Discover Koprivshtitsa – travel back in time and explore Bulgarian Revival

Discover Koprivshtitsa – travel back in time and explore Bulgarian Revival

Koprivshtitsa in Bulgaria is an emblematic town for the Bulgarians because back at the days it was the centre of the Bulgarian Revival. Also, the Liberation of the country from the Ottoman empire started there. The town is located in 1.5 hours drive from Sofia and as locals say ”The summer lasts only 3 days there; if you get drunk you might miss it”. So what to discover in Koprivshtitsa and how to travel back in time and explore Bulgarian Revival?

Most of all, Koprivshtitsa is an absolute must-visit for everyone who wants to know more about Bulgarian history, architecture, and crafts.

Koprivshtitsa – the town of Bulgarian Revival

What to discover in Koprivshtitsa?

First thing first – The houses. Koprivshtitsa is well-known for its Bulgarian Revival Architecture houses that are nowadays turned to Museum-houses open to the public. Furthermore, you can buy a combined ticket from the Directorate of the Museums in Koprivshtitsa and visit them all with one ticket only. I managed to visit only 4 (out of 6 houses) and left the last two for another time. Locals say that Koprivshtitsa is like Jerusalem: If you visit the town once, you’ll be always tempted to come back again, again and again.

The church of the Assumption

First stop: Dimcho Debelyanov’s museum – house

The first museum-house we visited was Dimcho Debelyanov’s house. Dimcho Debelyanov is a Bulgarian poet from the Liberation period. He is considered being a symbolist and having had few romantic affairs with famous Bulgarian ladies from aristocratic families that inspired many of his poems. He died at the age of 29 during a battle with an Irish division (WWI). Hence, there are two gravestones dedicated to the poet’s tomb – both representing his mother waiting for him to come back home. The first is located in the yard in front of his house and the second one covers his tomb put in the cemetery in the yard of the church of the Assumption.

Dimcho Debelyanov’s museum – house

Next stop of Koprivshtitsa discovery: Museum – house of the revolutionary Todor Kableshkov

Another museum-house we visited was Todor Kableshkov’s museum-house. He is a well-known Bulgarian revolutionary and one of the leaders of the April Uprising. He was born in Koprivshtitsa in a wealthy family. He studied abroad and had a good social position, but decided to return back home and to dedicate himself to revolutionary work in Koprivshitsa. He was assigned the head of the local revolutionary committee in his hometown. He proclaimed first the April Uprising on 20th of April 1876 and is the author of the famous Bloody Letter. He died at the age of 25 and his house in Koprivshtitsa is turned to a museum-house.

Museum – house of the revolutionery Todor Kableshkov

Next museum – house: Lyutov’s house

Petko Lyutov was one of the wealthiest traders in Koprivshtitsa. His house is decorated as per the fashion at this period and you can immediately see that it’s a rich house when you enter it. As Petko Lyutov hasn’t had his own  family, he donated his house and all his belongings to his hometown.

Lyutov’s house

Oslekova’s museum-house

The last house that we’ve seen is Oslekov’s museum – house which is located at the beginning of the ”houses tour” near the Directorate of the Museums. It’s a very beautifully painted house from the outside and rich in typical objects from the Bulgarian Revival in the inside.

Oslekova’s museum-house

Time for fun – ride with carts pulled by horses

After the cultural tour organized by the Directorate of the Museums for us, it was time to have some fun!!!! We had a ride with carts pulled by horses and could admire the surrounding nature. We went at the end of the town and could go for a hike in the woods and come back by walking on the way back. We had a very pleasant chat with the locals who shared a lot of interesting facts about their daily basis life in Koprivshtitsa.

Ride with carts pulled by horses

Where and what to eat in Koprivshtitsa?

After this long cultural immersion in the Revival Period in Koprivshtitsa, it was time for delicious dinner. The Complex 20th of April welcomed us in a cosy atmosphere and offered us a three-course typical Bulgarian menu with a nice wine. After dinner, we went back to our warm and cosy guesthouse Hotel Paradise to relax after the long day. As the guesthouse was located a little bit outside of the town centre, we could stargaze before going to bed!!!! Priceless!!!!

Complex 20th of April

Saint Nicolas church

The next day we visited the so-called new church – St Nicolas church. It’s bigger than the Assumption’s church and has very beautiful paintings in the inside. A funny fact about this church is that the paintings of the saints in the inside were restored by the Turkish population (mainly Muslims) in the 1980s.

Saint Nicolas church

Bulgarian craft of wet and needle felting

Although I love sightseeing and visiting cultural monuments, the highlight of that trip was the wet and needle felting workshop organized for us by the Directorate of the Museums. The ladies who did the demonstration showed us the whole process of felting from the beginning to the end and explained to us the tradition of this ancient craft. We could take back home what they’ve done.

Wet felting craft

Practical information

Best way of transportation: by car

Accommodation: Hotel Paradise

Restuarant/ meals: Complex 20th of April (town center)

Where to get tourist information and buy tickets: Directorate of the Museums in Koprivshtitsa

Are you up to discover Koprivshtitsa – travel back in time and explore Bulgarian Revival?

Bon voyage and thanks for reading!