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Bulgaria

Author Solivagant
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#1 | Posted: 5 Feb 2017 07:10 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Tsunami's recent review of Kazanlak ( http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/site.php?id=44#community ) mentioned the fact that it is only one of a series of Thracian Tombs in the area and that there is a Bulgarian T List extension for the site titled "The royal necropolis of the Thracian city of Seuthopolis – a serial site, extension of the Kazanlak Thracian tomb".

This title clearly states that it only relates to the "Necropolis" of the city - but where does that leave the remains of the "City of Seuthopolis" itself?

It appears that the Necropolis isn't really a single entity unlike many royal necropoleis around the world, but is made up of a series of tombs scattered between the modern towns of Kazanlak and Shipka around 15 kms apart. In fact the majority are located near to Shipka in the north and Kazanlak is something of an outlier in the south near to the modern town of that name - but there are others even to the east of Kazanlak. The totality were given the popular name of "Valley of the Thracian Rulers" (possibly with a referential "nod" to e.g "Valley of the Kings"?).

The city of Seuthopolis from which the rulers came lies to the west of Kazanlak but its remains were flooded by the Koprinka Reservoir completed in 1956. The remains of the city were discovered in 1946 during construction of the dam and some excavations were carried out prior to inundation.

The potential interest in all this to us "WHS Collectors" lies in the fact that there exists a proposal (made in 2005) for a megaproject (at least 50 million Euro when first proposed!) to build a coffer dam in the lake around the remains of the city, pump out the water and present it as a tourist attraction. Mention is even made of it becoming a "World Heritage Site"!! See Wiki - "In 2005, Bulgarian architect Zheko Tilev proposed a project to uncover, preserve and reconstruct the city of Seuthopolis (the best preserved Thracian city in Bulgaria) by means of a dam wall surrounding the ruins in the middle of the dam, enabling the site's inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and making it a tourist destination of world importance. Tourists would be transported to the site by boats. The round wall, 420 metres in diameter, would enable visitors to see the city from 20 metres above and would also feature "hanging gardens", glass lifts, a quay, restaurants, cafés, shops, ateliers, etc. It would be illuminated at night."

The current T List extension of 8 tombs from "The Valley" makes NO mention of and in no way is dependant on the progress or otherwise of this project. But equally it makes no mention of the lack of the city itself in its scope or why this might be!

Some 12 years later the "Project" still appears to be a "dream" with funding problems and lack of government interest appearing to be major problems. Here are a few documents about the proposal (now known generally as "The Theusopolis Project")
1. The "project file" - http://www.kazanlak.bg/common/src/image/sevtopolis.pdf
2. A bullish document from 2009. The cost is now said to be 150 million Euros but it was then said - "Funding for the project does not seem to be a problem. The largest chunk will come from the European Regional Development Fund, with the rest being provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the UNDP as well as local funding. A number of private donors and investors from abroad are also in place." The EU is, of course, a somewhat different place both now and in the years to come from those far off happy days of 2008/9! EU budgets are likely to become very pressured with Brexit removing UK's massive net contribution. Perhaps Germany will make up the difference....??
http://www.vagabond-bg.com/features/item/259-seuthopolis.html
3. Possible US involvement/funding (From 2016 and therefore "pre Trump"!!) - http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2016/01/11/submerged-anc[/i]ient-thracian-capital-s eut hopolis-in-bulgarias-koprinka-water-reservoir-could-be-resurfaced-with-us-government- money/

Author jeanbon
Registered
#2 | Posted: 10 Jan 2018 12:59 
The bulgarian government decided to allow building the territory of the national parks. Mostly hotels and ski runs and lift in Pirin National Park. But it is 100% valid for the other national parks as well.
A haschtag #savepirin has been created
https://www.savepirin.com/pirin/
This bulgarian WHS could become in danger

Author jeanbon
Registered
#3 | Posted: 10 Jan 2018 14:37 
On the 28.12.2017 the Government of Bulgaria took this decision to allow construction in 48% of the Pirin National Park. One of my bulgarian friend told me the amendments to the management plan permit construction in 3 out of 6 zones of the park. No proper public consultation was made. This is an infringement of Protected Areas Act, Environmental Protection Act, Biodiversity Act, Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) and Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC). There have been mass protests in Bulgaria around this issue for a few weeks.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#4 | Posted: 11 Jan 2018 02:45 | Edited by: Solivagant 
As we now, thanks to jeanbon, quite rightly have a separate topic for Bulgaria (particularly given its role as this year's "Meet up" country!!), I provide below a link to some web research I did way back in 2009 on the subject of the "The Ancient Plovdiv" T List entry -
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=274

It seems worth bringing this subject onto the main Bulgaria topic. It may be of future relevance as, following its failures to gain inscription in both 1983 and 2006, this site just doesn't seem willing to "lie down and die" and has shown signs of resurrection recently. This may be under a new guise possibly limited to a single church - or would they use the new discoveries there to bolster the previous wider nomination? I note that the excavations only finished in July 2017 so Bulgaria would presumably claim that there is a lot of heritage which wasn't known about at the time of the previous attempts! One wouldn't have thought that the passage of time would have strengthened its chances, even with the new discoveries - there are already a fair number of early churches and Ottoman towns etc etc on the List. But stranger things have happened in the WHC recently!!
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/ancient-church-in-plovdiv-bulgaria-reveals-hi dden-secrets-08-24-2017

(Els - I note that you have Plovdiv "scheduled" for 2019 under "Bulgaria" - http://www.worldheritagesite.org/country/Bulgaria.
I don't think that is correct. The above link merely states that the church is opening in 2019 and that there is an intention to go for UNESCO status sometime thereafter)

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