WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

by Stamen Manolov; photography by Anthony Georgieff

It is one of the symbols of this Bulgarian city: the four lions guarding the four corners of a bridge that still provides a vital link between the centre and the railway station

where in bulgaria are you.jpg

The bridge was built in the late 19th century with a donation by Jiří Prošek, a Czech entrepreneur who had introduced beer brewing to Bulgaria. The grand total cost of the project amounted to 160,000 gold leva, a colossal sum at the time. The bronze lions were made by the Waagner Biro in Vienna, the same guys who manufactured the Bulgarian "Iron Church" in Constantinople. Hint about the location: If you look closer, you will find out that none of the lions have tongues. According to local lore, their tongues were removed so that they would be unable to tell how much cash was purloined during the construction process.

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