Treasures of Bulgaria
Bulgaria is home to many rare and beautiful wonders, from the oldest gold treasure in the world to its sparkling natural springs. Bulgaria is a country with thousands of years of history, and its archaeological discoveries contain beautiful evidence of a long history of art, craftsmanship and innovation. Here are just a few examples of the treasures of Bulgaria.
The oldest gold treasure in the world
In October 1972, an excavator in Varna, Bulgaria, accidentally discovered a site containing the oldest golden treasure in the world, dating back from 4,600 BC to 4,200 BC. The burial site, named the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis, contained more than 300 graves with various ornaments, pottery, copper, stone tools, and more. Out of these, 3,000+ artifacts made from gold were discovered within different graves. The most gold, however, was discovered inside Grave 43, including a golden scepter which indicated the buried man was of high status.
The Rogozen Treasure
The Rogozen Treasure is stored in a special hall in the Regional History Museum in Vratsa. It consists of 165 silver vessels, decorated by gilding. Multiple mythological scenes are presented on the vessels. It is believed that the treasure dates back to the 4th century BC and was collected by generations of Thracian kings. A golden crown and golden earrings, found in the Mogilan mound, dating back to the 4th century BC are also presented in the Vratsa museum.
The world’s oldest intact shipwreck
Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea where it appears to have lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years.
The 23-metre (75ft) vessel, thought to be ancient Greek, was discovered with its mast, rudders and rowing benches all present and correct just over a mile below the surface. A lack of oxygen at that depth preserved it, the researchers said.
“A ship surviving intact from the classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible,” said Professor Jon Adams, the principal investigator with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP), the team that made the find. “This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.”
The ship is believed to have been a trading vessel of a type that researchers say has only previously been seen “on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the ‘Siren Vase’ in the British Museum”.
The Covered Bridge of Lovech, Bulgaria.
The bridge crosses the Osam River, connecting the old and new town parts of Lovech, being possibly the most recognizable symbol of the town. The bridge is one of the few remaining in Europe that have shops on them. Other examples include the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
After the bridge that then served the town was almost completely destroyed by a flood in 1872, the local police chief ordered the famous Bulgarian master builder Kolyu Ficheto to construct a new one. Ficheto personally chose the material for the wooden bridge. Each citizen of Lovech contributed to the building process, the poorer ones working themselves and the wealthier donating money and paying other workers. The building was finished in 1874.
The initial bridge had a length of 84 m and 6 vents and accommodated 64 shops. It was, however, wholly destroyed by fire on the night of 2 to 3 August 1925. A more modern bridge was constructed at its place in 1931 only to be replaced by a reconstruction of Kolyu Ficheto’s design in 1981–82. The current bridge is 106 m long and has 14 shops, the architect being Zlatev.
The bridge was decorated by four sculpture figures, a lion, a two-headed eagle, female bust, and a stick with a mace. The lion figure can still be found on the bridge today.
The waters of Bulgaria
Bulgaria is abundant in mineral water sources, many of which have valuable healthy properties. Quality mineral water is not only bottled and sold commercially to low prices, but in areas where springs exist, these are usually available to the public to drink and fill their own bottles with. This is even the case in the capital Sofia, which has a public mineral water spring in its urban center.
Famous mineral and spring water locations include Bankya, Knyazhevo, Gorna Banya (all three adjacent to Sofia), Devin, Hisarya, Sapareva Banya (site of the hottest geyser in continental Europe), Varshets, Velingrad and Mihalkovo (where water comes out naturally carbonated).
Photos of Lovech Bridge
Klearchos Kapoutsis – https://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/2876032281/
Creative Commons 2.0