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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

An extraordinary weekend in Bansko

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Ten years later, I'm back in Bansko, and although the first time I barely found time for a quick walk around the Old Town, now I definitely plan to catch up with everything and have prepared a strict and tight schedule to be able to visit, photograph and immerse myself in the history of this wonderful and very unusual Pirin region.


View of Pirin from Bansko
View of Pirin from Bansko

Where do I start?

I'll start from the beginning.


I arrived in Bansko in the early Friday forenoon.


The fountain in front of the Spiritual and Historical Center "St. Paisius Hilendarski"
The fountain in front of the Spiritual and Historical Center "St. Paisius Hilendarski"

I parked in front of the "St. Paisius Hilendarski" Spiritual and Historical Center.

The parking is paid, but it is convenient and located in the center, after which I embarked on a dizzying adventure through time through the Old Town of Bansko.


Gotse Delchev Street in the city of Bansko
Gotse Delchev Street in the city of Bansko

Next to me, in addition to the incredible excitement of the beauty of Mount Todorka and the peak Vihren, constantly accompanying every guest of this smiling Pirin region, was always my trusty camera, with which I captured amazingly beautiful photo moments, which I am happy to share with you here, as well as at the end of my story - in the special photo album, which collected a piece of unadulterated Bans beauty.



I walk along the pretty bathing street "Gotse Delchev", the sun generously sprinkles hot rays from the blue azure above me, a chill still comes down from Pirina, so that I can breathe easily, and the white heavenly waves gently caress his ashen gray teeth.


Idyll, perfection and a unique spa atmosphere!


The pleasant babbling of the stream in the middle of the street brings an additional mood to my walk, and I childishly jump now on one side, then on the other side.


Gotse Delchev Street in the city of Bansko

In my head (in my soul) I am humming an old Pirin melody, somehow suddenly it came to me without knowing how and from where, as if it felt that I was here - on its land, which gave it strength and now it springs from my heart.


The sundial of Bansko

The sundial of Bansko
The sundial of Bansko

Here is the sundial of Bansko! What time is it?


Wow, that's right! It's time for photos and smiles 😊


Continue.


Gotse Delchev Street in the city of Bansko

Monument to Gotse Delchev

Gotse Delchev was the head teacher in the village in 1896.


Monument to Gotse Delchev
Monument to Gotse Delchev

In Bansko, he founded the local committee of VMORO.


I continue down the street and it soon leads me to a large square.


Monument to Paisius Hilendarski

In a few minutes I will be in front of the Paisius monument.


Monument to Paisius Hilendarski in the city of Bansko

Here I will share some beautiful photo moments with you and I will recommend you to experience my special publication about Paisius, which you will find here - on my website "Photo Moments" and which is due to the fact that in 2022 it will be 300 years since the birth of Paisius, 260 years since the creation of his most significant work - "Slavic Bulgarian History" and 60 years since his canonization as a reverend by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.


Monument to Paisius Hilendarski in the city of Bansko

To those who wish to read and hear what is written in this story.

Paisius


The monument was 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".


An ancient tree

Facing Paisius proudly towers another tall centenarian, liberally shedding a thick shadow and kindly sheltering every panting traveler under its voluminous and spreading crown.


A century-old tree in the center of the Old Town in Bansko
A century-old tree in the center of the Old Town in Bansko

This is the heart of the Old Town of Bansko. Do you feel the unique atmosphere?


It is full of amazing places to eat, music is heard from every corner of the city - green and Bulgarian! Smells of delicious feasts mingle with the notes of authentic Pirin music, and Pirin has hung over all this!


"Pirin" Street and Pirin mountain
"Pirin" Street and Pirin mountain

Wow, it's beautiful!


There is a Khachkar monument on the square, which I suggest you take a look at.


Khachkar Monument*

*Translated from Armenian, it means "Stone Cross".


Khachkar monument in the city of Bansko
Khachkar monument

From the pulpit of the Church of the Holy Trinity, the poet Peyo Yavorov uttered fiery words, sealed forever in the memory of Banskalia:


Brothers, throw away the fezzes!

From today you are already free Bulgarians!

From today you get the most precious thing in human life - Freedom.

It is that shrine, brothers, in front of which Gotze and Dame and thousands of other known and unknown heroes of the revolution laid their disobedient heads.

Guard her very much, brothers, for she is holy!

Do not allow hard-heartedness and indifference to enter your heart.

Remember those who desired it so much and died for it!


Khachkar monument is a gift to Bansko from Armenia in honor of Peyo Yavorov and his poem "Armenians".


