Shipka peak and the mountain pass with the same name are a sacred symbol for all Bulgarians. The biggest monument, officially opened in 1934 is an almost 100 foot tall stone tower in the shape of truncated pyramid with a huge bronze statue of a lion, guarding the gate of the building. Inside are kept several relics with big historical meaning. The Monument of Shipka symbolized the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.
In 1877-1878 this region was the arena of huge bloody battles between Russians aided by Bulgarian volunteers, and the Ottoman Empire army. The fights have been really epic and are later described by several writers and poets. Every year on our National Holiday, thousands of people come to pay their respect to all the casualties. Heroes, whom we owe our liberty and independence.
That day it was late spring but the feeling at the high peak was like late winter or early spring. Heavy clouds and strong winds. We were going from Southern to Northern Bulgaria, and since our road was passing nearby, we stopped to pay our respect and take few photos, as the place, as you can imagine, has its own special energy and vibes.
See what we saw just few half an hour before getting up the Stara Planina mountain:
The beautiful small church of one of the small Thracian valley villages, surrounded by the bright and eye-warming yellow color of the blooming rapeseed field. Scenery sky...
From Shipka peak, close to the Monument, I took a photo of the amazing landscape towards the famous Buzludzha peak where the communists had build the flying-saucer-style center for their party meetings few decades ago. Now in ruins but surrounded by a forest of new wind-turbines.
This small hill below had once been covered by the bones of the soldiers fighting for our freedom. The cross now is a silent witness. A sarcophagus inside the monument still keeps some of the remains of those brave Russians and Bulgarians.
The cannons are left here to remind us of our history.
The views that day were telling stories too...
The Sun, beautifully spreading its light-fingers towards the earth.
That specific blending of Nature and History... Such a unique feeling!
We stayed much longer that we initially planned for. Despite the strong wind. Many minutes of silence...
It was a week day and there weren't many visitors. Most of the time we were alone and that even amplified our perceptions. My car, waiting for us down below at the parking. View to the Northern part of Stara Planina.
Several memorials had been built around, to honor the death of the brave soldiers.
...and Mother Nature does its best to present to you this place so you won't forget it.
History must be remembered.
Copyright: Damian Hadjiyvanov, Light Captured
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Thank you for all the support!
Have a great photo! :P