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Monument to the Assen Dynasty

A monument to the Assen dynasty was opened In 1985, on the 800th anniversary of the Assen Brothers’ revolt against Byzantine’s rule.

0052 Monument to the Assen Dynasty
Assenevtsi Monument
Local name: Паметник на Асеневци
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
GPS: 43.082572, 25.637741

In the year 1185, three brothers began the Assen Dynasty by leading a bloody rebellion against Bulgaria’s Byzantine overlords.

The three brothers then ruled Bulgaria after its liberation from Byzantium slavery. 

Two brothers, Assen and Peter, dedicated their lives to Bulgaria, that it would survive as an independent state. They ruled the newly liberated Bulgaria together and continued to defend the country from Byzantine forces. 

The third brother, Kaloyan, went on to become an iconic figure in the history of Bulgaria rulers. According to historical records, he was a brilliant emperor and commander of war.

As a representative of Bulgaria, Tsar Kaloyan was also known to have made remarkable diplomatic achievements throughout Europe in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

Their heir King Ivan Assen II (Yoan Assen II) like his predecessor Kaloyan was destined to to be an outstanding diplomat, and he strengthened Bulgaria, returning it back to its former greatness.

A system of hereditary rule allowed Assen Dynasty to retain power and the seat of the Tsar was exchanged regularly between family members. The Assen family ruled Bulgaria for a century. 

Though Sofia is currently the capital of modern day Bulgaria, in 1186 the Assen Tsars chose to rule Bulgaria from Veliko Tarnovo. 


In 1985, 800 years since the Assen Brothers’ revolt against Byzantine’s rule, a monument to the Assen dynasty was erected in the center of Veliko Tarnovo.

Gigantic black statues of the ruling Tsars Asen, Peter, Kaloyan, and Ivan Assen II are represented on horseback. 

They circle an even larger black sword pointing straight up to the sky, representing the growing strength of Bulgaria during medieval times.

SizzleMap films created in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria are produced in collaboration with
TAM – Space for Art and Social Initiatives.

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SizzleMap.com – By diving deep into the history of each location we visit, SizzleMap uncovers the fascinating legends, fables, and mythology of the worlds least talked about monuments. Each attraction is forensically researched and the facts are boiled down into a short ‘Sizzle Reel‘ film that reveals everything you need to know to give you a full appreciation of that attraction.

Forrest Mallard (@forrestmallard) – SizzleMap Video Producer – US Marine Sergeant, Theatrical Producer, Writer, Cross-Continent Hiker, Karaoke Star, and life-long travel addict. Two of Forrest’s passions, Travel and Story-Telling, eventually combined to create SizzleMap. Forrest prides himself as more of a travel historian than a travel personality, and he loves to share what he learns through short, educational and entertaining films.

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