Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe

Western Trans-Balkan Road

Western Trans-Balkan Road

The Western Trans-Balkan Road crosses South East Europe in North-South direction. The corridor has been uniting for ages the territories from both sides of the Balkan – the Balkan range, passing through Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. Thus, the Trans-Balkan Road connects Western and Central Europe with the Aegean and the Mediterranean sea, crossing consecutively the Danube Road, the Diagonal road, the Sofia-Ohrid Road and Via Egnatia.
The West Trans-Balkan Road is the actual axis of spreading of ancient Greek culture to the North, as basis of modern European civilization. This is a specific axis back in time, connecting areas with outstanding cultural assets from various historical periods. The road has started since the 20th century and Modern Times, clearly outlined in Transylvania, the Middle and Lower Danube plains and influenced by the cultural trends of West-Europe along the Danube road. It gradually entered the Middle Ages – strongly exhibited between the Danube river and the Aegean sea, under the influence of the crossroads with the Diagonal Road and the Crusaders and with Via Egnatia. In Continental Greece, the Western Trans-Balkan Road discovered the brilliant Antiquity of South East Europe, to reach the Aegean isles – the home of the prehistoric civilizations of the region – Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean.
The exceptional variety of cultural and historical assets found along the cultural corridor is fascinating. The axis takes the visitor through assets from Modern Times in Timisoara, through the Medieval fortresses Baba Vida and Belogradchik, the masterpieces of Medieval art – the Boyana church, Rila Monastery, the churches of Thessaloniki. Quite unnoticeably, the road reveals Antiquity – Dion, Delphi, the Acropolis in Athens, and unveils the secrets of Prehistory – Mycenae, Akrotiri of Thera and the mythical Palace of Knossos.
The Western Trans-Balkan Road is also a cultural road, exhibiting the beauty of traditional architecture. It connects three outstanding centres, determined by the local characteristics of the region – the fortified settlements of Transylvania (Romania), the vernacular house along the Struma River and the gleaming pearls of the Aegean isle architecture.

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