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Bulgaria - known and unknown
The Bulgarian contribution to world heritage
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From ancient times to present days
The heart and soul of Bulgaria
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Bulgarian Architecture


The first steps are made under the cultural influence of Thracians, Proto-Bulgarians and Slavs (9th century). The national architecture quickly started shaping its own face. By the end of 10th century it has already freed itself from foreign influence and created its own appearence.

The Bulgarian architectural tradition namely blending to the environment, with stern and static forms is discernible today in the building of Boyana Church (suburbs of Sofia).

During the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12th - 14th centuries) the enriched stylistic techniques were manifested in the Holy Forty Martyrs Church and in Sts Peter & Paul Church in Veliko Turnovo.

Bulgarian architecture, The Basilica of the Pantocrator in Nessebur

Their peak is attained in the Nessebur churches of Pantocrator and Aleiturgetot.

The picturesqueness and mobility of the composition reached their perfection during the Bulgarian National Revival period (18th - 19th centuries) in great masterpieces such as Rila Monastery (the present day construction) and, of course, the Bulgarian National Renaissance houses.

Depending on the overall external appearence and decoration - wood-carving or murals - on the colouring of iron facings, the houses and architectural ensembles differ in the different regions.

Below is a short list of must-see-in-Bulgaria places:


The houses dated to the second half of the 19th century have exquisite painted facades and sunny verandahs, with carved ceilings and stylish European furnishings and rooms with harmoniously painted walls.


The houses, dated from the 19th century, are two-storey, covered with heavy stone tiles, with white timbered facade to the street, bay windows lacework eaves and spacious verandahs with high seats and settees.


Two-storey houses with white facades, dated from the 18th century, overgrown with ivy and laced with crane's bill, heavy tiled roofs, decorative white chimneys, large roofed verandahs and yards steeped in verdure.

Kotel & Zheravna

Situated 14 km from each other, the houses are nearly the same. The stone-tiled roofs blend harmoniously with the surrounding mountain slopes.

All the houses in Zheravna, without exception, look to the south. The ceiling and the doors are decorated with geometrical forms, stylized plants and animals.

Austere houses with heavy gates that resemble minor fortresses are typical of Arbanassi, Melnik and Bansko.


The village was the royal residence of the old capital city of Veliko Turnovo.

The oldest stone buildings are richly decorated with carvings and wrought iron. They are recalling for the wealthy life of their former inhabitants.


Large houses, dated back from 17th and 18th centuries. The lower ground floor is high, while the upper living quarters are overhanging the lower part and frequently have two rows of windows.

The fireplaces continue into chimneys which are part both of the interior and the facade. The basement houses the cellar where the famous Melnik wine is aged.


The town's architecture resembles that of monasteries in many respects.

The fortified Bansko house's austere and inaccessible appearence is broken only by the spaceous verandah with carved columns and railings.


Houses with special charm, built during 18th - 19th centuries. They are of the Black Sea type, with stone basements, wooden staircases leading up to the living quarter with overhanging the lower round floor.

They are faced with beams to protect the building from the humid salty air. Nessebur is included in UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Bulgarian architecture, Captain Pavel's housein Nessebur

Old Plovdiv

Picturesquely situated on three hills, more ancient than Bulgaria itself, the city preserves the eternal values of its six millennia-long history like a huge pantheon.

The town is one of the ancient crossroads between East and West with many landmarks remaining from Roman times.

Bulgarian architecture, The Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv

The Bulgarian National Revival architecture (18th - 19th centuries) in the old town was created by Bulgarian master builders.

Along the steep cobblestone lanes, behind stone walls and iron-studded gates, rising silhouettes in warm colours, overhanging facades with many windows and striking details, shape the appearance of the Plovdiv symmetrical house.

Every house has its own style and atmosphere, its intimate world with carved ceilings and bright murals, with fine furniture from Venice, Vienna and London.

Veliko Turnovo

Veliko Turnovo has preserved the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National Revival times.

The old part embraces the architectural ensembles on Gurko street and in Samovodene marketplace.

The distinct Turnovo building tradition is influenced by the terrain. Stately buildings with bay windows and garrets are dug one above the other into the rocky hills.

The works of the self-taught master Nikola Ficheto are genuine architectural masterpieces. The old capital is part and parcel of the appearance of the modern city.

Bulgarian Architecture Tours

Our specialty cultural tours feature the wealth of different architectural styles.

Must-see-in-Bulgaria for visitors, you will be very much impressed by Boyana Church and Rila Monastery (both - UNESCO sites), St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral's gold dome standing out in Sofia's skyline as the finest piece of architecture in the Balkans, the Holy 40 Martyrs Church and the Sts Peter and Paul Church in Veliko Turnovo, that have marked the beginning of the Bulgarian architectural tradition.

Unchanged for centuries, in harmony with the present-day appearance, the old parts of Plovdiv and Veliko Turnovo, as well as Koprivshtitsa, Arbanassi, Melnik, Bozhentsi, and more... are the towns and villages on the itinerary. Famous for keeping the Bulgarian spirit and character, they will make you feel the original architectural phenomenon of Bulgarian Renaissance houses.

These private guided cultural tours are upon request. They are recommendable for 2 or more participants because of the better tour price for you.

Special discounts apply for groups of minimum 6 travelers.

The tours are customizable and may be tailored upon request.

Featured tours (see below):

Bulgarian Architecture Standard Tour

8-days / 7-nights
Tour operators, travel agencies or corporate clients, please, ask tour details or .

If you are private traveler(s), please, ask tour details or .

Bulgarian Architecture Guranteed Departure Tours

Guaranteed departure tours
For 2 and more travelers

These BULGARIAN ARCHITECTURE tours are specialty private guided cultural tours upon request. They are recommendable for 2 or more travelers because of the better price for you.

Special discounts apply for groups of minimum 6 travelers.

The tour price includes land services only. It may vary depending on the type of hotel accommodation, transportation and guide service.

The tours are customizable and may be tailored upon request.

Guaranteed departures daily (March - November).

Tour operators, travel agencies or corporate clients, please, ask tour details or .

If you are private traveler(s), please, ask tour details or .

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