Google PlusFacebook
Access for people with disabilities. The museum is open every day.


Tourist sites from The Inner city of The Second Bulgarian capital 


  1. Ruler’s basilica

    One of the most representative places in the inner city is a magnificent church temple. Its proximity to the Palace complex by a 30-meter-long street and a 1.50-meter-wide street defines it as The Rulers basilica and part of the magnificent Palace ensemble. Its impressive dimensions of 47.50 m long and 21.10 m wide make it the second largest Bulgarian church found in our lands. The temple entered from the west into a triple outer narthex or exonarthex, followed by a second antechamber or a narthex. The central premise is divided into three ships and ends with a vast and deeply adjacent space with three apses. Its alleged date is IX century and is associated with the construction of monumental church buildings after the Christianization of Medieval Bulgaria under Prince Boris I. It was probably during this first building period that the temple did not include the outer narthex. Traces of an additional entrance were found from the south of the narthex and probably there has a symmetrical entrance from the north. The floor of the antechamber was laid out with large marble slabs. During the second construction period of the 10th century, the outside anteroom with almost square premises from the north and south was added. The traces show that there was a spiral staircase on the second floor in the north. It should be noted that exonarthex ceases to exist in the second half of XI c. The building is made of specially carved blocks of equal size of limestone with a length of over one meter and preserved fragments of marble and limestone architectural decoration - capitals, bases, facing tiles etc. The Rulers church has an underlined representative character, apart from the flooring of marble slabs and the colorful cubes forming an opus sectile tangle. These braids form six parallel strips in the central ship, the space between them being laid and here with white marble slabs. The rulers church, probably towering at an altitude of 20 meters, occupies an important place in the town-planning of the Second Bulgarian Capital.



  1. Palace complex

    The most representative place in the Inner City of the Second Bulgarian Capital occupies the two main buildings of the Palace Architectural Ensemble. The halls of the complex are the Grand Palace, also called the Throne Palace, from the East and the Little Palace, also known as Housing, from the west. They are connected by a three-story building. The building includes the representative building south of the Little Palace and the Ruins Basilica in the east. Urban planning between buildings was decided through squares made of solid limestone slabs. Under them there are parts of the plumbing and sewerage system. Next to the central entrance to the north of the Throne Pavilion leads a street connecting it to the north gate.

   The main building in the architectural ensemble is the Throne Chamber. Built in the period of the capital, the building has a rectangular plan, with a length of 35 m and a width of 22 m, oriented north-south. The main hull consists of a ground floor and an upper floor. The ground is divided into two parts - northern and southern. The northern one is an antechamber divided into three rooms. Here was the official entrance part of which, through a ladder, entered the main hall on the second floor. The southern part is divided by longitudinal walls of a main room flanked by four rectangular spaces. The middle longitudinal wall keeps the floor in the main hall. The throne room was a rectangular plan divided into three with colonnades forming two lateral corridors. Given the entrance to the north, the rulers throne is probably located south from the center. The palace was about 22 meters high. The study of the building was marked by remarkable examples of decorative stone sculpture: bases, columns, capitals, cornices, etc.

    From the northwest corner of the Grand Palace, the triple monumental building goes to the Little Palace. Its façade appears as an extension of the northern facade of the Throne Chamber. The building provided the "warm connection" between the two main hulls.

    The residential palace is located in the west, the highest part of the Palace complex. The ground floor has a rectangular and north-south direction. Its main part is built on the remains of a building from the pre-historic period, ending with a semicircular niche in the south. It may have served as the residence of the warlord of the military camp rising here. A massive stone wall was erected around the early building. One of the reconstructions in the northern part of the new building is an entrance hall with entrance from the north, from where a staircase leads to a low floor in the anteroom. From here, it was going to the main southern part of the building, which stepped onto the space of the earlier building, filled with artificial embankment. This part underwent several reconstructions during the metropolitan period, in which a central longitudinal narrow corridor and nine side rooms were formed.

