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Bulgaria is to spend about 300 million leva (about 150 million euro) in European Union funds over the next two years restoring 11 castles and other ancient sites.
Among the sites where restoration and development work will be done are the museum village of Etura, the former capital of Pliska, the Madara Horseman cliff carving near the town of Shoumen, Arbanassi, the Assenovgrad fortress, the Magura and Ledenika caves and the Belogradchik rocks.
Regional Development and Public Works Minister Liliana Pavlova said that 61 municipalities would be involved in implementing the projects, including improving infrastructure near tourist attractions.
For example, near the village of Belchin, in western Bulgaria, 50km from the capital, Sofia, a fortress dates back 1,700 years. The fortress, with walls 350m long and with six towers, will be restored to its former appearance within two years, according to the report.
Close to the fortress walls, archaeologists have found the remains of three churches said to date back to the same period as the fortress, and seen as proof that Christianity had come to the area at the time of Byzantine emperor Constantine the Great.
Samokov municipality is to be given close to 6 million leva to develop the site into a tourist attraction, with a museum and reconstructions portraying ancient life, the report said.
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.