UNESCO & World Heritages in Bulgaria
There are ten UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bulgaria. The first four properties were inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1979, and the last in 2017.
Bulgaria currently has fourteen additional properties on the Tentative List.
A medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church
Located on the outskirts of Sofia, Boyana Church consists of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th century by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two storey building to be erected next to it.
The frescoes in this second church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings. The ensemble is completed by a third church, built at the beginning of the 19th century. This site is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art.
Photo by : © Ko Hon Chiu Vincent Author: Ko Hon Chiu Vincent
An early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau
The Madara Rider or Madara Horseman(Bulgarian: Мадарски конник, Madarski konnik) is an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen in northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Madara. The monument is dated in the very late 7th, or more often very early 8th century, during the reign of Bulgar Khan Tervel. In 1979 became enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo
Monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries hewn out of solid rock
The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo (Bulgarian: Ивановски скални църкви, Ivanovski skalni tsarkvi) are a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries hewn out of solid rock and completely different from other monastery complexes in Bulgaria, located near the village of Ivanovo, 20 km south of Rousse, on the high rocky banks of the Rusenski Lom, 32 m above the river. The complex is noted for its beautiful and well-preserved medieval frescoes. The churches are inside Rusenski Lom Nature Park.
Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak
tomb near the town of Kazanlak in central Bulgaria.
The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak (Bulgarian: Казанлъшка гробница, Kazanlǎška grobnica) is a vaulted-brickwork “beehive” (tholos) tomb near the town of Kazanlak in central Bulgaria.
The tomb is part of a large royal Thracian necropolis in the Valley of the Thracian Rulers near their ancient capital of Seuthopolis in a region where more than a thousand tombs of kings and members of the Thracian aristocracy can be found.
It comprises a narrow corridor and a round burial chamber, both decorated with murals representing a Thracian couple at a ritual funeral feast. The monument dates back to the 4th century BCE and has been on the UNESCO protected World Heritage Site list since 1979.
Ancient part of town, situated on a peninsula (previously an island).
Nesebar (often transcribed as Nessebar and sometimes as Nesebur, Bulgarian: Несебър,pronounced [ˈsɛbɐr], Thracian: Melsambria, Greek: Μεσημβρία, Mesembria) is an ancient city and one of the major seaside resorts on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, located in Burgas Province. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Nesebar Municipality. Often referred to as the “Pearl of the Black Sea“, Nesebar is a rich city-museum defined by more than three millennia of ever-changing history.
Medieval monastery, one of the region’s most significant cultural, historical and architectural monuments
The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery (Bulgarian: Рилски манастир, Rilski manastir) is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains, 117 km (73 mi) south of the capital Sofia in the deep valley of the Rilska River (“Rila River”) at an elevation of 1,147 m (3,763 ft) above sea level, inside of Rila Monastery Nature Park. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 – 946 AD), and houses around 60 monks.
It is traditionally thought that the monastery was founded by the hermit St. Ivan of Rila, whose name it bears, during the rule of Tsar Peter I (927-968). The hermit actually lived in a cave without any material possessions not far from the monastery’s location, while the complex was built by his students, who came to the mountains to receive their education.
Pirin National Park
Pirin National Park (Bulgarian: Национален парк “Пирин”), originally named Vihren National Park, encompasses the larger part of the Pirin Mountains in southwestern Bulgaria, spanning an area of 403.56 km2 (155.82 sq mi). It is one of the three national parks in the country, the others being Rila National Park and Central Balkan National Park. The park was established in 1962 and its territory was expanded several times since then. Pirin National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The altitude varies from 950 m to 2,914 m at Vihren, Bulgaria’s second highest summit and the Balkans’ third.
Srebarna Nature Reserve
A nature reserve and lake on the Via Pontica bird migration route
The Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgarian: Природен резерват Сребърна, transliterated as Priroden rezervat Srebarna) is a nature reserve in northeastern Bulgaria (Southern Dobruja), near the village of the same name, 18 km west of Silistra and 2 km south of the Danube. It comprises Lake Srebarna and its surroundings and is located on the Via Pontica, a bird migration route between Europe and Africa
The reserve embraces 6 km2 of protected area and a buffer zone of 5.4 km2. The lake’s depth varies from 1 to 3 m. There is a museum constructed, where a collection of stuffed species typical for the reserve is arranged.
Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari
A Thracian tomb dating back to 3rd century BC
The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari (Bulgarian: Свещарска гробница, Sveštarska grobnica) is 2.5 km southwest of the village of Sveshtari, Razgrad Province, which is 42 km northeast of Razgrad, in northeast Bulgaria.
Discovered in 1982 in a mound, this 3rd century BC Getic tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The tomb’s architectural decor is considered to be unique, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. The ten female figures carved in high relief on the walls of the central chamber and the decorations of the lunette in its vault are the only examples of this type found so far in the Thracian lands. It is a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getae, a Thracian people who were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds, according to ancient geographers.
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe
This transboundary property stretches over 12 countries. Since the end of the last Ice Age, the European Beech has spread from a few isolated refuge areas in the Alps, Carpathians, Dinarides, Mediterranean and Pyrenees over a short period of several thousand years into a process that is still ongoing. The successful expansion across an entire continent is related to the tree’s adaptability and tolerance of different climatic, geographic and physical conditions.