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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Nikola Vaptsarov and his native Bansko

Vaptsarov has always been my favorite poet. I have always felt his poems in an incomparable, irreplaceable and different way - somehow alive, clinging to life with a terrible force, without letting go of it for a moment.


Monument to Nikola Vaptsarov in the city of Bansko
Monument to Nikola Vaptsarov in the city of Bansko

And now, when I walk around his hometown, I do not fail to visit the home where he grew up, which has since been turned into an impressive museum complex, located in a square bearing his name, in the middle of which stands a monument to him, and opposite the building of the national community center in Bansko is being painted and guess what - it is named "Nikola Vaptsarov - 1984".


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

Dear friends, as you may have guessed, we will recite Vaptsarov poems and read poems about Vaptsarov as I take you around his hometown, visiting places associated with Vaptsarov.


Monument to Nikola Vaptsarov in the city of Bansko

Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

The Vaptsarov Museum is a must stop on the wonderful bathing tour for every guest of the city and I strongly recommend it!


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

Located in the center of Bansko, the museum is not only part of the square layout, but also one of the symbols of the wonderful mountain town.

The museum is housed in the house where the poet lived after 1912.


The International Peace Prize awarded to Vaptsarov
The World Peace Council Honorary Award, presented posthumously

Did you know that Vaptsarov is the only Bulgarian awarded the international peace prize in 1952. In this regard, in the cited year, the home where he grew up was officially opened for visits.


A view of Todorka from the terrace of the home where he grew up
A view of Todorka from the terrace of the home where he grew up

A majestic sight, no doubt! Vaptsarov used to wake up with her in the morning while he was growing up here - in Bansko.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
Pano-photo story of the poet

During the creation and arrangement of the exposition, the poet's mother - grandmother Elena - participated, she and his sister Raina were among the first tour guides in the house.


To know the man and the poet Vaptsarov only from a book is not enough, but to be in his home environment, to follow his life, to see his personal belongings, to walk in his footsteps, to breathe the air that he breathed, is quite another!

A visitor entered this revelation in the guest book

The museum has three functional parts - a video room in two rooms where his family tree is exhibited - an impressive photo panel of black and white photo moments, an authentic ethnographic exhibition about his entire life from birth to death and a separate video room where every visitor has the pleasure to hear his poems.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

"Vaptsarov and Bansko. Native and family environment."

It was December 7, 1909, and their first child, Nikola, was born in the family of Yonko and Elena Vaptsarovi.


The future poet's parents came from the Prodanichini and Vesyuvi families of Bansko.


Bronze bas-relief on the birthplace of Nikola Vaptsarov in the city of Bansko
Bronze bas-relief on the poet's birthplace

Vaptsarov was not born in the house where he grew up. His birthplace is located minutes from Nikola Vaptsarov Square and on the wall of the building today there is a bronze bas-relief with the face of the poet, which I photographed especially for you.


The home where Nikola Vaptsarov was born
The home where Nikola Vaptsarov was born

Soon, however, when his sister Raina was born at the end of 1911, the home proved to be too small for the needs of the family and the Vaptsarovs moved into the house, which today is open for visits to every guest of Bansko.



The Balkan War and the Liberation of Bansko from Turkish slavery followed, and the Vaptsar House witnessed many and famous personalities - Peyo Yavorov, a close friend of the family, German Kaiser Wilhelm with his fourth son Prince August-Wilhelm, State Secretary von Kuhlmann and their retinue. led by the Bulgarian king Ferdinand - a clear sign of the royal family's attention to the Vaptsarovs.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
List of prominent guests at the Vaptsarov House

That is why here - on the ground floor of the museum complex, together with the abundance of materials that tell about the early period of the poet's life, there are also those that describe the exciting history of this wonderful Pirin (k) paradise - teachers, educators, masters, artists, builders, all those individuals who shaped the spiritual appearance of the settlement during the Bulgarian Revival, known as:


The golden age of Bansko



From the video program, which contains three clips - each within 24 minutes, I learn what Vaptsarov's favorite song is - a folk song from Bansko performed by a representative group for Bansko folklore.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
"Why did you leave, Kite, barefoot to the harvest" – Vaptsarov's favorite song

The second clip presents a documentary recording with a narration by Elena Vaptsarova, and the third one contains excerpts from the poetry.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

The second floor

Up here was the inhabited part of the house, characteristic of the Ban architecture, with the constant porch, from which the beauty of Pirina is revealed and the outside terrace-hut.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
The veranda of the house

Here, every guest can get to know the three rooms of the house, inhabited at the time by the Vaptsarovi family - Yonko, Elena and their three children - Nikola, Raina and Boris.


