"A Jewel in the Mountains" Top 5 Page for this destination Koprivshtitsa by ChristinaNest
Koprivshtitsa Travel Guide: 96 reviews and 276 photos
The town of Koprivshtitsa is situated in a small valley in the mountain of Sredna Gora (meaning Middle Forest). At altitude of 1060m, it’s one of Bulgaria’s highest towns. It is surrounded by round hills, meadows, and pine and beech forests. Sredna Gora’s highest peaks, Bodgan (1604m) and Bunaya (1572m) are nearby. We were told that hiking to Bogdan and back to Koprivshtitsa takes about 3 hours but didn’t have the time.
Koprivshtitsa is very well preserved and is a charming trip back in time. The houses are build in the Bulgarian Revival style: thick stone foundations, brightly coloured walls, intricate woodwork, windows with wooden shutters, frescoes, verandas… The courtyards are green and fragrant with all the plants, there are wells and outer buildings.
The interiors are as impressive as the outside: beautiful fireplaces, colourful carpets and bed covers, fine curtains, wall paintings, intricate carved wood ceilings… Stroll in the narrow cobbled streets and you will see many beautiful houses, monuments, old churches, and graveyards, you will pass many bridges over the little rivers.
Go up the hills and you would reach green meadows over the town and experience great views of the place and the opposite mountain hills. And you will share the view with the many horses, goats, sheep, and cows grazing quietly.
It is believed that Koprivshtitsa was founded in the 15th century by Bulgarian aristocrats running away from the conquering Ottoman Turks. At this time many people moved to the more isolated mountains. Due to the rich pastures and the special privileges the town somehow obtained by the Ottomans Empire, the stock-breeding, crafts and trade flourished. Many stock-breeders, tax-collectors, and artisans became rich, built big houses, and also donated a lot of money to monasteries, schools, etc. Due to the unique spirit and generosity of the people of Koprivshtitsa, many Bulgarian heroes were born there. Every other house brought up a famous writer, teacher, revolutionary… This is where the April Uprising against the Turks starts (April 20, 1876). The Bulgarian revolutionaries were outnumbered and killed by the Ottoman Army and many innocent Bulgarians, including women and children, were massacred, whole villages burnt down… Still news about the Turkish atrocities and cruelty travelled around the world and caused an outcry abroad. Later this led to the Russian-Turkish war, that finally liberated Bulgaria after about 500 years. When the outcome of the war became clear, the runaway Turkish army, once again burnt and looted and massacred Koprivshtitsa. After these tragic moments, the town was liberated on Jan. 10, 1878 (Dec. 29, 1877 old calendar).
Nowadays, some of these houses are turned into museums, where you can learn more about these heroes and benefactors, as well as see the beautiful interiors. Actually the whole town is declared an open-air museum there are almost no modern buildings.
- Pros:Great historic place surrounded by beautiful nature
- Cons:Might be too quiet for city lovers
- In a nutshell:Makes me proud to be Bulgarian!
You could say that almost every street and every house is somehow connected with the history of this rebel town. Besides... more travel advice
We took a steep street leading to the hills out of town and came upon a meadow where several sheep, goats and a horse... more travel advice
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