The old capital through the ages

Veliko Tarnovo is one of the most ancient Bulgarian towns. The picturesque situation and panoramic view of the town, its centuries-old history and culture, its rich cultural and historical heritage wins Veliko Tarnovo the recognition as a historical, cultural and tourist centre of contemporary Bulgaria.
The town was founded at the foot of the Northern Fore-Balkan Range. Historians date it back to the 4th millennium B. C. The town of Veliko Tarnovo had inherited centuries-old Prehistoric, Thracian and Antique culture and in 1185 it became a centre of the Bulgarian Uprising against Byzantine domination and the capital of the restored Bulgarian state. The medieval town of Tarnovo was rapidly expanding and developed into the strongest Bulgarian fortress during the 12-14th cc. It became the most significant, political, economic, cultural and religious centre of Bulgaria. The Tarnovo Schools of Literature and Arts were established and developed here. Remarkable architectural monuments were created; miniature and monumental painting, literature, plastic arts and crafts achieved high artistic level.
During the 15th-19th centuries period Tarnovo was a symbol of the former Bulgarian state system and stronghold of the Bulgarian national spirit, a leading centre of the struggle for national liberation, for religious and for cultural independence. During the Bulgarian National Revival period in the second half of the 18th and the 19th centuries the town was an important administrative, trade and industrial centre. The rapid economic boom was set as a favorable premise for a dynamic cultural and educational process. Unique monuments of the material and spiritual culture were created.
After the Liberation from Ottoman domination in 1877 until the wars in 1912-1913 and in 1915-1918 as a historical capital Tarnovo played a significant role in the political, administrative and cultural formation of independent Bulgaria. In 1879 Bulgaria was restored for the second time. Then the Constituent Assembly drafted the supreme fundamental laws of the nation - The Tarnovska Constitution in the hall of the former Turkish konak. The 1st, the 3rd, the 4th, and the 5th Grand National Assemblies (in 1879, 1887, 1893 and 1911) were held in Veliko Tarnovo. Prince Alexander Batemberg was elected a head of the state by the First Grand National Assembly in 1879. Prince Ferdinand proclaimed the independence of the Bulgarian Kingdom exceptionally solemnly in 1908.
Regional Museum of History