"Conversation with Vaptsarov under Pirin" by Pierre Gamara
"Conversation with Vaptsarov under Pirin" by Pierre Gamara

Under the strict supervision of grandmother Elena, in 1952, these rooms were restored and arranged authentically, and I seem to fall into that era.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
Mom's office

Elena Vaptsarova's study was jokingly called by the poet mother's office.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
Vaptsarov's swing in the living room

In the living room, you can see the authentic cradle of Nikola Vaptsarov, in which he was cradled when he was an infant. In this room is also the hearth, near which those interesting evenings by the flames of the fire were held and the children received their first lessons in patriotism and humanity.


In these small but warm family rooms, mother Elena Vaptsarova told fairy tales and legends, and her children eagerly absorbed works of Western European literature such as Shakespeare's Hamlet, Goethe's Faust, Ethel Voynich's "Sturschel" , "Per Gynt" by Henrik Ibsen, the Russian classics Lermontov, Pushkin and Gorky, as well as the Bulgarian titans Vazov, Botev and Yavorov.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

The third room is the living room. According to an old Bulgarian tradition, the family wanted the guest in their home to leave with the best impressions.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
The guest room


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

The exposition on the second floor ends with two small halls, in which are arranged materials dedicated to the grown-up Nikola Vaptsarov - the years after his student period at the Razlog High School, reaching the final stage of his life - the shooting and the worldwide recognition of the poet.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

Impressive documentary and photographic material is presented, among which is Vaptsarov's only collection of poems published during his lifetime - "Motor Songs", as well as original documents - the poet's baptismal certificate, certificates of completed education, Peyo Yavorov's personal seal, an old commercial notebook, a notebook of Nikola Vaptsarov, given by his mother and a notebook with the last poems written before the shooting.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

The award from the World Peace Council, which Vaptsarov received posthumously in 1952, is also displayed here.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

Also on display are copies of his manuscripts and the first publications of his poems, later collected in a separate collection of poems.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

July 23, 1942

Arrest.

Judgment.

Shooting.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

There is no similar analogue in our and foreign literature as that of Vaptsarov with the writing of the second couplet of "Pre-mortal".


Борбата е безмилостно жестока.

Борбата както казват, е епична.

Аз паднах. Друг ще ме смени и…

толкоз.

Какво тук значи някаква си личност?!

Разстрел, и след разстрела — червеи.

Това е толкоз просто и логично.

Но в бурята ще бъдем пак със тебе,

народе мой, защото те обичахме!

"Предсмъртно"

Никола Вапцаров


14 ч. — 23.07.1942 г.


"Farewell" is the second obituary poem written at the same time.


На жена ми

Понякога ще идвам във съня ти

като нечакан и неискан гостенин.

Не ме оставяй ти отвън на пътя —

вратите не залоствай.

Ще влезна тихо. Кротко ще приседна,

ще вперя поглед в мрака да те видя.

Когато се наситя да те гледам —

ще те целуна и ще си отида.


"Прощално"

Никола Вапцаров


At the congresses of the World Peace Council in Paris and Prague in 1949, international peace prizes were established to be awarded to outstanding workers and fighters for peace against war. Vaptsarov was awarded this prestigious international award from among dozens of proposals from several countries.


At the Second Peace Congress in Warsaw, Vaptsarov was posthumously awarded the Honorary Award of the World Peace Council.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko
Bronze bas-relief of Elena Vaptsarova

One year later, in December 1953, after preliminary preparation, the award and the medal were handed over to the poet's mother, Elena Vaptsarova.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

Today, the small courtyard of Vaptsar's house is completely quiet.

The hot July sun bathes in its embers everything around and even the coolness coming down from Pirina does not help.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko

The old vine casts generous shade and I sit on a bench in the yard of the poet's house.

On the table, a wicker basket full of ripe red apples smells of freshness, and I recall favorite poems.


Изведнъж,

като пролетен дъжд,

като щърк прелетя

малък спомен

за плетена кошничка

с дъхави ябълки,

в късна вечер на мама поднесена

от един поет-банскалия,

от един огняр,

най-добрият човек на земята.

