In the autumn of 1945 in London, representatives of 37 countries founded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Heritage Organization (UNESCO). This is in order to promote cooperation between nations in the fields of education, science, culture and communications.
The UNESCO World Heritage Commission's World Heritage Program aims to catalog, name and preserve sites of exceptional cultural or natural importance for the common heritage of mankind. The program was established by the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 182 countries have ratified the Convention. Each World Heritage Site is property of the country in which territory it is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each of them for future generations. The protection and preservation of these sites is the concern of all countries participating in the World Heritage Program. Thanks to funding from UNESCO, some of the world's most significant achievements of human thought and culture have been saved and restored.
Here is the place to note the modest Bulgarian contribution to the protection of our (according to UNESCO) 7 cultural monuments and 3 nature reserves included in the World Heritage List, and see what happens to them.
Bulgaria became a member of UNESCO on March 7, 1974. Five years later at the session of the Commission for World Cultural and Natural Heritage, held in Luxor (Egypt) Boyana Church, Madara Rider, Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo and Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak were the first Bulgarian monuments to which the world draws attention.
In 1977 the Boyana Church was closed for visits - conservation and fortification works were carried out by the National Institute for Cultural Monuments. The works were stopped after discussions around 2000. Since 2003 it has been a branch of the National History Museum. After nearly 50 years of restoration, on December 4, 2006 the church was officially opened for visitors. The frescoes of the church in the eastern part are available, the frescoes from the 17th century are clearly visible (which are painted on the older ones from the 12th century). Its condition is good.
In 2008, the Madara Horseman collected the most votes in the "Bulgarian Symbols" campaign. After the decision taken by the BNB, it will be printed on the first Bulgarian euro coins. The Madara Horseman is the only rock relief in Europe from the early Middle Ages. Preserved over the centuries, unfortunately, today it is threatened with extinction. For years, scientists from various fields have been trying unsuccessfully to tackle the problem. The monument has a vertical crack caused by an earthquake in the early 20th century. A bigger threat for him, however, are the acid rains, which erode the limestone rock. At this point, the future of the Madara Horseman is under serious threat.
Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak
Discovered accidentally on April 19, 1944, by a group of soldiers from Kazanlak after an order to dig trenches for shelter in the area of Tyulbeto. The monument dates from the 3rd century BC. During the first two years, the object remained open, so some of the drawings in the original have faded. After many years of strict access, today the original Kazanlak tomb can be seen again. The management of the local museum, which manages the tomb, claims that visits to it do not change its microclimate and are not dangerous for the frescoes.
In 1983, at the next session of UNESCO in Florence, the Rila Monastery and Ancient City of Nessebar were added to the already listed cultural landmarks. In the same year, Pirin National Park and Srebarna Reserve were declared protected areas. Two years later, in 1985, the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, discovered in 1982, became the "Seventh Miracle" in Bulgaria.
Survived the years of communist Bulgaria, cleaned of dust and cobwebs and today is one of the most attractive destinations for pilgrims and tourists. The new abbot of the Monastery, His Eminence Bishop Eulogius of Adrianople takes great care of the maintenance of the building and its preservation as a cultural monument.
Ancient City of Nessebar
Over its three-thousand-year existence it has created a unique mixture of the achievements of the Thracian, ancient Greek, Roman-Byzantine and Bulgarian builders. The fortress wall, which protected the city, grew and was maintained until the conquest of Nessebar by the Turks. Over the centuries, more than 40 churches have been built in Nessebar - a surprisingly large number for such a small village. Many houses have been preserved, mostly from the 19th century with typical Black Sea architecture. After extensive talks and visits by UNESCO experts in the summer of 2009, it was decided to keep Old Nessebar among the world's cultural monuments. Despite the rebuilding and demolition of many monumental buildings.
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