The ruins of the prehistoric, ancient, and medieval rock city of Perperikon. Photo: Wikipedia
For international tourists, Bulgaria is mostly known for its marvelous beaches in the region of Golden Sands and Sunny Beach.
According to the World Bank, Bulgaria attracted over 13 million people in 2018, and most of them stayed along the coast to enjoy the summer breeze, and accommodation at an affordable price.
But what about the ancient historical sites the country has to offer?
You would need to be an audacious type of traveler to hunt for archaeological marvels instead of chilling by the pool with a margarita in your hand.
If that’s you, then, by all means, check the following list of top historical sites to visit in the country.
Plovdiv Roman Theatre
This is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman theaters dating back to the 1st century AD. Located in the city center of Plovdiv, it once provided space for 5000 – 7000 visitors.
Starosel Thracian cult complex and mausoleum
Located near the village of Starosel, it’s the largest Thracian royal mausoleum complex ever to be found. It dates back to 5th century BC but was only discovered in 2000 by Georgi Kitov
Thracian city of Perperikon
The original site dates back to 6000 BCE. In it, you’ll find ruins of one of the most significant early Christian basilicas in the region. A structure which was 15 meters wide, and almost 40 meters long.
Discovered in 1982, this Thracian Tomb was built in the 3rd century BC. It found its way to the UNESCO World Heritage List for a good reason. It has unique architectural features and decor, including ten beautiful female figures carved in high relief.
Nikopolis ad Istrum
It’s a fantastic example of an ancient Roman, and Byzantine town. It was founded by Trajan between 102-106 and later developed under the reign of Emperor Hadrian who gave it its monumental character.
Roman Baths, Varna
An astounding ancient baths complex located in the port city of Varna is a must-visit for any fan of archeology. The thermae, as they were once called, are the fourth-largest ones to be found in Europe and have an area of 7,000 m2 (75,000 sq ft).
Situated in the north of Bulgaria, Abritus used to be a large, walled Roman city (1st century AD) in the ancient province of Moesia Inferior. It served as a military base, and it had massive walls which were 3 m (9.8 ft) thick and 12 m (39 ft) high.
The Roman Ruins in Hisarya
Hisarya (Hisar means ‘castle’ or ‘fort’ in Turkish) is a small tourist town in Bulgaria. Its treasures include the ruins of an ancient Roman city called Diocletianopolis. Besides walking the expansive city walls, you can dip your toes in one of the city’s dozens of hot springs.
As you can see, Bulgaria is perfect for the tourist with an interest in all things historical.