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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

The educational work in Bulgaria during the Turkish slavery went through two stages of development - cell and secular education. For nearly four and a half centuries (from the 15th century to the 1940s), the only centers of education were the cell schools - monastery, church and private.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot
Girls' (Radino) School

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to one of the first girls' schools in Bulgaria!

In 1850, in the middle of the churchyard, south of the Revival Church "Saints Saints Apostles Peter and Paul", a girls' mutual school, known as the Radino School, opened its doors, which is considered the successor of the cell school in the neighboring girls' metoch.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

The girls' (Radino) school was opened with the help of the great Sopot patriot Kiril Nektariev and is one of the first girls' schools in Bulgaria.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

Probably the same Kiril Nektariev undertakes to allocate 1,000 groshis per year for the support of a female teacher. The school is supported mainly by donations and, despite the meager funds, is kept in good condition.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

Back then, girls could only graduate from the mutual school, since there was no grade school for them yet. Such was discovered only in 1874.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

In the 1870s, the ardent patriots Rada Popova and Maria Bulgarova, who later became the prototypes of Rada Gospozhina in Vazov's novel "Under the Yoke", taught at the school.



The name Radina School comes from the name of Rada Gospozhina, one of the main characters in the book. An unforgettable moment of the narrative is the chapter "Radini Unrest", in which the annual exam of the young teacher's graduates is followed.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

After the Liberation, it was used as a carpet weaving school until 1917, and from 1917 to 1930, due to a fire in the new school, during which it burned down, classes were held again in the girls' school and in some private buildings. The upper floor was used as a school, and the lower one as a theater hall for the community center.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

Parashkeva Hadji Gyokova tells about the school system:

I remember very well the old school - the girls' school. It consisted of one large long room (like a parlor) and a small one, on the east side of which was made the seat of the teacher. A meter and a half more raised from the ground by two ladders and surrounded by neat boards. Below was the dungeon that served to imprison delinquent schoolgirls. There were two ranks in front. The front one is shorter, the second one is longer. Boards were placed on both sides as a ledge, they served the students to study the letters on the sand placed in them. On the wall hung several boards printed with the lessons that had been learned before us.

The schoolgirls learned to write on the sandboxes, they learned to read on the tables. Behind the front two ranks were about ten ordinary ranks, on which the students were divided according to years.


The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot

Today, in one of the premises of the building, a classroom from the time of the Renaissance has been recreated.



Another room houses a permanent exhibition of graphics by Binka Vazova (niece of the folk poet) with views of old Sopot.

Sources of information:

Opposite the Radino school is the Revival Church "Holy Saints Apostles Peter and Paul".


Church "Holy Holy Apostles Peter and Paul" in the city of Sopot
Church "Holy Holy Apostles Peter and Paul" in the city of Sopot

After the construction of the revival church next to the older spiritual center - the Virgin's monastery (metoch), the metoch continued to be the center of cultural life in Sopot and even grew into a kind of spiritual and educational complex.


"Introduction of the Virgin Mary" Virgin Monastery (Metoha) in the city of Sopot
"Introduction of the Virgin Mary" Virgin Monastery (Metoha) in the city of Sopot

Virgin Monastery "Introduction of the Virgin Mary" (metoch) has been declared an immovable cultural value (NCC) / cultural monument with the category of national significance - folk antiquities and architectural-construction NCC.

Virgin Monastery "Introduction of the Virgin" (metoch) is site number 43 of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.

I say goodbye to the Radino School and head in the direction of the Ethnographic and Craft Center "Sopot Guild".


Ethnographic and Craft Center "Sopot Guild"
Ethnographic and Craft Center "Sopot Guild"

On the historic hill of Trapeto, where the Church of the Holy Mother of God, known as the Upper Church, burned down in 1877 by the Turks, today stood the Chapel of the Intercession of the Virgin - right across from the composition "I am Bulgarian".


"Pokrov Bogorodichen" chapel in the city of Sopot
"Pokrov Bogorodichen" chapel in the city of Sopot

The patriarch of Bulgarian literature Ivan Vazov was born on July 9, 1850 in the city of Sopot in the old house of his family.


