Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Bulgaria



About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Bulgaria, Koprivshtitsa
Type: Historic Town, Vernacular Architecture
Epoch: Modern Times
Theme: Vernacular Architecture
World Heritage:
Modern TimesVernacular ArchitectureHistoric TownVernacular Architecture

Koprivshtitsa is one of the most outstanding treasures of Bulgarian architecture, culture and history. That true museum town, preserving over 250 architectural monuments from the Revival period, is located to the East of the capital Sofia, along the southern slopes of the Balkan range. It is unknown who and when established this picturesque town. According to the writer Nayden Gerov the founders were the boyars coming from Veliko Tarnovo in the 16th century, while Konstantin Irechek mentioned, that the beginning of the settlement was laid by herds – unknown when.
Today the town is declared as architectural, ethnographic and museum reserve. The winding cobblestone streets create a feeling of cosiness and reveal picturesque perspectives. The space image is enriched by boldly projecting bays, by the rich colours of the facades and the monumental gates. The streets lead to small squares, fountains and stone bridges.
Koprivshtitsa is famous for its numerous architectural and ethnographic monuments of culture and its museums. The Bulgarian Revival’s spirit streams from the painted in bright colours facades and from the luxurious interiors of the Oslekov’s, Dessiov’s, Debelianov’s, Lutov’s and Kableshkov’s houses. In the general outline, spreading softly along the mountain grounds dominate the two churches. Their bell-towers point out the centres of bright spirit during the 18th and 19th centuries. During that time the town was famous also for its merchants, enlighteners, writers and revolutionaries. On 20 April 1876 the first gun was fired in Koprivshtitsa, proclaiming the beginning of the April uprising.
The Revival’s architecture of Koprivshtitsa, its rich history and picturesque landscape have been an inspiration for a great number of people. The language, the magic songs and rituals are preserved here. Not by chance, this rebellious town has been selected to host the traditional national festivals of Bulgarian folklore.

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