Let’s celebrate the Day of Bulgarian Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture every day and not only on 24 May. The following are my favourite must-visit places in Bulgaria and endless sources of cultural discoveries.
Benches Books, Burgas
At the moment, Burgas boasts ten original benches in the form of open books. Most of them are in the city centre: at the port, the Church of St. Kirill and Methody and Marine Park.
The idea with the clever landmarks belongs to a local activist Tanya Anestieva who borrowed it from Istanbul artists.
Except for the original background for memorable pictures, the benches represent creative links between generations and collaborations between local businesses and the government.
Mainly devoted to Bulgarian writers and poets, they cite their works. The most recent additions, dedicated to Italian architect Ricardo Toscany and French trader Josef Bonal, are exceptions to the rule. Yet, they feature the contributions of foreigners that lived in the city and contributed to its development.
Wildlife Rescue and Breeding Centre, Stara Zagora
The main goals of the centre are rehabilitation, breeding and returning of wild species to their natural habitats. For over 25 years, the place has become an important location for international scientific collaboration and an impressive place for birds lovers.
Although the place doesn’t have the status of a sighting, I’ve added it to the list because it deals with symbolic for Bulgaria birds, like storks, owls and falcons. And the visitor section of the centre offers great opportunities for guests to see wild birds and learn about them.
The centre’s programme of adoption of wild birds allows meaningful engagement with the rare species through financial support for their feeding and support. In my recent post, I’ve shared my personal experience of adopting four birds and visiting the centre.
Museum of Roses, Kazanlak
The museum with 15000 artefacts telling the history of the rose oil production in Bulgaria and a garden of 1000 blossoming roses is the iconic landmark and a must-visit attraction in Bulgaria.
The unique place sheds light on the history of the European perfume industry for the last three century.
The new building with an impressive rose garden has been home to the Rose Museum for just five years. Before, the Institute of Roses, Essential and Medical Cultures for over 50 years had offered educational and cultural activities devoted to rose oil production.
Of all the sections, I liked more the one which displays the equipment used for rose oil production. It’s an incredibly labours process! From 3000 kg of flowers, can be extracted just one kg of rose oil.
The gift shop offers visitors a great variety of rose products. It’s possible to have a virtual tour.
The House of Humour and Satire, Gabrovo
Over half of the century, the museum has been collecting objects that reflect the humour traditions of different peoples.
The 35000+ artefacts are divided into nine collections: Caricature, stature, Photo, Ethnography, etc.
Every millimetre of the museum’s space offers original experiences. The hall of distorted mirrors and optical illusions is the first thing visitors delve into entering the building.
The biggest artefacts – huge puppets – every May turn into main participants of the Gabrovo Carnival.
The clever erotic exhibition ‘Paradise’ is another unexpected discovery.
The set of eight humorous images by Bulgarian caricaturist Boris Dimov on tapestry highlights the eternal challenges between men and women. More details about the ‘Paradise and other must-visit exhibitions are in my other post.