News, upgrades, projects in progress and etc.


Due to the great success of the exhibition A Step into the Past in the village of Strelcha, students from seven schools have visited it within two months, it will also be presented in the Historical Museum of Gorna Oryahovitsa. The opening is on 21.03. (Thursday), at 5.30 p.m.
The exhibition was carried out based on the idea of the well-known reenactor and organizer Stefan Stefanov, but like most good things the assembly of the exhibits is the work of a team. The contribution of the Badamba Workshop is a boyar couple from the 14th century, Vidin region.

More details here

On 09.12.2023, Saturday, at 3 pm in Strelcha History Museum, the exhibition of Veliko Tarnovo Regional History Museum, called A Step into the Past will be opened. The exhibition presents replicas of objects, weapons and crafts from the Middle Ages, made by reenactors and based on artifacts from museum expositions and scientific publications.
Visitors will be able to learn about some of the most common crafts of the Middle Ages, like belt weaving, pottery painting, coin making and leatherwork. The clothing, weapons, ammunition and crafts are reconstructed by Ivaylo Antonov, Yordan Sivkov, Dr. Kalina Atanasova, Petar Stefanov, Iskra Tsoneva, Snezhana Chekendova, Stefan Stefanov, Dr. Simeon Tsvetkov. The design and processing of the photos is the work of Associate Professor Dr. Plamen Sabev and Natalia Borisova.

On 14-16.11.2023, I participated in an international scientific conference called History and Archaeology of Southeast Europe during the Middle Ages dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the birth of Prof. Rasho Rashev, D. Sc. (1943-2008). My report was on Traditions and Innovations in Late Middle Ages Bulgarian Female Head Coverings. The conference program was very varied and, judging by the presentations, a really interesting compendium is expected to be published.

In August, we took part in two international festivals in two weeks :) With the invaluable help of Jasmin Parvanov, Dimitar Atanasov and a team of friends, the traveling exhibition "Bulgarian Medieval Costume" was presented in Suceava, and together with "Velichie", Petya Krusheva and other friends we participated in the White Eagles festival in Belgrade. While "Velichie" were methodically winning the battle trophies, Krusheva`s inn was expanding its toolkit and repertoire.
We heartily thank the hosts from Romania and Serbia and hope to see you again soon!

An article I finished in 2019 has been published before I knew :)
Atanasova, K. Clothing Remains from Grave No. 215a, Basilica No. 2 in Drastar – Visualization – STUDIA ACADEMICA ŠUMENENSIA, ISSN 2367-5446, Vol. 9, 2022, 58-68
In general, it represents illustrations to others’ publications on the clothing of the little aristocrat from grave 215a of the Druster Basilica. Dr. Ivan Chokoev did the hard work of conservation, research and analysis of the textile finds, I did some exercise with the pencil and two well-known drawing and painting programs :)
Thanks to Krasimir Yovchev, who always allows me to use his photos, to Sava Spasov, who pretended to be dead, to Ivan Rendakov, who lent me his belt, and to Maggie Angelova, who rendered the text in English.

The team of the scientific project To relive the past. Historical reconstructions as a phenomenon of culture invites us to the conference Historical reconstruction: fields of experience. The event will be held on April 22 and 23, 2023 in Sofia, hall 19 of ИЕФЕМ – БАН, 6A Moskovska St. - with options for personal presence or online participation. You can find more information on the project website (on Bulgarian only)


First (but hopefully not last) published material for 2023 :)
Svetoslav's florilegium of 1073 and the possible Bulgarian realities in its illustrations, article in the Macedonian magazine PATRIMONIUM.MK From the Byzantine period, we move smoothly to the First Bulgarian Kingdom, where the questions are still more than the answers.

P.S. Any reference to a hot contemporary topic is random. The text was written before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, and before the War for Letters.

My latest article has been published: Madrid Skylitzes as a reference point to the appearance of Bulgarian male clothing during the byzantine period. It is included in the next volume of the Историкии series.
The costumes of our early Middle Ages have been of interest to many scientists and reenactors, there are both serious publications and beautiful reconstructions. The Byzantine period is not so popular due to obvious reasons, but it cannot be ignored if we study the continuity between the First and Second Bulgarian Empires.

The end of such a dynamic and difficult year as 2022 is a wonderful occasion to think about the future. The 2023 Reenactment Calendar is now filling up! We invite all organizers, participants and audience to get involved in the process with information and corrections.
Omissions are possible, unscrupulous attitude is not!

On 28.11. our faithful partner Avitohol Association celebrated ten years since its establishment. We had the honor and pleasure of working together with them from the very beginning in a spirit of mutual understanding and enrichment. Few reenactment clubs have grown so quickly and developed so richly, few organizers have stood so firmly behind their word, few partnerships have been so beneficial. We wish them ten times ten more years of success and glory!
The anniversary was properly marked with a forum held on 02.12. in the Varna Archaeological Museum.

On 18.11.2022, at the initiative of the Archaeological Museum in the town of Karnobat, Municipality of Karnobat and the Association for the Restoration and Preservation of Bulgarian Traditions - Avitohol from the city of Varna, the exhibition Warriors from Antiquity and the Middle Ages was opened. Eight full-length figures are represented - two each for the Antiquity, Late Antiquity, Early and Late Middle Ages. As usually, we helped represent the late medieval period by equipping a figure of a light-armed infantryman.
The exhibition is open for visits until the end of January 2023.

