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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Zlatitsa - golden city of fountains and Grandpa's glove

Zlatica is one of my favorite cities!

Grandfather left for Zlatitsa,

lost his glove.

The Beginning of Grandpa's Glove

Elin Pelin

A small town nestled literally* between the southern slopes of the Balkans and the northern hills of Schtinska Sredna Gora, as well as between the connecting ridges of the two mountains Galabets and Koznitsa, in the middle of the highest of the Trans-Balkan fields - Zlatishka field or as it is also called - Zlatishka hollow.

*The distances to the two mountain ranges are extremely small. In the northern direction, parts of the town of Zlatitsa and the village of Tsrkvishte are at the very foot of the Zlatishko-Tetevenska Stara planina, and the villages of Karlievo and Petrich in the south - in Soschinska Sredna gora.


View of Zlatitsa
View of Zlatitsa

The town is located 680 meters above sea level. and occupies the central part of the Zlatishko-Pirdop valley, in the spacious and water-rich valley - here flow several rivers from the basin of the Topolnitsa River.


Kurudere River
Kurudere River

One is called Kurudere (or Kuru dere, which means Dry Valley) and crosses Zlatitsa through its center. Another is called Sanardere and flows into Kurudere just before the main road to Pirdop. The third is Balumdere, which flows past the former sewing factory.


The fields south of Zlatitsa
The fields south of Zlatitsa

South of Zlatitsa, the three rivers together form the Zlatishka river, which, after the Bakadzhik area, flows into the Pirdopska river, and then into Topolnitsa.


The Balkan above Zlatitsa in Zlatishki Prohod ("Kashana" Pass)
The Balkan above Zlatitsa in Zlatishki Prohod ("Kashana" Pass)

Kurudere springs from the Balkans, south of Sveshti plaz peak, which rises high above Zlatitsa with its 1888 meters and the views from here towards the city and the entire Zlatishko-Pirdop valley are dizzyingly magical and especially charming.


The Balkan above Zlatitsa in Zlatishki Prohod ("Kashana" Pass)

Two important road arteries for Bulgaria pass through Zlatitsa - the Sub-Balkan road I - 6 and the one from Northern Bulgaria in the direction of Thrace - II - 37, which is the shortest to overcome the two mountain ranges.


View of the Balkans above Zlatitsa by road II-37
View of the Balkans above Zlatitsa by road II-37

The municipality of Zlatica includes the town of Zlatica and the constituent settlements of Karlievo, Petrich and Tsrkvishte. The village of Petrich is an enclave to its territory, as it is located at the northern entrance to a pass through Sredna Gora, surrounded by the municipalities of Mirkovo, Chavdar and Panagyurishte.


The Balkans above Zlatitsa in autumn
The Balkans above Zlatitsa in autumn

In addition to being the city of Grandfather's Glove - Elin Pelin's favorite children's tale of young and old, Zlatitsa is also known as a city of fountains.


The church fountain in the courtyard of the church "St. George the Victorious"
The church fountain in the courtyard of the church "St. George the Victorious"

More than 50 fountains were captured and built in the settlement and its surroundings. The more famous ones are Spasovo well, Stubela, Kamika, Three fountains, Gagarin, Pazarsky fountains, Zaim fountain, Seraphim fountain, School fountain, Kuru dere, Ovena, Lastovitsa, and others.


Spasovo well
Spasovo well

One of Zlatitsa's fountains was inspired by Petko Slaveykov's wonderful work "The Spring of Whitefoot".


"Gergana" fountain in the city of Zlatitsa
"Gergana" fountain in the city of Zlatitsa

I have dedicated a special publication for the "Gergana" fountain on my website "Photo Moments", which I invite you to visit.


Horses in Zlatishke Fields
Horses in Zlatishke Fields

As the oldest name of Zlatitsa, the Roman Aurea is accepted, which in translation means gold coin.


View of Zlatitsa from the Salta Alan area
View of Zlatitsa from the Salta Alan area

There is significant evidence that the land of the town of Zlatitsa has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Neolithic settlement mounds are located in its vicinity.


