Tsarska Bistritsa Bulgaria | History of Bulgaria | Third Bulgarian Kingdom | Castles in Bulgaria
Tsarska Bistritsa is a former palace of the rulers of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom, situated in southwestern Bulgaria, high in the Rila Mountains, just above the resort of Borovets and near the banks of the Bistritsa River. Discover with us an important part of the history of the last Bulgarian royal dynasty.
Tsarska Bistritsa Palace is definitely one of the most historical places to visit in Borovets area when the ski season is over or during the summer, to enjoy its magnificent garden. Located at 1km from the main street of the familiarly ski resort, in a vast and very peaceful domain, the palace was built by King Ferdinand I between 1898 and 1914. It is a historical landmark of Borovets which served the function of a hunting lodge for the kings Ferdinad I and Boris III.
Here, on the 28th of August 1943, Queen Giovanna received the information that her husband, Boris III, was suffering from a mysterious illness. It was here that six-year-old Simeon and nine-year-old Marie-Louise saw their father for the last time. The hunting lodge was nationalized after 1945, when Bulgaria became a Communist state. The democratic changes of 1989 led to the controversial return of the palace to Simeon II, the last monarch of Bulgaria and afterwards a politician, in October 2002.
The architecture of Tsarska Bistritsa combines, in the spirit of Romanticism, elements of the authentic Bulgarian National Revival style with other European architectural styles.
Sadly, the palace is no longer open to the public.
The hunting lodge of Tsarska Bistritsa holds a large collection of hunting trophies, gathered during half a century. Most of the animals are hunted by Boris III, but there are some trophies from prince Kyril and princess Nadezhda, who loved to go hunting with the rest of the men.
Fortunately, the palace buildings are not the only tourist attractions to see. Here, you can discover a very nice Art Gallery, a permanent exhibition of 60 plein air paintings by prominent Bulgarian painters.
Discover also a cute and very simple Chapel built for the wedding of Princess Kalina.
Then the beautiful garden, where it is nice and relaxing to sit here and there. It offers a very quiet and peaceful moment in communion with nature. There are many rare trees in the domain, brought by King Ferdinand of distant places in the world. Tsarska Bistritsa Palace is a place to discover during your next trip in Borovets.
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