This autumn, the team of Historical Мuseum of Popovo was awarded and implemented the Young Researchers Academy. The History of my Region project. As part of the project, local students met the Thracian and Roman heritage in Bulgaria. In order to dive thoroughly in the story, we made twenty replicas of Thracian and Roman costumes for children to wear during the corresponding living lessons.
The best prize for us was the photos with their happy little faces :)

Greetings to Historical Museum of Popovo for the good idea and the successful implementation. Greetings as well for their lovely constant exhibition, which is settled in an extremely creative and interactive way!


Colleagues and friends, associates and sympathisers,
I am proud to announce that my dissertation on Clothing during the Second Bulgarian Empire was successfully defended and a doctor’s degree in archeology was awarded to me on 21.09.2022 at Episkop Kontantin Preslavski Shumen University.
I was honoured to be assessed by a very strict and erudite committee: I was given both praises and constructive criticism to motivate me to do better in the future. The brief version of the dissertation as well as the reviews and statements of opinion of the committee are available at the university’s web page.
I thank everybody who helped me and continue to help me with drafting scientific texts, with the historical recreations without which no such texts would exist, and in any other manner or form.
PS: This is the start of the activities aimed at publishing the dissertation in a book form. E. i., if I haven’t bored you to death during the last fifteen years, be forewarned, more of the same is coming :)
Ștefan cel Mare enters Suceava fortress

Between the 11th and the 14th of August, a small but well-selected Bulgarian team had the honour and pleasure to be part of the medieval festival in Suceava which was dedicated to Knyaz Ștefan cel Mare. The Suceava fortress, which was the main residence of medieval Moldavia's rulers, is well-kept and even better displayed.
The festival itself was a four-day fairytale of processions, presentations, concerts, fights, dances, music, folklore, knights, shamans, horseback riders, torches, fire and water, storms and sun. It was more than a camera lens could see or words could tell.
... We took part in a battle recreation without knowing beforehand whose side we were on which is a great way to learn history; … we dismantled our camp and carried off our luggage during a thunderstorm which is a great way to feel the atmosphere; … we drunk several types of home-made and store-bought alcohol in students’ dormitories which is a great way to make new friends :)
We are very grateful to the kindest and most hospitable nomads from Nikors club who invited us and who waited on us hand and foot, to Bogdan Balascau, the prince of coordinators, who took the greatest care of the 106 people assigned to him out of the 600-member menagerie of the fest, to Ștefan cel Mare and his wonderful Suceava.


I express my gratitude to the Historical Park - in general, and to Ivelin Mihailov and Milen Petrov - in particular, for the wonderful Second Medieval Festival "New Beginning". My first early medieval reenactment was in the distant 2008 (commemoration of the Battle of Varbica), and since then I've been firmly on course for the late medieval (Second Bulgarian Kingdom). This weekend, together with the "Avithol" Association, I made my first entirely early medieval presentation. It's also a new beginning, in a way :)

Photoshoot The priest and his wife was added at The project offline section, with two new replica costumes from the XIII-XIV century.

My fourth published article is already on the internet (on Bulgarian). The work on the Cumans is done... for now :)

Photos from two other photo shoots were added to the Cumans photo session. The additional research on late nomads required a reconsideration of the reconstructions from 2016 and a stricter observation of specific findings.

For a second year in a row, we celebrated the Plovdiv – Ancient and Eternal Festival with a tableau. This time we took inspiration from the East and the enigmatic Golden Horde. The audience saw how the mighty khan Nogay and his overbearing wife Efrosina received Byzantine priests, Crimean traders, Cuman chiefs and Bulgarian bolyars in the royal court and how the young hostage Svetoslav Terter financially secured his political career.
Heartfelt thanks to Alexandru, Lacramioara Matei and their faithful retinue for the advice, inventory and irresistible stage presence; the pious priests Mitko and Nikolay; the calculating trader Zdravko and his upright guard Nasko; the noble bolyars Gencho and the other Nasko; the cunning prince Dancho; the diligent master of ceremonies, who is also called Dancho; and the Cuman chief, the third Dancho :D; the fanatic shaman Teodora; the selfless bride Lucia; the long-suffering narrator Jack and, last but not least, the talented photographer Maya.
You were amazing!

Link to the photos from the tableau, with subtitles

On 10th September I took part at the conference "Shifting Powers: political, urban and demographic changes in Late Antique Balkans". The theme of my report was "Reconstruction of garments from Late Antique tomb in Silistra". I presented a visual reconstruction of the master's costume and a physical reconstruction of the clothes of the mistress and her maids.

Almost an year ago I designed three Latin costumes specially for the medieval fest at Plovdiv. The supporting research is already uploaded in the organiser`s website.

The best Woman`s day greeting card from yesterday came an unexpected source ... is mentioned at sixth class history schoolbook :)

The collection of scientific works NIŠ AND BYZANTIUM XVIII is finished, and my article The insignia of the Bulgarian tsar Konstantin Tikh (1257-1277). Analysis and typology. is published in it.

Photoshoot The French was added at The project offline section. Three nobleman's suits of the XII-XIII century, made especially for the Philippopolis Association and for the Plovdiv Festival.

