Enhancing social and economic activity of third country immigrants from the territory of South East Reagion in Bulgaria
BG EIF 2011/01-02.01
The project is funded by The European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals financed by the European Union

Cultural heritage:
As defined by UNESCO, a country’s cultural heritage consists of all unique artifacts of its people, and its natural landmarks. Bulgaria has a lot of both. This module shows just a small part of the most precious anthropological and natural wonders of the country. 
The Boyana Church.
This is the first Bulgarian site which came under the auspices of UNESCO. It is a symbol of the glorious Second Bulgarian Kingdom and the era of the heyday of literature, and high medieval culture. The cultural progress of Bulgaria in this period foreshadowed the emergence of the Renaissance in Europe. Part of the church was covered in paintings in 1259 and is an early testament to the unique evolution of the church orthodox canon and its impact on the first of the Italian Renaissance masters from the Trecento Fiorentino such as Giotto. The icons in this church have made historians and art experts to date the transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to a much earlier date, which was previously thought to have been made in the 14th century in Florence.
"St. Nicholas and St. Panteleimon" is a medieval Bulgarian church of the two-storied types of churches with a crypt (tomb) on the lower floor and a family chapel on the upper floor. It is located at the foot of Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia suburb of Boyana, whereby its name – the Boyana Church. It is one of the most important cultural symbols of Bulgaria, which in 1979 was included as a cultural monument on UNESCO List of World Heritage. The frescoes in the church date back to different periods: 11th-12th century, 1259 (they are the most valuable), 14th century, 16th-17th century and 1882. Of exceptionally artistic value are the world famous frescoes of the medieval artists (the so-called Boyana master and other artists such as Dimitri the icon painter) of 1259, which, according to some art experts belong to the Turnovo School of Painting. These are 240 images – a second layer of icon paintings over the original.
Founders of the temple were Kaloyan and his wife Desislava. This is why their portraits were painted on the north wall. They, like those of the Bulgarian Tsar Constantine Asen and his wife Irina, are characterized by their exceptional individuality and psychological realism which set them apart from the Orthodox Church iconography canon.
The Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo.
The churches of Ivanovo and all the caves around them near the village of Ivanovo form the large rock monastery "St. Archangel Michael", which includes about 20 medieval churches, chapels and cells. Traces of more than 300 rooms have been found. All of them are hewn into the rock at a height of 36 meters above the river. They are interconnected by means of paths and rock stairs. The monastery was founded in the 20ies of the XIII century by the monk Joachim, who later became the first Patriarch of Turnovo. The rooms carved into the rock were occupied between XI and XIV century by monks, many of whom were grammarians and writers. It is believed that during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom there was a rich cultural and spiritual life here.
In five of the rock churches wall paintings from the XIII and XIV centuries have been preserved, created by prominent artists from the capital and resenting the development of the and Comnenian and Paleologian painting styles in Bulgaria. World famous are the frescos in the church "Saint Mary", dating from the mid-fourteenth century. They are one of the top achievements of the medieval Bulgarian and Balkan art.

The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak
Thracian tomb is a round tomb built of bricks which is located in Kazanlak and is a part of a large necropolis located near the ancient Thracian city of Seuthopolis. It dates from around the end of the IV century BC. and the beginning of III century BC. In 1979 is was included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage. It is a world famous tomb because of its unique frescoes in the hall and the dome chamber. These are some of the best-preserved frescoes of ancient art from the early Hellenistic era.
This tomb is unique with its beautiful, realistic frescos. From them we can learn about the life, customs and beliefs of the Thracians. There are wall paintings in the hallway and in the burial chamber. In the corridor they are primarily military scenes which probably represent the life of the buried ruler.
According to experts in Thracian history, in the burial chamber the wall paintings represent the scene of a funeral feast, which was a part of the funeral ritual of the Thracians. In later centuries, Herodotus wrote about these customs of the Thracians. The portraits of the people are very realistically represented. At the funeral the Thracians put next to the deceased everything he used in his lifetime. This proves the hypothesis that the Thracians believed in the afterlife.

The Madara Horseman
This is an archaeological monument which is a relief carved on a vertical rock some 23 meters from the base of the rock. It is located in northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Madara and 20 km from the town of Shumen. In 1972, UNESCO declared it a monument of world cultural heritage.
The relief depicts a triumphant ruler, probably a Khan, and is a symbol of the power of the Bulgarian state in this period. The relief includes the life size figure of a horseman; an eagle in a heraldic pose flying in front of him, a dog that follows him, and lion speared to death lying under the front legs of the horse.
This is the oldest stone relief in Europe and one of the most mysterious monuments on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. Scientists believe that the relief was made some 1,300 years ago, at the beginning of the VIII century. It remains a mystery how and why it was done. There are many hypotheses. According to some of them the horseman is Khan Krum, Khan Tervel or god Tangra himself. In the cave under the Horseman there is sanctuary and a little river flows from the cave.  On the plateau above the sanctuary there was a small medieval castle.
The Madara Horseman

The Rila Monastery

The monastery was founded in the X century by St. Ivan Rilski. This is the largest monastery in Bulgaria. In 1335 the local feudal lord Hrelyo built in the courtyard of the monastery a fortified tower and a small one-nave church. Today the tower is the oldest building in the monastery and its style is defined as belonging to the architecture of the Turnovo School of architecture.
From the very beginning of its existence, the monastery was not only a religious but also a literary and educational center. During the Revival Neophyte Rilski founded a monastery school in it. On many occasions the monastery gave shelter to Vasil Levski, Ilyo voivode, Gotse Delchev, Peyo Iavorov and others.
In 1983 the monastery was included in UNESCO List of World Heritage. The Rila Monastery still houses manuscripts, early printed books and documents from the XIV-XIX century. The monastery museum houses many antiques and church plate, rods, icons, weapons, coin collections, etc.
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