Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi, Bulgaria – The Coolest Places I Visited


Tsarevets Castle view of Yantra River

The best places I visited were small towns in Bulgaria. It was raining cats and dogs and quite foggy, I was sick and sulky, but the trip to these towns was not to be missed. I debated staying back and resting to ward off my sickness, but something in me said don’t miss this bus ride. I figured if I was too ill to get off the bus, I would just sit there waiting until others returned. I had to pay $95 for this optional tour, so I figured it had to have something really great to see and that it did. So what is it like in Bulgaria? Very medieval…in this part of the country.


Tsarevets Castle

I only wish the images were better (due to my broodyness) but seriously, these towns were such a treasure. Artisans were everywhere, scenery was spectacular and a medieval fortress was like out of the movies. The town of Arbanasi existed from 1185, with the first written confirmation of the village’s existence found in a decree by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538. Traders from Arbanasi were renowned and traded throughout the Turkish Empire.

Characteristic of the houses in Arbanasi is in the way they were built. It was possible to remain inside for long periods without going outside, except to the well in the courtyard for water. At this time in history, going outside meant possible attack. Ottoman design is common there and was built for security. Have a look around, this area is very diverse with culture and influence from many parts of the world due to their mastery and prowess for trade.

Veliko Tarnovo became the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1185 AD, after an uprising of 2 Bulgarian brothers. Tsarevets, the main fortress, was considered the most impregnable and important one in Bulgaria. It was compared with Rome and Constantinople in magnificence. In 1393, Tsarevets was conquered by Ottoman forces and burned down. Later restored, it can be visited today.

ArbanasiThey also had an agricultural existence.


View of Veliko Tarnovo

I will show more of the town center of Arbanasi and artisans in an upcoming post, along with images from a wealthy Ottoman landholder’s home and the fanciful church.

Just have a look at the scenery and how Arbanasi is laid out going up steep hills. Houses are tightly grouped together. Beautiful town,no?


On Nature and Wildlife PicsNature’s Pull. Carp are detrimental to our wetlands.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi, Bulgaria – The Coolest Places I Visited

  1. Very interesting history. I liked all the shops and the buildings. When you referred to the movies all I could think of when I saw your second picture was the scene in the Wizard of Oz when they were trying to sneak back in the Emerald City.

  2. Risty says:

    wooow.. so pretty ❤

  3. This looks like a village and countryside from a fairy tale! The people there must have a different way of looking at the world, surrounded by all the foggy, green beauty and then living kind of stacked up on each other!

  4. It’s like a painting from a story book!

  5. I just showed your pictures to Judy and she was stunned by how gorgeous they are. I guessed your favorite place would be in Slovakia because I figured that was the most obscure country you visited – but I forgot about Bulgaria.

  6. alesiablogs says:

    You know when you posed the question of guessing what area you liked the best, I actually thought of Bulgaria. I haven’t even been there!! Thank you for the history lesson too!!!

  7. Great photos and info. 😍

  8. Victor Ho says:

    Sulky? You were under the weather literally and figuratively. When you are home and looking at the images, don’t things always seem better? The memory has a way of forgetting the bad stuff. And the images are always so nice then.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Soooooo fascinating! I especially was charmed by the cobblestone(?) streets in the village and the rusticity and permanency of the buildings – in town and countryside, both.

  10. I love these photos. It really makes me want to be out there traveling. I empathize is you being ill. It makes an otherwise wonderful experience tough.

  11. I remember you being hesitant about Bulgaria but it looks like it was a highlight. I unsubscribed from your blog and re-subscribed so hopefully I will now get emails. Don’t know what else to do.

  12. A.M.B. says:

    Wow, these foggy scenes are eerily beautiful! I am so sorry you were sick while visiting, but thank you for going and taking pictures to share with the rest of us.

  13. Yes, Donna, the town is very beautiful. And I love the pictures of Tsarevets Castle. We appreciate the posting as you took this special tour even though you were unwell. P. x

  14. bittster says:

    It’s amazing to look at the city and think of all the history and lives lived along the streets. Thanks for the pictures, what a great place to explore!

  15. Oh Donna this is my favorite by far…I love the medieval architecture and feel…thanks for sharing this.

Comments are closed.