WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 14:12

One of Europe's oldest inhabited cities is situated in southern Bulgaria. It has many faces reflecting its sometimes turbulent history: Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and so on.

where in bulgaria are you 113.jpg
© Anthony Georgieff

When you roam the cobbled streets of one of its hills, however, you will see it at its most charming: this is 19th Century Bulgaria, a period referred to as National Revival, when education, the arts and crafts, trade and commerce and industry were beginning to "wake up" following the centuries of Ottoman rule. A word of caution: 19th century travellers complained the steep lanes of the Old Town were tricky to walk, especially when it rained. The situation remains unchanged to this day.

Where in Bulgaria are you?

Issue 113

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where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Abundant with small coves, some of them underwater, and sporting a jigsaw waterline the coast here is easily accessible, yet full of surprises.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Built on a hill almost 180 degrees surrounded by a river meander its outlook constantly changes with the weather and the seasons. Bulgarian kids are bussed there on obligatory school tours.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Most of these water reservoirs exist to this day, though some are reportedly in a bad state as they have not been maintained for years. The majority are unremarkable, but some are in fact quite serene – and many locals frequent for angling or camping.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
As a result of what some Bulgarians refer to as the "unbridled" construction of hotels, resorts and holiday homes – "entombing the Black Sea in concrete" – many of them have been destroyed.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
But owing to its topography it is one of the best places in Europe to explore bridges.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Still, this country does boast a number of small isles one of which is even permanently inhabited.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
It was supposed to commemorate a series of 19th century battles between Russian and Ottoman forces that led to the restoration of Bulgaria's independence. As such, every Bulgarian school kid knows it as they are taken on obligatory bus tours of the area.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
During the centuries the natural fortification provided by the rocks was used for a military installation by whoever happened to be in power.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Through the centuries, Bulgaria has changed the location of its capital city at least a dozen times.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
High hills were deemed a particularly appropriate location as they used both Socialist Realism and the power of nature to assert the invincible authority of the Party and the working classes.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
A few yards from the muddy waters a small village house stands. This is where Vanga, the blind clairvoyant and one of Bulgaria's best-known 20th century phenomena, used to live.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
He discovered he could find virtually no information relating to it. In fact, he could find a lot more about the Nile's journey through Africa than he could about this river's meanders through southeastern Europe.