Той се казваше чичо Кольо.


Бяхме бедни тогава,

само на книги и вяра богати

и тез ябълки,

дето баба Елена ги беше набрала,

сладост бяха, манна небесна.

Аз ги хрупах,

както хрупа козле,

чичо Кольо ме гледаше

и се радваше на моите зъбки.

Аз не знаех тогава,

че той бил гений,

знаех само, че в късна вечер

най-добрият човек на земята

бански ябълки

в плетена кошничка носи.


И от него научих един урок,

най-добрият урок от всички уроци:

няма нужда от много,

няма нужда от думи,

няма нужда от клетви

за вярност –

трябва само да звъннеш три пъти,

донесъл на тези, които обичаш,

малка кошничка с дъхави ябълки.


"Кошничка с ябълки"

Орлин Орлинов


Monument to Nikola Vaptsarov

The monument to Nikola Vaptsarov is located in the center of the city of Bansko - directly opposite the house-museum.


Monument to Nikola Vaptsarov in the city of Bansko

Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" in the city of Bansko is site number 1 of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria. It has been declared a cultural monument of national importance.


How to get to the city of Bansko?

Bansko is a city in Southwestern Bulgaria, the administrative center of Bansko municipality, Blagoevgrad district.


Bansko is located at the foot of the Northern Pirin at 927 meters above sea level. It is 56 kilometers from the regional town (about 56 minutes by car).


The Glazne River flows through Bansko.

The climate in the area is mountainous and allows the retention of the snow cover from December to April, and the alpine character of Pirin Mountain provides excellent conditions for professional and amateur skiing.


Bansko is a stop on the Septemvri - Dobrinishte narrow gauge railway route.


Bansko stands at:

  • 156 kilometers (about 1 hour and 51 minutes by car) from the capital

  • 146 kilometers (about 2 hours and 30 minutes by car) from the city of Plovdiv

  • 512 kilometers (about 6 hours and 23 minutes by car) from the city of Varna

  • 396 kilometers (about 4 hours and 30 minutes by car) from the city of Burgas


How do you get to the museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov"?

Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" is located at 3 "Nikola Vaptsarov" square.



You will find up-to-date information on museum opening hours, ticket prices and contact numbers here.


What can be visited nearby?

Bansko is an amazing city, full of history, immense beauty and magnificent sights!


Panoramic view of Pirin and the city of Bansko
Panoramic view of Pirin and the city of Bansko

I can really tell a lot about this magnificent city, rising in the middle of the phenomenally beautiful green slopes of Pirin, that's why I suggest you visit my special post "An extraordinary weekend in Bansko", where I have collected all the raw emotional atmosphere of this magnificent Pirin end.



There is a house in the city of Bansko, whose rooms were wonderfully painted with wondrous lovely paintings, its stone walls were masterfully painted with unique whimsical fairy ornaments, and suns carved from wood smiled from the ceilings.


fine paints,

various forms

twists and turns,

unique, interesting, and wonderful!


Love!


Museum "Velyanova House" in the city of Bansko
Museum "Velyanova House" in the city of Bansko

It is said that it was love - true, eternal, unquenchable, indestructible, unfading, unquenchable, strong, eternal, holy - that inspired the author of these exquisite frescoes to create them!


The wonderful house is still preserved today, and its famous wall painting shines and shines brighter than the stars in the sky and tells about the love of Usta Velyan and his beloved - Sofia Benina!


This is the Velyanova house in the city of Bansko.


This is the expression of Usta Velyan's love for his Sofia, wonderfully illustrated and told to us here - forever!


The Velian house was declared an architectural and building monument of culture of national importance in issue 87 of the State Gazette from 1967.


The decorative decoration of the Velyanova house was declared an artistic cultural monument of national importance in issue 59 of the State Gazette from 1973.


Museum "Velyanova Kashta" in the city of Bansko is site number 1 of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.


Museum "Velyanova House" in the city of Bansko

May your wonderful bathing trip also take you to the birthplace of the patriarch of Bulgarian teachers and writers Neofit Rilski - Beninata kashta.


Monument to Neophyte Rilski in the yard of his native house in the city of Bansko
Monument to Neophyte Rilski in the yard of his native house in the city of Bansko

The Benina house, as it is also known, has a characteristic architecture, typical of the revival houses built in the 18th to 19th centuries in Bansko - with thick stone walls, high walls and battlements in the walls, i.e. a family house-fortress.