After a two-year break, we met again the early and late periods of the Middle Ages in a special exhibition, this time in the beautiful town of Bansko. The event was part of the program for celebration of the day of Bansko organized by Bansko Municipality and Bansko Museum Complex. Ancient music sounded at the opening played by the Freya group, followed by duel demonstrations by Konstantin Kolev and Martin Gelanov, and medieval cuisine by Petya Krusheva.
We thank the hosts for their hospitality and the participants for their enthusiasm and creativity! The combination of activities turned out to be very successful and we plan to do this again in the future :)
Plovdiv 2020

The second edition of Plovdiv - Ancient and Eternal was solemnly opened on 25.09.2020. It was the biggest Bulgarian historical festival for 2020 and our first participation for the year. Despite the extraordinary situation, the organizers did a brilliant job!
It all began with a procession through the city center, sounded by trumpets, war-cries, playful melodies, jingling of jewelry and weapons. The lines of the participants stopped several times and every wider space on the main street was used for fighting and dancing demonstrations. The grand opening was entrusted in the skilful hands of the antiquity clubs from Bulgaria and Romania.
The next day, Lauta Park welcomed visitors with a battle camp of Roman federati, gladiatorial school, Thracian camp, nomadic yurt settlement, knight's tent and numerous craftsmen pavilions from all ages. The program was too rich and varied to be described in detail, so we will focus on the highlights of the late Middle Ages:
- presentation of the Mongolian traditions and culture from the XIII century made by the Nokors Club;
- live picture "Welcoming the daughter of Henry of Flanders" screenplayed by Kalina Atanasova, Jasmin Parvanov and Petya Krusheva at the organizers’ order. Special costumes and decors were developed for the occasion, and representatives of all medieval clubs took part as participants. As a result, we had the most authoritative despot, the most graceful despina, the most hospitable hostess, the most experienced master of ceremonies, the most noble Latin guests and the bravest duelists :)
Thank you all very much!

A new Belts section was added at Badamba Workshop.
The reason is our newest reconstruction: Kichevo belt, XIVc. Dimensions and the place of the aplications are kept, as well as the decorations on the buckle plate and the strap end and the color of the base. It is not been kept the material (gilded silver), and the technique of making the base (tablet weaving).
The replica has been done by the team: Emil Marinov (round mounts), Kolyo Marinov (double lily mounts, buckle plate, strap end), Jasmin Parvanov (riveting, fixing, logistics), Kalina Atanasova (researching).
As Vanya Pavlova points out, in the 13th and 14th centuries almost identical belts were worn from the British Isles to the Caucasus. In this case, the find is Bulgarian, but the replica will adorn a French reconstruction :)

My fourth published article is already a fact. Others are ahead :)
Atanasova, K. The clothes of the Bulgarian religious orders between the 12th and the 14th centuries. Typological parallels in the Balkans based on some preserved portraits. – In: Ruler, State and Church on the Balkans in the Middle Ages. Compendium in honour of Prof. Plamen Pavlov's 60. anniversary. Veliko Tarnovo, 2020, part 2, 145-161

The article online
The plates (common file for the compendium)

The entrance of Historical Park copies the shape of Baba Vida – the only medieval Bulgarian fortress preserved in its entirety. This makes it the most appropriate background for my last two costumes – both from the region of former Despotate of Vidin. We are back in the 14th century and Stanichene boyar is on a diplomatic visit with Vlakosava, heiress of Donja Kamenica. As probable agents of two different Cuman migration waves, they have a common topic to speak on :)
As usual, the costumes are based on portraits from family tomb-churches. In this very case there is an actual possibility that the real persons behind the portraits had actually met – their domains were close to one another and a comparison between their visible age and the mural dating shows that they were born at approximately the same time. Yet, it is doubtful that they had the opportunity to know each other well – in about 1331-1332 most of Stanichene`s young men were already dead, probably fallen at the battlefield of Velbazhd. At least they left surviving relatives to perpetuate their memory.

The whole photo session is available here: Boyar meeting
It was possible thanks to the professionalism of Vladimir Ladev and his team, and the enthusiasm of Geri and Pierre, who had the strength to pose after battle training and a busy day at work.
I am sincerely grateful to all of them!

My thanks also go to Jasmin Parvanov, Emo Marinov and Ivan Rendakov. The beautiful belt of the boyar was created in collaboration with them.

2019 is about to end. Here are the highlights of the past season:

June is the month of festivals - another great event begins on Friday :) Whoever worked with the 18th Etar`s Infantry Regiment club knows that their name is a guarantee of quality! "The daily life of medieval Tarnovgrad" is the best Bulgarian historical festival dedicated to the Second Empire, held in its own capital. Apart from the unique atmosphere of Tsarevets, the organizers always provide a memorable themed program. This time the summer heat will be obviously beaten with culinary masterpieces.

The official opening of the Historical Park took place on 22nd June. This is the project I had developed my prehistoric and Thracian costumes for a few years ago. There is still a lot to be done in this park, but the beginning is really impressive. We wish them success!

How much official garments did the Bulgarian kings have? What has led a ruler to change the way he has appeared in public ceremonies?
On 04.06.2019 in Nish I presented my report "The insignia of the Bulgarian Tsar Konstantin Tikh (1257-1277). Analysis and Typology". In the paper all kinds of monuments representing the insignia of tsar Konstantin Tikh (Konstantin Tikh Assen II or Constantine I) are included: coins, stamps, manuscripts and portraits on the wall paintings. A detailed published article on the topic is expected :)

Reenactment season is upon us! This year the Medieval Bulgarian Costume project did not live up to its name – we couldn’t produce new clothes in the winter. However, we would like to present something equally attractive – our costumes worn while dancing. During the last years, thanks to "Al'entrada" Historical Dance Theatre and "Spiritual Seasons", we learned not only the melodies, but the steps and this year we are happy to dance with anyone who is interested in this. Naturally, the credit goes to 18th Etar Infantry Regiment Club which initiated the Everyday Life in Medieval Tarnovgrad festival where this important aspect of medieval life was presented for the first time.
Thank you!

