Holidays Bulgaria – Kazanlak – the town of the most beautiful among women, the rose…
There is something in Kazanlak, which is not only the beautiful nature and the fascinating women. There is something which is in the air, something which is soaked in the soil… Something that explains the specific atmosphere and flavour Kazanlak has. Atmosphere of a place where time stands still but life doesn’t; where one can feel peaceful, calm and safe. And the flavour of the rose, the unique rose.
The Valley of Roses and the Valley of the Thracian Kings both symbolize Kazanlak, which is located at the foot of Stara Planina Mountain (Old Mountain), in central Bulgaria. A small, picturesque town of around 70 000 people. It is 194 km away from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. A place, good enough to be the start of your holidays Bulgaria.
Visit Bulgaria and the Valley of Roses
Visit Bulgaria and Kazanlak. Learn about the most beautiful among women, the rose and how it found its place here in that valley.
The Valley of Roses – because of the Rosa Damascena which finds the conditions in Kazanlak (like high humidity, suitable temperature and sandy soil) to be more favourable for the cultivation of the rose than the ones in its own country of origin, Tunisia. The legend has it that the rose was brought to Thrace from the region of the town Kashan in Persia through Syria and Damascus. Bulgarian scientists presume that the cultivation of the roses was introduced to the region round Kazanlak by a Turkish judge, who had beautiful vast gardens planted with fragrant roses. Whatever the truth is, the fact is that the Bulgarian rose oil soon made a name for its superior quality.
The greatest treasure of the region of Kazanlak – the rose became one of the nation’s symbols. That is why at the beginning of the 19th century this rose was named the Kazanlak Damask rose and the valley to the south of the Central Balkans came to be known as the Valley of the Roses. Along with the production of rose oil, a leading role in the economic development of the region was commerce related to the roses. In 1740 Bulgaria for the first time exports rose oil for France. The first official records of rose oil exports refer to trade with Germany and Austro-Hungary beginning in 1771.
Be a Bulgaria tourist and enjoy the Festival of the Rose
Since 1903, here in this Valley, we have been celebrating the flowers and especially the main and most beautiful flower – the rose. First, the Festival of the Rose was celebrated as the Festival of the Flowers but until the present day it has been celebrated by all Kazanlak people and its thousands of guests, as the Festival of the Unique Rose. Among Bulgaria tourist attractions, Kazanlak is a unique place because there is beauty and life there.
What are the things to do in Bulgaria, in Kazanlak? Visitors of the town can see exhibits of original photographs and documents related to the cultivation of roses during the Bulgarian Age of Awakening (18th -19th centuries). And in the 20th century, in the local Museum of the Rose, which was founded in 1984. There is a display of tools used to cultivate the rose gardens, along with vessels used to store and transport rose oil and rosewater. More can be learned about the region’s rose cultivation at the Kulata Ethnographic Complex.
Holidays Bulgaria in the Valley of Thracian Kings
I am sure you remember when I mentioned that Kazanlak is known not only as the Rose Valley, but the Valley of the Thracian Kings. Many Thracian tombs are found in the area – the Big Kosmatka Tomb, the Big Arsenalka Tomb, Ostrusha Tomb…
Here ruins of the Thracian capital Seuthopolis, have been found. The tradition was that the capitals were named after their founder and ruler – Seuthes III. The Big Kosmatka Tomb is supposed to be the place where Seuthes III was buried. This is one of the most impressive tombs, not only because of its size but because of the fact that it hadn’t been looted.
It dates back from the 5th century BC. The temple was buried under the 20-metre (66 ft.) high “Golyamata Kosmatka” mound. “This is probably the richest tomb of a Thracian king ever discovered in Bulgaria. Its style and its making are entirely new to us as experts,” said Georgi Kitov, the head of the team of archaeologists that found the tomb. Serving also as a symbolic tomb of Seuthes III, it contained an enormous treasure, exhibited now in the Iskra Museum and Art Gallery. More than 70 silver, gold and bronze objects, which were used as ritual offering to the gods, were discovered during the excavation. The temple was used between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC, when a symbolic burial ceremony of Seuthes III took place. After the symbolic burial ceremony, the temple was closed and the entrance sealed and buried.
Holidays Bulgaria – The tomb is very close Shipka
The tomb is very close to another interesting place in the region of Kazanlak, the town of Shipka. A picturesque little town about 13 km away from Kazanlak. A nice place for holidays Bulgaria. The main sight there is the Nativity Memorial Church in Russian style, completed in 1902. And dedicated to the victims of the battles at Shipka Pass during the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation. The Shipka Pass is a very important place for the Bulgarian history. Battles between Russian/ Bulgarian troops and Ottoman army, took place here. Thousands of victims on both sides are left on the mountain slopes. The battle results in success for the Russian/ Bulgarian army. To commemorate those who lost their lives during the battle, a monument was built on top of Stoletov Peak. The monument houses an exhibition of paintings, medals, uniforms etc connected to the events that took place there.
The scenery that can be seen from both the Memorial Church and the Monument on Stoletov Peak, are amazing, unforgettable and a pleasure to the eye.
East of the Shipka pass is the Buzludzha National Park. It is a very important part of Bulgarian history as well, but let me not get into details. All I will mention now is that Buzludzha, with its numerous chalets, rest homes and hotels offers excellent opportunities for the lovers of winter sports and Bulgaria tourism.
Drink water in your Holidays Bulgaria from the Lion Fountain in Kazanlak
Last but not least, of course is the legend we have about Kazanlak. And it goes like that, If you like to come back to this lovely place on Earth, Kazanlak; you have to drink water from the Lion Fountain. Fountain is also called the Tzar’s Fountain. It is another symbol of the town.
The idea to make such a fountain was born in the far away 1893; when Ivan Patev gets water to the town through water pipes, from Buzludzha. His decision is to make it a present to the Bulgarian Tzar Ferdinand and his wife, the Italian Princess Maria Luisa. He sends a letter to the Palace in Sofia informing of his will. Flattered with the gesture; the Tzar gives money for the fountain to be built and he also sends an Italian architect. The fountain was built in 1902 and that is the year when Ferdinand visits Kazanlak.
Visitors can experience much in Kazanlak – from rest and relaxation, to exploring the region, to enjoying the pleasures it offers. And it offers a wide range of options to make your stay a comfortable one.
So, plan your holidays Bulgaria and don’t miss Kazanlak. It will deffinitely reward you with the pleasant, peaceful and artistic atmosphere it offers, interesting history, and beauty.