It has been declared an architectural-building and historical cultural monument of national significance.


House-museum "Neofit Rilski" in the city of Bansko is site number 1 of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.


The benign house in the city of Bansko
The benign house in the city of Bansko

I advise you to listen to the great talk that the curators of this wonderful place give to their guests.


In addition to exploring the entire house-museum with great interest, with a great deal of childlike curiosity, my son and I snuck through its secret corridors.


The benign house in the city of Bansko

...тоз див Светогорец – за рая негоден,

и фърляше тайно през мрака тогаз

най-първата искра в народната свяст.


From "Paisius"

Ivan Vazov


Monument to Paisius Hilendarski in the city of Bansko
Monument to Paisius Hilendarski in the city of Bansko

Let your wonderful bathing walk also take you to the monument of Paisius in the center of the Old Town, erected in 1977 according to the project of arch. Stoycho Todorov.


Monument to Paisius Hilendarski in the city of Bansko

The stone pages around Paisius symbolize his "Slavic-Bulgarian History".


The memorial stone laid on the site of the birthplace of Paisii Hilendarski in the city of Bansko
The memorial stone laid on the site of the birthplace of Paisii Hilendarski in the city of Bansko

In 1922, a fire completely destroyed the home of Paisii Hilendarski. And since the memories are fading, Banskali decided to place a stone with a memorial inscription on the site of the burnt house, to remember where the first Bulgarian revivalist was born, who ignited the first spark and laid the foundations of the Revival on the Bulgarian lands in those hard, long, cruel, unwelcoming, sad and so dark years of slavery.


Spiritual and historical center "Saint Paisius Hilendarski" in the city of Bansko
Spiritual and historical center "Saint Paisius Hilendarski" in the city of Bansko

The memorial stone stood alone until 2002, when the construction of the "St. Paisius Hilendarski" Spiritual-Historical Center began near it.


In Bansko there is the Bansko Gondola.


Bansko cable car
Bansko cable car

The most popular ski resort in Bulgaria - Bansko has comfortable and safe lifts that guests of the city can use all year round.


At the disposal of the residents and guests of the resort are two six-seater, six four-seater, two two-seater lifts and one cabin lift, which is also the most attractive and preferred lift in the city.


The cabin ropeway "Bansko - Banderishka Polyana" has a route length of 6,233 meters, which ranks it in second* place in length.


*The championship is held by the Simeonovska ropeway on Vitosha, which has a track length of 6720 meters.


The gondola, as the Bansko gondola lift is also called, was manufactured by the Austrian company Doppelmayr in 2002 (today's Austrian-Swiss company Doppelmayr-Garaventa) and was put into operation in 2003.


Bansko cable car
Кабинков лифт Банско

The route through which the lift passes has a height difference of 597 meters, and the capacity of the facility is about 2,000 people per hour.


There are three stations on the eight local Bansko cable car - lower (initial), intermediate and upper (end).


The lower (starting) station is located at 998 meters above sea level and is about 2.5 kilometers from the center of Bansko.


At the lower station of the lift, there are also the cash desks, from which tickets and cards for using the lift can be purchased.


The intermediate station is located in the area of Chalin Valog at 1468 meters above sea level.


Here, tourists have two options – either get off the lift to walk and descend the slopes of Chalin Valog, or continue to the upper station of the lift.


The last part of the cable car route starts from the intermediate station "Chalin Valog" to Banderishka Polyana.


Banderishka meadow in Pirin
Banderishka meadow in Pirin

The Banderishka Polyana area, where the upper (end) lift station is located, is one of the most attractive places for summer and winter tourism in the Pirin Mountains.


How do you get to the Bansko Gondola?


Very close, only 5 kilometers north of Bansko (about 8 minutes by car), you will find the village of Banya, Razlozhko - the richest village in mineral springs in Bulgaria!


Banya village, Razlozhko
Banya village, Razlozhko

In the village of Banya, you can visit the Old Bulgarian Bath, built in the Roman style.


The old Bulgarian bathhouse in the village of Banya, Razlozhko
The old Bulgarian bathhouse in the village of Banya, Razlozhko

In the village of Banya, you can explore the old Turkish Murtina bath (Ottoman hammam).


