Favorite thing: I have put links to Google Map in my tips to make it easier to find the objects mentioned, when possible to get the right position. The links are marked in italics. Unfortunately Google Map isn't very precise and too often points to other buildings than the wanted one.
This is the Cathedral of the Birth of the Theotokos which was originally completed in 1844 by the acknowledged master Kolyu Ficheto after several years of construction. However no sooner had it opened than it was destroyed by the earthquake of July 14th the same year. It was finally reconstructed in 1913 by another master, Diado Grozyu.
This pic was taken from the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Studio.
Favorite thing: The bridge across the river leading to the Assens Monument and Art Gallery seems to be one of the popular spots to have your picture taken. The backdrop is the Yantra river valley heading south out of the city - pic #3
This is one of the city's modern iconic scuptures, located in the park where the river loops through the centre, next door to the Boris Denev Art Gallery. It was commisioned to celebrate the 1985 800th anniversary of the revolt against the Byzantines by Assen the 1st and his brother Petar which led to the establishment of the Bulgarian 2nd Empire and the proclamation of Veliko Turnovo as the Nation's capital.
There are four figures in all, the other two being the subsequent Assen kings, Kaloyan and Ivan who established Bulgaria's position as a leading European state and Veliko Turnovo as a major capital.
Until the second half of the 19th century beer drinking in Bulgaria was limited to domestically produced brews, usually made at harvest time from germinated barley and allowing a natural fermentation to occur. The first commercial brewery was established in 1876 at Plovdiv and the Bulgarian Brewing Associated founded in 1882 by the Shumensko brewer, the Czech Jin Prosek.
The first brewery at Veliko Turnovo was founded in 1887 and by 1891 the city had three commercial factories, the third of which was built on what is now the site of the present Boliarka brewery. This is a large modern brewery employing, at full production, about 370 people and is Bulgaria's largest independent beer maker - the other main Bulgarian brands being owned by the multi-national companies InBev, Carlsberg and Heineken.
The brewery is located south of the city, close to the railway station, and tours (with tastings of course) can be arranged by first visiting the website
In the middle of the city centre you'll find the little Tourist Info Centre. I personally didn't have to cause to use it this time round but it looks as if it would be useful. Here you can get a free photocopied city map, accommodation help, general advice on things to do, public transport info and it also acts as booking agents for major local shows and events.
The office is located at ul "Hristo Botev" 5, just off the main street, behind the "Mother Bulgaria war memorial, next to the Etap hotel where the Sophia - Varna buses stop. The website, in English, is well worth a visit with all sorts of useful stuff on it.
Favorite thing: The lower end (heading towards Tsarevets and the river) of the city's main street is ul Stefan Stambolov, a former revolutionary and later Bulgarian Prime Minister who was born here in Veliko Turnovo. On this street there are gaps between the rows of buildings with some interesting gable ends. Also the gaps have been paved to make for scenic viewpoints over the river and the city - check out the pics!
The city is very interesting in night - lights everywhere , people going round,full cafes and restaurants.Just great atmosphere .
Fondest memory: yeah...what I missed this time was to go to a club.I remember,9 years ago we were on a trip with my classmates and 2 days we were parting - day and night.
The new tourist info office is a small, bright and attractive building.
The staff are friendly and try to be helpful.
They have only a limited amount of literature available, but are happy to explain and advise.
There is a photo-copied map available for free.
Located in the center of town on Hristo Botev 5
Open Monday - Friday; 0900 -1200 and 1300 - 1800
Fondest memory: Learned from them about the private bus company, Grup plus, for the long trip back to Sofia.
Wouldn't have known about it otherwise.
Also they told me about bus no. 20 to return to the centre of town from the Tsaravets Fortress.
As it turned out, bus #40 runs the same route, and that is the one I took.
Banks and most museums are closed on both Sunday and Monday. Be sure you have enough cash on Saturday to carry you through the two-day hiatus.
I have been informed that this info is in error. It was a one-time phenomenon. Banks are usually open on Mondays, closed Sundays.
Please remember that tipping is acceptable and expected in Bulgaria.
Restaurants: 10 - 15%
Taxis: Round up to the nearest whole number
Hotels: 5 - 10 %
Fondest memory: So many fond memories...
The willingness of Bulgarians to accept 'others'.
The kindness of the people.
The sense of humor.
Favorite thing: The mystery of bularia, that is Veliko Târnovo. Poets could endlessly watch the Yantra river and get binspired by the beauty of the town. There is no twn that so dramatically gets surrounded by a river. Veliko seems to get poetry out of men. Where would you find such green water and cliffs with houses hanging above the stream? Old painters have tried to capture the towns beauty, and tourist-industry fast painter-producers ensure their works are sold at the tourist shop, and they do. Where can the visitor find those overwhelming views? What are the top panorama’s and hot spots for a good picture? In the south of the Yantra curve, coming from the east: rocks with colourful houses from the late 19 th. Century Vazov said once “like afraid sheeps they are clambed at the rocks.” Another nice perspective is the northside of the rivers’curve. You see the terraces and the houses. You see the red tiles, the rocks and then the Yantra. Wonderful. Photogenic is also the lowest street of town, Gurko street. You see the river wit hits islands, trees and bushes. You can go into the old town and get impressed by the picturesque small streets and alleys, steepy down going cobblestone pathes. Personally I was very impressed, next to the terraced houses, by the beauty of Asenova quarter, where the houses and the churches are situated low along the river. It has the looks and atmosphere of a small village and the bridge is a beautifull landmark set against the secenery of the green bushes and rocks along the Yantra. Finally, last but not least the entrance of the Fortress gives a wonderfull complete view over the panoramic fortress, especially at night, red, blue, yellow colourflashes illuminate this magnificent citadel.
Favorite thing: You may encounter this artist’s name when you are in the town. Ficheto (original name: Fichev) was born in Dryanovo in 1800. He was taught crafts by Teteven. He learned stone cutting in Korcë. At 36 he was recognised as a master by the builders guild. He spoke fleunt Turkish, Greek and Romanian but couldn’t read and write. Some of his masterpieces are the Byala bridge in Veliko Târnovo, the bridge in Osam and the house of the four monkeys. He did in 1881 in Veliko Târnovo.
Favorite thing: The city center is formed by two streets: Stefan Stambolov street and Nezavisimost. At Hristo Botev street, near Stefan Stambolov you find the tourst office (TIC). They speak english. (email@example.com). Fees for museums are more expensive then in other towns, but students can get discounts upto 50 percent. At the tourist info a good townmap is available for free. (Domino). At Hristo Botev there is a bank (United Bulgarian Bank) with an ATM as well at the Stefan Stambolov street you find an ATM at the First East International Bank. At the Nezavisimost street (Las Vegas Club) you find internet acces and there is an internetcafe at Hristo Botev street (Internet Club).
Veliko Turnovo is Bulgaria's medieval capital. Situated in the middle of 7 compounded bends of a river up on a tall hill surrounded by hills and knife-edge cliffs.
The most important thing to see if you are only here for a day is the view from the central restaurants in the old-town (try "Ego Pizza" near "Hotel Anhea" just a block east-north-east of the central municipality square). Then a hike up Tseravets hill and fortress gives one a flavor of the past here, and if you have time, walk the cobbled streets above the old-town main road and then down below the town and take in the view from the central monument.
Fondest memory: I miss the incredible atmosphere whenever I am away. Being in Veliko Turnovo is like being in living history. Sitting at an open-air restaurant or cafe overlooking the old quarters with a soft breeze or gentle rain as the sun sets on the medieval city is something one won't forget in a lifetime. It is an amazingly beautiful place!