Bulgaria is to spend about 300 million leva (about 150 million euro) in European Union funds over the next two years restoring 11 castles and a large number of ancient sites that are popular tourist attractions.
Among the sites where restoration and development work will be done are the museum village of Etura, former capital Pliska, the Madara Horseman cliff carving near the town of Shoumen, Arbanassi, the Assenovgrad fortress, Magura and Ledenika caves and the Belogradchik rocks.
Regional Development and Public Works Minister Liliana Pavlova said that 61 municipalities would be involved in implementing the projects, with their tasks including improving infrastructure near tourist attractions, a report by television station bTV said.
For example, near the village of Belchin – in western Bulgaria, 15km from Samokov and 50km from Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia – there is a fortress dating back 1700 years. The fortress, with walls 350m long and with six towers, would within two years be restored to its former appearance, according to the report.
Close to the fortress walls, archaeologists found the remains of three churches, said to date back to the same period as the fortress, seen as proof that Christianity had come to the area at the time of Byzantine emperor Constantine the Great.
Samokov municipality is to be given close to six million leva to develop the site into a tourist attraction, with a museum and reconstructions portraying ancient life, the report said.