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07 February

Glorious rulers of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom come to life in new sculpture museum

Radio Bulgaria


Author: Veneta Nikolova


 


 


A new museum in Veliko Tarnovo will give us rich insights into medieval Bulgaria and attract foreign tourists to the heart of the medieval capital of this country. Its visitors will have the opportunity to meet "face to face" exquisitely crafted life-size sculptures of iconic figures of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185 - 1396).


They are so real, so alive! You feel like they follow closely each movement you make and are as if about to speak in a low voice and recount their stories filled with vicissitudes, love and betrayal. 28 sculpted figures of medieval awe-inspiring rulers, fearless boyars, and also ordinary folk and artisans feature in a series of re-enactments of historical events and everyday scenes dating back to medieval life in Tarnovo. The author of these true works of art is the famous sculptor from Tarnovo, Boris Borissov. And the very idea for the museum belongs to the current Mayor Daniel Panov, who was earlier in charge of the development of tourism in Tarnovo in the municipal administration.


After winning an EU project to finance the good idea, the municipality took up its realization. This led to the creation of a sculpture museum unique for Bulgaria and the Balkans, which will open doors in early February. Tourists will be met "in person" by the figures of Tsar Ivan Asen II and his wife Irina Comnina, comfortably seated in the throne room of the royal palace, with lush decorations and murals. Tsvetomir Boyadjiev - manager of the local tourism agency "Tsarevgrad Tarnov”, tells us more:



“Over an area of 800 square meters on two floors, we see figures representing several aspects of life in medieval Tarnovo. For example, visitors can learn about old crafts such as pottery, blacksmithing, minting, construction, etc. The second section relates to the concept of statedom of the Middle Ages. Rulers are presented such as Kaloyan, who ruled between 1197-1207 or Tsar Ivan Assen II who was on the throne from 1218 to 1241. A special section is devoted to the clergy and educational activities. We can see how a medieval painter is working or a scene of domestic life in a family of boyars. A special section is devoted to the literature of the time. It exhibits ancient manuscripts called scriptoria etc. Very interesting is the section that recounts the military glory of the Bulgarian state at that time."


One of the most impressive scenes reveals the capture of the Latin Emperor Baldwin of Flanders at the Battle of Adrianople (Edirne) by the Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan in 1205. The Bulgarian ruler is riding a horse and in front of him two soldiers lead the captured Baldwin who is drenched in the sweat of the battle, angry and wondering, against the backdrop of a large picture recreating Kaloyan’s horsemen and Baldwin’s defeated soldiers. Visitors will be acquainted with all the accoutrements of our ancestors in the Middle Ages - swords, shields, spears, bows, crossbows...



The guided tour of the museum will last up to 60 minutes. Among the timeless pieces, “living sculptures" will ambulate such as the royal cup-bearer who will serve local varieties of wines guests, and a calligrapher, who in turn will issue special certificates to visitors. Those willing to be photographed dressed in old-fashioned garb, alongside the glorious Bulgarian rulers will have this opportunity.


“Their costumes are very authentic”, explains Tsvetomir Boyadjiev. “Natural materials are used close to the time. And the faces of the sculptures themselves are remarkable! They are made of high quality silicone with prosthetic eyes and teeth. The resemblance to real people is extraordinary. I think these sculptures are unique not only in Bulgaria! We expect many guests to visit the museum because, judging by the social networks, there is very strong interest in it even now."


 English version: Rossitsa Petcova




 


 


 


 

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