The Balkan above Zlatitsa
The Balkan above Zlatitsa

Thracian artefacts and numerous necropolises and mounds show that life here continued into the Iron Age.

The origin of the settlement is probably related to the gold mines in the area of Svishti plaz, which were exploited during Antiquity.


The Balkan above Zlatitsa
The Balkan above Zlatitsa

The name Ulpia Aurea is preserved in the people's memory, which refers to the patronage of the settlement due to its gold-bearing deposits and extraction of the precious metal by the Roman emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajan (98-117). The settlement was founded to house the Roman soldiers guarding the mining galleries.



When the Slavs settled in the Balkan Peninsula, they changed the old Aurea to Zlatitsa, which is preserved to this day.


Misty hills of Sredna Gora south of Zlatitsa
Misty hills of Sredna Gora south of Zlatitsa

In the years of the Second Bulgarian State, this is how the gold coin minted by Tsar Ivan Asen II (1218 – 1241) was known.

For the first time in written historical sources, the village of Zlatitsa is found in the famous Virgin Charter of King Constantine Tychus Asen (1257 – 1277). With Chrysovula, he donated to the Skopje monastery "St. George the Fast" lands and hermitage, together with the population subject to him, located in the village of Zlatitsa.


View of Zlatitsa from the Salta Alan area
View of Zlatitsa from the Salta Alan area

The city at that time and in the following 14th century was located on today's Golesh peak, where there are remains of a medieval fortress. This is confirmed by Ottoman sources, which state that it was located on a high ground, and at its foot was a vast valley.

By the third quarter of the 13th century, the settlement was already part of the land possessions of the Bulgarian feudal lords Smilets.


Chapel "Saints Kirik and Julita" above the town of Zlatitsa
Chapel "Saints Kirik and Julita" above the town of Zlatitsa

От 30-те години на XIV век е на подчинение на ловешкото деспотство на Иван Александър. По тази причина попада под духовната власт на епископа на Ловеч, което се запазва и до днес – районът е единственият на юг от Стара планина, влизащ в диоцеза на Ловчанския митрополит.


The golden fields
The golden fields

During the Middle Ages, Zlatitsa was also mentioned in connection with the events of 1372, during a war between the Bulgarian kings brothers Ivan Sratsimir (1356 - 1396) and Ivan Shishman (1371 - 1393 / 1395), when it was burned down. The war, the aim of which was the accession of Zlatitsa to the Kingdom of Vidin due to its strategic location, was won by Tsar Ivan Shishman and the fortress remained within the boundaries of the Kingdom of Tarnovo until its conquest by the Ottomans.


Zlatish Pass ("Kashana" Pass)
Zlatish Pass ("Kashana" Pass)

During the early Ottoman era, the settlement was well known to Ottoman and Western chroniclers. In the month of December 1443 near Zlatitsa and along the passes of Sredna Gora emerging from the valley, the famous battle of Zlatitsa took place between the Crusader troops led by the Polish-Hungarian King Władysław III Jagiełło and the Transylvanian Duke Jan Hunijadi, with the troops of Sultan Murad II (1421 – 1444, 1446 – 1451).


The Balkan above Zlatitsa
The Balkan above Zlatitsa

In 1455, Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror (1444 - 1446; 1451 - 1481) stayed in Zlatitsa for some time with his entourage. At that time, an epidemic of plague was spreading in the Thracian regions of the empire, and Zlatitsa was famous mostly for its clean air and many clear waters.


The face of the Deacon on the walls of Zlatishki metoh
The face of the Deacon on the walls of Zlatishki metoh

In 1872, Vasil Levski founded a secret revolutionary committee of the Internal Revolutionary Organization in Zlatiški Metoh.