  The next major reconstruction of the complex took place in the post-centennial period, in the 12th century, and concerns the Little Palace, preserving the corridor along its longitudinal axis. The character and purpose of the complex is changing. The free square and courtyard spaces are built. The residential and manufacturing parts of the neighborhood are formed. A necropolis is also developing. The brilliance of the old capital gives way to everyday urban medieval life. 

  1. Representative building

    To the south of the Little Palace is built and organized a yard, in which two buildings were erected. The shaping of this southwest courtyard, which due to its location is an integral part of the Palace Ensemble, took place not earlier than the end of the IX-X c. A good chronological indicator of this can be found at the building level of the west wall of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI (886-912).

     Building 1 is located in the northern part of the courtyard, right in front of the southern façade of the Little Palace. The total built-up area is 252 sq.m. The building is an elongated chain building and evolves to a length of 36 m from west to east, divided into seven rooms. Seven meters is the length of the building from north to south. The parts are separated by parallel walls of one another. The chain layout of the building is known from a number of other buildings in early medieval architecture and Preslav itself. To the courtyard and the building could also go on a horse, which is mentioned in the sloping ramps.

Undoubtedly, the building was a dwelling but a temporary one. From the initial period, i. from the time of use and in the main function and purpose originate finds, which are connected with the supply of food and drinks at the table.

It is quite possible that it was the type of so-called pavilions - buildings in the courtyard and urban environment associated with the rulers palaces, used for relaxation and reflection or for the reception of guests.

     Building 2 was erected in this yard at the same time or almost simultaneously with the first one. It is located 20 meters north of the southern facade of building 1. It has the same orientation on its long axis. Its eastern part was erected on a platform overhanging and ten feet away at a site south of the palaces. The location of the building in the facility thus prepared shows a preconceived planning idea in this part of the palace center. The foundations form a rectangular building with a longitudinal axis east-west. To the east, a large rectangular hall is formed, and to the west an antechamber. A thick 5-cm mortar on the western floor shows that he was probably laid with marble tiles in opus sectyle.

    This building has special functions such as tri-clinics or pavilions for receptions in the palace centers of the East and West. Obviously the two buildings are tied to similar and complementary functions, which further enhance their closure in a yard.

Most likely, buildings of the two types are known as trincias in the Palace of Constantinople, a large hall designed for receptions of a different character. The formation of the complex of the southwest courtyard is not only a matter of shaping the center of the palace city, but also a necessity. The Princely and Imperial Residential City has felt the need for different buildings, the need of which has already been demonstrated in Constantinople Palace life. And the Bulgarian ruler needed separate isolated halls and kiosks in the common courtyard system, which both the buildings on the southwest terrace and perhaps others not yet known had to play.

     In addition, it should be noted that the northern wall of building 1 is on the foundations of the early Preslav military camp. Final Aula has a rectangular plan and dimensions of 103 x 147 m, east-west direction. Probably at the beginning of the 9th century and later expanded to the south and east, it did not exist at the time of the announcement of the new capital. 

  1. Archbishop / Patriarchal Palace IX-X c.

    A complex layout and a monumental building of stone blocks. The building is oriented to its long north-south axis and has a size of 22x17 m. The ground floor is divided into three parts, each of which is divided into several rooms. The official entrance is from the north and takes you to the central part of the building. The lateral parts consist of three rooms, the average of which is 11 meters long, and the finals are smaller and have an almost square plan. In the smaller rooms are built circular brick columns for winding stairs. The building is connected to the Palaces Church from the east with two rows of columns that wore a covered gallery. The study of the building has been found to be cast-iron partitions, which are part of the architectural decoration. The flooring is made of marble slabs. 