House-museum "Ivan Vazov" in the city of Sopot
House-museum "Ivan Vazov" in the city of Sopot

In 1964, the "Ivan Vazov" house-museum was declared a cultural monument of national importance.

House-Museum "Ivan Vazov" is site number 43 of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.

The path to the majestic and so charming Sopot waterfall on the Manastirska River starts from the Sopot Men's Monastery "Ascension of the Lord".


Sopot waterfall on the Manastirska river
Sopot waterfall on the Manastirska river

Here is the heart of the waterfall, which constantly beats in time with the Balkans.


How to get to the city of Sopot?

Sopot is a city in Central Bulgaria, Plovdiv district. It is located about 5 kilometers west of the town of Karlovo.

The city is the administrative center of the Sopot municipality.

Sopot is located in the fertile Stremska Valley at 510 meters above sea level, literally nestled in the incredibly beautiful southern slopes of the Stara Planina.

The name of the city comes from the Proto-Slavic word sopot, which means a roaring stream, spring.

Near the town is the starting station of the chair lift to the "Nezabravka" hut, which is the longest in the Balkans.


The starting station of the Sopot chair lift
The starting station of the Sopot chair lift

There are many lodges in the surroundings of Sopot, which can be reached by marked trails. One of them is Nezabravka hut (3 hours). Various tourist routes start from it. You can head to Mount Levski (2 hours), "Ambaritsa" hut (3 hours) and "Dermenka" hut (3 hours).

In the Pochivaloto area there are conditions for paragliding and it is there that the intermediate station (at 1,389 meters above sea level) of the ropeway to the "Nezabravka" hut in Stara Planina is located.


Paragliding in Sopot
Paragliding in Sopot

Sopot is the most famous airbase in Bulgaria. It is located at the southern foot of Stara planina.

National, international and world paragliding competitions are held every year in the city of Sopot on the territory of the Shambala European Center for Extreme Sports and Meditation.


Paragliding in Sopot
Paragliding in Sopot

The Sub-Balkan road* passes through the city, and Sopot is also close to road II-64 Karlovo - Plovdiv.

*Republican road I-6, better known as the Sub-Balkan road, is a first-class road from the Republic road network of Bulgaria with a direction from west to east, crossing the territory of nine districts: Kyustendilska, Pernishka, Sofia region, Sofiaska, Plovdivska, Starozagorska, Sliven, Yambol and Burgas.

Its total length is 508.5 km, which makes it the longest national road in Bulgaria.

Sopot stands at:

  • 134 kilometers (about 2 hours by car) from the capital

  • 65 kilometers (about 1 hour and 15 minutes by car) from the city of Plovdiv

  • 370 kilometers (about 4 hours and 44 minutes by car) from the city of Varna

  • 298 kilometers (about 2 hours and 58 minutes by car) from the city of Burgas



Sopot is connected by bus lines to Karlovo and the surrounding villages. From Karlovo, at small intervals, there are buses leading to Ivan Vazov's hometown.

The address of the Sopot bus station is 75 Ivan Vazov Blvd.

Sopot railway station is connected to the Sofia-Karlovo-Burgas line.

You will find it about a kilometer south of the city and it is served by regular public transport.


How to get to the Girls' (Radino) School in the city of Sopot?

The girls' (Radino) school in the city of Sopot is located south of the Revival Church "Holy Saints Peter and Paul".



The entrance to the school is through the churchyard of the Revival Church "Holy Holy Apostles Peter and Paul". The address of the temple is "Stara planina" street at the foot of the historic Trapeto hill, just below the "I am Bulgarian" composition.

In front of the temple there is a small but convenient parking lot, the access to which is from "General Kartsov" street.


What can be visited nearby?

The nearest town to Sopot is the town of Karlovo - located 5 kilometers (about 6 minutes by car) to the east.

In Karlovo, I recommend taking a walk to the Ethnographic Complex "Old Karlovo".



