Architectural and Museum Reserve Tsarevets is one of the most frequented tourist sites in Bulgaria. It is located on Tsarevets Hill in the old part of the town of Veliko Tarnovo.

The hill was first settled as early as the 3rd millennium BC. In the 5th and 6th centuries it housed the largest city of the Bysantine Empire in the province of Moesia Inferior - Zikideva.

In the 9th century a Bulgar settlement was founded there, which grew rapidly. The construction of the defensive wall, which still stands today, started in the 12th century. The wall was 1,100 meters long, up to 3.40 meters thick at certain places and over 10 meters high.

In 1185 when Tarnovo was declared the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire Tsarevets became its principal fortification and home of its aristocracy. For more than 200 years the city bustled with political, economic and cultural activity and was one of the largest cities of Southeast Europe, while the fortress was the most important one in Bulgaria.

On the very top of Tsarevets Hill is the Patriarchate, reconstructed in 1981. Its scale and architecture are impressive, with striking iconography depicting the rise and fall of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

Below it stands the Royal Palace. Excavations have uncovered the foundations of 470 residential buildings, and inn, aristocratic homes, 23 temples and 4 city monasteries. The finds include pieces gold-embroidered clothing and gold jewellery from the period of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Some the rulers who reigned over the Empire from Tsarevets are the tsars Asen I, Peter I, Kaloyan, Ivan Asen II, Ivan Alexander, Ivan Shishman.


Availability for visits: Paid, all year round, available guide

Transport accessibility: street, there is a bus stop nearby.

Tourist infrastructure: Alleys and signs, hotels and restaurants in the area. In the town of Veliko Tarnovo is working Tourist information center "Tsarevgrad Turnov".