Cities
Koprivshtitsa
Bulgaria


Location: The town is located along the banks of Topolnitsa River in the Sredna gora Mountain, 1060 m above sea level. It is located 110 km south-east from Sofia and 90 km north-west from Plovdiv. Koprivshtitsa is a town-museum and has preserved more than 250 monuments of the architecture from the Bulgarian National Revival period.

Population: 2 600 inhabitants.

History: Koprivshtitsa was founded during the 14th century, after the fall of Bulgaria under the Ottoman rule, in a fertile valley, irrigated by Topolnitsa River, at the crossroad of convoys and traders. As the word goes many Bulgarian families were attracted by the rich soil and natural resources and settled here bringing herds of cows and sheep with them. Another popular legend is the one about a young boyar lady, who asked the Turkish sultan for a firman, by virtue of which she became the ruler of Koprivshtitsa. During those days the village obtained some significant privileges, no Turk was allowed to pass through the town mounted on a horse and its inhabitants could freely carry guns for example. The people in Koprivshtitsa called their patroness the Sultana out of gratitude while her heirs obtained the family name of Sultanekovi. The abundance of goods and money in the town attracted villains from afar and at the beginning of the 19 century Koprivshtitsa alone was pillaged and burned down three times. Despite this, the town flourished and soon was urbanized; spacious houses, bridges, fountains and churches were built. Gradually the town distinguished itself as a cultural and spiritual centre, where key figures from the Bulgarian National Revival period (that were carriers of ideas for political freedom and that have left deep marks in Bulgarian history) have grown up. Koprivshtitsa had important role in the preparation and onset of the April rebellion in 1876 and in the Bulgarian National Liberation Movement in general.

Landmarks: The museum houses are the main tourist attractions in Koprivshtitsa. Their vivid yards, surrounded by stone walls and narrow streets covered with cobblestones contribute to the attractiveness of the small town.

  • Oslekovs house is the most important architectural and ethnographic site in Koprivshtitsa. It was built in the mid-19th century by master builders from the town of Samokov and It belonged to a large scale merchant Nencho Oslekov. The house is charming with its internal and external decorations, rich wood-carving on the ceilings, mural paintings and gives us good view over the way of living of the rich people in Koprivshtitsa during that period.

  • Lyuben Karavelov's house is the native house of Lyuben Karavelov, a famous revolutionary and talented writer. A cobblestone path leads from the gate to a marvellously set courtyard surrounded by 3 buildings, which were built by local master builders within a period of 25 years and were combined in a unique architecture combination. The printing machine, on which the first Bulgarian constitution was printed - the Tarnovo constitution, is kept here.

  • Dimcho Debelyanovs house is the birthplace of one of the most delicate and sensitive Bulgarian poets, who died at the age of 29 in the First World War. The wooden gate reveals a picturesque courtyard with centuries old pine trees and tufty morello trees, where, in the midst of vegetation and the scent of flowers, a house with walls in deep blue is cuddled. In the shady yard one can see the wonderful sculpture of the poets mother, expecting her son to come back home.

  • Lyutovs house was built in 1854 by master builders from Plovdiv. It has richly painted walls and beautifully carved ceilings. Here one can see a unique exhibition of felts hand-made colourful coverings, made of wool coloured with natural paints by using specific methods of felting and pressing.

  • Todor Kableshkovs house is the birthplace of Todor Kableshkov, another famous revolutionary, one of the leaders of the secret Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee that prepared the April rebellion. The house was built in 1845 by a local master and is distinguished by its symmetry and fine wood carvings.

  • Georgi Benkovskis house is the birthplace of one of the most renowned Bulgarian revolutionaries, organizer and leader of the April rebellion. The house is interesting because of the many precious relics who witnessed those glorious days in our history.

  • Nayden Gerov's house, an important figure in the Bulgarian educational system, and whose doing was the building of the first Bulgarian classroom school in the second half of the 19th century. Nayden Gerov is also popular as the author of the first Bulgarian poem Stoyan and Rada and the publisher of the first multi-volume Dictionary of Bulgarian language as well as many other works of lesser importance.

  • The Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos was built at the place of a church that was burnt down by Kardzhalii people in 1817. It is an engraved low building, with faint lightning, with a façade of a house, since the time of the Ottoman rule the construction of large churches was forbidden. At that time the churches had to be low, engraved in the ground and with no bell towers. The wood-carved iconostasis of the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos presents some moments from the Bible, plants and animals. The great poet Dimcho Debelyanov is buried in the church yard.

  • St. Nicholas Church was entirely built of stone blocks in 1839 through generous contributions by the local people.