Haskovo in South Bulgaria is the 10th biggest city in Bulgaria and is one of the regional capitals of our country. The locals warmly call it "Houston" :)
It is close to Greece and Turkey, less than an hour car drive and is interconnected with the capital city, Sofia with the nearby passing highway "Maritsa" that ends at the Turkish border.
The city has a long history and the scientists claim that the first establishment here dates about seven thousand years ago. Archeological evidences has been found and preserved that confirm its long history from the prehistoric, Thracian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine eras. The name of the establishment until XVIIIth century was Marsa a name, given by the Thracians. The Ottoman rules changed the name of the town to Haskoy and in year 1830 the Turkish suffix "-koy" was replaced by the Slavik suffix "-ovo" thus the name of the town became "Haskovo".
Coming from this so rich historical heritage, there is of course a lot to see in this unique city.
I am not going to reveal all its hidden gems today, just share with you some of the places I love seeing and going to.
Probably the most iconic place, despite the fact it is a newly created one, is the Monument of the Holy Mother of God. It was opened in 2003 and at the time it was the tallest statue of its kind. The local authorities say in 2005 it has been put into Guinness World Records book however I wasn't able to find any proof of that. Anyway, it is really an amazing monument!
Right next to it is the city Bell Tower with stairs going up to the top. The views from there are breath taking, trust me on that!
There is a walking, pedestrians-only central part of the city that you must visit and spend some time with some amazing art visible from the main road, I may share few photos in another post.
Here how the statue of the Mother of God and the Bell Tower are seen from there:
Really amazing, isn't it:
Up the Bell Tower and more Sun rays for your eyes:
Words of (not so) unknown artists, LMAO. I decided to photograph this as the names are quite unusual even for our own colorful standards:
The old clock tower of Haskovo is also an amazing place where I recommend you to sit for a while and see, listen and feel the rhythm of the city. There is a lovely small water fountain nearby and usually you could find a seat with good views toward the square surrounding the clock tower.
Late January and the whole February you could buy there your "Martenitsa", made of white and red yarn which we Bulgarians give to each other for health and happiness on 1st of March every year.
Another place you should see is the building of the municipality:
Near the park touching the municipality building you could find some fine Turkish restaurants with some delicious dishes ;) Also here you could find a small bazar of hand-crafted items of the local artisans. Sometimes there are also placed charity events.
Next time I go there I'll make few more photos and share more of the city iconic places with you :)
Thanks a lot and stay safe!
Copyright: Damian Hadjiyvanov, Light Captured
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Have a great photo! :P