Zlatishki metoh
Zlatishki metoh

Until the Liberation in 1878, the city was the center of an administrative unit - nahiya and kaza of the Nikopol sanjak and the Danube vilayet, entered in the fiscal and administrative documents of the Ottoman office with its Islamicized name of Izladi. In separate periods, it included from 14 to 30 settlements from the valley and beyond, on both sides of Stara Planina and Sredna Gora, among which Etropole, Samundjievo (today Botevgrad), Vrachesh, Pravets, Djurovo, Teteven, Potop, Strelcha, Panagyurishte and Koprivshtitsa.


Church of Saint George the Victorious
Church of Saint George the Victorious

After the Liberation, until the 1990s, and with interruptions until 1901, it was the administrative center of the Third Bulgarian State - a district, neighborhood, and subsequently - a municipality, as it is to this day.

And here I am today again and again in my Zlatitsa!


Zlatishki waterfall in the spring
Zlatishki waterfall in the spring

Once again I am here - for example, visiting the thunderous Zlatiški waterfall, which is impressive and noisy almost all year round - and in the midst of autumn and on the border between spring and summer, when Zlatitsa is so green and so beautiful.


Zlatishki waterfall in autumn
Zlatishki waterfall in autumn

Zlatishki waterfall is one of the natural treasures of this fabulous region and I highly recommend you to visit when you are visiting this charming city.



Near the waterfall, there are 236 steps that will take you to an elevation in the Salta Alan area, from where you can see an impressive panorama of the entire Zlatishka Valley.

From here you can see far - I even manage to see how the clouds are born.


How clouds are born
How clouds are born

On the hill stands the chapel of "Saints Kirik and Iulita".


Chapel "Saints Kirik and Julita" above the town of Zlatitsa
Chapel "Saints Kirik and Julita" above the town of Zlatitsa

Benches are placed near the chapel, on which I have lost hours in contemplation of the beauty of nature.

At the foot of the hill, the cold mountain spring waters of Spasovo Kladenche gush forth.


Spasovo well in the town of Zlatitsa
Spasovo well in the town of Zlatitsa

Near the well stands the monastery "Sveti Spas", also known as "Ascension of the Lord".


Monastery "Sveti Spas" in the town of Zlatitsa, also known as "Ascension of the Lord"
Monastery "Sveti Spas" in the town of Zlatitsa, also known as "Ascension of the Lord"

From the monastery, I head towards the center of the town of Zlatica, where this magnificent centenary rises - the town's clock tower.


The clock tower of the town of Zlatitsa
The clock tower of the town of Zlatitsa

Nearby is the newly built children's park "Grandfather's Glove" - real fun for the little ones.


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

Zlatitsa Tourist Information Center is located at 33 Sabko Milkov Street.


Tourist Information Center Zlatitsa
Tourist Information Center Zlatitsa

The center is located in the building of the former Yuri Gagarin mechanic's house.



I have included the sights of the city and its surroundings in the "Wonders of Zlatishko-Pirdop region" itinerary, 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!



Sources of information:

How to get to the town of Zlatica?

Zlatitsa is a city in Western Bulgaria. It is located in the Sofia region, near the town of Pirdop. The city is the administrative center of the Zlatitsa municipality.


A view of Zlatitsa and the entire Zlatica valley
A view of Zlatitsa and the entire Zlatica valley

Zlatitsa is located in the middle of the Sub-Balkan Road*.

*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, passing through the territory of nine districts: Kyustendilska, Pernishka, Sofia district, Sofiaska, Plovdivska, Starozagorska, Sliven, Yambol and Burgas.

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

Zlatica stands at:

  • 77 kilometers (about 1 hour and 18 minutes by car) from the capital

  • 119 kilometers (about 1 hour and 55 minutes by car) from the city of Plovdiv

  • 441 kilometers (about 5 hours and 28 minutes by car) from the city of Varna

  • 317 kilometers (about 3 hours and 49 minutes by car) from the city of Burgas

  • 32 kilometers (about 37 minutes by car) from the town of Koprivshtitsa



To the northwest is the city of Etropole, to the northeast – the city of Teteven, to the south – the city of Panagyurishte, to the east – the cities of Pirdop, Koprivshtitsa, Klisura, Sopot, Strelcha, Karlovo. To the west is the city of Elin Pelin and the capital.