New Year – New published material :)
My article "Bulgarian aristocrat Areta – an uncrowned princess. Analysis and reconstruction of the garment" was released in the second December issue of Epochi magazine (the article and the images)
The portrait of Areta has been on my mind for a long time, and two years ago I made my first attempt at recreation. Along with sewing, I opened the photos of the fresco with several computer programs and extracted the patterns as well as possible (a good general scheme is already given in the book of Popovic and team).
In the article itself I trace the origins of each of the elements of the costume, as well as its distribution beyond Stanichene.
My conclusion: although one of the tunics is of Byzantine origin and the hanging sleeves of the upper garment are the successor of the First Bulgarian Empire`s tradition, Areta's garment, taken in its entirety, reflects the regional Balkan fashion, which became popular in the 13th - 14th centuries.
P.S. I’d like to thank Angel Yordanov for the great pictures of the mural and Oleg Kozlenko for the help with the Byzantine studies.

Inspired by the holiday spirit – a sort of koledar (Bulgarian carol singer) :)
The latest Thracian costume - this time for the regional history museum of Smolyan. We made the typical Thracian hat with long ear flaps, neck flap and spiral top for the first time for them. The decorations on the tunic and cloak incorporate elements from Thracian artifacts, found in the Rhodopes, which are part of the museum fund. It was an honor to work on an order for the region which is the birth place of the legendary Orpheus!

The costume is part of the initiative Let’s Read Legends and Tales from the Rhodopes which aims at recognizing the significance of legends and tales from the Rhodopes as Bulgarian cultural values which can rightly claim their place in the European cultural heritage.

It turns out that weddings in medieval style are in fashion this year. So far, I have learned about three couples from different clubs who promised themselves to one another while recreating ancient customs. I wish them all a lot of happiness, family harmony and further study and renewal of traditions.
My very modest contribution to this praiseworthy trend is the wedding dress of Daniela Ganeva in which she said her vows during the Trayan`s Gate Festival this summer. There is no information on the existence of a type of dress used specifically for weddings in the Middle Ages, so the costume is a combined reconstruction of a 14th-century holiday gown. With the permission of the bride, I publish her clothes modelled by another girl.

On 26-28.10.2018 I was pleased to participate in the conference Ruler, State and Church in Medieval Balkans in honour of the 60th anniversary of prof. dr.Plamen Pavlov. The theme of my report was The Ecclesiastical Attire in the Second Bulgarian Empire in the Light of Preserved Portraits.
Details of the program can be seen in the profile of Centre for Medieval Studies in University of Veliko Tarnovo:
More about the event (Bulgarian only):
Textile in Middle Ages Tuida late-antique and medieval fortress will once more take part in the European Researchers' Night initiative. This event takes place simultaneously all over Europe on the last Friday of September. Universities, scientific institutes and cultural institutes open their doors and organize events for the general public. In Sliven, this event will take place in the National Museum of Textile Industry and in Tuida fortress. The program starts at 3 pm with free entrance.
At 7 pm, we will talk about textile in the Middle Ages with Maya Ivanova of the Tuida team. What raw materials did they use, how were they processed and distributed and what textiles were produced? Which of them were available to the ancient Bulgarians and how affordable were they? And, of course, what clothes did they make out of them?

Come and you’ll find out.


The historical festival Majesty and Memory, organized by Kostenets Municipality and Avitohol Association, took place at the Trajan's Gate Fortress on August, 17 on the occasion of the victory of Tsar Samuel over Emperor Basil II at this place 1032 years ago. In addition to the mandatory demonstrations of combat practices, armory and equipment, there were also presentations of various crafts, historical games and lectures on the early and late Middle Ages.
The focal point of the program on Saturday was the medieval wedding of Daniela and Peter carried out in three consecutive ceremonies: civil, Christian and Pagan. As far as I know, there had never before been such an event in Bulgaria.
Although I couldn’t manage to join the festival personally, I took part in the program with a very important detail. It was my honor and pleasure to make the bride's costume :)

Expect photos!
Just Out 2018 27.07.2018

This weekend we participated in the largest Balkan historical festival, Just Out, orginised by Beli Orlovi Club under the patronage of the Republik of Serbia. The festival took place at the foot of the Manassia Monastery founded by despot Stefan Lazarevic in the 15th century. Just like the year before, the three days passed by like a fairy tale of nationalities, eras, crafts, battles, music, dances, people and animals that is hard to describe. Fortunately, there are enough photos by professional photographers which speak for themselves. We can only say, "Thanks, Serbian friends!"

Serbian article about the event

Russian article about the event

In May - June 2018 we participated in three annual festivals which have a well-established history in the Bulgarian cultural calendar:
- Kaleto - Mezdra, dedicated to the early and late Middle Ages, and also the Antiquity from this year onwards, organized by Kaleto Fortress and Avitohol Association;

- Days of the Ancestors, Pliska - with an emphasis on military skills and medieval combat reproduced on horseback or on foot organized by Avitohol Association;

- Medieval Tarnovgrad - dedicated to the greatness of the Second Bulgarian Empire and its place in the European history, organized by 18th Etar Infantry Regiment Club.

