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Времето, Варна


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Veliko Turnovo

Veliko Turnovo, view
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Nearly 170 years after the collapse of the first Bulgarian kingdom following the struggles of a liberation movement north of the Balkan range but cantered on Veliko Turnovo, the city became Bulgaria's fourth capital in 1187. Surviving as capital until the country succumbed to Ottoman rule at the end of the fourteenth century, the town was also symbolically chosen as the place in which the National Assembly met in 1879 to draft the first constitution following the abolition of Turkish domination. The Old Konak, designed by Kolyo Fichetto in 1872, has seen many key historical events and now houses the Museum of the National Revival and the Constituent Assembly.

The Architectural Reserve of Tsarevets protects the mediaeval fortress walls and gates, including Baldwin Tower, the Palace and ruins of the Church of the Blessed Saviour. On the opposite bank of the river Yantra, which snakes round all structures in such a manner as to provide a natural defense, and also within the reserve. The Trapezitsa Elevation is noted for the many churches and other buildings excavated there.

Baldwin's Tower

In 1205, Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan attacked and defeated the crusaders army north of Adrianople. The first emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire Baldwin I of Flanders was captured was captured and locked in the Frenkhisar, or Frankish, Tower. Legend has it the Latin emperor resisted the advances of the Bulgarian Queen, who immediately accused him of attempted rape and had him executed.

Another version states Baldwin jumped from the tower and met his death at the bottom of the deep gorge where the Yantra River flows. Baldwin's fate remains a mystery to this day. It is known that 20 years after his capture, a hermit emerged in Flanders claiming to be the former emperor. Despite attacting a coterie of followers, the pretender was declared an impostor and put to death. Situated at the southeastern part of Tsarevets Fortress, the tower where Baldwin was held prisoner now bears his name.

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Last update: Thu, 23 August, 2007 8:49