Urgent strengthening of the “Monument of Asenevtsi” in Veliko Tarnovo for Independence Day revealed unsuspected details of the construction of the monument. Bulgarian granite, Japanese steel and 60,000 rivets are just a small part of the interesting architectural and engineering techniques used for the ensemble, which was officially opened in 1985.
The state of the monument has been closely monitored for 4 years. But is he dangerous?
“There were and are constant publications on social networks, sometimes reaching the point of mythology, that the sword was twisted, that the horses almost cracked or opened”, says Neiko Genchev, deputy mayor of the municipality of Veliko Tarnovo.
This necessitated a snapshot, on which the traces of time were clearly visible, which were not to be underestimated.
“It was on the edge of danger,” says Denislav Sirakov, a sculptor from Veliko Tarnovo.
Along the sword, 33 meters high, there were panels held together by only two rivets.
”The facility is very interesting. A very large hole passes through three granites, which are Bulgarian granite from Chernomorets. A very thick steel rope is attached 3 meters below, and lead plates are placed between the three granites. A 200-ton press presses the granites and thus the rope is tightened and the horse itself stays taut,” he says.
The monument turns out to be the greatest challenge the sculptor has ever faced. To preserve the majesty of the monument, Denislav Sirakov had to install 260 bolts, mostly in the tip of the sword. However, the figures of the horses, weighing 17 tons, are unshakable, he is emphatic and reveals more interesting details.
”For them, special steel was ordered from Japan, from which samurai swords are made. This steel can be bent, but it cannot be broken,” says the sculptor.
Their base is filled with lead. Apart from the fact that the monument is earthquake-proof, it is also the only one with such a combined structure in all of Europe. It was partially strengthened in 2013. Its repair will now cost nearly BGN 50,000.