Wednesday 17 September 2008

Mary & Frederik in Bulgaria

The gala dinner. Photo © Birger Storm/Billed Bladet
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary continue the last day of their 3 day official visit marking expanding relations between Denmark and Bulgaria today. With Bulgaria's interest in the director-generalship of UNESCO, Frederik and Mary have been shown some of Bulgaria's ancient cultural heritage. The Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov no doubt hopes Denmark's EU support and other kinds of assistance will also translate into support for Bulgaria's future UNESCO candidature for the Director General position. Denmark (and Australia) is a founding member of UNESCO. Another royal Danish UNESCO connection is through Frederik's cousin Alexandra, Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, who works for UNESCO in Paris in the Asian cultural area.

Today Frederik and Mary have visited the Troyan Monastery just outside the town of Troyan, 160 km east from Sofia, September 17, 2008. They also visited young Bulgarian painters during a visit to the Secondary School of Applied Arts in the town of Troyan. Yesterday they visited the National Museum in Sofia, the Hans Christian Andersen centre in the University of Sofia, the Old Town of Plovdiv and its ancient Roman Theatre. Currently they are visiting the National Exhibition of Handicrafts Arts in the village of Oreshak and will take their formal leave of President Parvanov and Mrs Parvanova later this afternoon.

Photos © Birger Storm/Billed Bladet, Daylife/Reuters

Troyan Monastery Travel Bulgaria: Monastries
Images of the Troyan Monastery The Legend of the Three Handed Virgin at Troyan Monastery Troyan Monastery (in Bulgarian and English, with photos)
Bulgarian Monasteries


Crown Prince Frederik's official dinner speech (in Danish and with photo gallery)
Official dinner in Bulgaria - Published Monday September 15th 2008
Mr President - Mrs Parvanova,
The Crown Princess and I thank you for the cordial reception we have had and for the kind words and good wishes Your Excellency has just expressed for us and our country.
Although our visit in Bulgaria is only three days, we look forward to getting to know something of the country during our stay in Sofia and in the provinces, in which Plovdiv will no doubt be a highlight.
Bulgaria became a member of NATO in 2004 and of the European Union in 2007.
This offers us rich chances to renew and strengthen the very established connection between Bulgaria and Denmark.
Already 1000 years ago there were personal relations between Bulgarians and Danes.
It was at the time when Danes together with other Vikings from Scandinavia navigated Russian rivers for the Black Sea - and from there to the Bulgarian coast for Byzantium.
This also means that the Bulgarians and the Vikings influenced each other.
A clear example of the Bulgarian influence can be seen in the Vikings' silversmith art.
Archaeologists have found that the model of Vikings' silver buttons is often Bulgarian-inspired.
Subsequent invasions of the Balkans in the Middle Ages meant that the distance between Bulgaria and Denmark in these centuries was too troublesome to overcome.
When Bulgaria regained its independence in 1878 the trade between Bulgaria and Denmark began to evolve once again.
And with continuing trade there was a strengthening of human connections which followed.
Here in the 21st century we see growing reciprocal activity in a lot of areas between Bulgaria and Denmark.
That includes trade, investments, science, art, culture - and tourism.
In recent years the number of Danish tourists has grown steadily.
In 2008 it is expected that up to 100,000 Danes will travel to Bulgaria - among them are many young people.
This impressive number of Danish visitors in Bulgaria - almost 2% of the whole of Denmark's population tells us that during just a few years many Bulgarians and Danes will get to know each other very well.
The consequences of this added personal contact between Bulgarians and Danes will remain significant since it concerns science and culture, but also trade and investments between our respective companies.
This will become Bulgaria's and Denmark's contribution to create a united Europe "completely and freely".
As I, with the Crown Princess, wish progress for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people - along with expansion of the connections between Bulgaria and Denmark - I raise my glass and propose a toast to Bulgaria's President and Mrs Parvanova. (rough blog translation)

Billed Bladet 'Mary og Frederik: Tre dage i Bulgarien' - Mary and Frederik: three days in Bulgaria
While the regent couple are in the southern part of the kingdom on their late summer tour, the Crown Prince Couple have been on an official visit in Bulgaria.
On Sunday evening the Crown Prince and Crown Princess handed over their cultural award 2008 to a proud and happy Tina Dickow in the Opera House.
Immediately after the big event Frederik and Mary jumped on a plane with the destination of Bulgaria's capital Sofia.
During the Crown Prince's and Crown Princess' three day long official visit the country's President Georgi Parvanov and his wife Zorka have acted as hosts.
The programme for the three days has included visits to St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, an excursion to the Troyan Monastry, which is 160 kilometres from the capital, and invitation to a gala evening with the presidential couple.

Sofia Echo - 19:28 Wed 17 Sep 2008 - Spasena Baramova
On September 17 2008, Frederik and Mary, crown prince and princess of Denmark, left Bulgaria following the end of their official visit to the country, held on the invitation of Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov.
The heir to the Danish throne and his wife arrived in Sofia on September 15.
During the visit, prince Frederik held talks with Purvanov, Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev and Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament Georgi Pirinski, while princess Mary had a meeting with the President's wife, Zorka Purvanova.
The two royals visited the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the National Museum of History in Sofia, along with the old town of Plovdiv and Troyan Monastery, among other attractions.

Fyens Stifstidende 'Kronprinsparret besøger Bulgarien' 'Apretada agenda para los príncipes Federico y Mary de Dinamarca en su vuelta al trabajo' clip Официална двудневна визита у нас на датският престолонаследник Фредерик. (0:36) news (Frederik and Mary story at 21:27)

Thanks jema, thanks Ayvee!

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