throughout the centuries Rila Monastery has always been the spiritual, educational and cultural centre of Bulgaria. In 1983 Rila Monastery was included in the List of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. The museum exhibition comprises valuable examples of Bulgarian and foreign art from the 14th – 19th centuries. The most valuable exhibit is the wooden cross, decorated with exquisite miniature wood-carvings that depict 36 biblical scenes and over 600 miniature figures.
A package for two including: return flights UK-Bulgaria, transfers to and from the airport, 6 nights at a 4-star hotel, Half Board (breakfast and dinner), international travel insurance, a programme of visits with a guide to cultural monuments, sights and UNESCO sites.
|Destination / Resort||Sofia, Rila Monastery, Madara, Pliska, Ruse, Ivanovo, Sveshtari, Plovdiv, Perperikon or Kazanlak|
|Period||7 days, 6 nights|
|Package includes||programme of visits with a guide to cultural and historical sites|
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