Monastery of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Arbanasi

The monastery is located 5 kilometres from the city of Veliko Tarnovo, on the road to Gorna Oryahovitsa, in the south-western part of the village of Arbanasi. There is a side road on the right, from which you can see the monastery cuddled in a small valley. It was founded in the early 12th century by rulers from the Asen Dynasty. In 1393 it was destroyed by the Turks, and was not restored until 1680. That is also when the church and the chapel of Saint Elijah, with its impressive and well-preserved murals, were built. The Church of the Nativity has a single-nave structure, with a semi-cylindrical dome, a naos, and male and female wards. Some of the most remarkable murals include scenes of the Ascension of the Theotokos, life of Saint Nicholas, and a miraculous icon of the Theotokos. The iconostasis was made in the 17th century of polychrome carved wood, and the chapel icons were painted by the Tryavna Iconography School. Some of the most valuable church plate objects include a chandelier of 1746, a plated wooden cross with gemstones and enamel, and Jerusalem canvas prints. The monastery is all-female and does not provide food or accommodation, which, however, is easily available from the nearby hotels of Arbanasi and Veliko Tarnovo.

Sources:www.svnikola-chudotvorec.com; www.manastir.svnikola-chudotvorec.com; www.svnikola-chudotvorez.com; www.museumvt.com; svetimesta.com

Day 1
Day 1 - Veliko Tarnovo

Visit to The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos, and the churches of “St. Marina” and of “St. Tsar Boris I” in Veliko Tarnovo

Lunch in Veliko Tarnovo

Visit to The Church of the Holy Forty Martyrs and The Church of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki , Veliko Tarnovo

Visit to the Tsarevets Fortress, Veliko Tarnovo

“Sound and Light“ show – Tsarevets Fortress

Dinner in Veliko Tarnovo

Overnight accommodation in a monastery in the Veliko Tarnovo area

Day 2
Day 2 – Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanasi - Ruse

Departure to Arbanasi

Visit to the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos and The Monastery St. Nicholas, Arbanasi

Visit to the Church of the Nativity of Christ, Arbanasi

Lunch in Arbanasi

Visit to the Church “St. Athanasius”, Arbanasi

Travel to Ruse

Overnight accommodation in Ruse

Day 3
Day 3 – Ruse - Alexandria

Visit to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the Church of St. George in Ruse

Visit to the Monastery of Saint Dimitar of Basarbovo

Lunch in Ruse

Visit to the Regional Historical Museum and the ancient Roman fortress of Sexaginta Prista, Ruse

Departure to Alexandria, Romania

Dinner and overnight accommodation in Alexandria

Day 4
Day 4 – Brâncoveni – Craiova

Departure to Drăgănești and visit to the Boian Plain Museum

Travel to Brâncoveni and visit to the Brâncoveni Monastery

Lunch near the Monastery

Departure to Craiova

Visit to the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Church of the Assumption of the Theotokos (Mântuleasa Church), Craiova

Visit to Square Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazu) and free time in Craiova

Dinner and overnight accommodation in Craiova

Day 5
Day 5 - Studina – Veliko Tarnovo

Visit to the Studina Monastery, Romania

Departure to Veliko Tarnovo

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Restaurant EGO 2 Pizza & Grill
GPS coordinates : 43.084634 / 43°5’4” N – 25.635782 / 25°38’9” E
Address: 79 Stefan Stambolov Str., Veliko Tarnovo

Hotel-Restaurant “Izvor”
GPS coordinates: 43.097887 / 43°5’52” N – 25.666021 / 25°39’57” E
Address: 3 Opalchenska Str., Arbanasi village, Veliko Tarnovo

Hotel Restaurant “Arbanashki Han”
GPS coordinates: 43.099743 / 43°5’59” N – 25.665750 / 25°39’56” E
Address: 3 Georgi Kandilarov Str., Arbanasi village, Veliko Tarnovo

