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a 2 day short break tour to Veliko Turnovo from Sofia. The old capital of the
Bulgarian Kingdom during the 12th-14th centuries was Veliko Turnovo, a living
symbol of Bulgarian statehood over the ages. Part of the territory of Veliko
Turnovo has been declared a museum reserve with three zones, also including the
territory of the village of Arbanassi.
Veliko Turnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria has more than 7000 years of history. The houses, stacked one above the other, situated on the slopy hills of the town show a remarkable, unique architectural style. The bridges, unexpectedly flying over the river, palaces and towers, spectacular museums, ancient columns with writings left by our proud rulers, monasteries with unique murals and the Arbanassi fortress-houses.
During the period of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, from the year 1185 to 1395, Bulgaria was the largest and the most powerful state in Southeastern Europe, and
Tsarevets Hill was the main fortress of the medieval capital â“ Veliko Turnovo.
During the first centuries of the Roman rule the ancient settlement was deserted, but had been inhabited even as early as the 2nd millennium B.C. After the abandonment, in once again became populated during the 4th century, and by the 5th century it had already become a strongly fortified early Byzantine town. During the 12th century, the
medieval fortress was raised on top of the foundations of this early Byzantine stronghold. The official way to enter Tsarevets was through three huge gates which are located at the central entrance and situated on a narrow rocky isthmus. Here there was a draw-bridge, which was where the fortified Kingâ™s Palace was. An inner stonewall surrounded this area,
and the Throne Hall, the Royal Church, and the royal chambers were situated behind this wall. At the top of the entire hill was the complex of the Patriarchâ™s Palace, which was restored in 1981 in honour of 1300 years from the creation Bulgaria and was painted in 1985 in honour of 800 years from the liberation of Vizantia. These paintings represent various moments during the history of Medieval Bulgaria.
Arbanassi village is located 10 km north of Veliko Turnovo. The earliest church in Arbanassi is the Cathedral of Nativity. It is comprised of a naos (the men's section), a narthex (the women's section), a gallery running on the north and on the west, having a chapel at its eastern end dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The architectural and mural details attest that the church was built in three distinct stages. The oldest part of the church, which is indeed the naos, was, in the very beginning, a separate church. It was erected in 1597. The mural compositions of the "Last Judgement" and the "Nativity" have survived the test of time. The narthex and the chapel were built during the second stage connected with an outdoor arcade. During the third stage of building the outdoor arcade was closed up into a gallery.
Very popular for tourist visits is the Konstanzalievâ™s Ethnographical house in the village of Arbanassi. This house was built in 17th century. It was reconstructed several times in the following century and from then on has remained the same up to present day. It belonged to a rich merchant Atanas Konstantsaliev, thus being the reason for its name -
the House of Konstantaliev.
Tour to the Medieval Town of Veliko Turnovo!!!
Day by Day Itinerary:
ROUTING: SOFIA - ARBANASSI - VELIKO TARNOVO
- Pick up from Sofia
- Departure for Veliko Tarnovo - capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom
- Sightseeing of Arbanassi â“ 17th c. fortified village; entrance to
Konstanzalievâ™s house (17th c.) and Jesus Christâ™s Nativity Church which
interior is covered in frescos depicting 2000 scenes
- Visit to the medieval fortress of Tsarevets hill
- Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo
ROUTING: VELIKO TARNOVO - SOFIA
- Drive to Sofia
- Drop off at your hotel or at the airport
End of tour services
This tour can also be adjusted to start or end in Romania. For tour ideas visit
our partner website
Prices, Dates & What's Included:
Prices available upon request...
The Tour Includes:
- 1 night accommodation with Breakfast
- English-Speaking Specialist driver for the
duration of the tour
- Local guides upon request
- Local Taxes
- Entrance fees
- Alcoholic drinks
- Extra charges of hotel, eg. Laundry,
telephone or fax charges, room service,
For more details please fill out the Inquire/Book It form which you can access from the button below