It includes five houses - cultural monuments of remarkable cultural value. These are:



Each of the houses gives birth to its own unique message that directs the guest in different directions, provokes desires and memories in him, makes him dream.

The integrity of the architectural ensemble is unique and inimitable, and every visitor could feel that great revival spirit that still roams the narrow cobbled streets of "Old Karlovo".

Ethnographic complex "Old Karlovo" is site number 44b of the 100 national tourist sites.

In Karlovo, I recommend taking a walk to the beautiful Suchurum waterfall.


Suchurum waterfall in the town of Karlovo
Suchurum waterfall in the town of Karlovo

Only about 40 kilometers northwest of the city of Karlovo (about 50 minutes by car) you will find the Freedom Arch monument, which is erected on the Goraltepe peak (1595 meters) near the Troyan pass (Troyan - Karnare pass).

From here, there are incredible panoramic views of Northern and Southern Bulgaria.


Liberty Arch Monument
Liberty Arch Monument

Only 24 kilometers west of the town of Karlovo (about 27 minutes by car) is the rose-scented village of Rozino, where thousands of fragrant roses bloom in spring.


Blooming butter roses near the village of Rozino, Plovdiv region
Rosino's roses

Just 33 kilometers west of the city of Karlovo (about 35 minutes by car) you will find the historic town of Klisura.


The city of Klisura
The city of Klisura

Returning back in the direction of the Sub-Balkan road, continue in the direction of the city of Burgas.

You will soon see that the path forks. Continue straight without taking the turn that will take you to the Sub-Balkan Road. A path through the forest starts from the place, which will take you to the monument of Apriltsi, towering in the area of Zli dol, erected in 1961 in honor of the 85th anniversary of those memorable events.


Monument to Apriltsi in the area of Zli dol near the town of Klisura
Monument to Apriltsi in the area of Zli dol near the town of Klisura

Just 3.7 kilometers west of the town of Klisura (about 5 minutes by car) you will find the beautiful Klisura Waterfall.


Klisura waterfall on the Sub-Balkan road near the town of Klisura
Klisura waterfall on the Sub-Balkan road near the town of Klisura

Only 10 kilometers west of Klisursky waterfall (about 8 minutes by car) on the Podbalkansky road itself is the charming Antonovsky waterfall (also Antonsky waterfall or the Butterfly).


Antonovsky waterfall
Antonovsky waterfall

Near the Antonovsky waterfall is the peaceful, green and so beautiful village of Anton.


Anton village
Anton village

Just 6 kilometers west of the village of Anton (about 9 minutes by car) you will find the majestic ruins of the Elenska Basilica, which you should not miss in any case.


Deer Basilica near the town of Pirdop
Deer Basilica near the town of Pirdop

Near the ruins of the Elenska Basilica, as a memory of the destroyed Bulgarian monastery, in 2010, the "St. Ilia" chapel was erected and consecrated.


Chapel "Saint Ilia" near the town of Pirdop
Chapel "Saint Ilia" near the town of Pirdop

Just 5 kilometers south of the village of Anton (about 6 minutes by car) is the picturesque Midland jewel of Dushantsi.


People's community center "Svetlina" in the village of Dushantsi
People's community center "Svetlina" in the village of Dushantsi

Let your walk also take you to the beautiful church "St. St. Cyril and Methodius".


Church "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" in the village of Dushantsi
Church "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" in the village of Dushantsi

Dušanci is a delightful place in every season! Proof of this is the magnificent photo moments with the wonderful Christmas and New Year decorations, bringing so much delight to our senses!


Christmas and New Year decorations in the village of Dushantsi
Christmas and New Year decorations in the village of Dushantsi

At the end of the village, don't miss to turn left, where the authentic Roman Kufarita Bridge awaits you.


Authentic Roman bridge Kufarita in the village of Dushantsi
Authentic Roman bridge Kufarita in the village of Dushantsi

Continuing after the Kufarita bridge, the road will take you to the "St. George" chapel above Dushantsi, from where you will enjoy a wonderful view of the entire Zlatishko-Pirdop valley.


