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Svilengrad is a “gold mine” for open-minded travelers

The town of Svilengrad is located in south-central Bulgaria, at the border with Turkey and Greece. It is considered as one of the most important border towns in Bulgaria. In the  past Svilengrad used to be known as the Bulgarian Las Vegas because of the many casinos and gaming halls, luxury hotels,  appreciated mostly by guests from Turkey. But recently more and more visitors come here not to gamble, but to travel and to discover the cultural routes . That’s why Svilengrad is a “gold mine” for open-minded travelers, curious to learn more about Bulgaria.
Svilengrad 1

Literally translated, the name of Svilengrad means “City of Silk”. In 1932, 25% of Bulgaria’s silk was produced here. This industry has long since died out in Svilengrad. But its development can be traced in the local history museum.

The medieval Neutzikon fortress

Svilengrad Mezek forteress

If you dream to get away from the noise and the stress and to take a walk in nature,  don’t miss the medieval Neutzikon fortress near the village of Mezek some 13 km from Svilengrad. It dates back to the 11th-12th century and the time of Byzantine emperor Alexius I Komnenos. However  the Thracian tribe of Odrysians also lived here. In front of the fortress tourists can take part in reenactments and historical games. But perhaps the

Thracian domed tomb

Svilengrad Mezek Thracian tomb

is even more interesting.  In fact the thomb is from the 4th-3rd century BC, and is also located near the village of Mezek. It has an almost 21-meter-long dromos /corridor/, followed by  two rectangular anterooms and a round funeral chamber with a beehive dome. Summing up the total length of the installation is about 31 meters. Tourists can see holograms of the artifacts found in the tomb.

The medieval fortress of Bukelon

Svilengrad Matochina forteressThe forteress is  located in the outskirts of the village of Matochina (about 45 km from Svilengrad) . Therefore it played an important role in Bulgarian history. Here, on April 14, 1205, Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan defeated the Latin army, led by Emperor Baldwin I. Our tsar captured  him and took him to the capital Tarnovgrad, where he was executed. The view from these hills in the direction of today’s Turkey and the city of Edirne is fantastic..

Ancient and mysterious Rock Churches near Svilengrad

Svilengrad rock churchIn the villages of Matochina and Mihalich tourists can see two rock churches dating back to the 9th-10th century. Obviously the church near Mihalich is unique. It is cross-domed, carved deep into the rock,  by monks and used by followers of various heresies.

Not to mention the beautiful nature !

Definitely about 80% of the territory of the municipality is part of the European network of protected areas “Natura 2000”. In brief the hills of Sakar Mountain reveal their unique beauty and are home to an incredible variety of birds.

The old bridge of Svilengrad

Svilengrad old bridgeAnd before you leave, do not forget to check  the old stone bridge of Svilengrad, connecting the two banks of the Maritsa River. It was built in 1529 as part of a complex, including a caravanserai (inn), a mosque, a bazaar and a hammam.

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