Take a walk in Tsareverts Fortress and admire the layers of history buried beneath its blessed land.
Veliko Tarnovo’s signature attraction, Tsareverts Fortress, is so casually intertwined with the bright green blanket of Tsareverts hill that it is hard to tell where it begins. While the fortress was the seat of Bulgaria’s medieval tsars, its history dates back to much older times. Its perfect location has been valuable throughout the ages. And, many civilizations from the Byzantine to the Ottoman resided here. The result is more than 400 residences and 18 churches populating an area scripted for boundless exploration.
The cobbled road leading to the fortress’ gate sets the scene for an enthralling entrance. Once you pass the sheer walls hemming the complex, you will immediately sense the old-world feel of Tsareverts. To the north is the famous Execution Rock, which once served to throw criminals and traitors into the Yantra River. You will pass the remains of several ancient workshops, houses, and churches on your way to the centerpiece of the site: the Patriarch’s Complex. The patriarchate alone covers some 3,000 square meters, standing sentinel over the entire city of Veliko Tarnovo. Here, The Cathedral of the Ascension of the Lord is easily the most memorable piece. A study in contrasts with its relatively modernistic style, the cathedral offers aesthetic pleasure in spades through a series of dazzling frescoes.
If not for the variety of its ruins, Tsareverts Fortress will have you transfixed in amazement with the all-encompassing views of the city. Watch the scenery as the sun sets over the Bulgarian countryside and paints Veliko Tarnovo with warm colors. You may even catch a light show at night—an absolute attractor among the tourists and locals alike.
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