  1. Patriarchal church IX-X c.

    The Palace Church is situated in the middle of an ensemble of buildings forming the Preslav Archaeological or Patriarchal Complex. It falls into a large courtyard surrounded by a stone wall. The area occupied by this yard has an incorrect four-sided plan, elongated east-west. The church is almost at the center of the enclosed courtyard. According to the foundations, the dimensions of the church are: 31 m long and 17 m wide. The palace church is a three-nave, triapic basilica with narthex and exonarthex. The division of the inner space is made up of two rows of columns. A characteristic feature that highlights the desire to ensure the stability of the building is the construction of a system of contrasts (props). Their number is 18, four are on the western façade, and on the north and south there are seven. The altar of the church is formed by the three semicircular apses and the periphytic space. The central apse is the largest and is projected to the east in front of the side. In the northern ship and exonarthex of the Palace Basilica fragments of mosaic were found which covered the floor level of the church. Testimonies for the rich decoration of the church are the found capitals, column bases, fragments of cornices and cladding plates. To the south and east of the basilica are several buildings. Their foundations overlap with the fact that they were built and destroyed at different times. In a plan, they are composed of a row of square or rectangular spaces. There are traces of the colonnade in front of some facades.  

  1. Bathrooms and buildings south of the Patriarchal church IX-X c.

    The bathroom is preserved with a part of its original construction. It is built on the remains of an earlier bathroom. Over time it has undergone several reconstructions. In the southern premises are the heating and facilities. The bathroom is equipped with under floor heating (hippocampus /a system of pipes through which hot air passes/). Near the western façade of the bathroom there is a small church dated from the end of the 10th to the 11th century. The church building is cross-shaped with a semi-circular apse and a single narthex. Its length is 10.60 m and its width is 5.40 m. It comes from a large number of fragments of plaster with frescoes. Functionally connected to the small church is a building south of the bathroom. It has a rectangular plan with dimensions 8.00 x 6.50 m, east-west direction. It consists of two rooms of different lengths. 

  1. Water supply and sewerage system

    The entire area beneath the stone pavement of the inner city squares is cut by numerous water pipes built with clay pipes with or without a mortar bed. In some places, lead is found with a narrower diameter than the ceramic ones. They supplied the buildings on a graphite basis, following the slope of the terrain, with clean water from the main plumbing. Within the Inner City, masonry channels have been discovered that have collected wastewater and atmospheric waters in the central / large / channel. The large canal is built and covered with large limestone slabs. The channel is 0.5 m wide and 0.8 m high. A large enough passage has been created to ensure drainage of a significant amount of water to the southeast. 

  1. Administrative building

    The administrative building is located on the easternmost low terrace, whose supporting wall separates it west of the Patriarchal complex. The building was built as a pagan Proto-Bulgarian temple probably in the beginning of the 9th century. It represents two engraved rectangles with an external dimension of 18x14 m. As a result, around the inner quadrangle of the three countries are formed uncut corridors. The northern corridor is wider than the south.

After the Christianization of Bulgaria, like a number of capitals, it was not destroyed, but rebuilt and used as a representative secular building. The southern corridor is shaped as a triple antechamber. During the metropolitan period, its interior was renovated, as evidenced by the open pieces of decorative decoration and window glass. The exposed fragments of bases, columns and capitals testify to the presence of colonnades. Given the proximity to the East Gate of the Inner City, it is possible to have the first reception of the guests while waiting for a meeting with the ruler. Like the palaces, the spaces around the building are solved by means of plates covering the routes of three water mains and two canals.

     During the Byzantine rule, the area around the building was densely built according to the needs of the Byzantine administration. The flooring around the building is preserved. It is also possible that some of the water mains and channels have continued to function. From the east is a two-story building, east-west. The retained plate from the north leading to the Furnace Building suggests that there was probably an entrance from the North during this period. The building became a strategy of the Byzantine administration in the city. Here is the largest collection of Byzantine lead seals, over 500, covering the period from the fall of Preslav in 971 to 1088. Lead cores and molds were also found for their casting. Namely they give the name of the building as Administrative. 

  1. Building with furnaces

    In the 1990s a new building was built, which was built from four premises. The walls of the building are made of slab stones and clay-bonded blocks. The depth of the base is 0.5 m and the outside dimensions of the building are: 10.80 m (north-south) and 3.25 m (east-west).

     The interior space is divided into two rooms - north and south, paved with bricks. The building was built on previously demolished facilities. Another two-chamber masonry stove was revealed, deep below the floor level. The building was dated to the end of the 10th century - the beginning of the 11th century, as lead stamps of this period were found in one of the premises. One of the hypotheses regarding the purpose of the building is that it was used as a building with industrial furnaces. Probably for the melting of metal, which is also suggested by the connection with the Administration Building. 

