Thracian history in the heart of Bulgaria

kazanlak-bulgariaWhen talking about my home-town – Kazanlak, I need hours to explain the atmosphere of this ancient place, located in the bosom of Bulgaria. There are lot of more popular cities like Sofia, Varna and Burgas and summer resorts, but, this town is also worth place to go.

 

My memories are always related with the Rose Fest, which takes place every first weekend of June. Kazanlak meets tourists from all over the world and turns their stay into a joyful, memorable and colorful experience.

The Friday before Rose Fest weekend is dedicated to a contest, in which the most beautiful female graduate becomes the Queen of Roses. During the weekend, tourists can participate in local rituals, called “Rose-picking” and “Rose distillation”. In my opinion, the funniest part of the fest starts in the afternoon – when the rose pageant begins with a lot of music, interesting carnival costumes and smiling faces everywhere! The parade ends with a “rain” of rose petals and rose water, “delivered” by a few delta planes. And it smells marvelously for days…
Well, if you do not have the opportunity to visit the Rose Fest in June, there is no need to be so sorry – as Kazanlak is also well-known for its Thracian Tomb, situated in “Tulbeto” Park , near the center of  the town. The tomb, which was part of a huge necropolis, located nearby the Seuthopolis Kingdom, was accidentally found by soldiers in 1944. Nowadays, there is a copy of the tomb, next to the original, which is open for visitors.
Do you like dams ? Not so much? Well, anyway, just go for a walk to “Koprinka” dam! Yes, it is one of the largest dams in Bulgaria. Yes, there is a magnificent view. But this is not the most impressive fact about that dam. There is a great story, hidden under the water – the story of the huge ancient city of Seuthopolis.

It was founded by the Thracian king Seuthes III and was a capital of the Odrysian kingdom since 320 B.C. The building of  “Koprinka” dam started in 1948 and during that period archaeologists came upon the remains of the city. Unfortunately, in the times of communism, the authorities decided to continue the construction works. A few years ago, in 2005, a Bulgarian architect made a project for the renovation and preservation of Seuthopolis by means of dam walls, which would surround the remains of the ancient city in the center of “Koprinka” dam. The cost of the project is estimated at 50 million euros.
So did you like that story? Well, don’t stay too long at the dam, because I there are more places to visit! Our next stop is Golyamata Kosmatka. This is a Thracian mound, in which was found the tomb of a king, buried with his horse and golden jewelry. It is supposed that this was the tomb of Seuthes III.
There are numerous Thracian tombs near Kazanlak, but if you are tired and need a break, you can go for a a cup of coffee in the center of the town. There are many cosy cafes at the main streets – “Iskra” street and “Skobelevska” street. Many shops are located there as well, so you can find the perfect present or souvenir, which will remind you about the incredible trip to the Valley of Thracian kings and beautiful roses.

Interested in more places in Bulgaria – What to see in Bulgaria?

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