Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:03

TROYAN MONASTERY

For a small town, Troyan has a serious claim to fame. Located deep into some of the most inaccessible parts of the Stara Planina, the town produces and lends its name to the famed Troyanska Slivova, or Troyan plum Rakiya. It is also the place of origin of the ubiquitous pottery found all over Bulgaria's traditional restaurants. The so-called Troyan pots, with their distinctive multicoloured patterns, are amongst the best souvenirs visitors to Bulgaria can lay their hands on.

Published in High Beam
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 14:24

CREATORS OF THE BULGARIAN STATE

Built under Communism, this larger than life monument in Shumen continues to awe

Published in High Beam
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 13:34

GRAFFITI VILLAGE

Trump, Putin, Boyko Borisov and… Queen Elizabeth, meet on walls of Staro Zhelezare, Bulgaria

Published in High Beam
Monday, 31 July 2017 15:01

PREOBRAZHENSKI MONASTERY

You do not need to be able to read Bulgarian to understand the meaning and to feel the power of a fresco in the Preobrazhenski Monastery, near Veliko Tarnovo. You do not even need to know who the artist, Zahariy Zograf, was.

Published in High Beam

Christ was an alien. Or if He wasn't, then four centuries ago there were UFOs hovering over what is now southwestern Bulgaria.

Published in High Beam
Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:32

THE IRISHMAN WHO DANCED THE HORO

The name, Rachenitsa, may be too difficult for a foreigner to remember or pronounce, but you have probably seen it as a crude copy on the wall of a traditional restaurant, as a reproduction or a souvenir, or in the original in the National Gallery of Art. It is an image that stays in the mind. In a brightly-lit, austere tavern, a pair of men in traditional Bulgarian costume dance, surrounded by onlookers. Rachenitsa is a horo popular all over Bulgaria and is usually danced by one or two men, not holding hands, but on their own. Famous for its difficulty and the stamina required, in the olden times it was used as a competition between rival parties.

Published in Vagabond Features
Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:12

FLIGHT OVER BULGARIA

Ever since he touched a roll of black-and-white film, many years ago, Alexander Ivanov knew that his relationship with photography would be for life. Through the 1970s and 1980s Alexander Ivanov was one of this country's most innovative photographers. He was the mastermind of the association of photographers in his native Kazanlak, and his experiments in colour photography at the time brought him prestigious national and international photography awards.

Published in High Beam
Thursday, 27 October 2016 13:14

PAVEL KOYCHEV'S ART BY THE HIGHWAY

Traditional villages, Thracian rock shrines and natural phenomena are the most common off-the-beaten-rack experiences in Bulgaria, but when you take the small road from the OMV petrol station at the 68th kilometre on the Hemus motorway near Osikovitsa village, you are heading for a surprise.

Published in High Beam
Thursday, 27 October 2016 12:39

IVANOVO ROCK CHURCHES

Mediaeval faces gaze from the walls of churches hewn into steep rocks: a Transfiguration here, a Last Supper there. No, this encounter of past and present is not taking place in faraway Cappadocia of worldwide renown for its odd rock chapels, but here in Bulgaria. About 20 kms from Ruse, the bends of the Rusenski Lom River embrace about a dozen churches and monastic cells hewn into the rock. In the 12th-14th centuries they composed one monastic complex. Today, they are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Published in High Beam
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 14:33

THE BULGARIANS*

We, Bulgarians, usually identify ourselves as such with the "I am a Bulgarian Youth" poem by Ivan Vazov. Later on, unless you go on to become a member of a nationalist party, you don't feel any particular need to remind yourself of "I am a Bulgarian." Such a statement, despite its straightforwardness, could invoke a measure of uncertainty, like the invisible steps on the front cover of this book. It is not because you could be something else than a Bulgarian, but because the affirmation presupposes a previous agreement between yourself and your compatriots about what it is that makes you Bulgarian and what makes Bulgarians a community.
This is a difficult task that quickly entangles you in bookish definitions that will likely obfuscate rather than illuminate the issue of who you are.

Published in Bulgaria Art
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Vagabond Interviews

WORKING FOR A BETTER FUTURE

WORKING FOR A BETTER FUTURE

Bulgarians should be proud of themselves, believes Avinoam Katrieli

Society

REMEMBERING 11/11/18

REMEMBERING 11/11/18

Bulgaria's foreign community commemorates end of Great War in military cemeteries

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