Silistra is a quiet and enigmatic town, that doesn’t make much noise. At the time I lived here (in my childhood), I thought nothing special was happening. Now, visiting it after many years, I think town is and has ever been extremely saturated with “happening” but in its delicate way and bypassing direct awareness.
Although he town is an important river port, it is quite small, compared to other regional cities, but with a long history: In the archaeological museum I have seen at least a few Neolithic female figurines, similar to the Willendorf Venus, but unlike her, they are not in the world catalogs, because until recently Bulgaria was “blind” to its ancient past (in fact – the oldest in Europe) and did not promote it.
The region is full of Thracian mounds, which still hide their secrets and have not been explored. Thracians are the inhabitants of Bulgarian lands during the pre-historical and ancient times. As a child, I even dreamed that I descended into one of those burial mounds and found the “King’s Room”, with walls inscribed with wall paintings and hieroglyphics. Then I had not yet heard of the “chamber of the pharaoh” in the Egyptian pyramids, nor of the connection between Thracian and Egyptian civilization (which scholars are more and more acknowledging), but some “philosophical spirit” was tangibly “hovering” in the city, and thanks to it, in a package with the popular films about Indiana Jones, hooked me up to study Art History.
If you walk around the Danube Garden, you will see the ruins of towers of a large Roman military garnison, built in antiquity. History lovers could find even more impressive finds: During the era of the First Bulgarian Kingdom was built the “Patriarchal Basilica” of Patriarch Damian – the first Bulgarian Patriarch, and under Khan Omurtag was built the Danube Palace of the Bulgarian khans, in which in 896 – 897 the Tsar Simeon the Great himself was established….
But mentioning the park: It was the biggest treasure of the town, during the times of my childhood. I realized it once, when I went for a few days to another town, inland – I was in a great wonder how people could live without contemplating rivers and horizons?!.
The park was created as a project of king Ferdinand, to be open botanical garden, alongside the coastline of the town and some af the rare trees are still here. The beauty of the river mirror and the coolness of the evening brezee, like a magnet attract the inhabitants of the town. Once upon a time we had a saying: “If you want to meet someone, stand in the evening at the entrance of the Danube Garden and in an hour or two you will surely meet him (her)!” So was today!: The garden was full of people and I met some of my classmates.
At sunset, even Sun doesn’t miss his visit – his golden light spills on the mirror of the Danube and the whole garden fulfils with orange glow. I saw the gorgeous shows once again and it was a thrue bliss!
One who has seen Silistra’s sunset once, never forgets it!