Q.: When can “Tsarevgrad Turnov in Sound and Light” show be watched?
A.: “Tsarevgrad Turnov in Sound and Light” Audio-Visual Programme can be watched all year round, regardless of the season or weather conditions. There are no pre-scheduled dates for airing the show. It can be watched for free on national and city holidays and on any other date after placing a pre-paid order from individual customers or tourist groups.
Q.: Is it possible to watch the show if raining/snowing?
A.: Tsarevgrad Turnov in Sound and Light” show can be watched all year round, regardless of the season or weather conditions, apart from the cases of really thick fog when the hill is not visible. Visitors can watch the show from the purpose-built hall with panoramic windows and air conditioning, located just behind the Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral on 6 Nikola Pikolo St, 200 m to the west from Tsar Asen I Square.
Q.: Is it possible to watch the show for free?
A.: Yes. The show can be watched for free on the national and city public holidays. For exact dates please check the SHOWS page of this site.
Q.: Why the show can’t be watched for free?
A.: The show can be watched for free, thanks to the support of Veliko Tarnovo Municipality, on all national and city public holidays. On any other date the show can be watched after placing a pre-paid order by organized groups or individual customers.
“Tsarevgrad Turnov in Sound and Light” Audio-Visual Programme was created 30 years ago. Its enormous infrastructure includes 630 km of cabling, 2400 floodlights, 140 flash lamps, 6 bells, 2 lasers, audio equipment, computer control centre, 6 high/middle voltage electrical substations, 72 electric switchboards, viewing area, etc. The show is operated and maintained by 13 permanently employed staff.
All those considerable expenses for the huge electricity bill, service and maintenance, materials, salaries, etc. make it impossible to show the programme for free all year round.
Q.: Can we select between different version of “Sound and Light” Programme?
A.: It’s a popular urban legend that there are dozens of different programs and the operator chooses which one to run every time. The truth is that since the start of the regular shows 30 year ago the programme has been absolutely the same, the only difference being the absence of the red laser for a limited period of time due to technical problem. It was repaired under an EU funded project in 2012. Due to the various amount of vegetation on the hill in different seasons or the position of the audience, one might think that the programme varies, but the truth is that it is the same every time.
Q.: Why did the show used to last longer years ago?
A.: It’s another popular myth that there is a longer and a shorter version of the programme and based on the audience someone chooses which one to run. Again, it is a single show that’s been running for 30 years now. Its duration is 20 minutes – the first three are the necessary start up time and the next seventeen – the “visible” part of the show.
Q.: Why there isn’t a background narrator/speaker during the show?
A.: The concept of the programme has never included a narrator/speaker DURING the show itself. This wrong impression was created probably by the soundtrack of a documentary, dedicated to the programme, which is available on a DVD, where a speaker tells a story. The original soundtrack of the show, played from the fortress, does not contain such “narrators” or “speakers”.
The team of the show recently restored and old practice to play a sound file, in different languages, BEFORE the start of the show, in which a narrator explains in advance what follows next.
Q.: Why there’s no sound on the square in front of Tsarevets Fortress?
A.: It is another myth that the PA system on Tsar Asen I Square is frequently malfunctioning and the viewers often can’t enjoy the show in full quality. Actually the sound system on the square works perfectly – you can hear it yourselves if you come to the announced free dates for the show.
The reason for not hearing the sound when watching the show from the square is that in this moment the show is played for a tourist group, which has ordered and paid for the show and is watching it from the comfortable panoramic terrace with the best view of the hill and the best sound quality. During such pre-paid shows, the PA system on the square is deliberately switched off.
Q.: Is it possible to install speakers along Ivan Vazov and Nikola Pikolo streets, so viewers who are not able to reach Tsar Asen I Square could also hear the sound of the show when aired for free?
A.: We are aware that on some big holidays the square is not big enough to accommodate all the viewers. Still it’s not possible to provide sound for the people along the streets before the square, because the speakers around the square are positioned precisely in order to provide sound from the left, right and rear audio channels for perfect playback of the show’s soundtrack for viewers on the square. What’s more, the underground infrastructure of the show does not allow attachment of mobile sound systems.
Q.: Is it possible to watch the show from the inside of Tsarevets fortress?
A.: Theoretically it’s possible, but Tsarevets Architectural and Museum Reserve is usually closed for the night at the time of the show.
Apart from that the show is designed to be viewed from a distance – if you stand inside the fortress you will see blinking lights around you, but not the whole picture.
Q.: Is it possible to watch the show from Arbanassi?
A.: No. Tsarevets Hill is located between Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi. The show is designed to be watched from west, from Veliko Tarnovo. All floodlights, lasers, flash lights, etc. are mounted on the north-western, western and southern side of the hill, while Arbanassi is located to the north-east of Tsarevets. But since the distance between Arbanassi and Tsarevets Hill is only 3 km, there should be no problem to reach the viewing area of the show.