  1. Architectural complex in the southwest part of the Palace center in Veliki Preslav

    In the southwestern part of the Inner City, a complex architectural complex is being built, whose construction begins at the end of the 9th and 10th centuries. Including several buildings of various uses, it is a clear proof of the high degree of architectural design and prosperity of Medieval Preslav.

        The Little Bath - Found in 1971. As an isolated building, today the small bathroom is part of this palace ensemble. In a plan, it is an antifilament type with three rooms separated by brick walls. The transition has gone from one room to another. The ground, which is dug into the surrounding terrain, includes a hearth in the eastern ward and a hippocampus of clay pipes that pass through the other two rooms. Through these pipes, the warm air circulates, leaving a prefurnium with drilled holes. The floor level of the actual bathroom is raised 0.60 m higher and steps on the hippocampus tubes. In the eastern premises are boilers for hot water, the second (the middle one) is designed for a dressing room, and the western one is the real bath (bath) with a bathtub in it. Near the room the hot water was passed through an internal lead-pipe installation, and the entire water supply of the building was made by a water pipe made up of clay pipes running parallel to the outer northern wall.

        The small bathroom in the Palace Center of Medieval Preslav is a classic planning scheme adopted in the Old Bulgarian Bansko construction at the end of the IX and XV. It is a guide to the high level of development of Preslav civilization and culture. 

    Portico building

    The complex unfolds just west of Little Bath via a building with a complex plan, oriented along the east-west axis. At ground level, it consists of three large rooms arranged in a row. Its total length is 22,60m. The premises were connected with passages 0,70m wide. At 2.80m in front of the northern facade there is a portico built on solid massive stone pilasters with a square shape, Widely 1.30 m in height, they towered like square pillars measuring 0.80 x 0.80 m on which a wide porch was placed in front of the upper floor. At the western end of the building is added a small room (3,20 x 1,80 m), whose northern wall is in the axis of the plural line. In front of the second room of the main hull there is a tramway of four large slabs that lead to the southern wall of the royal office water facility.

    The royal office - 1.80 m north of the portico is built a rectangular building with dimensions 12, 70 x 15, 30 m, oriented on the north-south axis. The interior space of the ground floor is divided by two pairs of walls into a total of 9 rooms divided into three rows. The western and eastern rows are 2 m wide and the central 4.70 m. In the general plan of the building dominates the central hull, which is also divided by transverse walls in three rooms - south with dimensions 2х4,70 m and middle and northern, which have larger dimensions (5x4,70 m). In the center of the central northern premises are built three massive steps - pilasters, which form a passage in the form of a two-dimensional portal.

          In 2010 westward began the revealing of a large-scale building, which is actually the core of the entire architectural complex - the palace home of the royal family. The revealed part of this building includes a central hall along the east-west axis, plated with marble slabs and flanked (for now) with three pairs of rooms from the south and north. The scale of the building, the wealth of architectural details and floor mosaics define it as the personal, residential parts of the Preslav family of rulers. 

  1.  Square with Phiala.

    In the 10th century, several chain constructions formed a square in the southern part of the inner city. The square was of great importance for the citys overall urban development. The central place of the square occupies the phial - from Greek, means a shallow glass. It falls 23 m from the eastern half of the gate, a unique water facility called the phiala is built. Its design is a sign of the high achievement of Old Bulgarian architecture, aesthetics and urban planning. In shape, the Phiala is a circular outside decorative pool. The inside of the pool is correct osmosis with a length of 1.10 m each. This form is achieved by lining with red bricks, placed in ten horizontal rows, and the joints are coated with waterproof red mortar. On the outside, the building is made of large limestone blocks placed in horizontal rows. Their shape is slightly trapezoidal and arranged side by side with white mortar, they form the outer circular profile of the glass with a diameter of 5.80 m. On top of the pool surface is lined with polished marble slabs on which a column of marble columns, carrying a hemispherical, canopy roof. The water supply was through separate channels of clay and lead pipes. On the southern wall of the basin there is a drainage channel, the beginning of which is a ceramic pipe with a diameter of 0,12 cm. At the top of the building there is another channel that runs through its entire width, at first it is made of clay pipes and inside the wall - from lead.

