Cyril and Methodius Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

Cyril and Methodius Heritage

National Historical and Archeological Reserve “Pliska”

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The ancient city of Pliska is the capital of the First Bulgarian State from the founding of Bulgaria in the late 7th c. by Khan Asparuh until 893. The archaeological site & museum is located 2 kilometres from the modern city of Pliska. Pliska is first mentioned in the famous Chatalar inscription (Proto-Bulgarian inscription) from 822. 

The archaeological excavation of the site began in 1899-1900 on the initiative and under the supervision of Fyodor Uspenski and Karel Škorpil. They reviled that Pliska was surrounded by double concentric external (embankment and moat) and internal, additional stone wall, with round, five- and four-angle towers.
After many years of archaeological research, on an area of ​​23 km2, the remains of the outer and inner city, a Throne Palace, a Small Palace, a pagan temple, a palace church, a reservoir, baths, farm and residential buildings and an impressive cathedral are discovered. The Great Basilica – 1.5 kilometres from the Eastern Gate of the fortress, is a large monastery complex built in the 9th century. The disciples of Cyril and Methodius are probably welcomed there by Prince Boris I.
Most of the objects and artefacts found are exhibited in the museum and visitors can learn facts about the material and spiritual culture of the local population in VII-X centuries. There are two happenings, annually held as touristic attractions: the folklore festival “Cherga” (ethno music, dances and customs, usually in July) and the annual medieval fair “Days of Ancestors” – one of the the most significant historical reenactments in Bulgaria (medieval martial arts, culture and tradition, food and clothing).

What can you visit here?

It was filmed about Pliska

The Cyrillic Courtyard

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Battle of Pliska

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Information from history

History of the area

Originally, Pliska was a military camp protected by ramparts and moats. More than 200 years it remained the main administrative, political and cultural centre of the first Bulgarian State.

Where to get tourist information?


Professor Rasho Rashev Archaeological Museum

9920 Pliska, Bulgaria
tel. +359 889 539 823

Regional History Museum Shumen

Slavyanski bul.17, BG - 9700 Shumen, Bulgaria
tel. +359 54 87 54 87

Transport - how to get to the Reserve?

The National Historical and Archaeological Reserve “Pliska” is located 23 km from the city of Shumen and 70 km from the city of Varna. There is no public transport to the site. There is a train station (Kaspichan), 6 km from the reserve. It can be reached by car from Sofia (199 km) on A2 and 772 until Kaspichan, and then to Pliska (approx.: 4:40 hours), from Varna on E70 , than from exit 362 toward Kaspichan and then to Pliska (approx. for 1 hour)

Tips for accommodation