Veliko Tarnovo (Велико Търново in Bulgarian) is a small city of 73000 inhabitants, located in the hills of central-north Bulgaria on the banks of the Yantra river, about 60km south of the border to Romania. The city has a long history, having been settled since the third millenium BC. Veliko Tarnovo has a high symbolic value in Bulgaria, because it was the capital of the second Bulgarian empire and its most important political, economic, cultural and religious centre between the 12th and 14th centuries, before the country was occupied by the Ottomans for the next five centuries. The Bulgarian constitution was written here in 1879 after the country became independent again.
The touristic highlight of Veliko Tarnovo are the ruins the Tsarevets fortress on a hill east of the city. This consists of a large area with ruins, surrounded by ramparts, with the Ascension cathedral on its highest point. The historic core of Veliko Tarnovo consists of quite cute old houses, but doesn't have significant structures.
How to get to Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo doesn't have an airport. It is possible to arrive by road (with a car or by bus) or by train.
Accommodation options include hotels and pensions, all bookable via the international booking portals.
01 St Kiril I Metodiy university 02 Tsarevets fortress
03 Veliko Tarnovo 04 New town 05 State art gallery Boris Denev
06 Asen dynasty monument 07 Painted building facade 08 Painted building facade 09 Velchova Tavera square
10 View towards Tsarevets and Trapezitsa fortresses 11 Yantra river 12 Lion statue
13 Tsarevets fortress 14 Tsarevets fortress 15 Tsarevets fortress
16 Trapezitsa fortress 17 Veliko Tarnovo 18 Veliko Tarnovo
19 Veliko Tarnovo skyline 20 Ascension cathedral 21 Ascension cathedral
22 Bulgarian flag 23 Tsarevets fortress 24 Ascension cathedral 25 Veliko Tarnovo
26 Veliko Tarnovo 27 Ramparts in Tsarevets fortress 28 Bridge on Yantra river
29 Tsarevets and Trapezitsa fortresses 30 Tsarevets and Trapezitsa fortresses
31 Central post office 32 Nezavisimost street 33 Yantra river 34 State art gallery Boris Denev
35 Asen dynasty monument 36 Veliko Tarnovo 37 Old houses
38 Sveti Konstantin I Elena church 39 Old houses 40 Asen dynasty monument 41 State art gallery Boris Denev 42 Arbanassi
43 Park in Arbanassi 44 Arbanassi 45 Monument of Mother Bulgaria 46 Hristo Botev street 47 Regional health insurance fund
48 Bronze bust 49 Guns not allowed sign in restaurant 50 Tsarevets fortress 51 Orthodox church
52 Orthodox church 53 Tsarevets fortress 54 Trapezitsa fortress
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©Copyright Alfred Molon