The town of Veliko Tyrnovo is attractively located on and around the historical hills Sveta Gora and Tzarevetz, Trapezitza and others and between the hills the river Yantra picturesquely twits its body. On the two banks of the river are overhanging the well known Tarnovo houses.
The population of Tarnovo is nearly 75 000 people. Tarnovo is 240 km away from the capital of Bulgaria - the town of Sofia.
A glorious capital of the Bulgarian Kingdom during XII-XIV centuries , Tarnovo has always been a symbol of the Bulgarian system of state and every corner of it is history.
The archeologists have found traces of prehistorical life in the area dating from 4200 b.c.
Traces of Thracian life on the Tzarevetz hill around XII-XI b.c have been revealed and proved.
The middle age settlement spread on the hills as well as on the nowadays neighborhood "Asenova Mahala" along the Yantra river. The two main ancient fortresses were set up on Trapezitza and Tzarevetz hills. Strong walls provided the security of the inside settlement also located on the two hills. The new town was created along Yantra river, in the neighborhood "Asenova Mahala". The Bulgarian craftsmen and tradesmen were living there and the quarter where the foreign tradesmen were living south-east from the tower called "Balduinovata kula" The quarters which were forming the so called outer city also had fortress protection. Out of this protection were only the homes of the poorest located in the very proximity of the river.
After the rebellion called after the names of it's organizers Asen and Peter in 1185-1187, the Byzantium rule was rejected and Tarnovgrad is proclaimed capital of the Bulgarian country from 1186 - 1393. Those two centuries are the golden ones in the city's history. Tarnovgrad becomes popular in whole Europe as big political, economical, cultural and trade center. During that period Bulgaria itself has reached the peaks of its progress. Gorgeous castles , monasteries, churches, fortress installations, bridges, big buildings were build in the city at that time.
On the 17 of July 1393 after 3 months siege the Bulgarian capital falls into Ottoman Rule. The Metropolis is subjected to plunder, despoilment, fires and cruel torment. Hundred and ten tradesmen were gathered in a church where they were ruthlessly slaughtered.
With the Ottoman Rule the economical and cultural progress of the town as well as of the whole country darkens for ages but the Bulgarian spirit survives.
In the years of the Bulgarian Renaissance Tarnovo turns back to life and becomes a busy trade and educational center. The population of the town takes part in all attempts for liberation from the Ottoman Yoke.
In 1877 Veliko Tarnovo is liberated after ages of Turkish slavery. After the Liberation in Tarnovo the foundations of the New Bulgarian country has been laid. In April 1879 in Veliko Tarnovo the Bulgarian Constitution has been created and it is yet known as the Tarnovo Constitution. It was one of the most democratic for its time in Europe.
After the liberation Sofia becomes capital of Bulgaria but Tarnovo remains sacred place for the Bulgarian spirit. In this towns the times preserves the memories of the glorious past and the majesty of the Bulgarian free spirit. The town is a birth place of number of rebels, writers, artists and scientists.
Veliko Tarnovo is a paradise for those who love sightseeing. Part of the territory is declared to be a museum reserve with three zones in which the village of Arbanasi is also included.
The thing that interests the visitors the most is that part which shows the glory of the town when it used to be a capital of the Bulgarian Kingdom. Which are the places that witness hese times:
The Tzarevetz Hill -the secured central part of the city existed there. The castle of the Bulgarian kings was erected in this part as well. The church "ST Paraskeva" is also located here. This is the place where the members of the palace dynasty have been berried. On the highest spot of the hill was built the Residency of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. It is an architectural complex of buildings formed as a fortress itself. The area of the Patriarchate all together was about 3000 sq.m big . The whole area is unique and sources of information describe it with admiration and delight.
Place which deserve to be seen is the so called fortress "Balduinovata kula" which has been restored in 1930. This is a fortress where a lot of houses were built and a number of churches as well.
Veliko Tarnovo is a paradise for sightseeing so make sure you have enough time to spend here!
Each walk in this town hides surprising meetings and a feeling that is peculiar only for this place - a feeling of history and space in the same time!
In recent years a lot of foreigners have been attracted by the magnetism of the area and become owners of properties here. For most of them the town already menas a lot and is a guarantee of affiliation to a special place what Veliko Tarnovo indeed is.