Hotels in Shumen.

Hotels in Shumen Weather in Shumen

One of northeastern Bulgaria’s major urban centres, Shumen is rich in monuments associated with the medieval Bulgarian state and later Ottoman rule. Bulevard Slavyanski, a café-lined, tree-shaded strip, runs through the town centre. In a park nearby is the History Museum , where finds from the medieval cities of Veliki Preslav and Pliska, and a replica of a Thracian war chariot, are displayed.

Several attractive 19th-century buildings, which are open to the public 9am–5pm weekdays, line ulitsa Tsar Osvoboditel, which lies parallel to bulevard Slavyanski. Among the scattering of interesting small museums in this part of town is the House of Pancho Vladigerov (1899–1978), devoted to the life of Bulgaria’s leading symphonic composer. Nearby, the Lajos Kossuth House-Museum honours the famous Hungarian nationalist leader who briefly made his home in Shumen in 1849. Also nearby is the Panaiot Volov Memorial House, family home of one of the leaders of the ill-fated April Rising of 1876.

To the west of the town centre are two reminders of the Ottoman era. One is the Bezisten, an oblong, stone-built market hall where traders from Dubrovnik set out their stalls. The other is the huge Tombul Mosque. This masterpiece of Ottoman architecture is the largest functioning mosque in the country. It was built in 1744, and the interior is decorated with wall paintings in which plant motifs are entwined with lines from the Koran written in elegant Kufic script. In the west wing of the mosque is a Koranic school, with a beautiful arcaded courtyard in the centre of which is a canopied fountain for ritual washing.

Dominating the Ilchov bair ridge immediately south of the town centre (accessible via a steep flight of steps) is the Monument to the Creators of the Bulgarian State. This was erected in 1981 to mark the 1,300th anniversary of Bulgar Khan Asparuh’s arrival in the Balkans. Its central tower is adorned with reliefs of Asparuh and his successors. An audiovisual display describes the glories of the medieval kingdom of Bulgaria.

Crowning a hill about 3 km west of the town centre is Shumen Fortress (Shumenska krepost). This defensive construction was a major component of the ring of castles built to defend Pliska and Preslav, capitals of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. The outer walls have been partially rebuilt, and give an idea of what the fortress looked like in the 14th century.




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