The monument is in the shape of a cross, with Yavorov's famous words written at the base.


Khachkar monument in the city of Bansko

Holy Trinity Church

The huge Church of the Holy Trinity, with its tall and slender clock tower-bell tower, accurately counting the minutes, is located opposite me.


Church of the Holy Trinity in the city of Bansko
Holy Trinity Church

I wash my hands and face at the fountain in front of the church and enter.

The yard is quiet today.

Dozens of swallows pierce the blue azure, welcoming the guests of Bansko.


The bell tower of the Holy Trinity Church in the city of Bansko

Greenery has swallowed everything here. I walk the quiet alleys of the temple, surround it all and capture it with wonder.


Church of the Holy Trinity in the city of Bansko

"Holy Trinity" is an Orthodox church, part of the Nevrokop Diocese of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

The temple is one of the most remarkable churches in Bulgaria from the second half of the 19th century and has been declared a cultural monument.


Church "St. Venerable Paisius Hilendarsky"
Church "St. Venerable Paisius Hilendarsky"

In the courtyard of the "Holy Trinity" church, I found a second temple - "St. Venerable Paisius Hilendarski".


Church of the Holy Trinity in the city of Bansko

I exit through the other door, where a fountain is also running, and Neophyte Rilski's native home appears in front of me.


Neophyte Rilski House-Museum

It is also known as the House of Benin.


House-museum "Neofit Rilski" in the city of Bansko (Benina house)
House-Museum "Neofit Rilski" (Benin's House)

The Bulgarian renaissance writer with the secular name Nikola Benin was born here, and the house was turned into a museum in 1981.


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

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


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.


House-museum "Neofit Rilski" in the city of Bansko
Neophyte Rilski House-Museum

Be sure to give yourself enough time, as I did, to explore all the small and larger old cobbled streets of Bansko's Old Town.


The old town of Bansko
The narrow streets of the Old Town

The atmosphere is inimitable!


Old Town

This is another deeply touching and definitely memorable walk, in which the past and the present meet, shake hands in friendship and move forward together - hand in hand.



The old town of Bansko
The old town of Bansko

The old white authentic houses inspire special feelings in every stranger like me.


The old town of Bansko
The old town of Bansko

Very beautiful indeed!


Velyanov's house

Little by little, I find myself at my next regular stop on my pre-planned schedule for the day – Velyanov House.


Velyanov house in the city of Bansko
Velyanov's house

Velyanov house is a revival building, declared in 1967 as a cultural monument of national importance.


Velyanov house in the city of Bansko

The building was painted by the representative of the Debar School of Art - Velyan Ognenov.


Velyanov house in the city of Bansko

Architecturally, the building is a typical example of a fortified house from Banska, its interior is also typical of the era.

The yard of the house, in addition to being bathed by the Sun, is painted in color!


Velyanov house in the city of Bansko

These special photo moments I have lovingly saved for you - the most awesome audience in the world!


The old town of Bansko
The old town of Bansko

My walk through the Old Town continues in the direction of Nikola Vaptsarov Square, and I hurry to buy tickets for the museum of my favorite poet.


Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov"

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

Museum complex "Nikola Vaptsarov" is located on "Nikola Vaptsarov" square in the city of Bansko, near the monument to Nikola Vaptsarov and opposite the community center "Nikola Vaptsarov – 1984".


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!


The fountains on Nikola Vaptsarov Square
The fountains on Nikola Vaptsarov Square

The fountains in the square in front of the museum create coolness in the already advanced hot summer day, and the sun above me shines relentlessly, throwing its fire, so it is time to seek coolness and comfort.


Where to stay in the city of Bansko?

Grand Hotel Bansko took special care of my incredible stay in Bansko.

Dear friends, if you follow the given link, you will access my post, here on my site "Photo Moments", which will reveal to you the emotions that my stay at the hotel managed to seal in me.


Grand Hotel Bansko
Grand Hotel Bansko - a luxury hotel complex at the foot of Pirin

Incredibly well rested, rested, recharged and smiling, I set out for an evening bathing walk around this phenomenally beautiful Pirin area.


My walk continued exactly from where I left off in the early hot afternoon - from Nikola Vaptsarov Square.


Monument to Nikola Vaptsarov

The monument to Nikola Vaptsarov is located in the center of the city of Bansko.


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

It has been declared a cultural monument of national importance.


His poems have been translated into over 50 languages.


Monument to Nikola Vaptsarov in the city of Bansko

Vaptsarov is the only Bulgarian awarded the international peace prize in 1952.


