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 Thracian tomb Sveshtari
The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari is situated 2,5 km southwest of the village of Sveshtari, Razgrad Province, which is located 42 km northeast of Razgrad, in the northeast of Bulgaria.
Discovered in 1982, the 3rd century BC Thracian tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The tomb's architectural decor is considered to be unique, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. Ten female figures are carved in high relief on the walls of the central chamber and the decorations of the lunette in its vault are the only examples of this type found so far in the lands one inhabited by Thracians. It is thought of as a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getae (also known as Dacians), a Thracian people who were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds. 
Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thracian_tomb_of_Sveshtari


        The PANAGYURISHTE Treasure

BBC - Thursday, 11 November, 2004 : Bulgaria's ancient Thracian heritage has been thrust into the spotlight this year with a number of key archaeological discoveries in the so-called "Valley of the Thracian Kings".

Found accidentally in 1949. Made of pure gold, weight of 6.164 kg. The amphora-rhyton, the four rhytons shaped like animal heads or fore-parts and decorated with mythological scenes, the three jugs-rhytons shaped like women's heads and the phiale decorated with a black head and acorns compose a ceremonial set, possessed by a Thracian king, probably Sevt III. The designations on the phiale and two of the vessels connect its production with the name of the town of Lampasak on the Dardanelles.

                                                       Other Thracian Golden Treasures - more details here  >>>

- Valchitransko - dating back to 16-12 century BC ;
- Rogozensko ( silver ) ; Letnishko : 6-4 century BC ;
- Lukovitsko ( silver ) : 4-3 century BC 

     Bulgarian Monasteries

Bulgaria adopted the Christianity in 865. Prince Boris (852-889) who considered monarchism useful for purely State interests, built solid monasteries and churches inspiring respect and a sense of security, first in the capital city of Pliska and near it. The second Christian ruler, the youngest son of Boris, Tsar Simeon (893-927), erected the new capital of Preslav, and founded monasteries in remote and quiet places creating conditions for educational and literary work of writers and theologians. The monasteries were to hammer out the foundations of the future culture and spiritual community. Round about 886, Prince Boris I accommodated the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, the creators of the Slavonic-Bulgarian letters, at St. Panteleimon's Monastery built upon his orders near Preslav. One of the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, Naoum, established here the new Old-Bulgarian alphabet - the so called Cyrillic alphabet (the bases of present-day Bulgarian letters).


The TROYAN Monastery "St. Holy Virgin"

National tourist object. Founded in 1600. The present monastery was built in 1835. Mural paintings made by the famous Zahari Zograph and Dimiter Zograph. Museum collection that keeps early printed books, scripts and icons. A chronicle dates back the foundation of the monastery in the year 1600; nothing but the throne stone of the church remains from that time. The Troyan Monastery belongs completely to the Bulgarian National Revival period. In 1872 Vassil Levski set up here a secret revolutionary committee, which was joined by all the monks headed by the Father Superior Macarius. Four years later, the monastery become a citadel of the 1876 April Uprising. Fortunately, most of the great works of National Revival art have survived. The iconostasis of the main church made in 1839 is a masterpiece of woodcarving. Amazing in its originality, is the much earlier carving of the holy altar gates in the St. Nikola Chapel.

The Troyan Monastery, is known for the creative work of Zahary Zograph who painted both the exterior and interior of the main church (a rare practice for the time) built in 1835. Besides, he painted a completely secular group portrait of the monastic brotherhood in the refectory - something highly unusual for the time. Here, Zahary Zograph repeated the social and moral "experiments" in religious painting (the compositions Doomsday and the Wheel of Life), left his second self-portrait signed with amazing self confidence in spite of the Ottoman bondage, and painted the figures of Bulgarian and Russian saints. Particularly valuable among the multitude of manuscripts and incunabula are the so-called Troyan Homilies of 17th century. The monastery's "printery" in which fine graphic works, including many landscapes, were made, was widely known.
See also Nikola Gruev's Photo gallery


Dryanovo Monastery

Dryanovo Monastery

The Dryanovo Monastery (Дряновски манастир) is a functioning Bulgarian Orthodox monastery situated in the Andaka River Valley in the central part of Bulgaria five kilometers away from the town of Dryanovo. It was founded in the 12th century, during the Second Bulgarian Empire, and is dedicated to Archangel Michael. Twice burnt down and pillaged during the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria, the monastery was restored at it present place in 1845. It was the site of several battles during the April Uprising of 1876.

