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Surrounding areas of Kazanluk

Shipka-Bouzludzha National Park-Museum was founded in 1956. It includes the Birth of Christ Memorial Church (the Sipka Monastery) nearby the town of Shipka (12 km north of Kazanluk, regular bus line), The Memorial of Freedom on Mt. Shipka (above the Shipka Pass through the Balkan Mountain, 26 km. north-west of Kazanluk, all Kazanluk-Gabrovo busses stop there), and the historical sites nearby - the Monument of Victory and the adjacent park close to the village of Sheinovo (11 km north-west of the town and 3 km south of the town of Shipka, regular bus lines) and the historical places at Mt. Buzludzha (17 km north of the town and 12 km to the east of Shipka Pass, no regular bus lines) in the Balkan Mountain.

In the surroundings of the town of Shipka, on the southern slopes of the Balkan, Bulgarians have built the Birth of Christ Memorial Church in honour to the heroes of the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation of 1877-1878 - Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers. Its gold plated domes and beautifully ornamented facade stand out against the mountain and attract the attention of all heading for the Shipka Pass. Sanctified on 27 September 1902, the memorial church is built in the Russian clerical architectural style of the 17th century with an entrance under 3 arcs, over which there is a high and impressive belfry. The names of the Russian regiments and the soldiers who gave their life for the liberation of the country are engraved on 34 marble plates. In the church one can enjoy Slavic spiritual music and see the permanent exhibit of icons and church plate. Working hours: every day from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Professional guides available on demand.

The Memorial of Freedom stands proud on Mt. Stoletov (1326 metres) to the south of the Shipka Pass in the Balkan Mountain. A stairway of 894 steps gets visitors from the pass to the memorial, built in 1934 with the voluntary support of the whole nation. It is 31.5 meters high and over its main entrance one can see the proud figure of a bronze lion. The other three sides of this entrance bear the inscribed the names of Shipka, Sheinovo and Stara Zagora - the battle fields reminding us of the heroes of war and the feats of Bulgarian volunteers. Working hours: every day from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Professional guides available on demand. The Memorial of Freedom is amidst Shipka National Park-Museum. Indeed, few are the museums situated in the very real theatre of battles and Shipka is one of them. It includes all the places and points of interest related to the defence of Shipka Pass and is a complex of memorials, remakes of strategic positions once held, trenches and batteries. The historical, and most noted, rocky cliff Mt.  Orlovo Gnezdo - is nearby. It became the arena of the decisive and dramatic battle for the pass from 21st to 23rd August 1877 , which later inspired the national poet Ivan Vazov to write the immortal poem Opalchenzite na Shipka (The Defenders of Shipka) Each year on 3rd March (Bulgarian National Holiday) and on 23rd August (the most dramatic day of the battles and of the whole Russian-Turkish War) national festivities are held. As a result, a whole tourist settlement has emerged through the years.

The feat of Russian and Bulgarians during the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation has been honoured by yet another monument the memorial at the village of Sheinovo. It is built exactly on the spot, where the spontaneous parade of victory was held on 28th December 1877 to mark raising of the white flag by Veissel Pasha and the surrender of his army of 30 000. It is in the form of a sword 15.6 meters high - blade up. The memorial bears engraved the names of all Russian and Bulgarian participants in the battles and texts of gratitude as well.

Under the historic Mt. Buzludzha in the Balkan, stands the memorial of Hadzhi Dimitur and his volunteers, erected on a small meadow on the northern slope of the peak, where all found their death on 2nd August 1868. It is a sculpture of the leader at the head of a wall of 28 stone blocks, bearing the names of the dead warriors. There is a whole tourist settlement, including two chalets with the same name - Bouzloudzha.

Other points of interest around the town of Kazanluk include St. Paraskeva Church in the village of Enina (4 km north of the town, regular buss line) built during the reign Tsar Assen II about 1237-1238 and considered the oldest in the district. Several times partially burnt and recovered it owes its notoriety to the manuscripts found therein. St. Nicolai Monastery is close to the town of Muglizh (15 km east of Kazanluk and 2.5 km north of its centre, regular bus lines). It is beautifully situated on the bank of Muglizh River and represents an immortal bastion of Bulgarian spirit.

The Koprinka Dam is only 6-7 km to the west of the town. There are recreational and tourist facilities built around it - a wonderful place for leisure and sports out in the open air. It is easily accessible by regular bus lines from the town.

Kazanluk Mineral Baths (Ovoshtnik) are located 5 km to the east of the town and 2 km south of Ovoshtnik in the immediate vicinity of the Toundzha River. There one will find an open mineral beach. Some of the villages adjacent to the town of Kazanluk are departure points of several marked tourist tracks crossing the Shipka Balkan (refer to the Stara Planina related chapter herein).

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