     During the same period, a small cross-church with a cross, three apses and a single narthex was placed directly from the west. Its length is 13 m and the width is 7 m. In the 11th century, the first graves of the Christian necropolis, which was used most intensively in the 13th-13th centuries, are located around the church. Less than a meter north of the church is revealed the southern route the extension of the Preslav alley. 

  1.  Civil constructions with a public administrative and representative character

    To the west of the southern gate on the inside of the fortress wall are two buildings. They are separated from one another by a passage nearly 5 meters wide, a similar 2.5 m wide passage is left between the fortress wall and the back of the buildings. The adjacent building next to the South Gate consists of eleven rectangular spaces of almost the same construction and dimensions. The average room dimensions range from 5.00 to 4.50 m. Entry into them was done by means of entrances with a width of about 1.00 m located on the northern sides of the premises. The building is made up of flat sandstone lined in horizontal rows, welded with yellow clay. Distributive and longitudinal walls those are structurally interconnected. In their construction were used river voltaic and rough stones. The exposed floor levels of the premises are the same as those on the terrain in front of the building, which did not require the construction of stairs. It is noteworthy that the premises are without flooring, the floors of each of them are of well-graded yellow clay. Deep hard-ground foundations suggest that the openings are the lower floor of a large two-story building. The lower floor has served probably for warehousing and service purposes. It is also possible that the ground premises have been inhabited. The second floor in the north was probably formed with a wooden porch protruding beyond the bases, stepping on colonnades. Access to the second floor was probably done via a ladder located inside or outside the building.

    The second building is located to the west of the first. Its interior is divided into ten disparate spaces, located in two parallel rows. The building is made of slabs of masonry. The dimensions of the rooms are different and vary around 4.00 x 3.50 m. The deeply dug-out foundation of the building suggests that the first building and this one had a second floor. Its distribution may have been different from the ground. The boarding of the floor probably took place on an internal wooden ladder leading to a large hall. The walls of both buildings have been plastered inside and outside with a fine mortar plaster, the walls may have been lined with marble or other lining material. The roofs of the buildings were covered with tiles. To the north of the buildings a large, inbuilt courtyard was formed. At the end of the 10th century the buildings were demolished, in the following years they were built on light terrestrial buildings. The massive construction of the buildings, their functional commitment and the large built-up area, define them as civil buildings with a public administrative and representative character. It is also possible that they were also inhabited by soldiers who care for the rulers protection. 

  1.  Inside fortress wall IX-X c.

    Ending The Inner city is set on a high terrace at the foot of Zubuite hill. It stretches over a quarter of a square kilometer, approximately in the middle of the Outer city. It has an incorrect -plane plan, given the north extension and the so-called ‘flip’ from the east. At this stage, the southern, eastern and northern route of the wall was discovered. The width of the base is 3.20 m. In height it rose to 10 m, made of large limestone squares, as in the extension from the north the inside of the wall was made of stones, whitewashed with white mortar. The thickness of the wall was 2.80 m. On the north and east wall of the extension were also rectangular towers so-called bastions, for better defense. Here are also the most preserved sections, up to 10 m, from the walls. The length of the south fortress wall is 148 m, the eastern 701 m and the northern stretches to 558 m.

     Round towers made the connection at the corners of the fortification. They have an outer diameter of 9 m. There are also three gates, respectively south, east and northern, towering to the impressive 15 m. All three gates have a similar plan - parallel two pairs, almost square spaces, forming the passage. At a height, the passage is formed by uniting them into a tower. In one of the rooms there is a spiral staircase, and at the south it is from the east. The entrance was closed by a two-leafed wooden door and a metal-sloping cataract whose catwalk was on the third floor. An exception is made by the northern gate, called iron or main, as it was provided with a second cataract. The massive wooden door was located on the inside of the gate and, accordingly, opened inwards. The wall was with pinnacles forming battlements. From the slits of the arch, the defenders of the fortress shot the enemy soldiers. 

