Yambol

Yambol is a new and fascinating destination for cultural tourism. Situated at the ancient, but also modern crossroads, the town gathers in itself a rich heritage of past eras and offers an exciting journey through the tunnel of time from Prehistory to the present day.

We are taken back in time to the Thracians and Romans, through the Thracian and Antique Town of Kabile, the only preserved Thracian town in Bulgaria, the cult and religious center, the residence of the Thracian kings, and the Roman camp.

In the center of Yambol is situated a beautiful building with centuries-old history - the Bezisten - a cultural monument of National importance, rated as one of the most beautiful covered markets in the Balkans. The Bezisten is nowadays turned into a modern interactive museum, where specially designed software and high-tech computer equipment present in an innovative way the cultural and historical heritage of the Yambol region.

The walk in the past continues with the Museum of War Glory, which honors Bulgarian heroism in the struggle to achieve the national ideal. The museum attracts with unique exhibits and non-standard expositions, presenting in 3D format scenes of combats, as close as possible to the realities of the battlefield.

These three sites are part of the 100 National tourist sites, but they are not all that could be seen in Yambol.

Our gallery has the richest collection of decorative and applied arts in the country. The Gallery bears the name of the Yambol-born artist Georgi Papazov - a prominent representative of French modernism of the early 20th century, one of the founders of surrealism. Close to the gallery is the Regional Historical Museum with more than 90,000 exhibits. Interesting are the temples - Eastern Orthodox churches, Catholic church, Armenian church, and one of the oldest Mosques in the country. Yambol has a wonderful park located on an island with many rare plants and beautiful colorful compositions.
Yambol is the town of the Kukeri and the International Masquerade Festival "Kukerland". The festival is a colorful kaleidoscope of traditions and modernity, exciting emotions and new friendships.

A unique experience for every visitor is also the "Yambol Christmas buenek" a holiday tradition with the only dancing carol-singers in the country. The list of experiences can be complemented by an Orphic ceremony for meeting the sun, the Golden Diana celebration, an open-air art festival, etc.

Yambol "... a pleasant town with nice air and tasty water ... surrounded from three sides by the Tundzha river ... bustling and decorated ..." – that is how the traveler Evlia Chelebi saw it in the 17th century. Today the town represents a fascinating combination of antiquity and modernity, awaiting its guests.

Archaeological reserve "Thracian and ancient town of Kabyle"

7 km away from Yambol is situated the only preserved in Bulgaria large Thracian ancient town – the antique Kabyle. It had the unique chance to be preserved till today, unlike Seuthopolis, which remained under the Koprinka dam or the other large Thracian city - Philippopolis, on which a modern city is built.

This allows Kabyle to be almost fully explored and easily accessible for tourists. The architectural remains of Kabyle are impressive, with many of them preserved and restored.

The characteristic of the site is that it gives a unique opportunity for a peculiar journey during the "stops": Prehistory, Thracian Age, Hellenistic Period, Roman Age, Early Middle Ages.

Above the ancient town of Kabyle is situated the Thracian rock sanctuary Rabbit peak dating from the 2nd millennium BC, which is considered an ancient Thracian observatory.

Archaeological reserve "Thracian and ancient town of Kabyle" is under number 99 in the list of the 100 national tourist sites.

Attraction "Castellum"

Within the framework of the Archaeological reserve "Thracian and ancient town of Kabyle" there is a distinct attraction "Castellum" - a miniaturized copy of an earthen and wooden Roman military camp built on an area of ​​1000 square meters. It is a natural setting for restorations of historical events - battles between Roman and Thracian warriors, recreation of elements of customs, daily life and fighting techniques of Roman legionaries.

These historical restorations can be seen during the traditional Fair of Tourist Entertainments and Animations, organized by the Regional History Museum and Yambol Municipality on the eve of the celebration of Yambol holiday – the day of the Holy Spirit.

They can also be ordered as a special event when organized groups visit the site.

Bezisten with an interactive museum

The Interactive museum - Bezisten is one of the tourist attractions in Yambol. The innovative tourist product was created as part of the reconstruction of the 5th-century old building. A specially designed software product and a high-tech computer equipment present in an innovative way the cultural and historical heritage of the Yambol region. The 4-component multimedia system contains 86 audio-video information products for a total duration of 7 hours. The videos are presented in 5 languages ​​- Bulgarian, Russian, French, German and English.

Yambol Bezisten (covered market) is the only in Bulgaria preserved building of this type from the time of the Ottoman domination. It is assessed as one of the most beautiful covered markets in the Balkans and a benchmark of public construction for civilian needs in the Ottoman Empire within the period XV-XVII century.

"Beziten with an interactive museum" is under number 99 A in the list of the 100 national tourist sites.

Museum of Battle Glory

The only one of its kind municipal Museum of battle glory is situated in Yambol. It attracts visitors with unique exhibits and non-standard expositions, which in the form of 3D renderings present scenes of combat action, as close as possible to the realities of the battlefield. These include unique exhibits of German armoured vehicles, including the legendary Jagdpanzer L 48, of which only around 7 pieces have been preserved throughout the world.

