Monday, 15 August 2011

Impressions of Bulgaria, Part 2 (Churches and Walls)

As I went to Bulgaria as a part of an art history field trip, most of our time was spent looking at brickwork, buildings and battlements. And of course churches. Especially the brickwork on churches.

Children in Bulgaria are given these red and white yarns on March 1. Then, as soon as they see the first stork (or other harbingers of spring), they tie them around a twing or branch. The strings are called ‘martenitsa’, and they’re everywhere!

Bulgaria is replete with these pocket churches (as I liked to call them) – this one might just have fitted inside my room ...

This is the surrounding wall of an immense medieval settlement identified as the first Bulgarian capital, Pliska. In fact, there is no factual evidence that connects the site with the name Pliska or any of the historical records about it.

Veliko Tarnovo. Impressive medieval town and fortress – but increasingly disneyfied by anastylosis/reconstruction.

Strictly no dancing on the battlements!

Nature comes in ... as well as the very unsuble Bulgarian approach to heritage conservation, which depending on your viewpoint might be construed as heritage destruction.

This is Rila monastery, where we spent one night and where our worldliness and propensity to take pictures was met with increasing scorn.

1 comment:

Alex said...

How lovely.

P.s.: the sign is hilarious. Or rather, the last suggested "standing performance" is pure genius.