If you have ever felt interested in Bulgaria, perhaps you have found out about its sun-soaked beaches, which teems with tourists in the summer, or many of the verdant mountainous resorts that winter enthusiasts love to visit in the winter. However, there is much more to Bulgaria than that. It is a country steeped in history, and many sites all around the place prove it. From the ancient Greeks to the Romans, Thracian tribes and more, the territory of Bulgaria is full of sites that tell epic tales of past ages.
Needless to say, when it comes to preserving historical sights of cultural significance, UNESCO plays a key role. There are quite a few fascinating sites in Bulgaria, which have special status. If you are one of the many who wish to explore UNESCO sites around the world, you will find quite a few of them in Bulgaria. Following are some of the most major ones.
1. Ancient City of Nessebar
If you are by the sea in the summer, don’t forget to visit the town of Nessebar. Located near one of the major cities on the coastline – Burgas – the town of Nessebar is mostly popular for the old city area. One could find ancient sites on its ground, as well as architecture from the Revival period. The town itself is located on a small peninsula, reached via a narrow stretch of land. Established some 3200 years ago, the old town is full of historical remnants – it has fortress walls, many temples and even Byzantine baths. With over 100 renovated Revival houses, some of which now house museums, the visitor can have quite the trip here.
2. Srebarna Lake National Reserve
The Srebarna Lake Reserve is a true UNESCO gem. Located by the Danube, close to the town of Silistra, this reserve is home to many birds that are near extinction. Many of them nest here while travelling to the south. The area covers 600 hectares, almost 2 kilometres from the Danube river. White geese, herons, ducks, pelicans and many more bird species inhabit the land and make for lovely birdwatching tours.
3. Pirin National Park
UNESCO’s nature recognition is evident with the addition of Pirin National Park. Located in the southwest part of Bulgaria, it is a picturesque area with lakes, mountainscapes and coniferous forests. With two reserves, more than 200 animal and 1300 plant species, the biodiversity here is spectacular. Srebarna is also home to the oldest tree in Bulgaria – a fir tree over 1300 years of age, located over the town of Bansko.
4. Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari
This tomb from Thracian times is on the list of UNESCO as well. It is close to Isperih, a northeast town and makes part of the Sboryanovo archaeological and historical reserve. It is a magnificent tomb, with decorations fitting of the Thracian chief buried there. Visitors here are encouraged to also check out another tomb close by – the Demir Baba Teke.
5. Rila Monastery
Undoubtedly one of the top sites to visit in the country. Located in the Rila mountain, the monastery had stood since the 10th century, when it was established. Ever since this building has been a stronghold for Bulgarian culture and enlightenment. It is a big monastery complex, spanning an area of 8800 sq. metres. There is a monastery museum, revealing the story of the building.
As you can see, there are many interesting UNESCO sites in Bulgaria worth visiting. Make sure to drop by one of them on your next trip to the country.