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Pliska tourist info and hotels

Pliska fortress ruins

Only 2km. separate the present town Pliska from the ruins and impressive construction of ancient Pliska - the first Bulgarian capitol, founded in 681y. from khan Asparuh and existed to 893y. The town represented three concentric defences. The "outer town" is enclosed moat, with triangle area of 23km. In the middle of the “outer town” is situated the inner fortress, which once had solid stone wall, made from huge slabs. There were towers in every angel, and on every of the four walls two pentagonal towers and a gate. The main entrance is the East gate.



The third inner protection area is strong brick-wall and goes round the citadel situated in the "inner town". The Big Palace is best preserved building of the "inner town". The palace is built from khan Omurtag, who exert efforts to become Pliska one of the biggest East-European centers.
The small palace is the most impressive building in the citadel. There had been the khan’s residence, even more exquisite and luxurious.
In nearness is situated rich archaeological museum of the excavations.

Pliska ancient bulgarian capital


Pliska Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest



Pliska Historical-Archeological Reserve

The Middle Age city of Pliska was situated on a 23 000 da area and was one of the biggest European cities. It was the first Bulgarian capital since the establishment of the Bulgarian state in 681 until 893, i.e. more than two centuries.

The capital has a remarkable structure, brought by the Bulgarians from their previous settlements. As people coming from the steppe, they build the city in the fields amid the natural barriers of nearby eminences. Still three defensive girdles wrap the capital. The first one consists of a moat around the Outer city, the second - a stone fortified wall with the main entrance on the east wall. The third one is a brick wall around the citadel. In the centre of the city lies the khan residency. A complex network of water-conduits provides it with water as well as a large number of baths.

One of the most considerable events which alters Bulgarian destiny is the conversion to Christianity since 864. A lot of Christian temples in the city date back to this period including The Great Basilica. It becomes a centre of the Bulgarian archbishopric in the second half of 9th century and bears the beginning of the Slavic literary school.
A museum shows the diversity of the life, culture and armaments found in the medieval city. The transition from pagan to Christian period can be traced.
Pliska Historical-Archeological Reserve is situated 23km away from Shumen and 70km from Varna. A guide provides lectures in Bulgarian, English and German.

The Great Basilica

The Great Basilica in Pliska was the main temple of the Bulgarian autocephalous archbishopric. It was a centre of the spiritual life of early medieval Bulgaria. Its impressive size (100m long and 30m wide) made it one of the biggest Orthodox temples of the time. Even now it lines up to contemporary Christian temples (for instance Paris Notre-Dame with its 130m width).
The cathedral consists of an atrium which leads to the temple itself. The church has three naves, the central one separated by columns and short walls. Four annexes - two on the south and two on the north side adjoin the main building.

The whole complex with the Great Basilica is isolated by the Inner city of Pliska, having its separate fortified wall. The complex consists of an archbishop residency, a well, a bath with hypocaust for underfloor heating and a building housing a school and a scriptorium devoted to copying of manuscripts. The school was a place for teaching not only theology, but law, architecture and construction, too. It’s presumed that this is the place where Kiril and Metodiy’s students worked and laid the foundations of the Pliska-Preslav Literary School.

The Great Basilica is built over a cruciform mausoleum, an enigmatic archeological building in the first capital of Bulgaria. Some stories claim that it is a tomb for the first Bulgarian martyr - the son of khan Omurtag who was killed by his brother for not rejecting his faith. Another theory suspects the building used to be a mausoleum of Bulgarian Khans.
An old stone-paved road connects the Great Basilica to the fortress of Pliska.



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