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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Sapareva banya

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Sapareva banya is a city in southwestern Bulgaria, the administrative center of Sapareva Banya municipality in Kyustendil district.

The geyser in Sapareva Banya

The average altitude in the perimeter of the settlement is about 750 meters, and the relief here can be referred to the type of hilly-low mountain relief.

How do you get to Sapareva banya?

The city is located about 75 kilometers southwest of the city of Sofia, about 56 kilometers from the regional center Kyustendil and about 15 kilometers from the city of Dupnitsa.

Near the Sapareva banya municipality passes one of the main road arteries in the country - international road E79, part of international transport corridor No. 4.

The city is nestled in the incredibly beautiful northern slopes of Rila.

A wooden bear, a bear and a bench in the town of Sapareva Banya

The city is famous for its hot mineral springs. The only geyser-fountain in Bulgaria and continental Europe is located here.

The geyser in Sapareva banya

The geyser is one of the symbols of Sapareva banya, when the hot spring was discovered in 1957 during hydrological studies.

The geyser in Sapareva Banya

It is the hottest geyser in Europe (several degrees more than Italy's Sofiani and Giurgitella) and one of the hottest in the world. Its water temperature is 103°C. You will find it in the city center.

The mineral water that flows from it has a unique composition and properties. It contains hydrogen sulfide, which is why the characteristic smell of sulfur can be felt near the geyser.

It treats diseases of the locomotor system, the peripheral nervous system, gynecological diseases, acute and chronic poisoning with salts of heavy metals, diseases of the skin, of the upper respiratory tract.

The geyser in Sapareva Banya

It erupts with great force a few seconds from a depth of 75 meters and immediately disperses into small droplets, like a mist, creating magic.

In winter, snow does not linger in the geyser fountain area.

The many colored lights that are switched on during the summer evenings make it a remarkable sight.

The hot water of the geyser is used to heat the municipality building, the holiday homes and the school.

The sculpture in the immediate vicinity of the geyser was built by the Bulgarian sculptor Valko Tsenov.

How do you get to the geyser?

You will find it in the center of Sapareva banya.

The natural resources, climate and location of the municipality are a prerequisite for the development of balneotherapy, ecological and rural tourism.

The mineral water of Sapareva Banya

The mineral water of Sapareva Banya has the highest content of fluorine of all springs in Bulgaria, as well as of hydrogen sulfide - 15.5 mg/l.

The water is characterized as hyperthermal, weakly mineralized, sulfate-hydrocarbonate, sodium, fluoride, siliceous and sulfide.

For half a century in the sanatorium of Sapareva banya, diseases of the upper motor pathways, peripheral nervous system, bones, joints and skin have been treated extremely successfully.

It is used for diseases of the locomotor and nervous system and the skin. With proven characteristics for the treatment of osteoporosis and dental caries.

Indications for treatment with mineral water from the hot mineral springs of the town of Sapareva Banya:

  • diseases of the joints, muscles and tendons of an inflammatory nature - rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic arthritis, arthritis of another nature, Bekhterev's disease, myositis, myotendinitis;

  • diseases of bones, joints and others of a degenerative nature;

  • diseases of bones, joints, muscles and tendons of a traumatic nature;

  • peripheral nervous system diseases: neuritis, radiculitis, radiculoneuritis, discopathy, paresis, paralysis;

  • diseases of the female genital organs of a non-specific nature: endometritis, adnexitis, sterility;

  • acute and chronic poisoning with salts of heavy metals and their compounds - lead, mercury, bismuth and others;

  • skin diseases - psoriasis, neurodermatitis, allergic dermatitis;

  • upper respiratory tract diseases - sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, tracheobronchitis.


  • arterial hypertension IV stage;

  • CHD - up to three months from the onset of the disease;

  • frequent rhythm and conduction disorders;

  • unstable angina pectoris;

  • heart disease with rheumatic activity;

  • condition after cerebral hemorrhage - up to three months from the onset of the disease;

  • liver cirrhosis in an advanced stage;

  • chronic kidney failure III and IV stage;

  • chronic respiratory failure stage III and IV;

  • cancer patients;

  • active tuberculosis.

The geyser in Sapareva Banya

City Park "Nikolay Haitov" in Sapareva banya

The city park "Nikolay Haitov" is a green and cheerful place to have fun with children.

City Park "Nikolay Haitov" in Sapareva Banya

Trust me, there's a lot of fun going on here!

How do you get to the city park "Nikolay Haitov" in Sapareva banya?

The medieval church "Saint Nicholas" in Sapareva banya

In Sapareva banya you can visit the medieval Bulgarian church "St. Nicholas".

Medieval Church "Saint Nicholas" in Sapareva Banya

It was built in the 12th-13th century. According to local sources, from the end of the 19th century, a throne stone from the holy altar of the church was sent to the archaeological museum in the city of Sofia, on which an inscription with the year - 1160 was read.

During an attempt to build a new church in 1838, the villagers discovered old foundations and pillars from another larger church west of "St. Nicholas".

According to some sources, "St. Nicholas" was a tomb or a simple chapel next to a large temple.

Medieval Church "Saint Nicholas" in Sapareva Banya

According to legend, the church is the tomb of a local feudal lord named Nicholas.

The larger church was demolished at the beginning of the Ottoman rule. The church "St. Nicholas" was spared, but it gradually began to crumble because the Turks did not allow it to be repaired.

According to local legends, after the Crimean War, a group of Circassians settled above the Gyurghevo district, began to destroy the church. The Circassian, who began to knock it down from the side of the dome, fell with him into the church and died. Frightened, the others gave up on further destruction.

During the Liberation, the roof was completely destroyed.

The church was restored in 1937.

Medieval Church "Saint Nicholas" in Sapareva Banya

The church is cross-domed, with free arms, with a length of 7.2 meters and a width of 5.7 meters, and the height of the dome reaches 6.6 meters. It was built on stone foundations of red bricks joined with white mortar, the bricks being plastered in rows. To the east it ends with a deep, semicircular apse lit by a single window. The entrance is on the west facade, housed in a two-stepped niche that expands and develops into four archivolts. The longitudinal walls on the outside are divided by two two-stage arches. The dome is surrounded by twelve two-stage arches, four of which have windows.

The church was completely painted from the inside, and only individual fragments of the frescoes have been preserved to this day.

Its characteristic construction - "sunken brick" type, as well as the twelve-sided dome and arched niches define its picturesque appearance.

Medieval Church "Saint Nicholas" in Sapareva Banya

The church has been declared an architectural and building monument of culture of national importance and declared an artistic monument of culture of national importance.

How do you get to the medieval church of St. Nicholas?

What can be visited nearby?

4 kilometers from Sapareva banya (6 minutes by car) you will find the charming village of Ovchartsi.

Explore the colorful village, then set off on an adventure along the eco-trail leading to one of Gorica's most enchantingly beautiful waterfalls.

17 kilometers from Sapareva banya (about 20 minutes by car) is the town of Dupnitsa, where you must visit the "Rila" park.

Very close to "Rila" park is the starting point to "Sofarjik" panoramic platform, from where this more than impressive view is revealed!

From Sapareva banya you can continue in the direction of the town of Samokov, which is almost 28 kilometers away (24 minutes by car).

Already in Samokov you can see the beautiful church "St. Nicholas the Wonderworker".

You can visit the temple "Assumption of the Holy Mother of God Metropolitan".

And you must visit the magical park "Kraiiskarets".

I wish you a wonderful walk!

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