Malko Tarnovo

It is located 76 kilometers south of Burgas, 56 kilometers southwest of Tsarevo, 470 kilometers southeast of Sofia, and 7 kilometers away from the border with the Republic of Turkey; 350 m a. s. l.

Population:  3,010  residents

It is the only town in the heart of the Bulgarian part of Strandja. Malko Tarnovo is situated in the middle of a valley, between Rezovska and Mecha reka rivers. The viscinity of Malko Tarnovo offers a wide selection of interesting places for outdoor recreation – preserved forest regions, areas with a lot of springs, chapels, over 60 ancient trees. The highest point of the Bulgarian part of Strandja is located only 5 kilometers southwest of the city – Goliamo gradishte peak (710 m), and offers a spectacular view of the Strandja hills. On a sunny and clear day, one can even see the Black Sea.


The mountain slowly shows its millennial history. The visits of the archaeological sites in the viscinity of the city make everyone who has touched on this unique cultural heritage, to aspire to come again and experience this amazing “journey through the centuries.“

The numerous artefacts that were discovered, the architectural details and sculptures attest to a rich and ancient settlement, whose economic rise is defined by its location – at the crossroads of vast iron field, thick oak forests and large deposits of marble and granite. Thoroughfares connected it to Adrianople, Bizia, Apollonia, Deultum, Marcianopolis.

The contemporary city emerged around the year 1630.

Today, Malko Tarnovo is a starting point towards Brashlyan village – an architectural reserve, Stoilovo village, Slivarovo village, Gramatikovo village, Kachul area, as well as for visits of sites in neighboring Turkey: the town of Kirklareli (Lozengrad) – regional center; Vize – the central residence of the Asti Thracian dynasty (Bizia), with remains from the only ancient amphitheater on the territory of Strandja (ІІ century AD), the St. Sophia Church – a remnant of an ancient fortress (VІ century); the Dupnitsa cave; Kuyakyoy village (the ancient Salmidessos and Middle-Age Midia), with St. Nicholas rocky monastery (VІ century), Edirne and Istanbul.

The chapels accessible for tourists near the town of Malko Tarnovo are The Holy Mother of God – 3 kilometers nortwest of the city, in the Peykovo area, and Bozheime – 3 kilometers to the southeast – in the Tsarnogorovo area. In the past, there was a small monastery with ayazmo (holy spring) in the Tsarnogorovo area. A big fair was taking place in this area in the beginning of the ХІХ century, which gathered people from the nearest villages. Today, the chapel has been renovated and is visited during the Feast of Ascension (Ascension Day).

Symbol of the city is the Big vris (a spring). It was built in 1862. Before it was covered, it also served as ayazmo (holy spring), where people held services for rain. 


Dormition of the Theotokos Church

It is situated in the center of the town of Malko Tarnovo. The Church was built in 1745. It acquired its present state in 1839. A marble slate, built into the southern wall of the temple attests for the year it was constructed, and also that it is a Bulgarian Orthodox church, rebuilt for a third time and consecrated on May 9, 1989.

The Russian troops from the army of General Dibich Zabalkanski participated in the construction of the temple in 1830. The Church now preserves more than 150 icons, among which are wonderful samples from the Strandja Icon-painting School. Part of them date back to the beginning of the ХIX century - “St. Trinity”, “St. John the Baptist”, “St. Nicholas” and others.


St. Trinity Eastern Catholic Church

The Church was built in the period 1931 – 36. It hosts icons from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Edirne Church.

In 2000, bishop Hristo Proykov proclaimed the church for a place of jubilee worshipping.

On May 25, 2002, during his visit to Bulgaria, Pope John Paul II crowned the icon of the  Czestochowa Holy Mother of God – Guardian of the Unity of Christians.

After 1861, part of the residents of Malko Tarnovo joined the adopted a year earlier Union with the Holy See. A worship in Bulgarian started in the city, a Catholic church was built, and a Bulgarian Catholic school opened doors. 


Historical Museum

The five expositions of the Historical Museum in Malko Tarnovo are located in 3 houses – typical representatives of the Bulgarian national revival architecture in Strandja. The first one hosts archeological monuments discovered in sites around and in the city in the last decades. The icon painting is presented in a separate exposition with pieces by local artists. Special attention is paid to the Preobrazhenie Uprising, and the ethnographic collection showcases authentic objects and costumes from the south-rupska ethnographic area, part of which is the Malko Tarnovo region.

The Natural Collection will bring you closer to the amazing nature in Strandja – use the phone booth to “talk” to the birds, enroll in an unusual “language course” and if you are not afraid, get into the Dark Room, where you will see what the Strandja forest looks and feels like during the night. This is just the beginning of your adventure – experience it!

The Historical Museum of Malko Tarnovo is placed in the list of the 100 national tourist objects under № 7.


Working Hours:

May through October: 8.00 – 17.00

Saturday and Sunday: 9.30 – 12.00; 14.00 – 17.00;

November through April: 8.00 – 16.00

Saturday and Sunday – non-working days


Petrova Niva Area

The Petrova niva area is an object of national importance. It is located close to Stoilovo village and 32 kilometers from Malko Tarnovo. This was the place where in 1903 the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization decided on the start of the Preobrazhenie Uprising in support of the Ilinden Uprising, which broke out in Macedonia. The monument erected in the area is a praise of the heroism of the Bulgarians during the Illinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising in 1903, and their struggles for freedom.


St. Petka Chapel Ossuary

A museum exposition was set in place and St. Petka Chapel Ossuary was built on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the uprising’s outbreak.

The Memorial Complex, together with the Historical Museum in Malko Tarnovo, is included in the list of the 100 national tourist objects under № 7.

One of the most picturesque viewpoints in Strandja is located here. 

Tel. number for contact and arrangement of visits: 0886 647 203.


Tsarnogorovo Area

It is located 4 kilometers southeast of Malko Tarnovo, along the Tsarnogorovska river.

Tsarnogorovo area is one of the most beautiful spots in the region and a favorite place for relaxation for both the residents of Malko Tarnovo and external visitors. A large Holy Mother of God Chapel was built here. The water of the spring near the chapel is said to have healing properties. Since the middle of the ХІХ century, the traditional Tsarnogorovo Fair takes place here on the day of the Dormition of the Mother of God (August 28). Together with the fair in Delievo area (nowadays in Turkey), these two fairs were the most prominent for the region and attracted almost the entire population of Strandja.

For 15 years now, the Tsarnogorovo Fair is part of the summer cultural festivals of the municipality of Malko Tarnovo.