Sunday, February 27, 2005

A very fine example of Thracian sepulchral architecture

The royal Thracian tomb at Sboryanovo consists of a dromos (corridor) and three premises (chambers), each of which is covered by a separate vault. The decoration of the central (burial) chamber is exceptionally rich. Four different Doric and one Corinthian column support a frieze with triglyphs and metopes; between those there are ten female figures (caryatids) with uplifted arms and above them, in the lunette of the vault, is the pcturesque scene of deification of the deceased ruler.

Quoted from the "Sboryanovo Historical and Archaeological Reservation", Vion Publishing house, Plovdiv, 2002. I was given this volume by the mayor of Isperih during my visit in September 2004.

Sbooryanovo is a short drive from Razgrad near the village of Shevastari and has many archeological points of interest. The royal tomb is listed in UNESCO's highest valuation sites. The tomb is not open in the winter months.

The main edifice of the liberation monument in Razgrad, Bulgaria

This is a view looking back towards the two stone cataracts in front of this main monument. The smaller sculptures can be viewed in the far foreground. It is difficult to compose a picture with all these huge elements. The massive structure of this monument is visible for miles around Razgrad.

Regrettably, the "eternal flame" at the base of the monument no longer burns, doubtless a casualty of the hard times the citizens of Razgrad had to endure after the fall of the regime. The monument is also debased with graffiti, which I find surprising in view of the admiration and reverence Bulgarians pay to their history. If you don't have money to pay someone to guard a monument how can you avoid vandals?

Three sculptures line each approach -- these are on the left

The massive size of the six sculptures lining the approaches to the main monument is apparent when compared with human subjects in the foreground of this shot. Three sculptures line the left side as you approach the main monument, and three sculptures line the right side.

The scenes depict battle scenes or civilian suffuring during the fight for liberation (from the Turks I am now informed). All the pieces are done in Socialist Realist style. Or at least I think they are in this style. I need to consult a town historian.

Three sculptures viewed from the opposite side

I really need to discover more information about these massive pieces of art. Who did them? When? What is the title of each piece.

Oblique view of one sculpture

An oblique view gives an idea of the scale.

Liberation monument art

There are six huge sculptures, three on either side of the stone "cataract" leading to the main triangular shaped highest stone monument. All are accomplished in the Socialist Realist style. I have not searched out the town historian who can tell me about these sculptures, but intend to in the future.