Bulgarian capital Sofia was built on Roman ruins

Bulgarian capital Sofia was built on Roman ruins

Bulgarian capital Sofia was built on Roman ruins
At first century the Roman Empire expanded and reached the lands of nowadays Bulgaria. The Roman formed the city of Serdica that soon began to play significant role for the whole region. Today on the Roman ruins of Serdica is breathing Bulgarian capital Sofia. The ruins can still be seen all over the city center. The sites from the old Roman Amphitheater state that it that just 10 m shorter in diameter than the great Colosseum in Rome. 

Also, in Sofia Church, Mosque and Synagogue in the center of Sofia are existing peacefully within meters of each other. These are the Saint Nedelya Church in the very heart of the city, the Buyuk-Djarna Mosque, dating back to the 15th century and Sofia Synagogue just meters away.
The most famous religious building in Sofia is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its golden domes. It is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world, built between 1904 to 1912 to honour the Russian soldiers that liberated the country from the Ottoman Rule.

The builder of Mostar bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina started to dig his own grave
One of the most amazing things to see on Balkans is the Bridge in Mostar that became a World Heritage site during the twentieth century. The famous bridge on the River Neretva was designed by the Ottoman (Turkish) architect Mimar Hayruddinduring the days of Suleiman the Magnificent. Story tells that the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire promised to kill Mimar Hayruddin if the bridge collapsed after the wooden supports were removed. Scared Hayruddin started to dig his own grave on the day the supports were removed. But the bridge stood for 429 years, a testament to its excellent design and construction. Yet the famous bridge was destroyed during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 90-s. In 2004 the reconstructed bridge was re-opened.

There is a statue of Bruce Lee in Bosnia and Herzegovina
You may find this strange or even wired, but it is fact! In Zrinjevac Park in Mostar, standing at 1.68 metres high is the statue of the karate legend Bruce Lee.
Created by Croatian sculptor Ivan Fijolic in 2005, the statue was originally placed in the Spanish Square back in 2005. Intended to be a fun and lighthearted symbol of peace (it was thought that everyone liked Bruce Lee regardless of their ethnic background), some locals took a dislike to the statue and vandalized it shortly thereafter.

The most holy ancient site of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Blagag Tekke, remain untouched during the war
Blagag Tekke is considered to be one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most holy and ancient sites.Also known as the Dervish Monastery, the tekija was built to host gatherings of the Sufi Brotherhood. The stunning half-timbered tekija rests beside the Buna River. Erected around 1520, the tekija reflects Ottoman and Mediterranean style of architecture. The upper part of the building also houses two 15th century Tajik dervishes. Miraculously, this mystical place remained untouched during the Bosnian war, despite so much death and destruction happening so close by.

Montenegro is the first country that put environmental protection in its constitution
In 1992 Montenegro became the first country in the world to have written in its constitution a text about the environmental protection. The Montenegrin constitution defines the country as a “Democratic, social and Ecological” nation. There are over 290 km of unspoilt coastline there.

The deepest canyon in Europe is in Montenegro
Canyon of the river Tara (82 kilometre long) is the deepest canyon in Europe with it’s 1300 meters. The canyon stretch within Montenegro is protected as a part of Durmitor National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Also, in the village of Mitrovica is the oldest olive tree in the world. It’s over 2000 years old! 

Brad Pitt’s first movie role and Daniel Craig first 007 role were filmed in Montenegro
Yes, that is true! Brad Pitt’s first lead movie role was filmed in Montenegro named “Dark Of the sun in 1987”.
Montenegro’s beautiful and dramati landscape has been filmed in many Hollywood blockbusters like “Brothers Bloom”, “November Man” and Agent 007 first movie with Daniel Craig – “Casino Royale”.

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Gunnar Svensson

Tour: Caucasus Explorer
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Interesting trip in a different part of the world. with a possibility to learn a lot. Visit to spectacular churches and monastries, museums, wine producers, nature and beautiful cities. This tour is recommended.


Haley

Tour: Saudi Arabia
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Fantastic trip with Penguin Travel! Loved all the sights we got to see in Saudi Arabia. Abdulaziz and Lyuben were very helpful, kind, and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend for solo and group travelers, especially those wanting an "off the beaten path" experience. Can't wait to travel with Penguin again!


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Tour: Balkan Kaleidoscope
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Amazing tour! A great overview of eight Balkan countries with the perfect balance of organized activities and free time. Our guide Anton was the best - organized, calm and has great sense of humor. I highly recommend it. This was my first tour with Penguin and I will definitely be booking more tours with Penguin.


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