Photoshoot Archer was added: equipment of a light-armoured soldier, based on fragment with warrior-saint from Zemen monastery.

After I made my first replica of a king in 2016, in 2017 it was time to make the first replica of a priest. A photoshoot of Eastern Orthodox bishop`s vestment XI – XIII century, based on frescoes and finds was added.
The omophorion is described in detail in the Experimental Archaeology section.

We continue with the academic appearances from previous years: on March 7 we will make a presentation to the students at South-West University "Neofit Rilski" – Blagoevgrad
All interested are welcome :)

On a personal level as a reenactor I would say that 2017 is the "year of unfinished work". Therefore, I would like to start 2018 with the publication of some old projects. We were finally able to take quality photos of the assembled reconstruction based on the necropolis in the village of Yantra (XIV century), in particular on graves 100, 121 and 127. This is generally not very professional but the finds from one grave simply do not give enough information to make it possible to recreate a complete costume. Besides, it is good to pay attention to the common people.
The article about the necropolis

The historic festivals in Bulgaria for 2017 ended successfully this weekend in the fortress of Tuida. We thank the organizers for the welcome, the participants for the pleasant stay and the guests for their attention!

This year we also took part in the Nikjup, Despotovac (Serbia) and Shumen festivals, but due to the extremely overloaded program we had been unable to announce this in advance. You can view information about these and other events in the Bulgarian Reenactment Calendar, which is updated regularly with the help of the organizers.

The clothes created at Badamba Workshop are not just beautiful and comfortable. They give you invincibility!!!
An advertising clip to The Historical Park Project, which will open gates next year. The attraction is going to present different periods of Bulgarian history in an accessible and fascinating way. Especially for it we have made a number of replicas of Thracian costumes, which can be seen live in the village of Neofit Rilski. Some of them are used in this video.

Smolqn exhibition 11.09.2017

After all the presentations, talks and participations in Bulgarian and foreign festivals this year, the time has come for the next exhibition of historical costumes. At the invitation of "Stoyu Shishkov" Regional Museum of History, my works will be presented in Smolyan as part of the European Heritage Days 2017. And as teamwork contributes to quality, I will once again partner with the invaluable Avitohol Association. Together we will demonstrate the similarities and differences in the clothing and weapons of the early and late Bulgarian Middle Ages.
The exhibition opens on September 18 at 4 pm.

Photoshoot Dashing and Dazzling Nobles was added. It includes recreation of the costumes of bolyars Rutesh and Areta who were painted in Saint Marina rock-hewn church near Karlukovo and in Saint Nikola Church in Stanichene. The bolyars were embodied by Stefan and Tony, a. k. a. "The Pale Lord" and the "The Goblins’ Princess" :)
There are clear signs that these two were “the crème of the crop” among bolyars. Unfortunately, the fresco of Rutesh is badly damaged, but the fresco of Areta is well-preserved. Her costume is one of the most detailed costumes we have any information of. The work on its recreation started two years ago and is yet to end but this is one of the risks of experimental archeology :) There is more research to be made, more sewing to be done and, of course, more photos to be taken.
More about Saint Marina skete
More about the church in Stanichene
(Both of the links are in Bulgarian, but richly illustrated.)

Reconstruction of boyar Rutesh' costume was added at Badamba workshop and at the article about St. Marina cave church.

My article "Women's headdress arrangements during the Second Bulgarian empire – varieties and appearance", published last year, is now available online.
(The file includes the first pages of "Great Asenevtsi" collection as well).
The article is on Bulgarian, with English summary.
Thanks to Nikolay Hrisimov, PhD and Ivan Chokoev, PhD for their help with the collection of information and the guidelines for finishing the text.
The rise of Kaloyan festival 11.07.2017

In May and June the schedule of Medieval Bulgarian Clothing was so full that there was no time to announce it beforehand. Here are the events in which we took part:

- The lecture before the graduate students which has already been mentioned before. Part of it was recorded and uploaded online.

- Kaleto – Mezdra Medieval Festival which included presentations of medieval cuisine, clothing and armor; stonemasonry; hunting bird training (footage of the event)

- Days of Ancestors fair-festival, Pliska which has grown larger, more interesting and international. There were plenty of horse-riding demonstrations and mock battles which were even more impressive in the bad weather.

- The Daily Life of medieval Tarnovgrad – The Rise of Kaloyan Festival in Veliko Tarnovo. The glory of the Second Bulgarian Empire was recreated in its capital and we were glad to contribute to it with our recreations of bolyars’ clothes.

Avitohol Association was our steadfast partner and helper throughout all three festivals and its new junior members were pleased to play the role of models of our clothes. In this new format, there is almost no difference between an exhibition and a presentation but that is definitely not a bad thing.

Thank you, friends!

Days of Ancestors 2017 31.05.2017

Avitohol Association is the only Bulgarian club that ventures to promote "multi-age" historical festivals. Such an ambitious undertaking is exposed to an increased risk of loss of authenticity, of wrong presentation of the relevant historical periods, being at the same time associated with more than the usual organization problems.

