Wednesday, 12 August 2015

100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria (Part 1)

Bulgaria is a wonderful country, with so much to see and do. However, it does seem rather reluctant to promote itself. With many of us having friends and family visiting throughout the year, sometimes it is not an easy task to give them a lasting impression about why we enjoy living here. Yet did you know that since 1966, there has been a national movement to promote tourism amongst the many historic, cultural and natural landmarks. I certainly wasn't aware of it until I did a little digging. Initially this list of 100 sites did include various monuments to the communist regime, but the list has been brought up to date in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Although only available in Bulgarian, for 1.50 Leva, you can even get a  passport sized stamp booklet, issued by the Bulgarian Tourist Union (BTU). Each of the sites listed has its own unique stamp, which the tourist can get stamped into their book. The booklets themselves are available at any of the participating sites. Even though there are 100 sites on the list, some towns might include more than one tourist spot. It might seem slightly old fashioned, but to my mind it is quite endearing, and much nicer than pinning a flag on some social media programme. Not only that, but there are awards which can be attained, depending on how many stamps are collected. Bronze, Silver and Gold pins are awarded to those who collect 25, 50 or 100 stamps, think of it as the Olympic Games for tourists in Bulgaria. In addition to which pin winners from the previous year are entered into a prize draw each August, with the possibility of winning domestic or foreign trips, bikes, tents and other tourist related prizes. Luckily the booklet contains a separate map, which lists all 100 sites, and also gives their addresses and operating hours. So below you can find the list, separated into districts which will hopefully make things easier.

District of Blagoevgrad
1. Bansko (Банско) - Velyanov House, Neofit Rilski Museum, Nikola Vaptsarov Museum, Art School of Bansko Icon Museum, Saint Trinity Church
2. Pirin (Пирин) - Vihren Peak
3. Dobarsko village (Добърско) - Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratilates Church
4. Melnik (Мелник) - Historical Museum of Melnik, Kordopulov House, Rozhen Monastery
5. Petrich (Петрич) - Rupite, St. Petka Church, Samuil's Fortress

District of Burgas
6. Malko Tarnovo (Малко Търново) - Museum of History, Local Museum Petrova Niva
7. Nesebar (Несебър) - Architectural Reserve, Archaeological Museum
8. Sozopol (Созопол) - Archaeological Museum

District of Varna
9. Varna ( Варна) - Museum of History, Maritime Museum
10. Devnya (Девня) - Museum of Mosaics

District of Veliko Tarnovo
11. Veliko Tarnovo (Велико Търново) - Tsarevets architectural reserve, Museum of History, Arbanasi architectural reserve
12. Svishtov (Свищов) - Aleko Konstantinov's House

District of Vidin
13. Vidin (Видин) - Baba Vida Fortress
14. Rabisha (Рабиша) - Magura Cave
15. Belogradchik (Белоградчик) - Belogradchik Rocks and Fortress, Museum of History

District of Vratsa
16. Vratsa (Враца) - Ledenika Cave, Regional Museum of History
17. Okolchitsa (Околчица) -  the place of Hristo Botev's death
18. Kozlodoui (Козлодуй) - Radetzky steam-ship museum, Monument of Hristo Botev

District of Gabrovo
19. Gabrovo (Габрово) - Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex, Museum of Education
20.Bozhentsi (Боженци) - Architectural Reserve
21. Tryavna (Трявна) - Museum of Wood-Carving and Ethnographical Arts
22. Dryanovo (Дряново) - Dryanovo Monastery, Kolyo Ficheto Museum, Bacho Kiro Cave

District of Dobrich
23. Dobrich (Добрич) - House of Yordan Yovkov, Art Gallery
24. Balchik (Балчик) - The Palace Architectural Park, Cape Kaliakra

District of Kurdzhali
25. Kardzhali (Кърджали) - Perperikon, Regional Museum of History, Monastery of John the Precursor

District of Kyustendil
26. Kyustendil (Кюстендил) - Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora Art Gallery, House of Dimitar Peshev
27. Ruen Peak (Връх Руен) - Osogovo Mountain
28. Rila Monastery (Рилски манастир)
29. Skakavitsa hut (Йижа Скакавица) - the Seven Rila Lakes

District of Lovech
30. Lovech (Ловеч) - Museum of Ethnography, Kakrina Inn, Vasil Levski Museum
31. Troyan, Cherni Osam (Троян, Черни Осъм) - Natural Science Museum, Troyan Monastery
32. Teteven (Тетевен) - Museum of History
33. Brestnitsa village (Брестница) - Saeva Dupka Cave

District of Montana
34. Berkovitsa (Берковица) - Kom Peak, Museum of Ethnography, Museum of History Varshets

District of Pazardzhik
35. Pazardzhik (Пазарджик) - Church of Virgin Mary, House of Stanislav Dospevski, Regional Museum of History
36. Panagyurishte (Панагюрище) - Oborishte local museum, House of Rayna Knyaginya
37. Peshtera (Пещера) - Snezhanka cave
38. Batak (Батак) - Museum of History

District of Pernik
39. Tran (Трън) - Gorge on the Erma River

District of Pleven
40. Pleven (Плевен) - Mausoleum and Chapel of St George the Conqueror, Pleven Panorama, Regional  Museum of History


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