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A Rural Bulgarian Adventure

By Sean Mahon

Posted: 7th November 2014 15:55

Stretched across the outskirts of Bulgaria are plenty of small towns and villages, where the unique architectural and cultural style from the past centuries is wondrously preserved.  These settlements are truly special sites and are an opportunity for any visitor to fully merge into the spirit of Bulgaria.  There are many picturesque towns and villages which exude a peaceful tranquillity and offer a spiritual rest bite with their unique mix of culture and tradition.

Tryavna

Found in the heart of Bulgaria, 250km away from both Sofia and Varna is the town of Tryavnag.  Situated at the foot of the northern slopes of Stara Planina, early settlements here can be traced back to the 18th Century.  The town is known for its textile industry and being a centre for culture and craft, when during the 19th Century the Tryavna Artistic School was established.  It is also the birthplace of Bulgarian writer Pencho Slaveykov.  The Clock Tower stands as one of the symbols of the town, built in 1814 it stands as an important cultural monument.

Kovachevitsa

Discovered at the end of the 17th Century, the village of Kovachevitsa was the cultural centre of the South-West of Bulgaria.  The architectural style of the local houses has not been changed since the founding of the village when the only materials used were stone and wood.  The atmosphere found here is irresistibly charming with the narrow cobbled little streets, stone houses rising surprisingly high with slate grey slabs covering the roofs.

Shiroka Laka

The name of the village derives from the Bulgarian word “laka” which means wide meander.  It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bulgaria due to the effortless beauty found here thanks to its picturesque location, comfortably situated in the central Rhodope Mountains, South Bulgaria.  It is listed as a national architectural and folklore reserve.  It is well known for the authentic Rhodopean houses – of the Zgurov, Uchikov and Grrigorov families, as well as for the unique iconostasis in the local Church of the Holy Mother of God.

Koprivshtitsa

Koprivshtitsa (from the Bulgarian word kopriva, meaning "nettle") is a historic town in the in Sofia Province in central Bulgaria, lying on the Topolnitsa River among the Sredna Gora Mountains.  The village is filled with vintage Bulgarian National Revival – period architecture, cobblestone streets and entrancing bridges that beautifully arc over rivers.  Restored churches and house museums are line the streets and all contain alluring collections that can be traced back to the village’s origins.