The Pliska National Historical and Architectural Reserve

Roughly 29 km from Shumen and just 2 km from present-day Pliska are the remains of Bulgaria’s first capital. Pliska was the capital of the First Bulgarian Kingdom, from 681-893. The location of the capital was not chosen at random – the valley surrounded by the hillsides of neighboring plateaus appealed to the proto-Bulgarians as a favorable place to pasture their herds. The location was also at an intersection of major thoroughfares. The first structures at Pliska date from the end of the 7th century. They were made of wood and either circular or rectangular. Some were living quarters, while others served different purposes. The first palaces were surrounded by fortified walls and in the surrounding fields villages were built to house workers. At the end of the 8th century and at the beginning of the 9th century, buildings made of stone replaced those made of wood. It is thought that the first stone structure was the palace of Han Krum. In 811, the capital was razed by the Byzantine Emperor Nikifor.
Today visitors can still visit the Eastern Gate, once the main entrance to the castle. The gate is now a protected site. About 1.5 km from the Gate is the Great Basilica. Tourists can also walk through the Imperial Palace, as the Omurtag Palace is called, since that was its function when Bulgarian rulers occupied it during the first half of the 9th century. Also in the vicinity is the so-called “Small Palace.” Everywhere there are fragments of ornamental building blocks topped with cornices, along with baths aquaducts, and cisterns.
There is a museum located at the northeastern corner of the palace that displays artifacts discovered in the region, and in front of the museum there is a rest area that offers coffee, nonalcoholic drinks, and packaged snacks.

Where to stay near The Pliska National Historical and Architectural Reserve

Additional Information

April – October
8.30 am – 7.00 pm
every dayNovember – March
8.30 am – 5.00 pm
every day
Ticket for adults – 5 BNG
Ticket for students – 2 BNG
Family Tickets:
– Parents with one or more children – 9 BNG
– Parent with two or more children – 7 BNG
Three-day ticket:
– Ticket for adults – 12 BNG
– Ticket for students – 6 BNG
Guide fee: Bulgarian language – 10 BNG
Guide fee: English language, German language – 15 BNG