Bulgaria – Land of Ancient Treasures and Natural Wonders

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We all know that 2020 was probably the worst year of the current century (I know it would be just silly to compare it with events in the past ages though). And while the pandemic situation allowed many people to stay home and find more time for practicing their hobbies, this was not the case for passionate travelers like myself.
Being banned for crossing the country’s border made me feel like an innocent man locked in a big prison. I had to cancel more than 10 of my planned trips. And it was the first time when I had available days for vacation, but not a plan on how to spend them.
Fortunately traveling across the country was not banned for that long, so at the end of May 2020 I decided to start exploring the ancient treasures and natural wonders of my own country – Bulgaria!
And because I love challenges, I bought a passport  β€œ100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria” – this is a booklet to place stamps from the visited tourist sites in Bulgaria.  Those who collect all the stamps get a diploma and a golden badge. There are other prizes, as well.
100nacobekta Bulgaria - Land of Ancient Treasures and Natural Wonders
1f4a1 Bulgaria - Land of Ancient Treasures and Natural WondersNote: The exact number of official sites exceeds the number 100!
So together with a very good friend of mine, we started collecting stamps from the tourist sites in our country. We spent each weekend in different regions of the country and in a period of 6 months, we have collected more than 90 stamps! πŸ™‚
I learned so many new interesting facts about Bulgaria, found places I didn’t expect that exist, and witnessed magnificent views. I am sharing some of these treasures in my gallery.

131581258_10157687740673730_7309562020589470559_o Bulgaria - Land of Ancient Treasures and Natural Wonders

This is the Devil’s Bridge – if you are wondering where the name comes from, tilt your head horizontally and you will see why πŸ™‚

If you have an adventurous spirit as well – I have a challenge for you!  When you visit Bulgaria, buy the  β€œ100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria” passports and collect all the stamps!

131072522_10157687740368730_8201988094013023090_o Bulgaria - Land of Ancient Treasures and Natural Wonders

Pobiti Kamani – It is considered the only desert in Bulgaria and one of few found in Europe

Below is a list with all the tourist sites included in the challenge:

  1. Bansko β€” Velyanov House,[1] Neofit Rilski Museum,[2] Nikola Vaptsarov Museum,[3] Permanent Icon Exhibition,[4] Holy Trinity Church[5]
  2. Pirin β€” Vihren Peak
  3. Dobarsko village β€” Church of Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratilates[6]
  4. Melnik β€” Historical Museum of Melnik,[7] Kordopulov House, Rozhen Monastery
  5. Petrich β€” Rupite Protected Area including St. Petka Church,[8] Samuil’s Fortress National Park Museum
  6. Nesebar β€” Archaeological Museum. (Formerly also: Architectural Reserve.)
    6a. (added in the 2010s) Pomorie – Museum of Salt, Lake Pomorie
  7. Burgas (added in the 2010s) – Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Poda Protected Area
  8. Malko Tarnovo β€” Petrova Niva Site, Museum of History
    8a. Sozopol β€” Archaeological Museum
  9. Varna β€” Museum of History and the Maritime Museum
  10. Devnya β€” Museum of Mosaics
  11. Veliko Tarnovo β€” Tsarevets archaeological reserve, Museum of History, Arbanasi architectural reserve
  12. Svishtov β€” Aleko Konstantinov‘s House
  13. Vidin β€” Konaka Museum (Museum of History) and Baba Vida Fortress
  14. Magura Cave
  15. Belogradchik –  Museum of History, Belogradchik Rocks. (Formerly also: Belogradchik Fortress)
  16. Vratsa β€” Ledenika Cave, Regional Museum of History
    16a. Mezdra (added in the 2010s) – Kaleto archaeological complex
  17. Mount Okolchitsa β€” the place of Hristo Botev‘s death
  18. Kozloduy β€” Radetzky steamship-museum, Monument of Hristo Botev
  19. Gabrovo β€” Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex, Museum of Education, Uzana locality, House of Humour and Satire
  20. Bozhentsi village β€” Architectural and historical reserve
  21. Tryavna β€” Museum of the Wood-Carving and Ethnographical Arts
  22. Dryanovo β€” Dryanovo Monastery, Kolyu Ficheto Museum, Bacho Kiro Cave
  23. Dobrich β€” House of Yordan Yovkov, Art Gallery
  24. Balchik β€” Palace complex
    24a. University Botanic Garden
    24b. Kavarna β€” Kaliakra Headland, Kaliakra Archaeological reserve
  25. Kardzhali β€” Ruins of Perperikon, Monastery of John the Precursor (Π‘Π². Π™ΠΎΠ°Π½ ΠŸΡ€Π΅Π΄Ρ‚Π΅Ρ‡Π°)
    25a. Regional Museum of History
  26. Kyustendil β€” Vladimir Dimitrov Art Gallery, House of Dimitar Peshev, Medieval Church of St George museum, regional historical museum
  27. Blagoevgrad (added in the 2010s) – Varosha Quarter, regional historical museum
    27a. Ruen Peak in Osogovo Mountain
  28. Rila Monastery
  29. Skakavitsa Chalet and the Seven Rila Lakes
  30. Lovech β€” Vasil Levski Museum, Kakrina Inn
    30a. Karlukovo (added in the 2010s) – National cave house
    30b. Devetaki – Devetashka cave
  31. Troyan β€” Natural History Museum at Cherni Osam, Troyan Monastery, Museum of Folk Arts
  32. Teteven β€” Museum of History
  33. Brestnitsa village β€” Saeva Dupka Cave
  34. Berkovitsa β€” Museum of Ethnography, House of Ivan Vasov. (Formerly also: Kom Peak)
  35. Pazardzhik β€” Church of Virgin Mary, House of Stanislav Dospevski, Regional Museum of History
  36. Panagyurishte β€” Oborishte locality, House of Rayna Knyaginya
  37. Peshtera β€” Snezhanka Cave, Peristera Fortress
  38. Batak β€” Museum of History
  39. Tran β€” the Gorge on the Jerma River
    39a. Pernik (added in the 2010s) – Underground mining museum
  40. Pleven β€” St George the Conqueror Chapel Mausoleum, Pleven Panorama, Regional Museum of History
  41. Plovdiv β€” Roman theatre, Ethnography Museum, Museum of History. (Formerly also: Old Plovdiv architectural reserve, St. Konstantin and Elena Church)
  42. Perushtitsa β€” Museum of History
  43. Sopot β€” the Nunnery, House of Ivan Vazov
  44. Karlovo β€” Vasil Levski National Museum, Museum of History
  45. Kalofer β€” Hristo Botev National Museum
  46. Sandanski (added in the 2010s) – Episcopal Basilica, Archaeological Museum
    46a.The Botev Peak
  47. Asenovgrad β€” The Bachkovo Monastery, Asenova krepost fortress, Museum of History
  48. Razgrad β€” Abrittus Archaeological reserve
  49. Isperih β€” Museum of History, Sboryanovo museum of history and archaeology, the Thracian town of Chelis and Demir Baba Tekke at Sveshtari village. (Formerly also: Thracian Tomb)
  50. Rousse β€” House of Zahari Stoyanov, Pantheon of National Revival Heroes
  51. Silistra β€” Museum of History, Medcidi Tabi fortress
  52. Srebarna Nature Reserve
  53. Tutrakan β€” Military Tomb Memorial Complex, Museum of Danube Fishing and Boat-Making.
  54. Sliven β€” House of Hadzhi Dimitar, National Textile Museum, Art Gallery
  55. Velingrad (added in the 2010s) – Museum of History. (The Sinite Kamani Natural park and Karandila Chalet previously occupied this position.)