Full article on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
See also Nikola Gruev's Photo gallery of the Dryanovo Monastery

The RILA Monastery

World Cultural Heritage (UNESCO object) National tourist object. Founded in 10th century by Ivan Rilski, the biggest Bulgarian revival, spiritual and cultural centre 16 000 volume library including 134 manuscripts from 15th to 19th century Exclusive mural paintings, woodcarving and icons, gold weave materials and embroidery A multitude of gold and silver church plates, collections of coins, weapons and jewelry. The monastery was founded by Ivan Rilski (John of Rila) in the 10th century as a colony for hermits. It has been destroyed by fire, and abandoned by the monks. Its present day place, 119 km south of Sofia, is the one in which it stood during the 14th century, when the protosebast Dragovol Hrelyo settled in the monastery as an independent ruler. In 1335 he built the five-storey defense tower, topped by the Transfiguration Chapel, fragments of whose murals can still be seen today. By the end of 14th century, the Rila Monastery had turned into a powerful feudal entity with many villages, lands and properties. Tsar Shishman alone, the last Bulgarian ruler, donated it over twenty villages in different districts. The monastery's unquestionable authority influenced the Turkish sultants who confirmed the rights granted by the Bulgarian kings by special firmans. Irrespective of this, the Monastery was devastated around the mid-15th century. It started rising again after the relics of Ivan Rilski were brought from Veliko Turnovo here in 1469 (passing through the whole of Bulgaria as a nationwide patriotic procession)...
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rila_Monastery
Бачковският манастир, Photo Alan Grant, 2003, pbase.com

Bachkovo Monastery

The monastery's biography is inevitably reflected in the architectural face of the ossuary. Its general idea is foreign to old Bulgarian art, and is clearly influenced by Syrian and Armenian-Georgian building.
At the same time, the construction of
parallel rows of stones and bricks was
unknown there, and that is the construc-tion method of Pliska and Preslav - the capitals of the First and the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

FULL article here Peakview.bg

More pictures here

The BACHKOVO Monastery "Uspenie Bogorodichno"  -  Peakview.bg


 Erected in a magnificent locality along the
reaches of the Assenitsa River (29 km south
of Plovdiv), the Bachkovo monastery ranks
second after the Rila Monastery both with
regard to size, and to architectural, artistic and literary signifi-
cance. It was founded by the Georgian Grigorii Bakuriani in 1083.
Almost immediately after its foundation, the monastery turned into
a wealthy landowner, its properties stretching as far as Salonika.
In 1344 Tsar Ivan Alexander established his rule over the Rodo-
pite, populated the monastery with Bulgarians, and generously
donated to it. His full-length portrait stands next to the figures of
Bakuriani and his brother Apassii in the narthex, of the upper floor
of the ossuary - the only building remained from the mediaeval
monastery after its destruction in 16th c. standing alone in the
woods today, apart from the new "complex". Spared during the
first wave of enslavement Bachkovo monastery became the pri-
son of the last Bulgarian Patriarch Euthymius, who was exiled
here, where he continued his literary work.

    FULL article here

Source:  http://www.peakview.bg/monasteries/bach_l.htm


The preserved murals on two floors are a valuable
document of an age that has left us with fairly few
artistic testimonies. Painted during 11th and 12th
centuries, the murals are result of a monumental-
spiritualistic style of the time when the theocratic
system of the Byzantine rule was most powerful:
stern figures, foreign to all worldly things, forceful
and severe drawing, enamel gleaming colour.


Links to |  Bachkovo Monastery  |  Zograph Monastery   |   Drynovo Monastery   |  Sokolovo Monastery   |
                   |  Rojen monastery   |  Aladja monastery   |  Glojenski monastery   |  Cherepish monastery   |

The nine Bulgarian Wonders
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Emil Manchev

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