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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Bozhenitsa village

Dear travelers, it is with incomparable pleasure that I would like to introduce you to another wonderful corner of Bulgaria, where peace, tranquility and beauty reign!

Believe me, dear friends, sweet-talking storytellers live in the village! The old people will most eloquently and eloquently enchant you with tales of ancient legends - tales of great battles, brave heroes and eternal gratitude!

The river Bebresh, flowing through the village of Bozhenitsa and the old bridge above it
The old bridge over the river Bebresh

That is why I invite you to accompany me on an incomparably beautiful autumn walk to charming Bozhenitsa!

The flags of the village of Bozhenitsa and of Bulgaria on the town hall building
The building of the town hall, on which the flag of the Republic of Bulgaria and the flag of the village of Bozhenitsa fly

Bozhenitsa is a small and incredibly picturesque village located in Botevgrad Municipality, Sofia Region.

You will also find Bozhenitsa at the southern foot of the Gola Glava hill in the Pre-Balkan of the western Staroplaninska zone.

Bebresh River
Bebresh River

To the south of the village flows the river Bebresh, which separates the Gola Glava hill from the Lakavish hill.

I also went to Lakavishka hill, because there lie the ruins of "Bozhenishki Urvich" - a Bulgarian fortress-bastion from the end of the Second Bulgarian State.

The ruins of Bozhenishki Urvich fortress
Fortress "Bozhenishki Urvich"

The place is an exceptional historical monument - a refuge and home of the boyar Ognen (Ognyan) - cephalon under Tsar Ivan Shishman.

The starting point for the fortress is this magnificent village - Bozhenitsa.

Apart from the fortress itself and the high and impenetrable rocks, from which amazing panoramas are revealed - a wonderful autumn splendor of colors towards the northern slopes of the Botevgrad Pre-Balkan, I also want to see an inscription carved into a rock, which has withstood the merciless weather.

The inscription reads:

Аз Драгомир писах.

Аз севаст Огнян бях при цар Шишмана кефалия и много зло патих.

В това време турците воюваха.

Аз поддържах вярата на Шишмана царя.

I Dragomir wrote.

I, Sevast Ognyan, was with King Shishmana Kephalia and I suffered a lot.

At that time the Turks were at war.

I maintained the faith of Shishman the king.

The rock-cut inscription near Bozhenishki Urvich

There is a legend connecting the guarantor of this inscription with the name of the village I am now telling you about.

Bojana was the name of the faithful wife of the boyar Ognen and such a brave Bulgarian woman.

The high and impenetrable rocks surrounding "Bozhenishki Urvich" from the south
The high and impenetrable rocks surrounding "Bozhenishki Urvich" from the south

Legend has it that when the Ottoman invaders besieged the fortress, an uneven and very tough defense began.

The impassable rocks rising on the northern slope of Lakavishka Hill were used as a natural observation post in the past, precisely because of the view from here.

But the invaders outnumbered the defenders of the Bulgarian stronghold and it soon fell.

In order not to fall into the hands of the enslaver, Bojana throws herself from the high cliffs.

A year later and the last unconquered corner of Bulgaria falls, but the legend, the memories of the events and the name remain alive in the people's memory and shine, warming the hearts even today!

And indeed - after checking the Ottoman registers from 1607, the village was actually marked as Bozheniche.

The building of the old school in the village of Bozhenitsa
The old school in the village of Bozhenitsa

In 1806, the first cell school in the municipality was opened here, which was initially housed in private houses.

A wooden sign with the inscription "Cell school" in the village of Bozhenitsa

Currently, the cell school of the village of Bozhenitsa is a branch of the Historical Museum - Botevgrad, and anyone can visit it if they wish, and it is necessary to declare this in the Botevgrad museum in advance.

The beautifully arranged display in the cell school, captured through the glass of the window
The beautifully arranged display in the cell school, captured through the glass of the window

The old people of Bozhenitsa say that there were teachers in the village long before the construction of the cell school. Due to frequent interruptions of educational activity over the years, the year 1806 mentioned on the wooden plaque of the building is considered to be the beginning of education.

Then Stoyan Knezovski was appointed as a teacher, and later he was ordained as a priest.

Exposition in the cell school in the village of Bozhenitsa

A large part of the teachers in the school are from the village itself, and some also come from the neighboring villages. The salaries of the teachers were not high, so they received extra food from the students' parents.

Between 80 and 100 students have received knowledge here. Not all of them were from Bozhenitsa, some of the children also came from the surrounding villages.

In the early years, the main emphasis was on the Holy Scriptures - the Book of Hours, the Psalter and the Holy Book. Later, students begin activities involving writing and math.

There were no distinctions between individual classes and departments. There were also no breaks between classes, and the classes lasted two to three hours.

The building of the cell school in the village of Bozhenitsa

Discipline was harsh! The punishments were: standing or kneeling, and the more disobedient students were inflicted with stiff wooden sticks on their hands and feet.

Under the teacher's desk, a place was built for the most delinquent student.

Cleaning was done by the students.

A fountain with benches in the courtyard of the church "Sveta Petka-Paraskeva Bulgarian"

Глътка вода –

детско гласче –

бащин дар!

Божи дар!

A sip of water –

child's voice -

father's gift!

God's gift!

In 1834, the good people of Bozhenitsa built a temple. The new church was built on the existing foundations of an old and now destroyed church.

Church "Sveta Petka" and the bell tower to it

This is "Sveta Petka-Paraskeva Bulgarian" and it is located directly opposite the cell school.

Church "Sveta Petka" in the village of Bozhenitsa

The bell tower to the right of the church is very interesting.

The bell tower of the church "Sveta Petka" in the village of Bozhenitsa

It was built later - in 1894.

The bells of the belfry of the church "Sveta Petka" in the village of Bozhenitsa

I bowed my head, passed through the little wooden door, climbed the thin, creaky old wooden stairs, and there I was under the bells.

Perhaps you too hear their honeyed voice, echoing in eternity! They sing songs and tell stories - about brave heroes, true Bulgarians, loyal comrades, glorious battles, about the tragic history of mother Bulgaria!

The bells of the belfry of the church "Sveta Petka" in the village of Bozhenitsa

Currently, this bell tower is depicted on the flag of the village of Bozhenitsa, which greeted me, flying in front of the town hall. The bell tower is a symbol of the village.

Old houses in the village of Bozhenitsa

My walk through this charming Bulgarian village continues.

The center of Bozhenitsa village

The houses in Bozhenitsa are built amphitheatrically.

Bridge over the Bebresh River in the village of Bozhenitsa

The bridge over the Bebresh River is narrow enough for a single car to pass over it, and quite carefully.

Bebresh River

This is exactly the road leading to "Bozhenishki Urvich".

How do you get to the village of Bozhenitsa?

If you are driving on the main Botevgrad - Mezdra road, watch for a turnoff to the right at the Novachene exit.

If you want to continue to "Bozhenishki Urvich", entering the village of Bozhenitsa, turn right at the first junction. You keep going straight until you reach the town hall building, on which this cavalry of Shishman warriors will meet you.

Bozhenitsa Village Hall

Here you also turn right. In front of you is the bridge over the Bebresh River, which I have already told you about. You proceed carefully on it. You then drive straight until you arrive at a wide parking lot where you can park your vehicle.

The adventure continues by following the link!

I wish you an extremely pleasant autumn walk!

И като за финал,

мили мои приятели,

следвайки тази връзка,

недейте пропуска

да разгледате пълния албум с фото моменти –

открити, изживени, заснети и споделени с вас!

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