One has to see the magnificent Thracian treasures, the remnants of the monumental but beautiful work of the Greek, and the Roman cities in order to understand why Bulgaria became the cradle of Slav culture.
For thirteen centuries the Bulgarians have been creating literature, art, and music. Bulgarian culture has given the world people of great achievements, unparalleled in history.
During the 14th century the medieval Orthodox Christian composer and singer, John Koukouzel - The Angel-voiced, carried out a reform in Eastern Orthodox church music. At the same time, unknown painters created masterpieces which have become part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage.
Born from the power of tradition, modern Bulgarian culture, too, triumphs in the world. A poem of the great Bulgarian poet Hristo Botev has found a place in the Sorbonne, Boris Christoff and a whole host of Bulgarian singers have conquered the world's opera stages, "the Mystery of Bulgarian Voices" has astounded melomaniacs around the globe, and paintings of Vladimir Dimitrov-The Master can be seen in the world's finest galleries.
The Thracians have inhabited our lands for many centuries. By the 5th century BC, their presence was pervasive enough to have made the Greek chronicler Herodotus call them the second-most numerous people (after the Indians) in the known part of the world.
There is something symbolic in the fact that millennia later, the homeland of the mythical Orpheus is again attracting world attention and being talked about as the "Bulgarian musical miracle".
Now that our knowledge of the world is more comprehensive, art will not remain the same as bequeathed to us by the ancient Tracians or by the painters of the National Revival period.
The soft radiance of the Bulgarian icon is a manifestation of the fate, stability and spiritual evolution of the Bulgarians after their conversion to Christianity during the 9th century.