The house where Vaptsarov was born

From the square, I went to look for the poet's native house, which is located minutes away from the Nikola Vaptsarov museum.


The house where Nikola Vaptsarov was born

I found the house where Vaptsarov was born and now I present it to you.


The numerous traditional festivals of Bansko

In the center of the Old Town, in the coolness of Friday, dance parties were organized, which added mood and romance to the beautiful summer evening.



This is a place where in one day I was able to hear English, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, as well as several unrecognized (probably Far Eastern) languages.



It's summer, but that doesn't stop the evening from being cool, incredibly pleasant and so fresh.


Pirin sends cold mountain greetings and sets the tone for the evening. The moon hangs in the now pale azure like a jewel and lands from chimney to chimney.


The moon hanging over the chimney

The clock on the bell tower of the Holy Trinity Church measures the time accurately.


The bell tower of the Holy Trinity Church

Pirin Street is so beautiful and leads you directly to the top!


"Pirin" Street in the city of Bansko

The yard of "St. Paisius Hilendarski" elementary school is colorful, cheerful and causes my noble smiles.



I love this city - unique and old, young and fast. With one foot in the past and the other on the skis, probably...


Historical-ethnographic complex "Radonov house"

Historical-ethnographic complex "Radonov house" is the newest museum of the city of Bansko.


Historical-ethnographic complex "Radonov House" in the city of Bansko

It was opened on October 18, 2007, the occasion being 55 years of museum work in the city.


Historical-ethnographic complex "Radonov House" in the city of Bansko

Until now, the Radon House has functioned as a "Heroic Bansko" museum collection.


Historical-ethnographic complex "Radonov House" in the city of Bansko

The initiative for the creation of a city historical museum in Bansko belongs to Gen. Krum Radonov, who freely donated his father's home for the purpose.


Permanent icon exhibition in Bansko

I didn't get to see it - currently the exhibition is causing unprecedented interest beyond the border - in Poland, and I couldn't enjoy it.



Bansko International Art Gallery

It is located on "Nikola Vaptsarov" square next to the fountains.



This old house is located very close to the Bansko municipality building.


The old town of Bansko

The decoration of its facade was quite interesting and curious.



Definitely tired from the busy Friday schedule, I headed for a well-deserved rest at the Grand Hotel Bansko, where a spacious suite, an amazing dinner and relaxing spa treatments awaited me.


On a cool Saturday morning, having had a proper breakfast, I set out for new adventures in the Old Town, because my extraordinary weekend in Bansko continues.


My first stop was where I arrived in town yesterday.


Spiritual and Historical Center "St. Paisius Hilendarski"

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

The stone in the city of Bansko, marking the birthplace of Paisii Hilendarski

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


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

The first sod of the construction of the center was dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the writing of "Slavic Bulgarian History" and to the 290th anniversary of the birth of Paisius.

The construction of the spiritual and historical memorial continued for several years, and in 2008 it officially opened its doors to the residents and guests of Bansko.


From here I continued my walk on Gotse Delchev Street, but this time in the southwest direction.


Gotse Delchev Street in the city of Bansko

The stream is fresh and pleasantly romoli, the view of Pirin is majestic, and my mood is magnificent.


Gotse Delchev Street in the city of Bansko

The water features along the street are quite interesting and curious, especially for children (adults).


The fountain on Gotse Delchev Street in Bansko

At the end of the street awaits you this interesting fountain with two outstretched hands that are stretched forward and give beauty.



From the stone fountain nearby gushed cold mountain Pirin water for thirsty throats.

And the colorful carts of Bansko add additional color to the inimitable atmosphere.


City park

Where to cover yourself in the shade and freshness in the summer July heat?

In the city park, of course!



Bansko panoramic platform

In case you want to enjoy a magnificent, majestic, amazing, amazing, superb view of Pirin and capture incredible photo moments, as I did, I offer you a wonderful idea - visit Bansko panoramic platform!


The view from here to Mount Todorka, Mount Vihren and the entire marble ridge of Pirin is profoundly impressive, stunning and so charming!


Here! See for yourself!


Panorama towards Pirin
Panorama towards Pirin
How do you get to Bansko panoramic platform?


The golden keys of Bansko

As you drive around the city, you'll come across several golden keys adorning intersections.



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


What can be visited nearby?

You can certainly visit a dozen and more high-quality and very interesting objects, eco-paths, routes and places around. I will advise you to take the road leading to Vihren hut.



Only 14.5 kilometers (about 34 minutes by car) from Bansko 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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