The New Wonders of Bulgaria

1/6/13

Team of Standart and our readers will vote for the greatest archeological discoveries of the new millennium

(Sofia, June 1) – On July 28th, 2010, Bulgarian archeologist Prof. Kazimir Popkonstantinov and his team unearthed the relics of St. John the Baptist near the southern coastal town of Sozopol. At first, nobody believed that these were the relics of the saint, but today thousands of tourists visit the St. St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Sozopol to see the sacred artifact.

In a special documentary, National Geographic called the relics “the most significant contemporary find in the field of religious archeology”.

But are the relics of St. John the Baptist really the greatest archeological discovery of the new millennium in Bulgaria?

The answer to this question will be given in the national vote for the new Wonders of Bulgaria. The list of Bulgaria’s important historical landmarks is quite long and the choice will not be easy.

Over the next thirty days, each Bulgarian will be able to suggest to the Standart their nominations for Bulgaria’s most significant archeological discovery of the new millennium.

You can nominate landmarks or archeological sites discovered in the period 2000-2012. The nominates sites should have a high scientific value, trigger wide public interest both in Bulgaria and abroad and have the potential to boost the cultural-historical tourism in their area.

The national electronic vote starts at the beginning of July and will have two stages. At the beginning of 2013, the Standart invited all Bulgarian municipalities, museums, historians and archeologists to make their nominations for the new Wonders of Bulgaria.

So far, hundreds of nominations have been received at the Standart’s office – the mural paintings in the Alexander’s Tomb near Haskovo; the Little Tsarigrad in the region of Haskovo; the Urvich fortress; the remains of the oldest human skeleton discovered near the village of Ohoden in the region of Vrasta; the Protograd complex near Pazardzhik; the Roman mosaics in Stara Zagora; the temple of Kibela in Balchik; the Kastritsi fortress near Varna; the remains of fortress walls near Sozopol, etc.

These landmarks and your nominations will be presented to the members of the council of the “Wonders of Bulgaria” campaign. The council will announce the nominations. A nationwide vote organized by the Standart daily will determine the top 20 archaeological discoveries of the new millennium. The top 10 will be chosen at the beginning of September.

“We set bigger goals every year. In 2013, we will try to convince the government to help fund and sustain the discoveries that Bulgarians consider important,” said Slavka Bozukova, chief editor of the Standart.

“We will try also to convince the government to help popularize these discoveries abroad, so that foreign tour operators to integrate them in their cultural and historical packages.”

Open discussions with mayors and archeologists will be held throughout 2013 within the framework of the campaign the “Wonders of Bulgaria”.

We expect the local authorities to set up appropriate transport infrastructure, which will make the new wonders accessible to the public, because we don’t want just to make the wonders popular, but also to take the people to see them,” Slavka Bozukova added.

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