However, none of these is insoluble. The Days of Ancestors Festival takes place since 2012 and is already one of the highest quality and largest-scale reconstruction events in Bulgaria. Every next release is better than the previous one and this is the third international release. So, welcome to Pliska between 2nd and 4th of June! Skillful horse riders, accurate bowmen, tireless shield-bearers, hardy nomads and majestic boyars from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania will show you elements of the everyday life of the early and late Middle Ages amidst the ruins of the first Bulgarian capital.

Show day – 3rd of June (Saturday).
Entrance fee – BGN 1.00.

We will celebrate Night (and Day) of Museums 2017 behind the hospitable walls of "Kaleto" - Mezdra, with extended presence and enriched program.
See you there!

On 11.05.2017 I will hold a talk at Sofia University as part of the "Laboratory of Experimental History" - module for the Masters program "Bulgarian Middle Ages: State, Society, Culture".
The subject, of course, is Bulgarian medieval costume.

15.03.2017, 17:30, Regional Library Lovech The next presentation of my book will be in Lovech.
Thanks to Regional Library "Prof.Benyu Tsonev" and RC "Vasil Levski" at Tradizia National Association for the invitation!

The event at facebook

"Princess of goblins" photo session was added, with my brand new hand-embroidered tunic.

A series of photos of the wax sculptures from "Neolithic Village" Museum has been added. Their clothes have been handcrafted by me and my team. The figures are part of a bigger project, which starts this year.
We wish it luck!

Photoshoot "Wax sculptures"
Great Asenevtsi - cover

I am finishing 2016 as an author with three publications :)
The collection "Great Asenevtsi" was published by Abagar Publishing house, dedicated to the 830th anniversary of the revolt of the brothers Peter and Assen. It includes my article "Women's headdress arrangements during the Second Bulgarian empire – varieties and appearance".
This material presents an attempt to systemize some available information on the varieties of the Bulgarian women's secular headdresses in the XII – XIV centuries. This study is based on the data obtained from 15 Bulgarian wall paintings, 3 miniature paintings from the the Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander and 44 graves from Bulgarian necropolises from this period. The data from 15 Serbian wall paintings, 12 Byzantine wall paintings, 8 Byzantine miniature paintings, 2 Byzantine wall drawings and one icon as well as miscellaneous West European and Russian sources were used for the comparative analysis. The obtained information is shown in tables and an attempt is made to sort the portraits and graves by age, social standing and marital status.

More info about the collection - here

For visitor's convenience the websites was updated with some technical improvements.
- Brand new navigation with drop-down menus was integrated into Bulgarian medieval costumes
- Workshop Badamba is now fully bilingual - on Bulgarian and English.
We wish you a pleasant use!

- - -
New costume from the period of First Bulgarian Empire is inserted in My Workshop.

On 30th November in the lobby of the south wing of the Sofia University we had a presentation on the evolution of clothing and weapons in the First and Second Bulgarian Empire. Together with colleagues from the Avitohol Association we tried to build a bridge between these two very different eras. The multimedia of artifacts and sources was complemented by a live performance - the charming undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of History at the University who put on and demonstrated 21 different costumes, made using the methods of experimental archeology and representing different social backgrounds of the two periods.
The event went great not only thanks to the excellent organization (which we owe to the Faculty Student Council and to the Archeology Club), but also due to the inspiring audience who was listening with interest and asking questions.

Thank you all! We already have some exciting new ideas for the 2017 season :)
See photos

And here is a TV report from the exhibition opening in Vratsa on 1st December -
baner Vratsa exhibition 19.11.2016

Our next presentation will be on 11.30.2016 in Sofia University, as part of the event "Medieval Nights". Read more here.

Immediately thereafter we continue to Vratsa, where on 2th December will open an exhibition with reconstructions of medieval costumes. Both events are accomplished together with Association Avitohol.

In October, we visited two medieval fairs – "Bulgarian Roots" in Pliska (15.10) and "Remember the Glory" at Tuida Fortress (22-23.10.). Both of them included demonstrations of everyday living and fighting skills from the period of the First and the Second Bulgarian Empires. A group of attractive antique Thracians was also present at Tuida. The purpose of both events was to make a proper comparison between different historical periods. This was achieved with the help of many participants specializing in various areas. Both events went very smoothly.

Yet another Thracian costume was added to the collection – it is not yet completely finished but it is nice even so :). The experimental archeology reconstructions in the field of Thracian clothing continue with it.

Photos of few new Thracian costumes were posted in Badamba's workshop – male, female and children`s. I have worked on them since the beginning of the year. The Thracian serie is now big enough to deserve it`s own section in the website :)
Chalcolithic king 12.08.2016

After so many reconstructions of boyars and nobles – my first King!
For him I had to go several millennia back from my usual field of work, but the challenge was worth it! The task was certainly the most unusual I have ever been met with! The real difficulty was not so much in the design and engineering, as in the gathering of people with the right skills, knowledge, professionalism and patience to help me in this enterprise. Thanks to their enthusiasm and to the stoicism of the customers, the work was finished in less than a year :). Whether the reconstruction is right or wrong, only the experts and future experimenters will say. Until then – enjoy!

A detailed description of the project, methods and participants - in Experimental archaeology section

Next event in the program - 13th August, in Nicopolis ad Istrum (near Nikyup), Roman Festival "Nike – The Game and the Victory". Director and screenwriter of the festival is Vladimir Popov, the doyen of antique reenactment in Bulgaria.
More info

On July 28 to 31, we had the pleasure to participate in the biggest Bulgarian medieval festival this year - Everyday Life of Medieval Tarnovgrad held at Tsarevets fortress and organized by Traditzia Club - Veliko Tarnovo, Veliko Tarnovo Municipality and Historical Museum of Veliko Tarnovo.

