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Lovech district – Cities

The town of Lovech is the centre of the district and has a population of 42 000 inhabitants. It lies at a distance of 173 km from Sofia. It is located at the picturesque meanders of the Osam River between the rocky hills of Hissarlaka and Stratesh. The average altitude of the town is 200 m.

There is a lot of evidence for the first settlers of the district of Lovech - the Thracians from VI-III c. B.C. The most well-preserved Thracian treasures in Bulgaria were discovered in the Lovech District. The treasures of Aleksandrovo and Vladinya date back to V c. B.C. and the treasure of Golyama Brestnitza dates from II c. The treasure of Letnitza dates back to 385-353 B.C. It was made of silver with gold decorations and 15 applications.

The first name under which Lovech was mentioned on a Roman road map is Melta. The settlement lies on one of the main roads connecting North and South Bulgaria through the Troyan Pass. The town was an important economic and cultural centre. It preserved its key strategic significance during the Middle Ages as well. The name Lovech was mentioned for the first time by the Byzantine annalist Yoan Skilitza in XI c. The Lovech fortress was built on the Hissarya hill on two terraces. In 1187 Byzantine was forced to sign a Peace Pact after a three-month unsuccessful siege thus acknowledging the formation of the Second Bulgarian State. The town of Lovech was a bishop's centre from 1235. The town fell under the Ottoman yoke in 1393. During the Ottoman domination the town flourished and was known under the name of Altan Lovech meaning in translation "Golden Lovech". The Lovech craftsmen and merchants travelled all over the Ottoman Empire. The town's population reaches 20 000 inhabitants. From the Revival period in the town is preserved the old quarter Varosha. The covered bridge over the Osam River is among the precious landmarks of the town and the only one of its kind in Bulgaria. The town was liberated by Russian troops on 17th July 1877. Ten days later the Turkish army captured the town again and killed 2 500 Bulgarians. The town received its true liberation in September the same year.

Lovech is the home town of the writer Dimiter Dimov, the composer Lyubomir Pipkov, the first Bulgarian astronaut Georgi Ivanov and other prominent people.

The tourist sights of the town are: the ethnographic museum, the art gallery, the architectural-historic reserve Varosha, the remains of a medieval Bulgarian fortress.

Other landmarks on the territory of the district are: the architectural reserve in the village of Staro Stefanovo, the Troyan, the Teteven and the Glozhen Monasteries.

The following natural landmarks are also located in Lovech District: part of the "Central Balkan" national park, part of the Karlukovski karst region, the Krushun's eco-path, the caves " Saeva dupka", "Devetashkata", "Temnata dupka", the rocky formations - "Strupanitzata", "Kuklite", "Golyama Garvanitza".

Tourist sights

The Drasov's and the Rashov's houses in Lovech have ethnographic exhibitions. The houses are typical buildings for the region from XIX c. and the beginning of the XX c. showing the lifestyles of a rich merchant and an intellectual person from the middle class.

The Covered Bridge over the Osam River in Lovech is the only one of its kind in Bulgaria. The bridge has been built three times. The first bridge was a wooden one and was carried away by the river. The second bridge was built by the master-builder Kolyo Ficheto in 1872-1874. During a huge fire in 1925 the bridge burned down and in 1931 the exact replica of the second bridge was built. The bridge's construction consists of 7 stone foundations on which is fixed a wooden construction of 86 m length and 10 m width. On both sides of the bridge there are 64 small shops, cafes and craftsmen's workshops.

Architectural and Historical Reservation Varosha, town of Lovech

Architectural and Historical Reservation Varosha, town of Lovech

The old Varosha quarter in Lovech has preserved the Revival atmosphere. It is an architectural-historic reserve with 200 monuments of culture of national and local significance. The houses have two floors with a stone ground floor and two bay-window wooden floors. In this part of the town are situated the churches "Uspenie Bogorodichno" /The Assumption/ (1784) and "St. Nedelya" (1535)

The medieval fortress in Lovech is situated on the Hissarlaka hill. It was founded in IX c. A lot of jewels, ceramics and coins were found on the territory of the fortress during archaeological excavations.

Staro Stefanovo reserve in the village of Staro Stefanovo, at a distance of 20 km from the district town was proclaimed for an architectural reserve. It is located on the northern slopes of the Mikren elevations of Fore-Balkan. The village has more than 100 monuments of culture from the beginning and the middle of the XIX c.


