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World Heritage Site

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Thracian tomb of Sveshtari

Thracian tomb of Sveshtari

The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari is a 3rd century BC tomb that reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings.

The tomb's architectural decor is considered to be unique, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. It was rediscovered in 1982.

It differs from the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak as it is a hypogeum, not a construction with a cupola. With its origins in the culture of the Getae, it fits a Hellenistic model that was common in Macedonia, Asia Minor and Egypt.

Map of Thracian tomb of Sveshtari


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

Tsunami Japan / USA / Germany 08-Jun-17

Thracian tomb of Sveshtari by Tsunami

I visited the Thracian Tomb of kazanlak in January and then of Sveshtari in May.

Staying overnight in Isperih, I took a bus from the main bus station of Isperih to the village of Sveshtari and from there walked about 2 km to the site. The bus leaves about once every two hours.

Right after me a few dozens of German cyclists arrived followed by their large bus, which meant that one German-speaking guide gave them a tour of the site and one English-speaking guide gave me a personal tour.

She took me to the 3 tombs on the site (but there are many more out of the site), so unlike the only one tomb at the Kazanlak site, this site resembles more or less like the WHS at Vergina in Greece.

The main tomb / room is structurally supported by caryatids, which is unusual in Thracia as well as in the USA, so I thought it would be nice to have such a tomb.

Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside of the tombs.

Read more from Tsunami here.

John booth New Zealand 07-Dec-12

I reached the site by taxi from Isperih, a 9km journey which cost 20 lev return. Taxis gather at the bus station, 1km north of the railway station.

The tombs are open from Wednesday to Sunday only, entry fee 10 lev.

Rossitza Ohridska-Olson, USA 02-May-09

My husband and I have visited the Sveshtari Tomb the last year and we were delighted by its beauty. There is a regime of controlled access to the tomb, which means that the visit can be done only with a guide from the office of the Sborianovo Archaelogocal reserve. The guided tour also provide visit to another Thracian tomb (the total of the tombs is more than 100) and the guide explains all the details of the style, the epoch and the importance of the tomb.

Solivagant UK 24-Jan-06

Thracian tomb of Sveshtari by Solivagant

The Tomb of Shvestari is Bulgaria’s second UNESCO-inscribed Thracian tomb (see also my review of Kazanlak). It is claimed to be “the finest Thracian tomb in Bulgaria” but, surprisingly, wasn’t excavated and discovered until 1982. When we were there in 2000 we could not get in. As you can see from the photo, that is a distinct negative, as the mound itself sitting in a field is not that interesting! I understand from some web sites however that, as of 2006, it might be possible – albeit with prior arrangements, to get inside. I quote “The whole is encased in a protective shell and is open to visitors, though at present, at irregular times - it's vital that you ring or call in at the museum in Isperih or at Aristour in Shumen to check that it's open before making a special trip”.

Perhaps that part of Bulgaria has become more “tourist savvy” in the intervening years. We had great difficulty even getting locals to understand what it was we wanted to see! The nearest village is over 2kms away and the site wasn’t signposted along any of the several possible routes. Our few words of Russian for “Please - where is?” (We had no Bulgarian and English, French or Spanish didn’t help) whilst pointing at a print out of the UNESCO page for the site which contained a picture of the interior didn’t seem to lead anyone to link the presence of some “lost” tourists to this site and guess what it was we might be enquiring about! Or perhaps they just enjoyed having a laugh at tourists’ expense!

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Community Rating

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Site Info

Full name: Thracian tomb of Sveshtari

Unesco ID: 359

Inscribed: 1985

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 1   3  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 1985 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Thracian tomb of Sveshtari


The site has 9 connections.



Religion and Belief

  • Horse Burials: "Note that the bone matter found during excavation bears witness to the horse sacrifices which accompagnied (sic) the funeral rites." (AB)



World Heritage Process