Through the Zlatish Pass and the city of Etropole is the connection with Northern Bulgaria - Botevgrad, Pravets, Mezdra, Vratsa, Pleven.

Through Panagyurishte - to Pazardzhik and Plovdiv.

The most direct connection from Sofia to the sea passes through Zlatitsa.

On the railway line passing through the area, there are the two largest railway tunnels in Bulgaria - Koznitsa (6 kilometers) and Galabets (3 kilometers).


What can be visited nearby?

Only 9 kilometers south of Zlatitsa (about 11 minutes by car) in the middle of the picturesque Medetski Prohod in Schtinska Sredna Gora is the "New Kemer" bridge.


The "New Kemer" bridge in Medetski Prohod in Sochtinska Sredna Gora
The "New Kemer" bridge in Medetski Prohod in Sochtinska Sredna Gora

23 kilometers south of Zlatitsa (about 28 minutes by car) in the middle of the inspiringly beautiful Schtinska Sredna Gora at an altitude of 1050 meters on a pass east of Mount Bratiya is the village of Panagyurski Colonies.


The lake with water lilies in the village of Panagyurski colonies
The lake with water lilies in the village of Panagyurski colonies

Only 15 kilometers south of the settlement of Panagyurski Colonies (about 18 minutes by car) is the struggling Panagyurishte.



April 20, summer 1876!


Riot!

Uprising!

To arms!


The ecstatic shouts of the freedom fighters announce this yard!



This is the Tuteva House in the city of Panagyurishte - the place where the April Uprising was announced!



Nearby is the Healing House, which you should not miss to visit.


Monument to Raina Knyagina in the city of Panagyurishte
Monument to Raina Knyagina in the city of Panagyurishte

From there, head to "Raina Knyaginya" square, where you will see the monument of a Bulgarian teacher and midwife - Raina (Raikya) Popgeorgieva Futekova-Dipcheva, who sewed the banner of the insurgents and embroidered the lion and the fiery motto with tinsel:


Freedom or death!


Nearby is also the Futek house - the birthplace of Raina Knyagina, which today has been turned into a museum.



House-museum "Raina Knyaginya" is site number 36 of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.



You should not miss the incredibly interesting exposition of the Panagyurishte Historical Museum dedicated to the April Uprising, with original relics related to the heroic epic of April 1876.


Dudekova house in the town of Panagyurishte
Dudekova house in the town of Panagyurishte

The Dudekova house, part of the museum complex, is an architectural-historical landmark in Panagyurishte from the Renaissance era. There is an ethnographic-historical exposition reflecting the Renaissance way of life and culture.


Vault of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure
Vault of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure

There are dozens of Thracian mounds in the vicinity of the city. A burial of a Thracian chieftain was discovered in one of them - the "Mramor" mound.


A golden phial, part of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure
A golden phial, part of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure

Недалеч от нея през 1949 година е открито световноизвестното Панагюрско златно съкровище, датирано от периода IV – III век преди Христа.


Amphora-rhyton, part of the Golden Treasure of Panagyurishte
Amphora-rhyton, part of the Golden Treasure of Panagyurishte

The treasure was found by chance by the three bricklayer brothers Pavel, Petko and Mihail Dejkovi, while they were digging the ground for clay. It is made of pure gold and weighs 6.164 kilograms.


Stag-headed rhyton, part of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure
Stag-headed rhyton, part of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure

Copies of the nine unique golden vessels are exhibited in the historical museum in the city, and the originals travel around museums around the world and in Bulgaria.

A wonderful musical water attraction here are the uniquely beautiful, enchanted-magical and so colorful Panagyura fountains, which I definitely advise you to visit when you visit this beautiful city in the middle of the mountains.



You will witness one of three musical programs – a whirlwind, dizzying dance in which musical notes intertwine, dazzling light, tons of color and thousands of splashes of water!