Murtina bath (Ottoman hammam) in the village of Banya, Razlozhko
Murtina bath (Ottoman hammam) in the village of Banya, Razlozhko

In the village of Banya you can see the monument of Neofit Rilski.


Monument to Neophyte Rilski in the village of Banya, Razlozhko
Monument to Neophyte Rilski in the village of Banya, Razlozhko

8 kilometers east of the city of Bansko (about 9 minutes by car) is the charming jewel of Dobrinishte.


City of Dobrinishte
City of Dobrinishte

In Dobrinishte, I suggest you take another incomparable walk and visit the town's Balneolechebnitsa, next to which a wonderful and green park has been built.



The Church of St. St. Apostles Peter and Paul is exquisite, beautiful and I suggest you take a look at it during your walk.


Church "St. St. Apostles Peter and Paul" in Dobrinishte
Church "St. St. Apostles Peter and Paul" in Dobrinishte

The center of Dobrinishte is beautiful and offers tranquility, charm and beauty to its visitors.


The Dobrinishte Town Hall building
The Dobrinishte Town Hall building

Only 6 kilometers northwest of Bansko (about 10 minutes by car) is the wonderful Razlog.


The city of Razlog, photographed from the "Steps" panoramic platform
The city of Razlog, photographed from the "Steps" panoramic platform

In Razlog, I suggest you take the "Steps".



From the place you will have the magnificent opportunity to enjoy an amazing view of three mountains - the beautiful Pirin, the exquisite Rila and the proud Rhodopes.



The green, orderly, colorful, fresh and incredibly beautiful city park of Razlog is also a place you should not miss to visit.



A walk around the city will calm, amaze and impress you, so just do it.



Only 21 kilometers north of the city of Bansko (about 24 minutes by car) you will find the picturesque Rila village of Dobarsko. A walk here is an immense pleasure and you should not miss it!


Dobarsko village
Dobarsko village

In the village there is a unique national cultural monument - the Church of St. St. Theodore Tiron and Theodore Stratilatus in Dobno, which I think is too famous to invite you to visit it, because you probably already have.

The Dobar Church "St. St. Theodore Tiron and Theodore Stratilat"
The Dobar Church "St. St. Theodore Tiron and Theodore Stratilat"

And perhaps you are looking for attractions and daring entertainment?! If so, the bear park above Belitsa, nestled in the beautiful Rila forests, is just for you!


Just 20 kilometers northeast of the city of Bansko (about 24 minutes by car) is beautiful Belitsa.


City of Belitsa
City of Belitsa

About 12 kilometers northeast of the town of Belitsa (about 22 minutes by car) along a narrow and in some sections rather dusty road in the bottom forests of Rila, there is a bear park that I invite you to visit.



Certainly around the city of Bansko you can visit all the high-quality and very interesting sites, eco-paths, routes and places. I will advise you to take the road leading to Vihren hut.



At the side of the road, look around for a detour by the incredibly beautiful, fresh and impressively beautiful river Demyanitsa.


Demyanitsa is a river from the Mesta basin, which collects the waters of six lake groups - Vasilashki, Valyavishki, Prevalski, Tipitski, Kirkamski and Gazeiski lakes. Under the name Valyavitsa, it originates from the Valyavish Lakes at 2,400 meters above sea level. It initially flows west, but after passing through the Tiyatsite area, it heads straight north. Its catchment area is estimated at 37 sq. km. The average slope is 102 per mille, that is, for every kilometer of linear length, the river descends by more than one hundred meters. Near the Demyanitsa hut, it receives two large tributaries - the Vasilashka river on the left, and the Gazeiska river on the right. After that, two more rivers flow into it - Kirkamska on the left and Yulen on the right. This makes it a relatively full-water river with a flow rate of about 1.5 cubic meters per second.


Above Bansko Demyanitsa, it merges with the Bunderitsa river and the two together form the Glazne river. The total length of the Demyanitsa river to the confluence with Banderitsa is about 14 kilometers.


Here, enjoy it and feel the freshness of the mountain!



Just 14.5 kilometers south of Bansko (about 34 minutes by car) on the road winding through Pirin in the direction of Vihren hut, there is a strange and very, very old tree.

Tree of the years of Bulgaria!


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Baykusheva mura!


Baikusheva Mura - 1300 years of history
Baikusheva Mura - 1300 years of history

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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