If you have chosen Kazanlak for your vacation, you appeared in a place with a very unique history. Feel the spirit of ancient Thracian kings, battels for freedom from Ottoman domination, and the rise and fall of communism. Take a tour around!
Well, once in Kazanlak you really must see Buzludzha. No matter the connection to the hated communist regime it is an astonishing building. I know you wanna go in. I am sorry to say it’s really not possible. What you can see is how big actually is a spaceship, how weather and vandals can destroy it in only a few years, a beautiful view, wild horses and if you are lucky even birds of prey. The weather is very tricky there and significantly colder than in Kazanlak, be prepared for everything.
Another must-see thing is the Monument of Freedom so-called Shipka tower that celebrates the victory over Ottoman domination. It’s quite a long story. 500 years of occupation, wars, and rebellion left a lot of monuments, museums, and other reminders. Here on the peak Bulgarians with the help of the Russian army beat up a much bigger number of Turkish soldiers between 1877-78. You can learn more about the war from the exposition inside the tower (the entrance is 3 BGN) or/and on the website of the Shipka Museum.
Read more about Shipka and Buzludzha in the article Valley of Roses – Bulgaria and Its Breathtaking Landscapes – Local Guide.
The Russian church in Shipka is another “leftover” of the same war. It’s a beautiful piece of art and its golden roof is visible far far away. There are only 2 such churches in Bulgaria. In Sofia and …… in a little village hidden in the forest. Why? Right because of the battles that took place here. Locals collected money and built it up in honor of the Russian soldiers sacrificing their lives for the freedom of Bulgaria.
Let’s get back in time to the ancient age about 300 BC. Visit some of the tombs of Thracian kings. Golyama Kosmatka – the tomb of Thracian king Seuthes III, the one that founded the capital Seuthopolis lies at the bottom of the Koprinka dam. If you haven’t heard about it yet, visit the Historical museum and gallery in Kazanlak. Other tombs open every day 9-17 h are Shushmanets, Griffins, Helvetia, or Ostrusha. The entrance to each tomb is 6 BGN.