Kazanlak tourist info and hotels
The town of Kazanlak is situated in the pretty Valley of Roses at the foot of the Balkan Mountain, on two hundred kilometers east of Sofia and 110 km northeast of Plovdiv. In this region the nature has mixed the beauty and grandeur of the Balkan Mountains with the fecundity of the Tundzha River valley.
Kazanlak Festival of Roses
The famous oil-yielding rose – Rosa Damascena was imported in Bulgaria from India via Persia, Syria and Turkey. The rose picking continues about one month – from May 20 to June 20, however that depends on the spring weather. Picking is done only in the morning from 5am till 9-10am, at which time the Bulgarians believe the herbals are most healing. The technology of the production of the renowned Bulgarian rose oil is based on double distillation and it has the highest quality worldwide – without any competition.
Each first Saturday and Sunday of June, the municipality of Kazanlak held the traditional Celebration of the Rose - an unforgettable experience of Bulgarian beauty, merriment and hospitality also famous as the Rose Festival. Old rose growers and manufactures used to carry out spectacles in which they paraded, dressed up in rose flowers. The first rose festival in Kazanlak was held in 1903; few years later, a similar fest was organized in the town Karlovo, located in the same area. The first Rose Festival on a national level was organized in Pavel Banya on June 4, ‘67, when producers from the Rose valley, together with traditional Bulgarian masked dancers, called Koukeri were singing and dancing during the celebration.
Kazanlak Thracian Tomb
In ‘44 the Thracian Tomb - world-renowned for its murals was unearthed by chance during the construction of an air defense observation post. It is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This is the only place in Bulgaria where a totally preserved painting - a masterpiece of early Hellenistic art can be found. The Thracian Tomb is situated in the north part of Tyulbeto Park and is dated back to the end of the fourth or the early third century. The spacious design of the Kazanluk Tomb and especially the careful realization of the two brick-work chambers - the corridor and the burial chamber - indicate that the constructors had great knowledge of the art of building. The murals are the highlight asset of the Thracian Kazanlak Tomb and they are the only completely preserved work of Hellenistic art that has been found in the exactly state in which it was originally designed and performed.
The Kazanlak Tomb is excellent example of the high material and intellectual culture of the ancient Thracians, who were inherited from the Bulgarian nation later, as well as a peak in the development of Hellenistic art. The Thracian Tomb at the town of Kazanluk was listed as a monument of world importance from UNESCO in 1979, as it is an exceptional achievement of human genius and a valuable testimony to the ancient civilization.
In the summer of 2004 a team of Bulgarian archeologists unearthed a large, intact Thracian mausoleum (Kosmatka Tomb) dating back from the 5th century BC near the central Bulgarian town of Shipka. It is considered as one of the richest tombs of a Thracian ruler ever founded in Bulgaria.
Archeologists have found a 2500 year old golden mask (depicting a full face with moustache and beard) that was most probably made for a Thracian monarch’s funeral. This rare artifact is made of six hundred grams of solid gold and “is without paragon in archeology”. The unique mask is considered to have belonged to King Seutus III - the Thracian king who was the ruler in the 5th century BC. Except for the mask, the archeologists have also discovered a golden ring showing a rower, and various bronze and silver vessels; besides in one of the Tomb’s rooms they have found a golden crown of oak leaves and acorns, which is the first such object discovered in Thracian temple.
Shipka National Park & Memorial Church
Shipka Memorial Church is situated on only twelve kilometers north of Kazanlak, at the south foot of the Stara Planina (Balkan Mountain, Old Mount) near the town of Shipka. It was constructed after the Liberation as a monument to both Russian and Bulgarian perished heroes. The magnificent golden domes and the green and pink colored facade loom against the majestic mountains and attract the attention of the travelers in the Shipka pass.
Shipka National Park is located in the same area where the great battles of the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation took place during the 1870’s - a complex of memorial tablets, trenches and monuments reminiscent of the fights.