One Frosty Morning at Tsarevets Fortress
What was once most the most important political and spiritual heart in medieval Bulgaria, Tsarevets Fortress is now one of Bulgaria’s most popular attractions, and it’s not hard to see why. The Second Bulgaria Empire’s primary stronghold and bulwark looks down on the valley that embraces the beautiful city of Veliko Tarnovo. Showcasing the remains of over 400 houses, 18 churches, not to mention a number of monasteries, dwellings, shops, gates and towers the fortress has been reconstructed 3 times and still resembles traces of it’s former glory (thank you communists). I was amazed by the unique religious artwork inside Patriarch’s Complex (The Church located at the highest point in the fortress). The dark and sinister-looking frescoes covering the interior depict the glorious and tragic moments of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and I found that they were a refreshing change from more standard ‘angelic’ Church art I have admired throughout Europe.
But what made my visit to Tsarevets truly spectacular? The Frost. As much as I could spend hours appreciating the beauty of the ruins alone, the delicate ice coating the trees and grass made the complex appear almost dreamlike. That and the lack of tourists in late December made my morning fortress wander beyond serene.
Photos can not truly represent the tranquility of the morning but it may inspire you to experience one of Bulgaria’s most beautiful historic sites for yourself…