"Kyustendil" Kyustendil by Childish

Kyustendil Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 57 photos

Pautalia - Velbuzhd - Kjustendil

Some Historical Notes

The are has been inhabited for 7000 years and there was a city for 2000 years.
There was a Thracian village in 5-4 century BC. In the 1st century AD Romans built in the city a fortress. The city became an important spa centre called Pautalia. In 5-6 centurues AD it was built a second fortress on the hill Hissarluka which existed and was used at the time of the First and Second Bulgarian state and which was demolished by Ottoman Turks. The remains from Hissarluka fortress and Roman Therms can still be seen.
The city was mentioned with the Slavic name Velbuzhd in a charter by the Byzantine imperor Basil II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_II) in 1019.
It was included into Bulgarian state by Tsar Kaloyan (1197 – 1207).
There was one famous battle called Battle of Velbuzhd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velbuzhd) between Bulgaria and Sebia, which took place on 28 July 1330 with victory of Serbia.
The city was named after the local regional semi-independent lord Konstantin Dragash (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_Dragas) whose capital was Velbuzhd.
The city fell under Ottoman Rule. It was liberated on 29.1.1978 by Russian General Gurko helped with Ilyo Voyvoda.


Nowadays Kyustendil is the main city of Kyustendil district with about 55 000 inhabitants. It is well known spa centre.

Places of Interest

Remains from Roman city Pautalia: Roman Therms in the city centre and Hissarluka Fortress in the park Hissarluka above the town (about 2km away)
Remains from mediaval city Velbuzhd: church St. Georgi from 12-13 century
Monuments from Ottoman Rule: Pirgova Tower, mosques Ali Bay and Fatih Mehmed, Turkish Baths - Devish, Alay and Chifte; churches St Mary Assumption and St. Dimiter
from mother time: house-musium of Dimiter Peshev with an exposition Salvation of Bulgarian Jews, Art Gallery with works of the great Bulgarian painter Vladimir Dimitrov-Maystora, house museum Ilyo Voyvoda with exhibition about Bulgarian Revival Movement, etc.


Zemen (39km north-east): Zemen Gorge, Zemen Monastery, Zemen Fortress
Polska Skakavitsa: Waterfall
Nevestino: Kadin (Nevestin) Bridge
Shishkovci: gallery with works of Vladimir Dimitrov-Maystora

  • Last visit to Kyustendil: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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