The event was wonderful, with an excellent organization, rich program and interesting international participation. There was everything one should see at a medieval fair - foreigners and locals, boyars and commoners, priests and pagans, carnival shows and widespread dancing, demonstrations of various crafts, authentic medieval dishes and friendly tournaments in shooting and fencing. As an additional attraction, people could watch the capturing of the watchtower or learn an ancient dance.
We are grateful to the organizers and to our colleagues-reenactors for the memorable experience and we wish the festival long life and many new editions.

As to our part in the festival, preparations for the event had begun nearly a month in advance. The medieval pavilion was expanded to almost its double size, to provide better shelter from the weather and more exhibition space. Тhe new parts were arranged in a manner that allowed them to be easily moved following the movement of the sun. As a result, our visitors and colleagues were very happy to pause beneath our awning. :)
Moreover, specifically for this festival, we developed complex costumes of a noble Cuman couple from the middle of the XII century, in cooperation with our partners from the Avitohol Association of Varna. The involvement of the Cuman ethnicity in our medieval political and social life had been unfairly underrepresented at such events. Thanks to Avitohol, the Tuida Fortress team and the Sivkovs, this oversight has now been corrected.
Both costumes, designed by Kalina Atanasova, are based on stone funeral figures and include silk kaftans and trousers and a complex female headdress. Our colleagues Jasmin and Florina Parvanovs added the mandatory accessories accompanying their constantly traveling owners - comfortable boots, exotic jewelry, belts, bags, knives, combs and mirrors for the lady; a breastplate, a belt with quivers and a saber for her beau. In our humble opinion, the result is beautiful :)
Baner for the presentation in Varna 29.06.2016

In quick succession, the author of obtained two official publications :) The scientific works collection from last year’s conference in Nish has already been published, including my article ‘The Headdress of Three Female Ktetors’ Portraits from Donja Kamenica’. The article has already been uploaded to my website -
More info on the conference

Two new costumes have been inserted in Workshop section - a nobleman from the First kingdom and a little boyar boy from XIVc.

After 11 years of hard work, the "Bulgarian Medieval Costume" project finally reached its logical culmination - being published on paper! The book "Reconstructions of Bulgarian Medieval garment (XIII – XIVc.)" by Ongal Publishing house is already a fact: a full colored album with 189 pages and 174 illustrations and photos in total! The text is edited by two professional historians - Vanya Popova, PhD, associated professor and Ivan Chokoev, PhD – and includes a synthesized version of all the information that I have collected since 2005, with specified sources and quotes.

Stay tuned for more details about the premiere and distribution!

On 19th of March, at the invitation of the Avitohol Association, I joined their project Bulgarian Army – from Asparuh to Nowadays. The project idea is to give the children of several schools from Varna a maximum visualized idea of warrior traditions, customs and culture of Bulgarians over the various stages of our history. To implement the Second Bulgarian State module, the promoters relied on me and my knowledge on the 13th – 14th century period.
Thanks to the curious children from the Angel Kanchev 3rd Primary School and Nayden Gerov 7th High School, our performance was transformed into a real interactive discussion. We examined together the various defensive and offensive elements of Bulgarian’s warrior equipment, we tried the weight and discussed their convenience and ways of use. We compared the war clothes to every day clothes. All the time, I enjoyed the undisturbed interest and the intelligent questions of this young audience. Their teachers may be proud of them!

In Photo shoot section was added photos with replicas of ancient Thracian suits - men, women and children. The presence of immature Leia and Kamen impart unique atmosphere of the shooting process :)

Dear colleagues, organizers and fans of living history, we inform you we started entering events into the Bulgarian Historical Reenactment Calendar for 2016. If you are sure about the dates of your events, you are welcome to mark them!

Season's greetings 2016 10.12.2015

A wonderful news related to the protection of our medieval heritage - after nine-year efforts the cave church of St.Marina is almost completely restored! Full details can be seen at the website of the initiators
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the new fresco with the donor scene used my restorations. I am happy that I have contributed to such a good cause :)

The results of project for Thracian Peltast costume was published in sections Photoshoots and Experimental Archeology. This is a part of bigger serie of Thracian costumes, which will be published soon.

Honor guard of Tsarevets 10.11.2015

In 1185, on the day of St Dimitar, the boyar brothers Asen and Teodor-Petar rise against the Byzantine Emperor and re establish the Bulgarian Empire.
In the former Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo this important anniversary was celebrated with processions through the town and medieval fair.
For participate in this event I equipped by myself a whole boyar family and two guardians. Thanks to Avitohol club for their support and to 18 etarski pehoten polk club for the invitation and for their royal hospitality :)

Photo by Rostislav Grancharov

A new photoshoot was inserted in "The Project Offline" section. The garment which inspired it is a few centuries more recent than my usual research area, but the history of costume should always be looked at in context :)
logo Badamba 10.09.2015

The article about Kalotina church was updated with new photos and a sheme of priestly vestments.

