The 7 day circuit to Bulgaria - The morning of day 3 (Kazanlak) - the 14th of June 2011
Soon after having reached the foot of the Balkan mountain range where Kazanlak stands, we headed towards the 4th century B.C vaulted brickwork beehive tomb, known as the Thracian Tomb, which seen from the outside does not "unveil" the beauty of what we would soon see (in a replica tomb close by) in the form of magnificent painted murals representing a Thracian couple at a ritual funeral feast.
The Tomb seen from the outside (top left) and the painted murals depicting horse-chariot race scenes in the centre of the cuppola, the Thracian king and Queen with two musician warriors on their right, as well as a farewell of the groom to the bride scene .
We then continued towards Shipka to visit its Memorial Church located just 12 kilometres north of Kazanlak, at the foot of the Stara Planina mountains. It was rected after the Bulgarian independence as a tribute to both Russian and Bulgarian regiment soldiers killed at the Shipka pass (1877-78).
The project design which incorporated golden domes and coloured facades was influenced by the 17th century Russian church architecture with arches, pediments and gold-plated ornaments, though it was the work of a Czech architect.
The icons in the church were offered by Russian monks from the Greek Monastery of St. Pantaleimon in Mount Athos.
Walking down from the hill, so as to continue our journey through the "land of the Thracian kings", we came across a little yellow souvenir shop with quite interesting traditional objects worth buying
It was a very "rich" cultural oriented morning ... which all of us enjoyed.