Chapel "St. George" above the village of Dushantsi
Chapel "St. George" above the village of Dushantsi

The road after the village will take you to Dushantsi Reservoir - magnificent in every season - in autumn, in winter and on the border between spring and summer. Enjoy it!


Dushantsi Dam
Dushantsi Dam

Just 13 kilometers west of the village of Anton (about 15 minutes by car) you will find the town of Zlatitsa.

In the city center, be sure to have a lot of fun in the "Grandfather's Glove" park.


Park "Grandfather's Glove" in the city of Zlatitsa
Park "Grandfather's Glove" in the city of Zlatitsa

Very close to Grandfather's Glove Park is the old clock tower.


The old clock tower in the town of Zlatica
The old clock tower in the town of Zlatica

From the old clock tower, head towards the northeastern part of Zlatitsa, north of the railway line, where "Stara planina" street is located. Taking it, you will soon find yourself outside the northern outskirts in the foothills of the Balkans, where the rumble will tell you that you are approaching Zlatiski Waterfall.


Zlatishki waterfall
Zlatishki waterfall

In the immediate vicinity of the waterfall itself are the stairs that will take you to the chapel of St. St. Cyric and Iulita. The place offers an extremely beautiful view of the entire Zlatishko-Pirdop valley.


Chapel "St. St. Kirik and Julita" above the town of Zlatitsa
Chapel "St. St. Kirik and Julita" above the town of Zlatitsa

If you continue to the left past the waterfall, you will find yourself at the Ascension Monastery and Spasovo Kladchenche.


Monastery "Sveti Spas" in the town of Zlatitsa
Monastery "Sveti Spas" in the town of Zlatitsa

Gergana fountain in the town of Zlatica, inspired by Slaveykov's "Fountain of the Whitefoot", is located about one kilometer south of the city center on Medet Street, not far from the last houses, on the road leading to the area of the same name, in the direction the village of Panagyurski colonies and the town of Panagyurishte.


"Gergana" fountain in the town of Zlatitsa – inspired by the "Fountain of the Whitefoot"
"Gergana" fountain in the town of Zlatitsa – inspired by the "Fountain of the Whitefoot"

Only 11 kilometers west of the town of Zlatica (about 13 minutes by car) you will find the uniquely beautiful and so arranged village of Chavdar.


The composition "Birds" is by the talented artist Assoc. Dr. Momchil Mirchev
The composition "Birds" is by the talented artist Assoc. Dr. Momchil Mirchev

Near the village are the uniquely beautiful and easily accessible Kazanite waterfalls - a natural phenomenon of five charming and beautiful waterfalls on the Bererei river, descending from a height of 15 meters, forming a cascade of clear ice water.


Kazanite waterfalls near the village of Chavdar
Kazanite waterfalls near the village of Chavdar

In Chavdar, an annual assembly is held on Mount Sveta Petka, which is located above the village. The locality is named after the patron saint of the village, Saint Petka.

The place is not accidental, because the view from it is extraordinary. From there you can see the entire Zlatishka valley, even the Topolnitsa river. A chapel "St. Petka" was built there.


Chapel "Sveta Petka" above the village of Chavdar
Chapel "Sveta Petka" above the village of Chavdar

Archaeological Park "Topolnitsa" is also located nearby.


Archaeological Park "Topolnitsa" above the village of Chavdar - a gateway to the Neolithic
Archaeological Park "Topolnitsa" above the village of Chavdar - a gateway to the Neolithic

All the unsurpassed beauty of the Zlatishko-Pirdopski historical region is collected in a single route "Wonders of the Zlatishko-Pirdopski region", prepared by me for you with a lot of love and which is a wonderful idea for the weekend!

All of the ideas presented here are totally relevant and doable within a weekend!



Only 20 kilometers south of the village of Anton (about 26 minutes by car) is the Archaeological-Historical Reserve City-Museum of Koprivshtitsa - site number 75 of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.