My workshop section was renamed as Badamba workshop. The change was needed due to the name Badamba is now official :)
In the same section was inserted one of my last creations. It is owned by Petar Delchev - member of Ambient Folklore, Kayno Yesno Slonce and Isihia formations, inspired by the music of X-XIV century and playing on replicas of ancient string instruments. As a true troubadour he has added some oriental elements to the Bulgarian kaftan :)

"Ambient folklore" can be heard during the sixth edition of the International Art forum Without Borders - 26-27 September in Balchik.
I recommend both the band and the forum :)

The last tunic I made is inserted in My workshop. It`s based on eleventh-century Byzantine mosaic. Due to lack of Byzantine section at the website I published the picture between the Roman clothes.

My last series of adornments in medieval style have been added to Photoshoot section. On Talasamia festival two beautiful fairies agreed to help with the advertising :)
Todorka`s sun 20.07.2015


In Experimental archaeology section have been inserted information about extra-long-sleeved tunic bazed on Madrid Skylitzes.

In My workshop section have been inserted First Bulgarian Kingdom section. The costumes there are only three for now, but it seems like their number going to grow :)
Nis 19.06.2015

Past and upcoming events for the month of June:

- On 3-5th June 2015 at the University of Nis took place the 14th International Symposium of Byzantologists "Nis and Byzantium" - "Cities and Citizens in Byzantine World":
I had had the honor and the pleasure to be approved as a lector on theme "The Head Adornment in Three Female Ktitor Portraits from Dolna Kamenitza". I presented the portraits of the despotess, boyar`s wife and boyar`s douther in the context of the Bulgarian, Serbian and Byzantine medieval portraits.
This is the beginning of a detailed typology of the Balkan medieval female head adornment.

- On 6th of June, 2015, in the Old City of Pliska took place the fair-festival Days of Ancestors. For the first time the fest was international - participants from Hungary and Poland joined the Bulgarian reenactors. In addition to the regular presentations of crafts, outdoor museum and horse shows this time many battles was included.
Project "Bulgarian medieval costume" participated with a traveling exhibition of armor, jewelry and accessories. Active contribution gave also our three-year successor - bolyar Kamen.

- Between 18th and 21th June in Stara Zagora mineral baths will be take place Talasamia 2015 - national meeting, dedicated to the fantastic and fabulous in Bulgarian folklore and mythology. We will enter the program with a presentation of Bulgarian medieval jewelry.

NOTIFICATION: Due to a technical reasons (server migration) the web-sites Bulgarian Medieval Costumes ( and Calendar of the Historical reenactments in Bulgaria are temporarily unable for updating.
The problem is expected to be solved for week or two.

Sorry for the inconvenience! The change will bring benefit in future.

My newest creation was published - proto bulgarian lady`s costume. The reconstruction is based on Gasimova`s picture of archaeological findings in Bolshe-Tarhan, Tatarstan. The cemetary is dated VII-VIII century and referred to Volga Bulgar`s culture.

An article about me and my work was published on 26th February at the Bulgarian newspaper "All about family".

The list of well-preserved portraits in Bulgarian wall paintings is translated on English :)

It is time to stop with the studies and recreations and to wish HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thanks to all friends and associates who have supported us over the past year.
With your help we will continue to revive the Bulgarian Middle Ages and in the next!

I was surprised to learn that I had been nominated for "Guard of Traditions" award for second consecutive year. Thanks to the unknown recommenders:) If you like my work too, vote for it here (category "Занаяти - млади"):
Vote 2014


Especially for the ladies: My workshop section is enriched with attractive replicas of medieval Balkan earrings. I have tried to imitate the most luxurious models - half-round and decorated with gemstones. This kind of jewels is used to be depicted on portraits, but have rare found in archaeological environment. Nevertheless, the vision of the noble East-European lady is unfinished without them.

The article about Fourty Holy Martyrs Church in Veliko Tarnovo was updated. For a long time I`d believed that grave 5 is woman`s, because it had not been clearly written in publications. After discussion with the restorer the truth appeared :) The previous illustration with graves 5 and 28 is now separated into two, and 28 is shown with more options.

Photos from The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (Istanbul) have been inserted. The survived images of nobles and warrior saints there are important for comparative analysis between Byzantine and Bulgarian medieval costume.
In the beginning of May we had the pleasure to see them personally, together with Hagia Sophia and other remains from the Byzantine period of the town.

A photo of the latest piece of garment I was working on was inserted at "My workshop" section. Ordered by Iordan Nikolov, its decoration was selected by me. Based on frescoes in Dobrun Monastery with portraits of jupan Pribil and his sons. This garment represents one of the very few (for the Balkans) examples for overlap between info of frescoes and archaeological findings. Before I met the Serbian portraits, I had read about excavations in medieval Preslav. At least two of the graves there contained remains with buttons on skeleton`s chests and feet, but not on the waists. Even more, the buttons on the chests are bigger and denser situated, compared with others. Obviously, the model of the clothes was similar to Dobrun`s ones, but with longer and richly decorated slit on the chest for the Bulgarian ones.

The Serbian portrait list is already translated on English. Thanks to Vladimir Rodić from Zlatno Burence club.


In order to make access to this website easier for foreign visitors, the table of contents and the introductory page of the site were translated in English and Russian. As I am constantly correcting my articles and adding new material, I cannot translate the contents of the whole website. Therefore I would ask you to use Google Translator for the main articles.

Для удобства иностранных гостей содержание и резюме сайта переведены на английский и русский языки. К сожалению из-за постоянных обновлений и поправок, я не могу перевести всю информацию на сайте, поэтому, пожалуйста, для перевода основных статей, пользутесь Google Translator.