24 July 2013

Pliska

That’s it, we went there, we saw some old ruins, we saw some reconstructed walls, we waited for a but that was hours late and came home.
That’s it…P42postpano1

Pliska is the birthplace of Bulgaria.  Khan Asparuh stuck his sword in a hill in the region after being granted title to the lands by Constantinople, and called it Bulgaria.  P07P36postpalaceP34poststoneP39postfeatureP38postchurch2P37postchurchP40postyurtP35postgateP41postbusLater Pliska was built.  King Boris converted to Christianity and changed the country from Paganism to Catholic (with a few problems)  A few wars with the Byzantines and the place was razed to the ground.  All that remains are the foundations.

The site was a large city, and still played a role after the capitol was moved to Preslav before being destroyed again.  There were a couple of defensive walls and a moat.  The original wall was a wooden palisade then a large stone outer wall was built with another inner wall around the palace.  The inner wall has been partly reconstructed out of brick and the outer wall in stone.  Mainly the East entrance gate and the Eastern wall with a part of the Northern wall.  Mostly to prevent people waling in without buying a ticket.  The ticket system here is a bit strange for us.  The building was nothing special, the woman was fine, and there was even a gate for the cars.  The weird thing is that an Adult is 5 Lev, yet a family of 2 adults and a kid is only 9 Lev?  You get a discount for taking a child along!  We tried to convince her we were a family with an invisible 5 year old, but for some reason it didn’t work.  This was really frustrating as later the kid had a temper tantrum and ran off.  Being invisible he was impossible to find, and we had to leave him there.

There was another part of the site as well.  Apparently a massive basilica was built outside of the 20km/2 city walls.  We went in search of this.  Finding a museum first, we stepped in to have a look around.  Mainly pottery and seals.  A few images of what the place probably looked like, as well as a rose codex that was used for translating Cyrillic to Greek.  There was only a picture of it here, as the original is somewhere else.  This was at least a kilometre from the entrance that was also a few kilometres from town where we were dropped by the bus.  Apparently the Basilica was another kilometre or so along the old processional route.  We made it out there though, and had a good look around.  It was pretty much the same.  Mostly old foundations with some of the walls and archways rebuilt in sandstone.  It looked pretty, but fake.  There was also a conflict with the artists recreations, as they didn’t have the same appearance as each other.  Walking around where the archbishop would have had his residence (as large as the Palace) all that is left is one or two foundations and a well.

On the way back, we had to take a long time, as the bus we were expecting to take (we had checked the timetable with a few people) didn’t turn up for over an hour.  After getting worried it would not come, as there are only three buses a day, and the next was at 17:30! it eventually turned up and we headed home.

Pliska is a very important place in the history of Bulgaria, but as with the other places we have visited here, there is really nothing left for tourists to see, but would be a treasure for archaeologists.  They are not great sites for the scheme of things, but we still enjoyed visiting them.

AA

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