Shumen City Center

I started my exploration of Shumen on ulitsa Tsar Osvoboditel. It’s not the main street through town but there were a handful of historic homes along it, some that double as museums.

Ulitsa Tsar Osvoboditel in Shumen, Bulgaria

Ulitsa Tsar Osvoboditel

One of the homes belonged to Hungarian nationalist hero Lajos Kossuth. He lived in Shumen in 1849 and the home is now a museum. Other house museums include the homes of revolutionary Panayot Volov, writer Dobri Voynikov, and the Zhekov home, where composer Pancho Vladigerov took his first piano lesson. They’re typically open weekdays only, but none were open when I walked by.

Lajos Kossuth house on ulitsa Tsar Osvoboditel in Shumen, Bulgaria

Lajos Kossuth house

Another fine building along Tsar Osvoboditel is the Dobry Voynikov Community Center. It was built by French architect I.M. Mercier between 1885 and 1898. The first opera and first comedy in Shumen were both performed there.

Dobry Voynikov Community Center on ulitsa Tsar Osvoboditel in Shumen, Bulgaria

Dobry Voynikov Community Center

I walked for another 15 minutes and came to Tri Svetiteli Orthodox Church, which was built in 1857.

Tri Svetiteli Orthodox Church in Shumen, Bulgaria

Tri Svetiteli Orthodox Church

From the church I headed a few steps south to bulevard Slavyanski. This gorgeous tree-lined street runs through the center of town. The north side is pedestrianized while the south side is open to traffic. Between the two sides is a park.

Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Bulevard Slavyanski

Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Bulevard Slavyanski

Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Bulevard Slavyanski

All kinds of outdoor cafés and shops are on the pedestrianized side. They’re mostly housed in colorful 19th century buildings.

Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Bulevard Slavyanski

There are a couple of important buildings along bulevard Slavyanski. One of them is the Vasil Drumev Dramatic Puppet Theatre on the pedestrian side of the street.

Vasil Drumev Dramatic Puppet Theatre on Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Vasil Drumev Dramatic Puppet Theatre

The other is the Regional Museum of History on the traffic side. The museum features over 150,000 pieces spread out over eight galleries. The artifacts date from antiquity to the 20th century. I spent about an hour going through the collection and I thought it was interesting. There was an impressive collection of Byzantine icons and Thracian artifacts. It’s open daily except Sunday.

Regional Museum of History on Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Regional Museum of History

Near the puppet theatre there’s a monument to Shumen-born playwright Dobry Voynikov and another one commemorating the year 1856. Directly across from it is the park and stairway that leads up to the Founders of the Bulgarian State Monument.

Dobry Voynikov statue on Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Dobry Voynikov statue

1856 monument on Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

1856 monument

The ruins of a giant phallic monstrosity as you continue west on bulevard Slavyanski towards the old Ottoman Quarter is an abandoned construction site. It was supposed to be a Communist era administrative building. It’s an eyesore in an otherwise lovely city.

Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Bulevard Slavyanski

Unfinished administrative building on Bulevard Slavyanski in Shumen, Bulgaria

Unfinished administrative building

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