One of the museum's acquisitions is a model of the legendary Zeppelin L 59, built on 1:38 scale specifically for the Museum of battle glory. Yambol hosted one of the two largest German zeppelins used during the First World War.

The Museum of battle glory has at its disposal particularly valuable uniforms from the period of the First and Second World Wars. The collection of hand firearms shows the overall armament of the Bulgarian Army in the period between the Russo-Turkish Liberation War and the present day.

The main attractions of the museum are the annual restorations of the First and Second World Wars military activities, which attract the interest of hundreds of residents and guests of the city.

The Museum of battle glory is under number 99 B in the list of the 100 national tourist sites.          

"George Papazov" Art Gallery

The Gallery has a collection of more than 3 500 movable cultural assets. What distinguishes it from other galleries in the country is the rich collection of decorative and applied arts. Some of the most significant samples in the field of artistic textiles, carving, ceramics, metal, glass, leather and adornments are housed here.

In the collection of paintings, right to the names of major Bulgarian painters Vladimir Dimitrov – The Master, Vasil Barakovo Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Svetlin Rusev, etc., rank the names of those born in Yambol and the region like Georgi (Georges) Papazov, Ivan Slavov, Georgi Popov-John and Alexander Popgeorgiev.

The gallery is in possession of an extremely valuable collection of nearly 350 icons and church plates dating back to the 16th - 20th centuries, presenting various iconographic schools.

The permanent exhibition includes some of the most valuable exhibits from the gallery collection, including the icon of St. Anna with Virgin Mary from the XVI century.  

Festivals and attractions

International Masquerade Festival "Kukerlandia" - Yambol

The Kukerlandia festival is the emblem of Yambol as a festival town. The event gathers thousands of participants and guests to the city, who come to experience the colourful and deafening spectacle. The "Kukerlandia" motto "When the Festival Is Life" reflects the full-blooded life of the ancient kukeri tradition on this land and the splendid mood that fills everyone who has become part of the holiday. Kukerlandia is held annually at the end of February or in the early days of March. Kukerhood is invariably related to the approaching of the first Sunday before Lent and the customs of chasing the evil spirits away, meeting the spring and awakening the earth. The Yambol Festival is one of the largest and most spectacular events in the country. Thousands of kukers, babugers, sourvakars, old men and other masked mummers, literally from all parts of Bulgaria, take place. The colour of the holiday is complemented by the participation of many foreign groups. Among the hallmarks of the Yambol Festival are the giant Kukeri masks - creepy 3-meter installations that add a unique colour to the holiday. The territory of the festival is the Yambol city park, turned into Kukertown. The four-day event is celebrated with many concerts, exhibitions, competitions, open-air workshops, parades, grills and appetizers.

National Fair of Tourist Entertainments and Animations

The National fair of tourist entertainments and animations is held every year in the days around the Yambol Festival, in the Archaeological Reserve “Thracian and ancient town of Kabyle”, and offers some of the largest historical restorations in the country. Among the attractions of the fair are fights between the Romans and Thracians, replicas of authentic weapons and clothing, scenes from the lives of the ancient people, the slave market, the recreation of ancient rituals and the crafts market. An unforgettable experience for the audience is the opportunity to engage in the attractions - archery, horse riding, animations for children, barbooth /ancient dice game/, tasting food and drinks typical of the antique era, or testing their skills in the art workshops.

Festival "Christmas Buenek"

"Christmas Buenek" festival of dancing Yambol carol singers - a unique experience for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the magic of the old Bulgarian custom of Christmas. The song "Come on, Nine!", accompanied by the rhythm of a heavy Christmas buenek (type of dance), echoes in Yambol for tens of years on December 25th. The best groups present the unique local tradition of the country's only dancing carol singers - these from Yambol.

Welcoming the sun on the day of the summer solstice

 The ritual takes place on the Thracian rock sanctuary, over the ancient town of Kabyle. Many enthusiasts climb the hill "Rabbit Peak" on the early morning of the longest day of the year to meet the first rays of the sun and to recharge themselves with the energy of the millennial sanctuary. The rock sanctuary is considered an ancient Thracian observatory. The Thracians have recognized the longest day of the year when the first sun beam passed through a special groove and lit the image of the goddess Cybele cut into the rock.

Holiday of Yambol

Holiday of Yambol - celebrated on several consecutive days with a variety of festivals, attractions, innovative cultural events. The highlights are the concerts of legendary performers who gather thousands of audiences - Goran Bregovic, Lyube, Graham Bonnet, Bobby Kimball, Silver Wings and others.

Art Festival "Open spaces"

Art festival "Open spaces" - the festival, which gives inspiration and free expression to artists and citizens. With a particular vigour, different urban spaces come to life with processions and parades, artistic installations, theatrical and show performances, musical projects and art workshops.

National Graffiti Fest

National graffiti fest - one of the most significant youth art events in Yambol and the country. The city park becomes a colourful attraction for young graffiti artists and for popular names of graffiti art in Bulgaria. Huge colourful canvases fill the paths of the park and complement its beauty with modern works of art.