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Monument to the Asen Dynasty in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Monument to the Asen Dynasty, Veliko Tarnovo
Monument to the Asen Dynasty, Veliko Tarnovo

The high bank of the Yantra River offers a stunning view of the beautiful old town of Veliko Tarnovo and its surroundings. It is here, at the bend of the river and the foot of the hill of Light Horus, that the majestic monument “Concord” rises to the sky. In 1985 Bulgaria celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Asenov dynasty. In honor of the proclamation of Veliko Tarnovo the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, a Monument to the Asen Dynasty was erected. This monument is dedicated to the four kings of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, which existed from 1185 to 1396.

The heroic composition represents 4 horsemen, who are located symmetrically to the cardinal points and a giant obelisk of black stone, symbolizing a sword. The tall sword points to the sky and is located in the middle of the ensemble. It shows the power of medieval Bulgaria. Starting from the tsars standing in front of the gallery from left to right, we see the tsars Asen, Peter, Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II, each of whom has characteristic features that are inherent in their reign. They were the most prominent representatives of the dynasty (11 kings in total), during their reign Bulgaria became the strongest state in the Balkans and received a true flourishing. At that time, there was an incredible rise in the economy, politics, cultural enlightenment, despite the short existence of the kingdom.

Veliko Tarnovo. Monument to Asenovtsy
Veliko Tarnovo. Monument to Asenovtsy

Description of the Monument to the Asen Dynasty

Tsar Asen
Tsar Asen

King Asen removes the sword from its scabbard – this personifies the spirit of the dynasty.

Tsar Peter, Monument to the Asen Dynasty
Tsar Peter

Tsar Peter – Asen’s brother folded his hand in blessing, which symbolizes loyalty to the Christian faith and enlightenment.

Kaloyan, Monument to the Asen Dynasty
Kaloyan

The younger brother of Asen and Petr Kaloyan embodies will and courage. His gaze is directed south towards Constantinople.

Tsar Ivan Asen II, Monument to the Asen Dynasty
Tsar Ivan Asen II

Tsar Ivan Asen II – the son of Asen pierces the treaty between Bulgaria and Byzantium with a lance, after the capture of Constantinople by the crusaders. The contract was violated.

The peak of the power of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom fell on the reign of Ivan Asen II (1218-1241). By entering into dynastic marriages and constantly waging wars with the crusaders, Hungarians and Greeks, Tsar Ivan Asen II expanded the territory of the Bulgarian kingdom, by the end of his reign he controlled almost the entire Balkan Peninsula.

Authors

The authors of the monument are Krum Damyanov, Ivan Slavov, Vladimir Ignatov, Georgi Gechev and Tsenov. The Bulgarian sculptor Krum Damyanov is the author of a number of the largest sculptural and memorial ensembles in Bulgaria, for example, in the city of Shumen, the monument “1300th Anniversary of Bulgaria” (1981). The “Asenovtsy” monument is located next to the Boris Denev State Gallery and the Stombolov Bridge. Monument “Asenovtsy” and the surrounding park is a favorite place of recreation for citizens and guests of the city. The summer stage hosts cultural and musical events such as the Dixie Jazz festival.

The Assens Monument
The Assens Monument
Veliko Tarnovo. Monument to the Asen Dynasty
Veliko Tarnovo. Monument to the Asen Dynasty

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