Colors play a special part in our lives to the point that weassociate it with almost everything; gray for the gloomyweather, red for love, black for war, green for life and yellow for happiness.
By: Erika Grace R. Lapitan
At some point, colors also become a factor in choosing the next vacation destination. There are a lot of places offering vibrant combinations of green forestry, white structures and blue bodies of water.
One among the many is the country of Bulgaria. Located in the Balkan Peninsula,Bulgaria is bordered by Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Black Sea to the east, Romania to the north and Greece and Turkey to the south. Bulgaria’s capital and largest city is Sofia.
The National Assembly Building and the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, both situated at the capital, are among local and tourist favorites.
Built in a Neo-Renaissance style of architecture, the National Assembly building was designed by Architect Konstantin Jovanovi. The seat of the Bulgarian government was constructed between the years 1884 to 1886 with Friederich Wilhelm Gustav as the head.
A few blocks away from the National Assembly Building, one can find the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Constructed in a Neo-Byzantine style, the cathedral is known as the second largest cathedral in the Balkan Peninsula next to the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade. Starting its first foundation in the year 1882, the building was designed by Architects Alexander Pomerantsev, Alexander Smirnov and Alexander Yakovlev.
Once known as Sts. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral during the years 1916 to 1920, its present name was derived fromthe Russian prince, Saint Alexander Nevsky. Dedicated to the Russian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Russo-Turkish War, the cathedral houses the relics of Alexander Nevsky situated beside the altar, the Lord’s Prayer inscribed in gold at the central dome as well as the 12 bells located in each bell tower and the gold-plated dome reaching over 45 meters high.
Moreover, a museum can be found inside the cathedral crypt showcasing various Bulgarian artifacts. Outside the cathedral, one can find the St. Sofia Church, the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, a park constructed in honor of Ivan Vazov, and the Sofia Opera and Ballet.
After visiting two of the governing landmarks, take a cab ride in two of the country’s structures for the Gods. While the Roman Theatre of Plovdiv is found in the city of Plovdiv, the Bridge of
God is found in the Lilyache Village. One of the world’s well-preserved ancient theatres, the Ancient Theatre of Plovdiv was first constructed under the rule of Roman Emperor Trajan.
It was only discovered in the year 1970s after a devastating landslide. Divided into the auditorium and the stage, the theatre is in a horseshoe shape with the outer semi-circle of 82 meters. Its most prominent features are the 28 marbled rows of seats, the underground passages, the proscenium adorned with Ionic colonnades and the scaenae frons with three floors and column-supported stage wall. At present, dramatic plays and musical events are held in the area. Backpackers can have fun traversing the path towards the Bridge of God situated in the Chiren-Lilyache region and was declared as a natural landmark in 1964. A rock formation that also goes with the name Jabokrek, the bridge looms over 20 meters with a length of 25 meters. Under the structure runs the River Lilyaska Bara.
The ancient city of Nessebar is affectionately called by locals as the “Pearl of the Black Sea”. Proclaimed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983, the area offers a lot of landmarks to visit and roam around. You can find the Church of St. Sophia also known as the Old Bishopric, the unconsecrated Church of St. John Aliturgetos, the Church of Christ Pantocrator built during the 13th and 14th century as well as the wooden windmill located on the Isthmus, and the Nessebar Bay where the Statue of St. Nicholas overlooks the Black Sea coast.
Another city known for its sea ports is Varna. Once considered as the marine capital of the country, the name Varna was first used by Theophanes the Confessor to pertain to the Balkans’
act of subjugation of the Slavic Tribe. Other city landmarks are the Royal Summer Palace of Euxinograd, the Neo-Renaissance style Varna Archaeological Museum, the Stoyan Bachvarov Dramatic Theatre founded in the year 1921, and the Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral.
Along the harbours of the two cities one can rent a water taxi and view the metropolis through the pristine waters and watch the sun set in the horizon.
Wines and Baths
Wines have always been a big part of Bulgaria’s rich antiquity. Some of the popular wine museums can be found at Pleven City and Melnik Town.
Located in North Central Bulgaria, the Pleven City’s Wine Museum was opened to the public in 2008. Containing five galleries and an estimated 6,000 bottles of wine, the area is situated inside a cave. Exhibits include the history of vine growing and wine making dating back since the Thracian times until the present day. Wine tasting is also offered to tourists visiting the area.
Moreover, Melnik Town also boasts of having the best wines in the country. Among the most visited is the Kordopulou’s House. It holds one of the largest wine cellars in the metropolis as well as the Melnik’s Wine Museum showcasing the history of wine making.
Aside from wines, Bulgaria is also famous for its Turkish Baths. Visit the Sofia Central Mineral Baths in the capital city. Opened for public usage in the year 1986, the Vienna Secession-styled building was designed by Architects Petko Momchilov and Friedrich Grünanger.
Another ancient Turkish bath that every traveler should go to is the Center for Contemporary Art. Situated in Plovdiv City, it is now used as a temporary library. Book lovers can enjoy reading their favorite literature under a stone and brick dome and sit on a swirled timber platform.
Colors of Life
Life is so much better with colors. Whether it may be of black and white shades or a kaleidoscope of patterns and forms, what’s more important is the memory etched in each hue. Add another tinge of color to your life by traveling to Bulgaria and experience its landmarks and sceneries.