The tour starts in the morning at the hotel where you will meet with your travel guide. You will drive south, crossing the Danube River which separates Romania from Bulgaria. Not far from the border is the charming medieval city, named Veliko Tarnovo, located on the Yantra River. With a very rich history, the town was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and it attracts tourists with its eye-catching architecture. You will learn more about this remarkable city from your guide, walking on the cobble streets. Up on the hill, you will discover the fortress of Tsarevets, settled in the 4th century, surrounded by thick walls. On our way back, we will stop at the nearby village of Arbanassi, a World Heritage Site and make a stop at the famous Nativity Church.
The fortress of Tsarevets
Situated at an altitude of 206 meters, it was settled in the 4th century. It became famous after the Second Bulgarian Empire established the capital at Veliko Tarnovo, often being compared to Rome or Constantinople in greatness. 400 residential buildings, over 22 churches and 4 monasteries where discovered on site. The main landmarks of the complex are the Royal Palace located in the center, from where 22 kings ruled the country; Baldwin's Tower- built in 1930 and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God which in the 12th century became the seat of the Bulgarian patriarch. The Royal Palace includes Throne Room, the Palace Church and the Royal Chambers. Actually, the patriarchate on Tsarevets was a fortress of its own, having 2 defensive towers and an entrance on its west wall and the Patriarchal Cathedral was situated in the middle of its courtyard.
The village was founded in the late 15th century by Christians and it’s known for the rich history. Nowadays, there are 7 monasteries and churches dating from the 16th century until the 18th century. The oldest church in Arbanasi is the Nativity church, famous for its mural paintings from inside the chapel, created in 1632, which represent important scenes from St. John the Baptist’s life, the patron of the chapel. The paintings in the nave represent the Feasts, the Passions and the Miracles of Christ.