Stone bridge of the First Rifle (Kalychev bridge) in the town of Koprivshtitsa
Stone bridge of the First Rifle (Kalychev bridge) in the town of Koprivshtitsa

Near the town, I suggest you visit the impressively beautiful and so charming Koprivshtitsa station.


Koprivshtitsa railway station
Koprivshtitsa railway station

In Koprivshtitsa, you must take time and visit the Revival Church "St. Nicholas".


Revival Church "St. Nicholas" in Koprivshtitsa
Revival Church "St. Nicholas" in Koprivshtitsa

A walk through the green pastures around the city of Koprivshtitsa will shake you out of the gray everyday life and give you a positive boost, and I highly recommend it!


The green pastures around Koprivshtitsa
The green pastures around Koprivshtitsa

On a vast territory, located between the picturesque towns of Koprivshtitsa and Strelcha, you will find several ancient megalithic sanctuaries - Skumsale, Isara, Kiselitsa, Kulata.


Skumsale, Isara, Kiselitsa, Kulata - ancient megalithic sanctuaries, located between the picturesque towns of Koprivshtitsa and Strelcha
Skumsale, Isara, Kiselitsa, Kulata - ancient megalithic sanctuaries, located between the picturesque towns of Koprivshtitsa and Strelcha

Just 21 kilometers south of the town of Koprivshtitsa (about 25 minutes by car) you will find the charming jewel of Strelcha.



In the town of Strelcha, you can enjoy the singing and dancing fountain "The Ballerina".


Singing and dancing fountain "The Ballerina" in Strelcha
Singing and dancing fountain "The Ballerina" in Strelcha

Don't forget to bow your head near the majestic temple-monument "St. Archangel Michael" that rises in the city of Strelcha.


Church-monument "St. Archangel Michael" in the city of Strelcha
Church-monument "St. Archangel Michael" in the city of Strelcha

Only 11 kilometers south of the city of Karlovo (about 12 minutes by car) you will find the city of Banya - a source of health and beauty.


City of Banya, Karlovo
Bath - a source of health and beauty

In the city of Banya, you can visit the Royal Palace.


The royal palace in the city of Banya, Karlovo
The royal palace in the city of Banya, Karlovo

And also to enjoy a charming bath walk while thousands of red roses bloom around.


A blooming red rosebush in the town of Banya, Karlovo
A blooming red rosebush in the town of Banya, Karlovo

12 kilometers east of Banya (about 18 minutes by car) is the charming Domlyan Reservoir, which is a great idea for a walk.


Domlyan Dam
Domlyan Dam

Uniquely beautiful rose bushes bloom in the village of Domlyan, which you can explore.


Blooming red rose
Blooming red rose

Just 16 kilometers southeast of the village of Domlyan (about 23 minutes by car) you will find the Svezhen Architectural and Historical Reserve.

In the village of Svezhen you can visit the church "Holy Apostles Peter and Paul".


Church "Holy equal apostles Peter and Paul" in the village of Svezhen
Church "Holy equal apostles Peter and Paul" in the village of Svezhen

You can visit the ruins of the old Church of St. George, near which foundations have been discovered - remains of cells plastered with mud plaster on the walls, which are supposed to have been inhabited by the scribes-calligraphers of the Adjarian School of Literature.


The ruins of the old church "St. George" in the village of Svezhen
The ruins of the old church "St. George" in the village of Svezhen

Just 11 kilometers southeast of the village of Svezhen (about 16 minutes by car) you will find the village of Babek. "Babek" dam is located nearby, near which you can take a wonderful walk.


"Babek" Dam in the skirts of Sarnena Sredna Gora
"Babek" Dam in the skirts of Sarnena Sredna Gora

22 kilometers south of the village of Svezhen (about 29 minutes by car) is the town of Brezovo.

In Brezovo, on a weekday, stop by the municipality to see the exhibition dedicated to Beethoven's best portraitist - Mincho Katsarov.


Mincho Katsarov – the best portraitist of Beethoven
Mincho Katsarov – the best portraitist of Beethoven

Another great Bulgarian artist - Zlatyo Boyadzhiev - is from Brezovo. His house in the city of Brezovo is open to the public and anyone who wants to can see it.


