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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Kostenets village

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

At the end of the first millennium, the Byzantine Emperor Basil II marched towards Bulgaria at the head of a huge army of thirty thousand troops with the aim of capturing Sredets (today's Sofia), but his intentions were crowned with complete failure.

On August 17, 986, in the passage of the Trajan's Gate near Stipone (today's Ikhtiman), the Bulgarians, led by King Romanus, his first general and future king Samuel and his brother Aaron, inflicted a huge defeat on Basil II, later called the Bulgarian Killer, similar to that, which Emperor Nicephorus I Genikus suffered from Khan Krum in 811.

A beautiful green park in the center of the village of Kostenets against the backdrop of the majestic slopes of Rila Mountain
The beautiful park in the center of Kostenets village against the background of the northern slopes of Rila

Just 12 kilometers from the site of the great battle lies a charming, green and picturesque village known for its illustrious and ancient history.

"Welcome to the village of Kostenets" sign at the entrance of the village depicting mountains
Welcome to the village of Kostenets

This is the village of Kostenets, about which I will now tell you.

Inscription-panel "Kostenets village" in the park in the center of the village, made with colored pebbles

Kostenets is a village in Southwestern Bulgaria and is located in the municipality of Kostenets, Sofia region.

How to get to here?

The village of Kostenets is located at the foot of Rila, about 74 kilometers southeast of the city of Sofia and only 6 kilometers south of the city of Kostenets.

According to legends, the name Kostenets comes from the bones scattered in the surrounding fields after the countless battles, one of which is the great battle at Stipone, with which I started our journey together today.

Beauty surrounds the village! The northern slopes of Rila are unsurpassed in charm and magnificence, and are a direct witness to the frequent battles fought around.

The old people in the village still remember how their grandparents called the place of the famous and great battle - Tsarevo padalo.

It is assumed that the area was originally settled by the Thracian tribe of Besi, which happened about two hundred years before the new millennium.

A panoramic photo of the majestic and green slopes of Rila, towering above the village of Kostenets, Sofia region

After the archeological researches were carried out on the hill Gorna cherkva to the west of the village, the remains of an old fortress were found. Outlines of a Christian three-nave basilica from the 5th century have also been revealed. Old buckets for water and food, Roman, Byzantine and Old Bulgarian coins were found.

After the construction of the fortress in Kostenets, the Romans built a road from the fortress of Gigen on the Danube to Thessaloniki. Remains of an old cobbled road leading to Pomochenitsa were found in the resort of Vili Kostenets.

Monument to Konstantin Kostenechki, rising in the middle of a green and beautiful park in the center of Kostenets village, Sofia region

A native of Kostenets is Konstantin Kostenechki, known in Pomerania as Konstantin the Philosopher - a medieval Bulgarian writer and historian. He studied in the Bachkovo Monastery under Andrei (Andronikos), a student and follower of Patriarch Evtimii Tarnovsky and a continuation of the traditions of the Tarnovo School.

A wooden figure of a bear near a green and beautiful park in the center of the village of Kostenets, Sofia region

Knifemaking continues to be extremely popular in the village. The locals were known for their indomitable spirit, and from here knife workshops supplied the whole area with weapons in the glory days of the April Uprising Epic.

Model of a Renaissance house located on a stone fountain near a green and beautiful park in the center of the village of Kostenets, Sofia region

This magnificent waterfall model of a Revival house adorns the center of this gem.

The park around is green, colorful and pleasing to our eyes!

Stop for a moment from your hectic everyday life, relax your body with a walk to these Bulgarian beauties!

Cold mountain water gushing from the spout of a fountain located near the Assumption Church, rising above the village of Kostenets, Sofia region

Due to its healing mineral springs, the area along the southwestern part of the village has been declared a national balneological resort.

Characteristic of the region are the hyperthermal mineral springs with a temperature of 46°C – 73°C and a flow rate of about 12 l/s. They are weakly radioactive and contain sodium, fluorine, hydrocarbons and sulfates.

Church of the Assumption, rising above the village of Kostenets, Sofia region

Above the village of Kostenets rises the Church of the Assumption.

Church of the Assumption, rising above the village of Kostenets, Sofia region

The views from this place in the direction of the village and towards the majestic northern slopes of Rila are captivating.

Leave your worries behind and indulge in a walk around the area – peace and quiet are guaranteed!

Along the path, you will also come across this proud and slender centenarian.

About three kilometers southwest of the village and along the river Stara Reka is Kostents falls, described by Ivan Vazov in the collection of poems "What the Mountain Sings" and the travel book "Kostenets - Road Notes".

Kostents falls near the village of Kostenets, Sofia region

I wish you an exceptional, relaxing, fresh and impressive walk!

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