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What to see if you travel along the Sub-Balkan Road

An Enchanting Journey Along the Sub-Balkan Road (Republican Road I-6)

Unveiling the Charms of Kazanlak


Kazanlak, a picturesque town with a rich ancient history 50 thousand people. is nestled within the Stara Zagora district This captivating city lies at the heart of the world-renowned Rose Valley where precious roses and other essential oils are meticulously produced, a matter of great pride for every Bulgarian. As you explore the town, you’ll be amazed by the country’s largest and best-preserved Thracian tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the one-of-a-kind Rose Museum Not far from here, you’ll stumble upon the intriguing ancient city of Seutopolis and the enigmatic Valley of the Thracian Kings.

Embracing Nature’s Wonders

Kazanlak is perfectly positioned in central Bulgaria within the enchanting Kazanlak Valley. To the west, you’ll find the majestic Central Balkan National Park and the largest biosphere reserve in the Balkan Mountains – Jendema. This breathtaking sanctuary boasts a wide variety of flora, fauna, and other natural marvels of immense significance.

  • The Spellbinding Kazanlak Rose Valley
The Spellbinding Kazanlak Rose Valley

Kazanlak takes pride in its location within the alluring Rose Valley where favorable climatic conditions have given rise to the cultivation of the oil-bearing rose. The Kazanlak rose, also known as the ‘red oil rose’ or Rosa damascena,

has been cultivated in the region since the 12th century after being introduced from Damascus, Syria. This exquisite rose is celebrated as one of the finest oil-bearing roses in the world. Its oil finds widespread use in perfumery, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, thanks to its unmatched quality. The rose oil produced in our country is of unsurpassed quality throughout the world.

Rosa Damascena

At the historical-ethnographic complex “Kulata” (18 Nikola Petkov Street), you can witness the traditional process of rose oil production and savor products infused with this delightful essence. The complex is part of the esteemed Historical Museum “Iskra”.

rose oil products

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  • A Rose Lover’s Dream: The Unique Rose Museum
A Rose Lover's Dream: The Unique Rose Museum

Kazanlak is home to the world’s only Rose Museum, which opened its doors in 2016 within a contemporary building in the captivating Rosarium Park. The museum proudly showcases documents and artifacts highlighting the over 300-year-old history of rose production in Bulgaria.

The museum’s thoughtful design includes a ground floor circle featuring 24 rose varieties, a dedicated space for rose cultivation demonstrations in the courtyard, and a room for indulging in the delightful scents of the roses. Within the museum building, you’ll also find a conference room, multimedia room, storage rooms, exhibition area, children’s playground, and a panoramic café offering breathtaking views.

Rosarium Park

A Journey Through Time: Kazanlak’s Rich History

Tracing the Origins of Kazanlak Kazanlak’s history can be traced back to the Neolithic period, which spans between 8,000 and 5,000 BC, marking the end of the Stone Age. The first settlement in the area emerged during this fascinating era, laying the foundations for the town we see today.

  • The Prestigious Historical Museum “Iskra”
The Prestigious Historical Museum "Iskra"

The Historical Museum in Kazanlak is a must-visit destination. As one of Bulgaria’s oldest, most diverse, and most renowned museums, it proudly displays over 50,000 original exhibits.

The museum’s vaulted hall showcases an impressive collection of gold, silver, and bronze artifacts discovered in the Thracian temple tombs of the region. Among these treasures, you’ll find the exceptional golden crown of Seuthes III, his helmet and kneecaps, complete gold and silver horse armor, and a rare assortment of coins and other objects from the Thracian era.

Thracian tomb golden mask

The museum is dedicated to preserving, exploring, and promoting the complete historical heritage of the Kazanlak region, including all Thracian tombs from the Valley of the Thracian Rulers.

Thracian gold

Visitors will be captivated by the extensive collection of bone sickles (the largest in southeastern Europe), medieval pottery, cold and firearms, jewelry, and traditional costumes from the region’s past.

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  • Unearthing the Secrets of the Valley of the Thracian Kings

The Kazanlak Valley is dotted with Thracian tombstones boasting over 1,500 burial mounds. Approximately 300 . of these mounds have been explored, with a select few open for visitors to experience. Within the Great Kosmatka mound, the extraordinary golden crown of Thracian ruler Seuthes III was discovered, later showcased in the Louvre. Other unparalleled artifacts include dining vessels and the bronze head of Seuthes III

Unearthing the Secrets of the Valley of the Thracian Kings

Some other notable mounds to visit are Shushmanets, Helvetia, and Griffon.

  • The Iconic Statue of the Thracian Woman
The Iconic Statue of the Thracian Woman

The striking statue of the Thracian woman stands proudly in Sevtopolis Square in Kazanlak serving as one of the town’s symbols. The female figure gracefully extends her left hand, cradling a blooming rose.

  • Kazanlak’s Thracian Tomb: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Kazanlak Thracian Tomb is an architectural masterpiece dating back to the 4th-3rd century BC, featuring unique frescoes that stand the test of time. Situated on Tyulbeto Hill, just 5 km from Kazanlak, this tomb holds a special place in history.

Kazanlak's Thracian Tomb: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The tomb was accidentally discovered in 1944 when soldiers, digging a trench, stumbled upon a stone wall. Intrigued, they broke through the wall and entered a low, narrow corridor leading to a circular vaulted chamber. This remarkable discovery unveiled the tomb of the Thracian ruler Roigos, which was later declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

the tomb of the Thracian ruler Roigos
  • Kazanlak Maiden Monastery “Introduction of the Theotokos”

Steeped in tradition, the Kazanlak Monastery was founded in 1828. However, during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878), it suffered desecration, sharing the fate of many other Bulgarian monasteries. On December 27, 1877 the Russian troops liberated Kazanlak, putting an end to the desecration of the monastery shrines.

Kazanlak Maiden Monastery "Introduction of the Theotokos"
  • Church “Prophet Ilija”

The Intriguing Church “Prophet Ilija” The Church of Saint Prophet Elijah built around 1812, is the first Orthodox church in Kazanlak. Constructed with discretion to avoid provoking the Ottomans, only its roof was visible above ground, with 12 steps leading down into its interior. As the Bulgarian population in the oldest Kazanlak neighborhood, Kulenskaya, grew, the need for a larger church became evident. This led to the construction of the new Orthodox Church, “St. Prophet Elijah” in its place. Church “Prophet Ilija”

Church "Prophet Ilija"
  • Literary and Art Museum “Miracle”

The Chudomir Literary and Art Museum celebrates the legacy of the patriarch of Bulgarian humor writer, and artist Dimitar Chorbadzhiyski, also known as Chudomir. His fame extends beyond Bulgaria’s borders, with his humorous stories satirizing human flaws and political problems. The Museum, located just a 15-minute walk from Kazanlak’s city center, occupies the artist’s native house.

The prestigious “Chudomir Holidays” occur here, commencing on March 25 (Chudomir’s birthday) and lasting for an entire week. This significant cultural event in Bulgaria features concerts, theater festivals, competitions, and award ceremonies.

Literary and Art Museum "Miracle"

Interesting Tidbits

Kazanlak celebrates the annual Rose Festival on June 2nd, which coincides with the city’s holiday. This vibrant event is not to be missed!

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