Veliko Tarnovo, known like the ‘City of the Tsars’, is a city in north central Bulgaria and the administrative centre of the province with the same name. It’s located on the Yantra River, surrounding the Balkans, famously known as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills, Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora. The palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral and some administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls are on Tsarevets. Trapezitsa is known for its many churches and as the former main residence of the nobility. During the Middle Ages, the city was among the main European centres of culture, it has an important architecture that attracts lots of tourists. It was a very important city with foreign merchants (Jewish, Roman Catholic, Armenian) but in 1393, the Ottoman Empire captured it. The city and the rest of present-day Bulgaria, remained under Ottoman rule until the 19th century, when national identity and culture reasserted themselves as a strengthening resistance movement (480 years under Ottoman rules). It was at Holy Martyrs Church in Veliko Tarnovo where Tsar Ferdinand declare the complete independence of Bulgaria in 1908. Today, Veliko Tarnovo is the center of one of the largest urban areas in Bulgaria and is one of the few cities in the country with a growing population.
It’s a city with a rich and interesting history, so a good way to know more about it, is to take a guided tour or a private guide. You’ll discover beautiful monuments and churches.
There are other important cities and naturals places to see near the city. You can rent a car to discover it by yourself but make attention because you’ll find people that only speak local language so if you don’t understand the signs, you’ll be in a problem. Make sure you have good maps and indications.