Restaurant “Cheshmata”
GPS coordinates: 43.097691 / 43°5’51” N – 25.668556 / 25°40’6” E
Address: 7 Spiro Konstantinov Str., Arbanasi village, Veliko Tarnovo

Tsarevets Fortress
GPS coordinates: 43.081664 / 43°4’54” N – 25.646132 / 25°38’46” E
Address: Tsar Asen Square, City Centre, Veliko Tarnovo, Province of Veliko Tarnovo
Taking a stroll in the old part of Veliko Tarnovo, you’ll be amazed by the incredible view spreading in front of your eyes. Tsarevets Fortress, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, rises majestically on the hill of the same name. Did you know that the place was inhabited as early as the 3rd millennium BC? It was also the location of Zikideva, the largest Byzantine city in in Lower Moesia. In 1185, when Tarnovo was proclaimed capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, the construction of a fortified wall began, measuring over 1,000 metres in length and 10 metres in height. During this period Tarnovo became an important administrative, military, cultural, religious and trading centre. The stronghold housed important public buildings, the royal palace, and the patriarchal church. Three entry points led into it – a main gate, a second smaller gate, known as Asen’s Gate, and Frenhisar Gate. The battle tower rising in the southern, lowest part of the hill is known as Baldwin’s Tower, after the Latin Emperor Baldwin, who died here after being captured by the Bulgarians. In the evening don’t miss the Sound and Light audio-visual show, a fusion of music, colourful lights, lasers installations, and church bells telling of the tragic end of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

Asenevtsi Monument

GPS coordinates: 43.082050 / 43°4’55” N – 25.637887 / 25°38’16” E
Address: Residence District Sveta Gora, Aleksandar Stamboliyski street, City Centre, Veliko Tarnovo, Province of Veliko Tarnovo
Asenevtsi Monument, named after the rulers of the Asen Dynasty – Asen, Peter, Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II, was erected in 1985 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the uprising of the brothers Asen and Peter, founders and first rulers of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Defeating the Latin army and capturing its emperor Baldwin I, their brother and successor Kaloyan made Bulgaria one of the strongest Eastern European states. The upward-facing sword of the monument is a symbol of the power of medieval Bulgaria. The impressive sculpture rises in a picturesque location close to Stambolov Bridge, at the foot of Sveta Gora Hill on the bank of the Yantra River.

Nicopolis ad Istrum

GPS coordinates: 43.220131 / 43°13’12” N – 25.612251 / 25°36’44” E
Address: E85/D5, exit after about 3 kilometres, between the villages of Kutina and Polikraishte, Province of Veliko Tarnovo
When you are in Veliko Tarnovo, don’t forget to visit the medieval town of Nicopolis ad Istrum, believed to have been founded by Emperor Trajan in honour of his victory over the Dacians in the 2nd century. In addition to having a sewer system and even heated buildings, the town is also believed to have used its own currency. Here you will find the ruins of an Agora, the front steps of a basilica, a small odeon, thermae, and other public buildings and shops. After the Hun and the Avar invasions in the 5th and the 6th centuries, the town was destroyed and abandoned. A Bulgarian settlement arose upon its ruins in the 10th-14th century.

Kaya Bunar (Hotnitsa) Waterfall

GPS coordinates: 43.146373 / 43°8’47” N – 25.515248 / 25°30’55” E
Address: access via E85/D5, then D504 to Samovodene, then D3031 to the village of Hotnitsa, then side road for about 5 kilometres, Province of Veliko Tarnovo
If you are a nature lover and happen to be in the region of Veliko Tarnovo, don’t forget to visit a unique natural landmark – the splendid Kaya Bunar waterfall, at the mouth of the Bohot River. It measures 30 metres in height, and has been declared a protected area. Nearby there is a scenic eco trail that will give you the chance to relish the incredible natural beauty of the place.

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Trip Facts

  • 00358 89 668 7410
  • 43°05'45.5"N 25°39'49.7"E
  • Sveti Nikola Str., 5029 Arbanasi
  • No
  • 112

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