Forty Martyrs Church
Forty Martyrs Church
4

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4.0
89 reviews
Excellent
35
Very good
24
Average
22
Poor
6
Terrible
2

Tsvetana
Sofia, Bulgaria625 contributions
May 2013 • Couples
I love this church very much for the fact that a huge part of it was preserved since its establishment. The nowadays facade is a result of a relatively recent reconstruction which was very much needed to protect the remaining original walls from falling down.
I strongly suggest to all foreign visitors to ask for a guided tour - only this way you will get a thorough understanding about the importance of this church in our history and its important part in our cultural heritage.
I will give only a few pieces of information to give you an idea what you will expect. The columns inside are inscribed by the order of some of our greatest rulers of old, most notably perhaps khan Omurtag (814-831 AD), famous for his building and cultural projects from times before Christianity was adopted as an official religion in Bulgaria and the Cyrillic alphabet introduced. The writing on his column is therefore in Greek says:

"Kana subigi Omurtag, living in his old home, made a glorious home on the Danube and in the middle between the two most glorious homes, after he measured [the distance], he made a tumulus. From the very centre of the tumulus to my old palace there are 20,000 raztega and to the Danube there are 20,000 raztega. The tumulus itself is most glorious and after they measured the land I made that inscription. Even if a man lives well, he dies and another one comes into existence. Let the one who comes later upon seeing this inscription remember the one who had made it. And the name is Omurtag, Kana subigi. Let God make him live 100 years."

The most well-known and often cited part of the writing among Bulgarians is: "Even if a man lives well, he dies and another one comes into existence. Let the one who comes later upon seeing this inscription remember the one who had made it."
Written July 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nik R
Varna, Bulgaria6,679 contributions
Feb 2018 • Family
Just a part of the original walls of this old church, which was built in the 13th century by the order of king Ivan Asen II, remain. Nowadays it is rather a museum than a church where the graves of king Kaloyan, king Ivan Asen II and his wife, and St Sava, the patron saint of Serbia, can be seen. Later the relics of St Sava were returned to Serbia. Very important are the 3 columns used as pillars in the nave of the church - one with an inscription from Khan Omurtag, one from Ivan Asen II and a column from the border fortress Rodosto from the times of Khan Krum. In this church, in 1908, the independence of Bulgaria was proclaimed.
A free parking is close to the entrance and we paid a fee of 6 leva (3.10 €) for a family of three.
Written March 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nevenjerkovic
Dubrovnik, Croatia2,053 contributions
Jan 2017 • Friends
Very nice ortodox church, burried place of St.Sava, the first archbishop of Serbia. After visiting the fortress just climb down to visit this very interesting church complex.
Written June 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hristomir C
Sofia, Bulgaria8 contributions
Oct 2021
In my opinion most of the museums and churches are cheap if they are not in the Veliko Tarnovo area. This one is one of the too expensive ones. I payed a lot of money for heavily reconstructed church with not much to see. If the price was half it was gonna be fine.
Written October 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia17,756 contributions
Aug 2018 • Family
This is one of the oldest, if not the oldest Church in Tarnovo. Its roots date back to 9th cent when the first Church was built here, when Christianity was adopted as an official religion.
Later, king Asen II built a new one on the site in 12 cent and soon after a monastery complex. Inside the church you can see original columns from 9 and 12 cent with battles inscriptions on them. All royals from Asen dynasty are buried here, as well Saint Sava, great Serbian educator and saint, having great importance to my home country.
Warning: due to renovation works, it is extremely difficult to get there by car. We detoured all around Tarnovo to reach it, spent around 45 min driving, but I'm glad we did it. Therefore it's much better to walk to it - it's beneath the Tsarevets fortress by the Yantra river.
Written September 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lubomir S
Varna, Bulgaria616 contributions
Apr 2017 • Couples
The only place in my country, where one can see a mark, trace, or grave of our great khans and czars. If someone is interested and want to see the history of my country, this is a must and I am proud of this place!
Written May 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nikolai M
Sofia, Bulgaria2,618 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
Very good restoration of this church, which is a symbol of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Here the story is more than the beauty, so it makes sense to go inside if you are interested in the ancient times on these lands.
Written June 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChrisJS51
Sevenoaks, UK504 contributions
Nov 2017
We booked a day trip from Bucharest just so we could see what life is like in Bulgaria. Veliko Tornovo was the recommended place to go. It is well worth it if you want to get off the beaten track; this church had a very interesting history and a beautiful location.
Written April 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anne I
london179 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
Very well restored old church. It is only used for services once a year. Beware the "guide" who offers to open 2 other - very interesting - churches but who is totally dishonest about the charge.
Written July 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mariya_Stan
Bulgaria31 contributions
Sep 2016 • Couples
Quite difficult to fid the chirch, but it was worth it. Nice yard, small chirch but plenty ot history. It's a must see place in Veliko Turnovo.
Written September 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Forty Martyrs Church, Veliko Tarnovo

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