Grand Opening of World’s Largest Historical Park Set for June 22 near Bulgaria’s Black Sea City Varna

Grand Opening of World’s Largest Historical Park Set for June 22 near Bulgaria’s Black Sea City Varna

The official poster for the grand opening of the Historical Park near Bulgaria’s Varna. Photo: Historical Park

The world’s largest “Historical Park" for cultural tourism, education, and entertainment purposes, which is located in the town of Neofit Rilski, near the Black Sea city of Varna in Northeast Bulgaria, is going to be officially opened on June 22, 2019.

The grand opening of the Historical Park (more images here) is going to feature numerous events and performances over the entire weekend, and will be free for the visitors, the Historical Park company has announced.

Its management has compared the scope of the park opening to monumental events in the history of today’s Bulgaria such as the 1934 inauguration of the Freedom Monument at the Shipka Pass in the Balkan Mountain (Stara Planina) celebrating a victory over the Ottoman forces in the Russian – Turkish War of 1877 – 1878 that led to Bulgaria’s Liberation, or the 1981 inauguration of the partly restored Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, one of the two citadels of Tarnovgrad, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 13th – 14th century.

The “Historical Park" near Varna is to feature numerous replicas of archaeological, historical, and cultural monuments and sites from all over Bulgaria covering history spanning some 10,000 years: from the Neolithic (New Stone Age) all the way to the Second Bulgarian Empire in the Late Middle Ages.

The Historical Park’s construction began back in July 2017, and it is projected to cover a plot of over 500 decares (125 acres) in Neofit Rilski, Vetrino Municipality, Varna District, some 33 kilometers west of the Black Sea city of Varna. The park is being built and operated by the Varna-based private company “Historical Park" Jsc.

The future “Historical Park” near Varna will cover some 10,000 of history from the territory of today’s Bulgaria, including Prehistory, Antiquity, and Middle Ages. Photo: Historical Park

The creators of the Historical Park near Bulgaria’s Varna hope to establish it as a world-class tourist attraction. Photo: Historical Park

The organizers expect that the grand opening, which is going to focus on folklore music and dance performances, will be attended by some 20,000 – 30,000 people. The second day of the opening will feature a medieval festival celebrating the heritage of the medieval Bulgarian Empire.

“For the first time the greatness of ancestors, which until now was lost to us and the world, is being restored," the organizers have said regarding the upcoming inauguration of the park.

The Historical Park is going reenact the development of human civilization on Bulgaria’s territory, which actually goes back to its dawn, with stunning Prehistory settlements and artifacts such as the 7,000-year-old Varna Gold Treasure, the world’s oldest gold treasure.

The replicas of historical and archaeological sites and monuments in the Historical Park will be from the Neolithic (New Stone Age), the Chalcolithic (Copper Age, Aeneolithic), the Antiquity of Ancient Thrace, the Antiquity and Late Antiquity of the Roman Empire, and the Middle Ages of the First Bulgarian Empire (632/680 – 1018), and the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1396/1422).

The nearly completed entrance of the Historical Park. It is modeled after the medieval Baba Vida Fortress (compare with the original here) in the Danube city of Vidin. Photo: Historical Park

The Historical Park will feature replicas of three Ancient Thracian tombs. This here is the first completed tomb, a replica of the unique “beehive” Thracian tomb from the Roman period in the Black Sea town of Pomorie (compare with the original here). Photo: Historical Park

A room inside the Thracian royal palace of the Historical Park, still under construction. Photo: Historical Park

The Historical Park near Varna is going to offer a wide range of cultural tourism activities such as performances, movies, martial arts trainings, horseback riding, exhibitions, reenactments, crafts, cooking and food prepared according to what are said to be authentic ancient recipes.

In the 8 years since the work on the future Historical Park near Varna began, it has involved over 4,000 people.

These include some of the leading archaeologists as consultants as well as historians, artisans, reenactors, sculptors, writers, musicians, aiming for the realistic look of the Historical Park.

Some of the park’s most important consultants include archaeologists Prof. Margarita Vaklinova, former Director of the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia, and Prof. Hitko Vachev from the Veliko Tarnovo Regional Museum of History as well as thracologist Prof. Ivan Marazov.

The materials used for the structures of the Park and its replicas of archaeological and historical sites and monuments were authentic for the respective historical periods: stone, wood, marble, and pottery.

Some of Bulgaria’s most famous archaeological and historical landmarks to be replicated in the Historical Park include the 1st century AD Ancient Roman Antiquity Theater of ancient Philipopolis (today’s Plovdiv), the 10th century Imperial Palace in Veliki Preslav (capital of the First Bulgarian Empire in 893 – 970), and part of the Baba Vida Fortress in the Danube city of Vidin (capital of the Vidin Tsardom, a rump state of the Second Bulgarian Empire, in 1371 – 1396).

Numerous other structures will be featured including Neolithic and Chalcolithic homes, a Thracian royal palace and three Thracian burial mounds with tombs, medieval churches, Roman and Byzantine Era tracks for horse and chariot races.

The lakes inside the Historical Park after the were completed ahead of the opening. Photos: Historical Park

The Historical Park has been constructed gradually, with the company launching back in 2016 its pilot project, the Neolithic Settlement complex in Neofit Rilski, Varna District.

The CEO of “Historical Park" Jsc Ivelin Mihaylov and his foundation Ascent (Vazdigane) back in 2016 supported actively the erecting of a monument of Ancient Bulgar leader Khan Altsek in the town of Celle di Bulgheria in Italy to celebrate the Ancient Bulgar heritage of the Italian Peninsula.

After the opening on June 22, 2019, the park’s zones with the first three time periods in the Historical Park, the Neolithic, the Chalcolithic, and Ancient Thrace, will be officially opened for visitors.

The zones for the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages (the First and Second Bulgarian Empire) will be built subsequently. The Historical Park in Northeast Bulgaria is planned to be completed in full in 2022.

In addition to the building of the large-scale cultural landmark, the company has also become involved in the publication and printing of over 100 history books, children’s books, encyclopedia’s and comics.

The books in question are being made available not just in Bulgarian but also in seven foreign languages thus aiming to promote Bulgarian history, archaeology, and culture around the world.

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