  56. Kotel β€” Georgi Sava Rakovski‘s Pantheon and the Museum of Famous People of the Bulgarian Revival Age, Natural History Museum
  57. Zheravna village β€” House of Yordan Yovkov. (Formerly also: Architecture and Ethnography Reserve)
  58. Sofia β€” The National Museum of History
    58a. Boyana Church National Museum
  59. Sofia β€” Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
    59a. (added in the 2010s) National Museum of Military History
  60. Elena (added in the 2010s) – House of Hilarion of Makariopolis, Daskalolivnitsa historical complex. (The National Church Museum of History and Archaeology in Sofia previously occupied this position.)
  61. Sofia β€” Earth and Man National Museum
    61a. National Palace of Culture
  62. Sofia β€” National Gallery for Foreign Art, Ethnographic Institute with Museum maintained by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
    62a. National Art Gallery
  63. Etropole β€” Museum of History, Clocktower, Monastery of the Holy Trinity
  64. Krestevic, Sredna Gora (added in the 2010s) β€” Buntovna Commemorative Tourist Complex
  65. Sofia β€” National Museum of Natural History maintained by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  66. Sofia β€” Museum of the History of Sport located inside the Vasil Levski National Stadium
    66a. Sofia Zoo
    66b. (added in the 2010s) National Anthropological Museum maintained by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  67. Starosel village β€” Thracian tomb
    67a. Hisarya β€” Archaeological Museum
  68. Sofia β€” Institute of Archaeology and Museum maintained by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
    68a. (added in the 2010s) National Polytechnical Museum
  69. Chiprovtsi (added in the 2010s) – Museum of History, Chiprovtsi Monastery
  70. Bratsigovo β€” Town Museum of History
  71. Chirpan β€” House Museum of Peyo Yavorov, Nikola Manev Art Gallery, St. Athanasius monastery in Zlatna Livada village. (The St. Sophia Temple formerly occupied this position.)
  72. Haskovo (added in the 2010s) – Virgin Mary monument, Aleksandrovo tomb and museum centre. (The Sofia Synagogue occupied this position prior to 2007.)
    72a. (added in the 2010s) Mezek – Medieval fortress, Thracian domed tomb.
    72b. (added in the 2010s) Ivaylovgrad – Villa Armira, Municipal historical museum.
  73. Dimitrovgrad β€” History Museum, the House of Penyo Penev, Giordano Bruno observatory
  74. Vitosha (added in the 2010s) β€” Aleko Chalet.
    74a. Cherni Vrah
  75. Koprivshtitsa β€” Archaeology and History Reserve
  76. Nova Zagora (added in the 2010s) – Karanova Mogila museum. (Bogdan Peak at Sredna Gora formerly occupied this position.)
  77. Klisura β€” Museum of History
  78. Osenovlag village β€” Seven Altars Monastery
  79. Samokov β€” Museum of History, the Nunnery.
    79a. Belchin village (added in the 2010s) – Tsar Mali Town.
  80. Rila β€” Musala Peak
  81. Botevgrad β€” the Clocktower. (Slivnitsa town cemetery occupied this position prior to 2005.)
  82. Skravena village β€” monument at St. Nikolai Monastery to the members of Hristo Botev‘s detachment
  83. Smolyan β€” Museum of History. (Uhlovitsa Cave formerly occupied this position.)
    83a. Smolyan Planetarium
    83b. Momchilovtsi village
  84. Pamporovo β€” Uhlovitsa Cave, Snezhanka Peak
  85. Rhodope Mountains – Golyam Perelik Peak, The Wonderful Bridges
  86. Zlatograd β€” Ethnography Complex
  87. Rhodope Mountains – Shiroka Laka village archaeological reserve
    87a. Madan, Smolyan Province – Rhodope Crystal Hall, Sharenka Cave
  88. Rhodope Mountains – Trigrad Gorge. (Formerly also: the Devil’s Throat Cave)
  89. Rhodope Mountains – Yagodinska cave, Buynovo gorge
  90. Stara Zagora – the Neolithic Houses Museum, the Stara Zagora Defenders Memorial Complex, Museum of History. (Formerly also: the Roman Forum of Augusta Traiana)
  91. Kazanlak – Chudomir Art and Literature Museum, Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak
  92. Shipka town β€” Shipka Memorial Church
  93. Shipka Pass β€” Shipka Memorial
  94. Shumen β€” Shumen Fortress Historical and Archaeological Reserve, Founders of Bulgaria Monument, Regional Museum of History
  95. Shumen β€” Tombul Mosque
  96. Pliska β€” Archaeological Reserve Pliska, Great Basilica, Pliska
  97. Madara β€” Madara Rider
  98. Veliki Preslav – National Historical and Archaeological Reserve
  99. Yambol β€” the ancient town of Kabile, Museum of History
  100. Elhovo β€” Museum of Ethnography

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