Birthplace of Zlatyo Boyadzhiev in the town of Brezovo
Birthplace of Zlatyo Boyadzhiev in the town of Brezovo

In Brezovo, you should not miss visiting the old school in Brezovo - one of the first secular schools in Bulgarian lands.


The old school in Brezovo is one of the first secular schools in Bulgaria
The old school in Brezovo is one of the first secular schools in Bulgaria

Directly opposite the school building stands the church "Saint Dimitar", built in 1843.


Temple "Saint Dimitar" in the city of Brezovo
Temple "Saint Dimitar" in the city of Brezovo

Only about 26 kilometers from the village of Svezhen (about 39 minutes by car) you can explore Kutela.


The cottage in Sarnena Sredna Gora
The cottage in Sarnena Sredna Gora

Quite nearby is also a natural landmark "Kitchest Gabor".


Natural landmark "Kichest gabar" near Turia
Natural landmark "Kichest gabar" near Turia

The village of Turia is located 8 kilometers north of the natural landmark "Kichest Gabar" (about 9 minutes by car).

In the village of Turia, you can explore the birthplace of Chudomir.


Birthplace of Chudomir in the village of Turia
Birthplace of Chudomir in the village of Turia

On the square in front of Chudomir's home, you can see a monument to the Chetnik Tsanko Minkov Dechev, born in Turia Botev - the Committee.


Monument in the center of Turia village to Tsanko Minkov Dechev - Committee
Monument in the center of Turia village to Tsanko Minkov Dechev - Committee

In the village of Turia, you can cross an authentic Roman bridge "Scocca".


Authentic Roman bridge "Scocca" in the village of Turia
Authentic Roman bridge "Scocca" in the village of Turia

Only 25 kilometers south of the city of Karlovo (about 26 minutes by car) you will find the green and peaceful Hisarya.


The southern fortress gate "The Camels" of ancient Diocletianopol in the city of Hisarya
The southern fortress gate "The Camels" of ancient Diocletianopol in the city of Hisarya

Hisarya offers its guests diverse and impressive attractions, which I have summarized in the following great itinerary ideas that everyone can benefit from:




Just 20 kilometers east of the town of Karlovo (about 33 minutes by car) is the start of the "Byala Reka" eco-trail near the town of Kalofer.



40 kilometers east of the town of Karlovo (about 40 minutes by car) is the town of Pavel Banya - hot mineral springs and the scent of roses.


The carved elm of Pavel Banya
The carved elm of Pavel Banya

3 kilometers east of the city of Pavel Banya (about 40 minutes by car) you will find

the village of Viden.

The proud ruins of the wonderful church "St. Anastasius" still stand near the village.


The ruins of the church "St. Anastasius" near the village of Viden
The ruins of the church "St. Anastasius" near the village of Viden

Only 55 kilometers from the city of Karlovo (about 53 minutes by car) is the city of Kazanlak.

In Kazanlak, you can visit the rose museum.


Rose Museum in the city of Kazanlak
Rose Museum in the city of Kazanlak

After viewing the museum's rich exposition, I suggest you take a relaxing walk through the wonderful alleys of Rosarium Park in the city of Kazanlak.


Park "Rosarium" in the city of Kazanlak
Park "Rosarium" in the city of Kazanlak

In the city of Kazanlak, I suggest you also visit the church "Saint Ilia", also known as the Kulen church.


Saint Elijah Church in the city of Kazanlak, known as the Kulen Church
Saint Elijah Church in the city of Kazanlak, known as the Kulen Church

Only 5 kilometers south of the city of Kazanlak (about 8 minutes by car) is the village of Buzovgrad, from where the wonderful eco-trail adventure "Path through the Ages" begins.

You shouldn't miss it for anything in the world!


Ecopath "Path through the ages: natural landmark Megalith
Ecopath "Path through the ages: natural landmark Megalith

And as a finale, my dear friends,

you shouldn't miss a look

the special album with photo moments –

discovered, experienced, captured and shared with you!



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