What?! You do not believe me?! Well see for yourself!



The music in this video is by the talented Bulgarian composer, arranger and pianist Mitko Shterev, presented in a unique, beautiful and so colorful and impactful-visual way.

At the end of each year, Panagyurishte shines brightly decorated to welcome the Nativity of Christ.


Panagyurishte on the eve of the Christmas and New Year holidays
Panagyurishte on the eve of the Christmas and New Year holidays

On the road between Oborishte Historic District and the town of Panagyurishte, you will find the Bear's Head fountain on the right.


"Mechata Glava" fountain near the town of Panagyurishte
"Mechata Glava" fountain near the town of Panagyurishte

The iconic fountain was erected back in 1966 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the April Uprising.


"Mechata Glava" fountain near the town of Panagyurishte

Passenger!

See the two rivers Panova and Asarel merged here under this bridge;

This is how the souls of our grandfathers merged in the summer of 1876 - there on the Panova River

MANURE

IN THE FIRST BULGARIAN GREAT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

for the liberation of Bulgaria.

Doff your hat, even from afar, and bow before you pass.

1928 year


"Mechata Glava" fountain near the town of Panagyurishte
The commemorative plaque of the watershed of the Panova and Asarel rivers, built into the rock by the road

Just 8 kilometers west of Panagyurishte on the road III-801 Panagyurishte - Vakarel, immediately after the Mechata Glava fountain, there is Oborishte Historic Site.


Oborishte historical area
Oborishte historical area

In case you are traveling in the direction from Panagyurishte to Vakarel, the turnoff is on the right.

Only 8 kilometers southwest of Oborishte Historic Site (about 11 minutes by car) is the village of Oborishte.


The Bulgarian tribagrenik above the village of Oborishte
The Bulgarian tribagrenik above the village of Oborishte

South of the village of Oborishte, the "Holy Virgin" chapel was built.


Chapel "Sveta Bogoroditsa" near the village of Oborishte
Chapel "Sveta Bogoroditsa" near the village of Oborishte

The most hardworking and skilled Bulgarian hands have turned the place into a real miracle with wonderful benches, a place for games for the little ones, green grass, majestic views, walking paths and a big green heart.


Oborishte village, Panagyurishte municipality
Oborishte village, Panagyurishte municipality

Only 10 kilometers south of the town of Panagyurishte (about 12 minutes by car) you will find the village of Banya, Panagyursko.


Monument to Pope Gruyo – Banski in the village of Banya, Panagyur region
Monument to Pope Gruyo – Banski in the village of Banya, Panagyur region

Resting in the village of Banya, in the midst of wild nature, complete silence and abundant mineral springs, is an exceptional pleasure that I invite you to share.


The spa of the village of Banya, Panagyursko
The spa of the village of Banya, Panagyursko

Cross over the bridge built over the Banska Luda Yana river and head towards the monastery church "Sveta Troitsa", rising in the middle of the Manastircheto area.


Holy Trinity Monastery Church, Banya village, Panagyur region
Holy Trinity Monastery Church, Banya village, Panagyur region

Passing the white temple, the path will take you up to Bansko Kale (Gradishteto), from where an impressive view of the entire village is revealed.


Panoramic view from Bansko Kale (Gradishteto) over the village of Banya, Panagyursko
Panoramic view from Bansko Kale (Gradishteto) over the village of Banya, Panagyursko

In Banya, you should definitely visit the emblematic Talpena house, also called Puleva house.


The Talpena house in the village of Banya, Panagyur region, also known as the Puleva house
The Talpena house in the village of Banya, Panagyur region, also known as the Puleva house

The house is a unique monument of residential architecture and dates back to the period from 1700 to 1725. It was the property of rich peasants from the Pulev family.

It is built of hand-hewn logs, hence the other name by which it is known.

The ancestors of the champions Kubrat and Tervel Pulevi are also from the Pulev family. According to village records, their grandfather Peter was born in Banya.

