The royal necropolis of the Thracian city of Seuthopolis (extension)
The royal necropolis of the Thracian city of Seuthopolis – a serial site, extension of the Kazanlak Thracian tomb is part of the Tentative list of Bulgaria in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List. It is a proposed extension of Thracian tomb of Kazanlak WHS.
The royal necropolis of Seuthopolis comprise 8 burial mounds in the Kazanlak Valley. They were built for Thracian noblemen in the 4th and 3rd century BC. Objects like a mask made of thick gold sheet and the bronze head of Seuthes III have been found here.
Map of The royal necropolis of the Thracian city of Seuthopolis (extension)Load map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I found the 4 visitable tombs are easily reached by a frequent local bus from Kazanlak to the village of Shipka from where it is a few kilometers walk.
The magnificent mask found near the tomb of Seuthes III can be admired in the Archeological Museum in Sofia.
I found each of the tombs interesting and surprising in their design. I think the extension would make sense.
Seuthopolis, one the main cities from Thracian era, now lies under the water of an artificial lake near Kazanlak. But several tombs from Thracian kings and nobles, hidden under earth tumuli, still cover the area around it. While Kazanlak tomb is the most famous one (for its paintings) and is already a WHS, several other tombs have been proposed as an extension of this site. Some of these tombs can easily be visited: they are just a 15 minute drive north of Kazanlak, very well sign-posted from the main road, and very close to each other.
We first visited Goliama Kostmaka, famous because a beautiful sculpted head of the king buried in that tomb was found during the archaeological investigations. It is believed to be Seuth III, king of Seuthopolis. But the tomb itself is also very impressive, built with massive stones, perfectly adjusted to each other, which in some way reminded us of the Inca constructions in South America (although Thracian civilization is much older than Incas). Inside are also displayed copies of artefacts and jewelleries found in the tomb, including a gold crown similar to the one found at Philippe II tomb in Aegia, Greece. As a family, we paid the equivalent of 5 euros to visit that place.
We then went to a nearby group of three other tombs – Griffins, Helvetia, Shushmanets. Those three are 200 m from each other, and there is a small, recently opened visitors information point where you buy a single ticket for the visit of the three of them (again, approximately 5 euros for the whole family). Shushmanets was in my opinion the most impressive one, with a nice column to support the vault at the front the tomb, and semi columns adorning the walls of the main chamber.
Although no paintings are preserved in these tombs, visiting them is an opportunity to see the real monuments and to appreciate the building techniques of the Thracian. After these visits, we ended our day at the replica at Kazanlak, and we enjoyed them as a whole, all being evidences from the same now disappeared civilization. We believe it would really make sense to have them inscribed together with Kazanlak. Last but not least, while Kazanlak replica is always a busy place, we were almost alone when visiting the other ones.
2016 Added to Tentative List
The site has 8 locations
29 Community Members have visited.