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The ancient town of Nicopolis ad Istrum

Date of Submission: 01/10/1984
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Commission Nationale de la R.P.de Bulgarie pour l'Unesco
Coordinates: Nicopolis is located near the village of Nikyup, district of Veliko Turnovo, 20 km from the town of Veliko Turnovo.
Ref.: 47

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This ancient town is located near the village of Nikyup, the district of Veliko Turnovo, at 20 km from the town of Veliko Turnovo. Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by the Roman Emperor Trajan after his victories over the Dacians in 101 and 106. It was built over an area of 30 hectares and is surrounded by fortress walls. The villas the craftsmen's workshops and necropolises are to be found outside the walls. The town was planned according to the orthogonal system. The network of streets, the forum surrounded by an Ionic colonnade and many buildings, a two-nave room later turned into a basilica and other public buildings have been uncovered in this town. The rich architectures and sculptures show a similarity with those of the ancient towns in Asia Minor, Ephesus, Milletus, Palmyra, etc. NICOPOLIS AD ISTRUM minted its own coins - 900 different emissions for one century, bearing images of its own public buildings. It was an episcopal centre during the early Byzantine period and was destroyed b the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century. A Bulgarian medieval settlement arose upon its ruins later (10-14th cent.). NICOPOLIS AD ISTRUM is an important site and is visited by thousands of Bulgarian and foreign tourists and many specialists. It has been declared a monument of culture and scrupulous care is taken of further excavations, investigation and popularization.