Cultural heritage of Veliko Turnovo as a focal point of European cultural diversity

Project facts

Project promoter
Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo
Project Number:
Target groups
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 274,706
The project is carried out in:
Велико Търново / Veliko Tarnovo

More information


Veliko Turnovo was the capital city of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and due to its rich cultural-historical and diverse heritage it is an important tourist centre. It is the only bath from the Second Bulgarian Kingdom with an original architectural plan which distinguishes it from other famous baths from the Antiquity and the First Bulgarian Kingdom, as well as from the later Turkish baths. For a long time the monument was not well-known. It was semi-ruined and the opportunities for knowledge about the site were strictly limited and people's access to it were limited. The project envisages the conservation, restoration of “Shishmanova Banya” in the town of Veliko Turnovo and also measures for development of the area around the monument and measures for focusing on its uniqueness. Members of the Roma population will take part in the conservation activities with potential for skills development. The revitalisation of the site not only restores the monument and revitalises the surrounding area: it also results in a Festival of Roma culture, “open” history lessons and improved access. In this regard the project's activities fully correspond to the objectives of the Programme and the measure. The project is targeted at the population of the neighboring municipalities, tourists, students. It results in the renovation and restoring of a monument of national significance; increased public access; new opportunities for personal development, fostering tolerance to others; raised quality of life of minorities; promotes cultural diversity and equality, access to cultural values, history knowledge, information on cultural heritage.

Summary of project results

Shishman’s bath house – subject of intervntion under the present project has the status of " single immovable cultural value" and is of "national importance". Emergency measures which were taken started with the strengthening of its main walls in the west. Conservation intervention is expressed in need modeled building up of the other walls, restoration of the pillars of the hypocaust system to the actual height. Based on the preserved remains and observations during the conducted archaeological surveys the following activities were implemented: restoration of semi-cylindrical cover the northern area (in the original performance - with stone slabs and large mortar joints); recovery of the actual floor of the bath house; modeled building up at the entrance on the south wall, in order its shape to be emphasized; building up of the eastern wall of the bath house and construction of a "barrier" in order the bath house to be bordered from the street; repair works on roof construction in order the original to be kept and preserved. The conservation measures were needed to save the site of cultural-historical heritage and in order its transformation into a tourist site to be achieved a relevant socialization is needed. The implemented project activities affected the dissemination of the principles of sustainable development throughout a balance between the needs of society, the use of natural resources and the organization of human activities. Shishman’s bath house win recognition among the inalienable elements of our national culture and its investigation and protection is an essential element in the general model for protection of the cultural heritage. The organized of Roma Culture Festival contributed to the manifestation of the Roma identity and promotion of cultural and social achievements of the ethnic group. During the festival are implemented and presented different customs and traditions which are vital tools allowing Roma to preserve their identity over the centuries and have an important role in their lives. During the Festival Roma culture was promoted, which like any other possesses two main aspects - spiritual and material. Spiritual culture of the various Roma communities in Bulgaria is directly dependent on the following key elements: a way of life (nomadic / sedentary), religion, language. These factors affect the holiday calendar, rituals and traditions, community values and folklore that would take a place in the program of the cultural event.

Summary of bilateral results