The Troyan Monastery "Dormition of the Mother of God"

The Troyan Monastery "Dormition of the Mother of God"

The town of Troyan has a population of 23 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 35 km south of Lovech. Troyan is the municipal centre of 37 settlements. The town is situated on the terrace-shaped banks of the Beli Osam River at the northern foot of the Troyan-Kalofer part of Stara Planina. The average altitude of the town is 400 m.

The region has been populated ever since ancient times. There are archaeological findings from the ancient times in the region such as Thracian necropolises and a fortress. In the middle of I c. on the territory of the municipality were established three Roman stations - Sostra, Adraditzes and Montemno. The name of the town comes from the ancient road Via Trayana connecting the Danube River with the White Sea in the I- II c. A.D. The present-day town was established at the beginning of XV c. after the fall of Bulgaria under the Ottoman yoke and it grew fast. In XIX c. there was a boom in the crafts, especially pottery and wood carving. The town was a well-known educational centre during the Revival period. The settlement was mentioned in the Ottoman documents from 1607.

The tourist sights of the town are: the museum of the folk crafts, the art gallery, the church "St. Petka", (1835), the buildings of the old town-hall (1881), the Troyan Monastery and the Oreshaka site.

Tourist sights

The Museum of the folk crafts and applied arts in Troyan represents the typical crafts for the region. Special section of the exhibition is dedicated to the Troyan ceramics.

The Oreshaka site by the village of Oreshaka was established in 1971. It is a national exhibition complex of the art crafts housed in 8 halls. The exhibition complex was opened in XVIII c. when a craftsman's fair was organized.

The Troyan Monastery is an active monk monastery. It is under the jurisdiction of the Holy Synod. The monastery is the third biggest in Bulgaria after the Rila and the Bachkovo Monasteries. Annals from 1835 say that the monastery was founded by the abbot Kalist in 1600. The wall decoration dates back to 1847-1849 and was done by the Samokov icon painter Zaharii Zograf. The gold-coated wooden iconostasis was done by the representative of the Tryavna's wood carving school Nicola Mateev in 1839-1840.

Beklemeto is a resort complex situated at a distance of 22 km southwest of Troyan. Beklemeto offers good conditions for winter sports. The total length of the ski runs is 2,5 km.


The treasure from Letnitza - An application for a horse ammunition

The treasure from Letnitza - An application for a horse ammunition

The town of Letnitza has a population of 4 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 36 km northeast of Lovech. The town is the municipal centre of 3 settlements. Letnitza is situated along the Osam River. The first written evidence for the existence of the settlement is from 1570 when the town was mentioned under the name of Letnidzhe. In the region of Letnitza is obtained marl clay. The region is specialized in the production of grains, sunflower, vegetables and vine-growing. During the Middle Ages there existed a settlement in the region. In 1963 on the territory of the municipality was discovered a Thracian treasure. The Letnitza treasure consists of 17 silver applications from a horse's ammunition and a bronze rein.


The town of Apriltsi

The town of Apriltsi

The town of Apriltzi has a population of 4 000 inhabitants. It is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by the "Northern Dzhendem" Reserve and the peaks of Triglav, Botev and Magarik. The average altitude of the town varies between 400-600 m.

The town of Apriltzi was established in 1976 after the merging of four villages - those of Novo selo, Ostretz, Vidima and Zla reka.

The tourist sights of the town are: the Novo Selo monastery of "Sveta Troitza"/Holy Trinity/, The "Northern Dzhendem" Reserve, the "Vidimskoto praskalo" waterfall and others. Apriltzi is the starting point for many hiking routes in Stara Planina.

Tourist sights

The Novo Selo Monastery is located in the Novo Selo quarter of the town of Apriltzi. It was built in 1830. The monastery complex includes a church, a chapel and housing buildings.


The treasure of Lukovit - 15 silver vessels, 23 applications and equipments for a horse ammunition and over 20 silver rings

The treasure of Lukovit - 15 silver vessels, 23 applications and equipments for a horse ammunition and over 20 silver rings

The town of Lukovit has a population of about 10 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 60 km west of the district centre. Lukovit is the municipal centre of 11 component settlements. The town is situated at the valley widening along the Panega River at an altitude of 135 m. The town was written in the Ottoman tax registry books in 1430.

