The Historical Park is a purpose-built tourist attraction aimed at showcasing Bulgarian history, traditional, cultural and ethnic heritage to the local and foreign visitors. The park opened in 2019 and is in the heart of a large-scale project spanning on more than 50 hectares. It is unique for its grandeur and complexity and offers an interactive experience of the country from 10,000 years back in time during the five eras of human civilization. Staged exhibitions re-creates the historical development of our land from the Chalcolithic and Neolithic eras, through the glorious history of the Thracians and Rome, until the heyday of the First and Second Bulgarian Kingdoms. The exhibitions present fragments of the everyday life and culture of our ancestors including traditional cuisine and delicacies offered to the tourists. Some important landmarks are reconstructed such as the Thracian Tomb of Aleksandrovo in order to deliver an authentic and three dimensional experience. In the Historical park the past is evident through all senses thanks to the meticulous attention to every detail and the availability of a number of activities in which visitors can participate in such as archery, Thracian ritual wine drinking from exquisite rhytons and phiales, pictures taken in traditional outfits from various eras, tours in a Thracian chariot, pony rides and a themed playground.
The parks offer a full range of services such as themed attractions combined with catering, recreation, entertainment and educational events, team building, musical and arts performances etc.
The materials used for construction are consistent with the relevant era (example: stone, wood, marble, ceramic, etc.). The food and beverages areas also re-create the traditional ambience of the epoch and guests can try dishes prepared according to authentic recipes with natural Bulgarian products. In the process of planning and building of the park more than 4000 people were involved, thus including history experts and archaeologists, master craftsmen, writers and researchers. All efforts were made to achieve realistic and authentic interpretation of the Bulgarian past.
The park hosts thematic events such as international artist competition and exhibition of historical painting, archery tournament, arts performances, re-enactment of events from Ancient Thrace and Medieval Bulgaria period, medieval foods and crafts festivals, and many others.
The park undertook a mass promotional campaign during its opening in 2019. Since then it promotes mainly through PR campaign and press releases in the local and national media, the web page of the park (ipark.bg) and social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Facebook (example: https://youtu.be/UuArbUIWL98)
Because of the unique ambience it creates, the park is preferred as a scene for video filming and big educational, corporate or personal events (field trips, conferences, trainings, weddings, etc.). Theme events and competitions are also very attractive for the mass audience. This helps promote the park even further since many people have the opportunity to visit and appreciate its resources.
Important distribution channels are also the organized packaged tours sold by local or international tour operators.
The Historic Park is gaining popularity by publishing a number of illustrated children and adult’s books and encyclopaedias. They are sold at the souvenir shop in the park and bookstores throughout the country. The books are translated into 7 foreign languages and aim at promoting the rich and valuable Bulgarian culture and historical heritage.
The park also organizes role-playing games such as the coming edition of the “New Khan” game in which participants are fully immersed in the action and experience first-hand a real historic event from 7th Century A.D (the creation of the first Bulgarian Kingdom). The games are an excellent team building activity, which develops leadership, initiative and stamina, challenging the body and the mind. The participants are divided into three teams, each of them competing for the “Bulgarian throne”.
The park’s income comes primarily from the entrance fees paid by individuals or groups of tourists. Discounts and special cards are available.
Other sources of incomes are project-based activities, rent of facilities for various events, food, beverages and souvenir sales. Participation in some attractions is additionally charged.
Key success factors and challenges
- Unique combination of culture, education and entertainment;
- Authentic ambience and experience of the Bulgarian history;
- The biggest and only national attraction of this scale;
- Wholesome sensorial and memorable experience (audio, visual and kinaesthetic) for the visitors;
- Intense festival and events program, providing diversity of activities and opportunity for involvement;
- Environmentally friendly (biodegradable waste procedures are introduced throughout the territory of the park);
Vast open spaces allowing for a great number of visitors in coherence with the health and safety regulations (social distancing in accordance to the COVID19 restrictions).
Source of the images: https://www.facebook.com/HistoricalPark.BG/photos/?ref=page_internal
Neofit Rilski Village, Varna District, Northeast Planning Region
Purpose-built attraction, historical and cultural heritage