The Talpena house in the village of Banya, Panagyursko, also known as the Puleva house, has been declared a cultural monument and has a valuable architectural value, giving an insight into the life and past of Bantsi.


The native house of Pop Grujo Banski in the village of Banya, Panagyur region
The native house of Pop Grujo Banski in the village of Banya, Panagyur region

In Banya, you should not miss to visit the birthplace of Gruyu Trenchov, better known as Pop Gruyo - Bansky, Bulgarian revolutionary, participant in the April Uprising, voivode of the detachment and conjurer of the participants in the Oborishte Assembly.

Just 10 kilometers east of the town of Zlatica (about 14 minutes by car) are the majestic ruins of the Elenska Basilica, which you should definitely not miss.


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 12 kilometers south-east of the town of Zlatica (about 14 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

Dushantsi 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 Zlatiška 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 the Dushantsi Reservoir – magnificent in every season!

A fairy tale in winter, when the old and vain Balkan has put on its thick white coat and is enjoying its reflections in the icy waters of the Dushantsi Reservoir.


"Dushantsi" dam in winter
"Dushantsi" dam in winter

Charming at the border between spring and summer, when everything around the Dushantsi Dam is lovely green and the freshness of the water enchants everything around!


"Dushantsi" dam between spring and summer
"Dushantsi" dam between spring and summer

Magical in autumn, when every leaf is a color and the magic reveals its colorful reflections in the palette of the water in the Dushantsi Reservoir.


"Dushantsi" dam in autumn
"Dushantsi" dam in autumn

Just 12 kilometers east of the town of Zlatica (about 14 minutes by car) lies the peaceful, green and oh-so-beautiful village of Anton.


Anton village
Anton village

Very close to the village on the Sub-Balkan road itself is the charming Antonovski Waterfall (also known as Antonovski Waterfall or the Butterfly).


Antonovsky waterfall
Antonovsky waterfall

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 32 kilometers south of the town of Zlatitsa (about 37 minutes by car) is the Koprivshtitsa City-Museum Archaeological-Historical Reserve - site number 75 of Bulgaria's 100 national tourist sites.


View over the Oslekova house in the town of Koprivshtitsa
View over the Oslekova house 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

Just 32 kilometers east of the town of Zlatica (about 29 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

Сbut 9 kilometers east of the town of Klisura (about 10 minutes by car) is the rose-scented village of Rozino, near which thousands of fragrant roses bloom in spring.


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

Only about 70 kilometers northeast of the town of Zlatica (about an hour and 13 minutes by car) you will find the Freedom Arch monument, which is erected on the Goraltepe mountain (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

Just 57 kilometers east of the town of Zlatica (about 49 minutes by car) is the town of Sopot.

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

If you take the path from Trapeto Hill in the direction of the Revival Church of Saints Saints Peter and Paul, you will find yourself in front of the church doors in no time.


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 Maiden's Monastery (metoch), this place continued to be the center of cultural life in Sopot and even grew into a kind of spiritual and educational complex.


Virgin Monastery "Introduction of the Virgin" (metoch)
Virgin Monastery "Introduction of the Virgin" (metoch)

Virgin Monastery "Introduction of the Virgin Mary" (metoch) has been declared an immovable cultural value (NCC) of national antiquity and an architectural and building monument of culture with the category of national importance.

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

In 1851, in the middle of the church yard, 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 in the city of Sopot

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"

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.

I felt the call of the Balkans, I will soon be at the foot of Stara Planina.

The first stop on my way is the authentic mill of grandfather Stoyan from the Vase novel "Under the Yoke".

Dyadova Stoyanova vodenitsa is located next to the road leading to the starting station of the chairlift, in the northwest end of the town.


Dyado Stoyanova mill in the city of Sopot
Dyado Stoyanova mill in the city of Sopot

From Dyadova Stoyanova vodenitsa, I head to the Sopot men's monastery "Vaznesenie Gospodne", which is located nearby.

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.

Only 62 kilometers east of the town of Zlatica (about 57 minutes by car) is the town of Karlovo.

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.