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Route Ivailovgrad - Belopolyane ...

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Ivailovgrad
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The starting point of this pleasant and relatively lightweight route is the center of Ivajlovgrad. Of it goes to the emblematic neighborhood "Ladzha" famous mummers taking place here in the middle of February ( February 14, when we celebrate Trifon's Day is the holiday of Ivajlovgrad ). From "Ladzha" heads to the southwest, where a mile is remarkable "Villa Armira" - a symbol of the city.

It was discovered in 1964 during excavation for the construction of a dam. When builders noticed traces of buildings, they shall inform the authorities and the villa began working archaeologists. It turns out that this place was a Roman country house, an imposing complex. The name, which became known villa, due to the small river Armira that flows past it.

The total area of Villa Armira is 2200 m2 It includes a number of residential and commercial buildings. The residential buildings are situated around a large courtyard surrounded by a colonnade , whose environment has a pool. The rooms are really great and gorgeous - dining room, kitchen , bedroom, bathroom , etc., which are heated by hypocaust ( underfloor heating).

The villa have been found perfectly preserved mosaics other ornate building elements, pottery, jewelry, household items, marble finishes. All this ranks "Villa Armira" first among buildings of a similar nature in Roman Thrace. Barns are significantly worse reserved. The villa was inhabited until IV century, when in 378 years was destroyed during the Gothic marches where conquered Adrianople. One theory is precisely Armira villa Goths discover and kill the wounded Emperor Valens.

From "Villa Armira" continue to the monastery "St. St. Constantine and Elena", which is located on another mile. It is the only monastery in the municipality, giving an idea of ​​the iconic architecture during the Renaissance. It was founded in XIII century, and its biggest boom experienced in XIV, on the eve of the Ottoman conquest, when it became a metropolitan center. He was later repeatedly destroyed to be rebuilt in 1872. Today only survives main church.

The route takes us south to Belopolyane village ( 12 km from Ivaylovgrad - 3 hours). In the vicinity there is a cave protected area " Likana" habitat of rare wood eriolobus. The biggest attraction, however, is the church "St. Athanasius" of 1838. It is specific to their three-story gallery, marble candelabra, icons of the Holy Sepulchre and ornate monstrance. The church is active, surrounded by a high stone wall, decorated with reliefs.

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