Welcome to Veliko Târnovo & Central Mountains
In the Central Mountains, monasteries at Troyan and Dryanovo triumphed over repeated attempts to destroy them – even sheltering revolutionary fighters between their delicately frescoed walls. Just south in Koprivshtitsa, a town famed for its charming 19th-century mansions, the 1876 April Uprising brewed. Ensuing battles for Bulgaria's independence from Ottoman control unfolded just east, in thickly forested Shipka Pass.
The fortress at Veliko Târnovo, north of the mountain range and once the capital of the Bulgarian tsars, remains the region’s crowning attraction. Just as captivating is Kazanlâk’s Valley of the Roses, aflame with blooms each May and June, and the Thracian tombs in its surrounds. Little-explored intrigues lie east: Shumen’s colossal monuments, Madara’s archaeological reserve and the boulder-strewn hiking terrain around Sliven.