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Americans restore Bulgarian Pompeius

Anita Valentinova, source: magelanbg.com, 18.09.2010

US residents spent 50 000 USD on the restoration and conservation of Bulgarian Pompeius which is also known as the antique Roman settlement Nikopolis ad Istrum. The restoration process was financed by the foundation ‘’USA-Bulgaria’’. Thus, the Roman city will be cleared out and it will be promoted properly in order to turn into an attractive tourist place. Accidentally, US citizens came across the unique Roman settlement near Veliko Turnovo during their visit in the Old Bulgarian capital last year. The official delegation showed interest in the Roman city and they were impressed by the unique place, however, they were disappointed because of the bad infrastructure, as well as the ill-kept area of the place. US guests have requested from the archaeologist Pavlina Vladkova to make a proposal and calculation so that a project can be fulfilled in order to turn the place into an attractive tourist venue. Unfortunately, for the time being the Roman city was covered with lush vegetation and only students take care of clearing the area from time to time. The first money transfer has been already made and hence the conservation of the unique pillars, Roman roads and capitals is due to begin. Additionally, a team of experts will be working on the promotion of the place in order to include in Veliko Turnovo sightseeing tour for the next tourist season. Thus, Nikopolis ad Istrum will be presented along with Tsarevets, Trapesitsa and the church ‘’Ivan Rilski’’ in Veliko Turnovo. The ongoing project does include not only the conservation of the Roman settlement, but also the installment of information signs, as well as the management of an advertising campaign in Bulgaria and all over the world. Moreover, the project envisages the establishment of a place for ancient Roman games. They will be identical with those of Neuron’s period. Roman backgammon is believed to originate from Egypt and evidence was found during excavation works in Egypt. Dice are also preserved and their unique shape will be presented in the modern ones. Tourists will be able to play with authentic dice and figures in order to feel as if they live in the past. The attraction is created to entertain children; however, parents are also welcome to relax after they have finished their walk through the ancient place near Veliko Turnovo. According to the project, a special place in the Roman city Nikopolis Ad Istrum will be allocated for various musical scenes and contemporary concerts.

Nicopolis ad Istrum was a Roman and Early Byzantine town founded by Emperor Trajan around 101–106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Turnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its floruit during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty.

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