In the vicinities of the town there are remains of a prehistoric, a Thracian and a Roman settlement, a medieval fortress and a necropolis. In the region were discovered epigraphic monuments, coins and the Lukovit treasure. The treasure was discovered in 1963 and dates back to the end of IV c. B.C. The treasure consists of 3 jugs, 9 phials, an iron rein and a large number of silver applications to a horse's ammunition.

The tourist sights of the town are: The Karlukovo Monastery, the rocky churches "St. Marina" and "St. Nikola", the church "St. Georgi" (1885), the Kotlen canyon, the Karlukovo karst region with the caves "Temna dupka", "Prohodna", "Svirchovitza", "Bankovitza", "Haidushkata peshtera" and others.


The town of Teteven

The town of Teteven

The town of Teteven has a population of 11 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 68 km southwest of Lovech. Teteven is the municipal centre of 25 component settlements. The town is situated along the valley of the Beli Vit River at an altitude of 425 m.

The first inhabitants of the region were the Thracian tribe of Serdi. In the region of Teteven there are 113 Thracian mounds. The other archaeological findings are from the Neolith, a Thracian and a medieval settlement. The oldest written evidence of Teteven dates from 1421. In XVIII c. there was a boom in the development of crafts and trade in the region.

The tourist sights of the town are: the church "Svetaya Svetih"/All Saints/ (1834-1846), the monastery "Sveti prorok Iliya"/St. Prophet Iliya/, the ancient house-museums - the Bobev's, the Tuykov's and the Hadzhiivanov's, the reserves "Boatin", "Tzarichina", the waterfall ‘Skoka" and others.

15 m southeast of Teteven is located the village of Ribaritza. The village has a population of 1 200 inhabitants and is the starting point for tourist routes in Teteven Mountains.

Tourist sights

Glozhene Monastery "St. George the Victorious", village of Glozhene

Glozhene Monastery "St. George the Victorious", village of Glozhene

The church "Svetaya Svetih" /All Saints/ in Teteven was built in 1834-1846. It has exceptionally big dimensions and unusual style for the churches from the period of the Ottoman domination. The church is 31 m long and 14 m wide with up to 1,5 m thick walls. The iconostasis was made by representatives of the Teteven's art school.

The Monastery "St. Iliya" in Teteven was an important educational and cultural centre during the Revival period. The monastery has preserved old printed books and icons from XVII-XVIII c. The church in the monastery is a monument of the Bulgarian architecture. The pulpit has a wood carving done by representatives of the Debar's art school, while the iconostasis is the work of wood-carving masters from Teteven. An artistic cross given as a gift from king Ivan Shishman was preserved in the monastery until 1930. Now the cross is in the London Museum.

The monastery "St. Georgi Pobedonosetz" in the village of Glozhene is situated at a distance of 3 km from the village. It is built over a steep rock on the Lisetz Ridge. The monastery keeps precious manuscripts, icons and wood carvings.

The Glozhen Monastery lies at a distance of 12 km from Teteven. The monastery is situated on a high cliff on the Lisetz mountainous massif. In the monastery are preserved icons from famous artists such as Zaharii Zograf, Stanislav Dospevski and Yoan Popovich.


The Municipality, town of Ugarchin

The Municipality, town of Ugarchin

The town of Ugarchin has a population of 3 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 36 km southwest of Lovech. The town is the municipal centre of 12 settlements. In the vicinities of Ugarchin there are remains of a settlement from the Bronze Age, Thracian mounds and the ruins of a medieval settlement. The first written evidence for the existence of the town dates back to 1430 when the settlement was mentioned under the mane of Ugradishte. The municipality is specialized in the production of fruits, grain, fodder and briars.


The Zlatna Panega Karst Lake near the village of Zlatna Panega, Yablanitza region

The Zlatna Panega Karst Lake near the village of Zlatna Panega, Yablanitza region

The town of Yablanitza has a population of 3 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 66 km southwest of the district centre. The town is the municipal centre of 14 settlements. The town was registered in the Ottoman registry books in 1430 and was known under the name of Ablanitza until 1922. The municipality is specialized in the production of plums, morrello cherries, apples and fodder.

The tourist sights of the town are: a group of ancient houses in the central part of the town dating from XIX c., the caves "Saeva Dupka", "Bezdannia pchelin" and the karst springs of Zlatna Panega.

 

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