Tour of Bulgarian museums in March 2010

March 27: Through the Balkan Gorges

After our messed-up Ruse-Razgrad day, we are still a little shaky and weak but, thank God, free from nausea. That is good, there are two museums we want to see today. Our first stop is Tǎrgovište. Without losing our way, we find the building which we think is the museum: it is a small house, at least 200 years old, and it is closed. No problem, we know how to deal with this, Matthias calls and practices his Bulgarian. Our contact person has gone fishing but promises to send somebody around, to the archaeological collection. It is kept in a building across the street. We enjoy the spring sunshine while we wait, and after 15 minutes a winded lady, the conservator, hurries along and unlocks the building. The collection is awesome! Here are finds from Ovčarovo, among them the famous house model and the “cult scene”. Especially interesting is a preserved profile of the tell that has been fixed to the wall, including vessel fragments, bones and burnt layers.

Our second stop for the day is Veliko Tǎrnovo. The ride takes us to the northern edge of the Balkans, to Bulgaria’s ancient capital which is located at the river Yantra. We make our way through the small steep alleys to the hotel, check in and head on to the museum. Matthias is delighted: besides half a room full of Neolithic finds, seven vessels from Hotnitsa-Vodopada are on display. What is more, there is also a copy from the famous gold hoard from Hotnitsa. We work our way through the Bronze Age section, even faster through the Iron Age and very fast through the Roman and Medieval periods. The Middle Ages are also present in the city, what with the old churches or the fortress on the Tsarevets hill. The whole ensemble lies picturesquely at a veritable cañon formed by the Yantra. Karl May says hello.


The fortress of Veliko Tǎrnovo. In the front: the river Yantra.

And the other side of the valley.

The museum at Veliko Tǎrnovo.

March 28: Pli-Pla-Peven in the ri-ra-rain >