The Kazanlak Tomb dates back to the 3 rd - 4 th century BC. This is one of the most remarkable creations of the Tracian culture.
The line of the murals is both precise and artistic. They are realistic and, at the same time, refined. Perspective is achieved by light and shade effects - an important new arts technique of that time.
Probably two painters decorated the frescoes - one of them painted the vault, and the other - the dromos. It is obvious that both of them were masters in the techniques of the Hellenic painting arts. But there is no doubt they were well acquainted with Thracian traditions, style of living and spirit.
Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari (1985) - one of the most important archeological discoveries of the 20 th century.
It was built in the 3 rd century BC. The sculptured decoration of the tomb is amazing and very well preserved - it presents a sequence of ten dancing "chariatides", dressed in extraordinarily exquisite costumes. The faces of each of them are strictly individual in physique, age, character, expression.
Madara Rider (1979) - a monumental bas-relief hewn into the sheer rock, the oldest (the very beginning of the 8 th century) and the only one of its kind in Europe .
The composition consists of three figures - a horseman, a dog and a lion, forming a triangle, depicted in motion. The carving was made 23 meters above ground level. The main idea of the author is the heroic statue of a Bulgarian monarch in a scene of triumph. The images impress from a distance of tens of kilometers.
The Madara rock relief is an undoubted indication of the early development of Proto-Bulgarian culture.
The Boyana Church (1979) - marking the beginning of portrait painting in European art, the portraits of Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Dessislava are the oldest realistic images of monumental art in Medieval Europe.
It is located at the foot of the Vitosha mountains. This is the most outstanding monument of Medieval Bulgarian arts and architecture and a proof of an early Bulgarian Renaissance, foregoing the more famous European. The eastern part of the church was the first to be built and decorated most likely in the 11 th century. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The second chapel was built in the middle of the 13 th century and the third part was added as late as the 19 th century.
The iconographies of the church are of true merit. Each of the 240 figures has its own personality, inner life and closeness to reality. There is no trace of sketchiness, asceticism and mysticism in the way their faces are depicted.
Rila Monastery (1983) - the largest monastery on
the Balkans and among the largest in Europe.
The Rila Monastery is the most impressive monument from the Bulgarian National Revival period and represents superb achievement of the Bulgarian Medieval architecture and fine art. It is ranked among the largest ones in Europe. Rising at 1147 m above the sea level, it lies amidst some of the most scenic recesses of the Rila Mountains. Founded in the first half of the 10 th century, for more than thousand years the monastery has been a treasure-store of the valuable traditions of old Bulgarian culture.
The present-day appearance of the monastery is from the 19 th century, the interior walls of the main church are covered with over 1200 richly coloured scenes and portraits, the unique iconostasis is made of intricately carved wood covered with gold leaf and featuring numerous icons of saints, the icon collection features works from the 14 th through 19 th centuries, some of the most valuable woodcarvings in Bulgaria can be seen here. The library contains 16000 volumes including 134 manuscripts from l5th to 19th century, numerous incunabula and documents.
Ancient city of Nessebar (1983) is famous with its many churches (over 40),
each one a jewel of the medieval Bulgarian architecture.
Named after an ancient Thracian ruler, this little town is an extraordinarily beautiful historical site, lying on a picturesque rocky peninsula and linked with the mainland by a narrow isthmus. Throughout almost 5000 years different civilizations have left the marks of their history here. The town was built to serve as a fortification for its Thracian inhabitants. Later on it was consecutively a Greek polis, a Roman colony, Byzantine and Bulgarian province centre.
Beautiful architectural ensembles flank the narrow streets and heavy gates hide cozy small yards with box shrubs and fig trees.
Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo (1979) - a natural museum of mediaeval Bulgarian painting with 20 mediaeval churches, chapels and monastic cells hewn into the craggy gorge of the Roussenski Lom river by the village of Ivanovo.
The monastery used to have more than 300 rock premises and in the 9 th to 14 th century it was one of the biggest rock monastery groups in Europe . The most interesting church is "The Archangel" Church. It is famous with its frescoes with vividly impressive images.
Pirin National Park (1983) is one of the natural Bulgarian treasures.
It is located in the southwest of the country on an area of 40066,7 hectares. In the region of the highest peaks of Pirin are 170 alpine lakes. The plant wealth consists of nearly 2000 higher species - over 110 of them are enlisted on the Red book of Bulgaria. Most of the forests in the Pirin mountains are centuries-old, some of the fir-trees are more than a thousand years old and reach the height limit for this sort of trees - 35 meters. The fauna is very diverse - wild goats, bears, reindeer, deer and wood-grouse can be encountered.
Srebarna Nature Reserve (1983) - the Pearl of the Danube.
The Srebarna lake (Silver lake) is located along the banks of the Danube river and spreads on area of 902 hectares. It is 2.5 km long in North-South direction, and 1.8 km across from East to West. The average depth of the lake is 1.4 m, the maximal depth - 2.5-3 meters. Famous are the Dalmatian pelicans, the largest representative of the aquatic birds in Europe, which nest here. Aside from the Dalmatian pelicans, Srebarna offer shelter to 179 bird species, 99 of which continue to nest there.