Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe

Eastern Trans-Balkan Road

Eastern Trans-Balkan Road

The Eastern Trans-Balkan Road crosses South East Europe in North-South direction. The corridor passes through Romania, Bulgaria and Greece and connects the Baltic sea with the Aegean and Mediterranean sea. Along its way to the North, the Eastern Trans- Balkan road connects with the great European route Via Regia (the Royal Road) in L’viv (Ukraine) – crossing Europe from Kiev to Santiago de Compostela (Spain).
The Eastern Trans-Balkan road is the spine of the monastery centres in South East Europe in North-East direction. Staring from the religious area of the churches in Moldavia and the wooden churches in Maramures (Romania), the corridor goes to the South to the Holy Mount in Veliko Tarnovo and the Holy Mount in the Rhodopi Mountains. The corridor infuses the religious axis Via Egnatia by the former great monastery centre Mount Papikion. The Eastern Trans-Balkan road passes through three mountainous massifs, each with a specific character – the Carpaths, the Balkan range (the Balkans) and the Rhodopi Mountains. These secluded places have preserved as odd isles of time – traditional village agglomerations with preserved Balkan architecture.
Specific feature of the Eastern Trans-Balkan Road is the fragment on the territory of Bulgaria. It reflects a complex stratification of time layers – from most modern times in Ruse on the Danube river, through the monasteries, churches and vernacular architecture of Modern Times in the cultural areas of Veliko Tarnovo and Assenovgrad, the Medieval fortresses to the north of the Balkan range and in the Rhodopi Mountains, reaching most ancient civilizations – the Thracian tombs in Kazanlak and Sveshtari,, the Neolithic dwellings in Stara Zagora, the Valley of Thracian Kings, the rock sanctuaries in Perperikon and Belintash.
The Eastern Trans-Balkan Road exhibits the most distinctive achievements of the masters – builders, woodcarvers, painters in the unique churches of Moldavia, Maramures, the imposing rock monasteries in Ivanovo, the monasteries of the Holy Mounts in Veliko Tarnovo and the Rhodopi Mountains. A number of historical towns are also located along the road - Sighisoara, Sibiu, Brasov, Bucharest (Romania), Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Plovdiv, Smolyan (Bulgaria), Xanthi, Drama, Kavala, Alexandroupoli, Didimoticho, Samothraki (Greece).

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