Bulgaria, Monuments, Shipka
Shipka Memorial Monument
During the Russo-Turkish War in 1877 and 1878, Shipka Pass was the scene of a series of conflicts collectively named the Battle of Shipka Pass, fought between the Russians aided by Bulgarian volunteers and the Ottoman Empire.
The Shipka Memorial Monument -„Шипка“ is on Stoletov Peak near the pass, reached by a flight of steps or a short road. It is a Memorial monument to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. It was opened with a ceremony in 1934 and designed by architect Atanas Donkov and sculptor Aleksandar Andreev.
The monument is a 31.5 m high stone tower in the form of a truncated pyramid. A giant bronze lion 8 m long and 4 m high, stands above the entrance to the tower, and a figure of a woman represents the victory over the Ottoman forces. A marble sarcophagus housing some of the remains of the Russian and Bulgarian casualties is located on the first floor. There are four other floors where one can find replica of Bulgarian military flags and other relics, and the top of the tower reveals a beautiful panorama of Shipka Peak and the surrounding area.
Going south down from the Shipka pass you will find yourself in the village of Shipka. Don't miss to stop there and to see another one of the beautiful and very pictureful monasteries in Bulgaria Shipka Monastery.
The Temple Monument of Shipka - the Birth of Christ (Храм-паметник „Рождество Христово“, Hram-pametnik „Rozhdestvo Hristovo“), better known as Shipka Monument Church or Shipka Monastery is a Bulgarian Orthodox Church built near the town of Shipka in Stara Planina between 1885 and 1902 by Antoniy Tomishko under the direction of architect Alexander Pomerantsev.
The church's bell tower reaches a height of 53 m and its bells, the heaviest of which weighs 12 tons, were cast from the cartridges that were collected after the battles. In the temple itself, the names of the Russian regiments and Bulgarian volunteers are inscribed on 34 marble plates. The remains of the perished are laid in 17 stone tombs in the church's crypt.
Going down to the part north of the Pass Shipka you can go and visit many other churches, many monasteries in this area - Sokolski Monastery, Drianovski Monastery and the Cave just nearby "Bacho Kiro", Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo with all the churches and monasteries nearby, many villages like Arbanasi and Bojentsi, which saved the history architecture of Bulgaria and the small special village, which is an Open Air Museum called "Etura - Architectural-Ethnographic Complex". Don't miss to see all these beautiful places moreover they are very close one to another one.