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Home Town Museums


Town Museums

From ancient times to present days
The first steps of the Bulgarian architecture were made under the cultural influence of Thracians, Proto-Bulgarians and Slavs 9th century. The national architecture quickly started shaping its own face. By the end of 10th century it has already freed itself from foreign influence and created its own appearance. The Bulgarian architectural tradition namely blending to the environment, with stern and static forms is discernible today in the building of Boyana Church near Sofia. During the Second Bulgarian State -(12th-14th centuries) the enriched stylistic techniques were manifested in the Holy 40 Martyrs Church and in St Peter and Paul Church in Veliko Turnovo. Their peak is attained in the Nessebur churches of Pantocrator and Aleiturgetot.
The picturesqueness and mobility of the composition reached their perfection during the Bulgarian National Revival period 18th - 19th centuries in great masterpieces such as Rila Monastery and of course the Bulgarian National Renaissance houses. Depending on the overall external appearance and decoration - wood-carving or murals - on the coloring of iron facings, the houses and architectural ensembles differ in the different regions.

Arbanassi
Austere houses that resemble minor fortresses on the outside with high, solid walls and heavy gates, iron grids and secret hiding-places, but which are spacious and comfortable, richly decorated and furnished on the inside. The oldest of Arbanassi's five churches is The Birth of Christ (1637 - 1649), dug into the ground without a belfry and with hidden cupolas, but hiding a genuine art gallery with over 3,500 stunningly realistic figures and Biblical scenes, painted by unknown artists throughout the ages.

Bozhentsi
Bozhentsi is a small village situated on the north flanks in the central parts of the Stara planina mountain range. The village is architectural and historical reserve with 600 years old history. Its architecture presents the typical characteristic features of the housing construction of the Bulgarian Renaissance. The small houses lie on both banks of the Bojanka river, which takes its source not far away from the village. Here, tourists may find calmness and quietness, getting into the far-off days of the past. According to the legend, the village was founded by a noble-woman, whose name was Bojana, who found shelter with her nine sons in the mountains after Veliko Turnovo was conquered by the Turks in 1393. Stock-breeding, different handicrafts and trade were the basic means of livelihood in the village. The hilly relief let the constructors of the settlement create one of the most picturesque architectural exterior, dating back to the National Revival period. One of the most typical houses from that period is the house of Doncho Popa.

Tryavna
This small town seems like painted on the green Balkan Range peaks by the painters of the famous Tryavna school of art. Cross the small vaulted stone bridge and on will find himself in dream world - over 130 National Revival period houses with scarlet pelargonium in the window sills and tufted box shrubs in the yards. Inside the rooms the wood has "burst" into suits, "ripened" into wheat ears and "filled out" into juicy apples in the hands of skillful craftsmen. Houses from this period feature their own architectural design. The ground floors has irregular forms and has ones craftsmen and traders. The upper floors featured wooden bow-windows, the roofs were covered with well arranged rocks. One of the most visited museums in Tryavna is the Daskalov house built in the year of 1808. The museum features the famous wood carved suns. The remarkable ceilings were made after a bet between two of the best masters of wood carving - Dimitar Oshanetsa and Ivan Bochukovetsa. Тhe two masters hardly worked for six months in the two largest rooms in the house without having a possibility to see each other's work. The wood carving evoke memories of the first - ever art competition held in Bulgaria. The house holds the one and only in this country museum of wood - carving, as well as wood - carvings and wood sculptures of Bulgarian khans and czars, and bas-reliefs of outstanding figures from the National Revival period. The house is an architectural monument.

Zheravna
The village of Zheravna resembles a wreath spread over the southern slopes of two small hills in the Eastern Balkan Range. The village houses with their broad eaves peak out behind high stone walls. The majority are well preserved. All are modeled on the "wooden type" house prevalent in the entire region of the Eastern Balkan Range. A characteristic feature is that all Zheravna houses, without exception, face south - with extensive facades in the yard's northern part, far from the street when it passes south of them, and houses turned the other way, but close to the street if it runs to the north. The older houses are single storied and made entirely out of wood. Later houses, with two stories, have their ground floor built of stone.

Koprivshtitsa
White stone walls, overgrown with ivy and wild geranium; fence in gardens full of flowers. Vaulted stone bridges run across the bubbly Topolnitsa river. Heavy, iron-studded gates hide blue, yellow and red houses with verandas, bay windows and eaves and the spacious rooms are lit up by brightly colored rugs and cushions, carved ceilings and cupboards, copper vessels and ceramics. Specialists say that every house in Koprivshtitsa is a work of art. The Oslekov, Kableshkov and Lyutov houses are fine examples of this.

Kovachevitsa
The village of Kovachevitsa is tucked away between the ridges in the remotest south-western corner of the Rodopi mountain. If you wish to be overwhelmed by long-forgotten feelings, or to be immersed in the enchanting glamour of bygone days, you must visit Kovachevitsa!. It is like a piece of Heaven created by Mother Nature and molded by the deft hands of the local craftsmen - master-builders, stone-masons and wood-carvers. In Kovachevitsa you can feast your eyes on a variety of Nature's gifts gathered in one place - picturesque canyons, a crystal-clear river, thick forests, incredibly fresh and cool, towering peaks offering breath-taking views.

Leshten
The village of Leshten one of the most attractive and authentic resort in Bulgaria. It is situated on the south slope of Rodopi mountain. All of the houses in the village are build in old Bulgarian architect style, which style was typical for this region of the country. Houses are with very big terraces, inner courtyards and own taverns, in which the guests of the village can prepare their own food. Each house has its own spirit and the smell of wood can be felt everywhere.

Melnik
Bulgaria's smallest town is hiding among stonning sandstone pyramids immobile for millennia. Thracians, Romans and Byzantines have written its history. Traces of it are preserved in unique monuments of old architecture, many of them of national significance. Melnik's houses are spacious, with wide eaves and towers, high stained glass windows, carved ceilings and large cellars here the famous Melnik wine matures. A single street leads to the finest example of the forms splendor of this small southern town. The Kordopoulos House - with Venetian stained glass windows, spacious rooms and salons, ornamental murals, weaves and fretwork, a wrought iron gate and large wine-cellar from which caravans with the famous Melnik wine once left for Thessalonica, Athens, Vienna, Rome, and even Marseille and Spain.

Shiroka Lucka
The village is built in a narrow and steep valley of the Ludja river, flanked on all sides by the magnificent pastoral and sunny landscape of the Rodopi mountain.
The 19th century architecture differs from the National Revival architecture elsewhere in the country. The mountain relief does not permit sprawling buildings, so therefore the Shiroka Lucka houses are built on a small area which is compensated by height. Two-three storeys are common, each jutting out over the one below. The roofs are covered with heavy stone tiles. The exterior is highly dynamic. The high stone foundation serves as a pedestal for the markedly forward brought exquisite white facade of the first floor. All walls on the ground floor, as well as the three outer walls on the second floor are made of surface stone with wooden crossbeams. Their school for national instruments and singing is proud to claim the Rodope song as Bulgaria's most emotional and moving one.




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