  1. Trade premises

    To the west of the southern gate of the Inner City outside the fortress wall are preserved the foundations of a large building. The building is about 107 meters long and consists of 18 identical rooms, structurally connected, without any paths facing each other, oriented to the south. Their walls are made of slabs from the nearby Preslav region in horizontal rows and clay. Their foundations are of the same sandstone. The separate walls of the premises leaned north on the wall of the fortress, which was also used as the northern wall of the building. The natural elevation of the terrain has required the construction of stairs on balconies in front of the premises. There was a platform in front of the stairs with a curb. The premises are almost square and similar in size 5 x 4.60 m. The entrance of each room is located in the middle of its southern wall and it has an average width of 1.10-1.15 m. It is probably above the floor and the front of the building was covered with tiles. The location and layout of the building, the signs cut on the roof tiles, as well as the rich ceramic material, mostly liquor containers, define it as a state building of an economic nature. These were probably shops where local and imported goods were traded. The building was deliberately destroyed in the first half of the 11th century in connection with the defense of the city. 

  1. Pagan temple in the Outer city

     In the Outskirts of Preslav, about 100 meters south of the South Gate are the remains of a small church built on the ruins of a pagan temple. The temple is made up of two rectangles in the rectangle of dimensions 13,50 x 12,20 m. The walls were 1.20 m thick and were built of mountain stone with mortar. He was oriented eastward. The conversion of the pagan temple into a Christian church is referred to the end of 9th the beginning of 10th. The east wall was demolished to make the apse. The thickness of the walls of the apse is not the same because of uneven terrain; its inner part is very deep. Outside, the apse was hexagonal. The inner space of the pagan temple is divided by a transverse wall in two parts forming a naos and a narthex. On the four corners of the original building were added four broad counterparts, which embraced the corners and held the walls. Probably, in order for the building to withstand the weight of the vault. On the western façade of the church there were three symmetrical arches. There are two built-in ladders built between the western parts of the contrasts and the contrasts themselves. They determine the locations of the three arches, of which the average was wider and perhaps higher than the lateral. 

  1. Round church

     The Round Church, also called Golden and Simeon’s, is the expression of the highest achievements of Old Bulgarian monumental art. The investigations of the site began in 1927 and continued for several years until its full disclosure. From an account of Simeons cousin Tudor Doxov, we learn that the church was built in the early years of the tenth century. The church is located about 200 m south of The Southern gate of the Inner City. Builders have built an artificial embankment on which the church was built. The Golden Church has a central plan. The round naos (central premise), with a diameter of 10.50 m, is dissected out of twelve semicircular niches, three of which on the west side are the entrances and the twelfth from the east formed the altar apse. Twelve white-marble columns, standing 0.60 m away from them, were standing at the front of the niches, holding a circular gallery and a string of columns for stepping of the dome. In the middle of the central room (naos) the bases of a pulpit (an elevated landing, from which the priest preaches), can be seen. To the naos is a rectangular narthex (narthex), in which four symmetrically positioned columns supported an upper floor from which the passage to the gallery of the naos was carried out. Two cylindrical towers are located at the two corners of the narthex, in the northern one there are traces of a stair to the second floor. The narthex is covered from the north and south with two outdoors, and from the west with an almost square atrium (yard). On the eastern wall in the southern room was built a marble baptistery (baptisterium). The walls of the atrium, as well as those of the naos, are dissected out of niches in front of which there is a colonnade. In the center of the courtyard there is a well connected with liturgical needs.

     Apart from its original architecture and planned composition, the Round Church is remarkable for its rich decoration combining marble carvings, painted ceramics and glass mosaics. Her sculptural decorations include Hellenistic models, bird images and hunting scenes.

     To the south of the Round Church is revealed a monastery complex built later by the church. The west-east orientated chain, located a few meters south of the church, was connected with the monks residential needs. The manuscripts (manuscript transcription facilities) and workshops for painted ceramics, one of which to the east under the Round Church itself, were centers not only of religious-enlightened and literary life, but also as one of the places for the production of Preslavs whitewash ceramics.