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BOTEVGRAD
Town
Postal code: 2140
Dialing code: 0723
Population: 23 516
Web site: http://botevgrad.org

Botevgrad is situated at a 47-km-distance from Sofia, 57 km and 40 km south-east of Vratsa and Mezdra, 25 km north-west of Etropole, and 39 km south-west of Yablanitsa. Botevgrad and its hinterland are located in a picturesque elliptic valley with a total area of 506.6 sq. km , in north foothills of the eastern parts of the estern Stara Planina, along the two banks of Stara Reka River.

HISTORY

Botevgrad is a successor of the medieval Bulgarian town of Zelin, which was located 3 km away from today’s town. During the Turkish rule the village was known by the name of Samoundzhievo, famous with its sweet smelling loaves of bread. Later on a church and a clock tower were erected. In 1866, after the road from Rouschuk (Rousse) to Sofia was moved from the Etropole Gorge to Arabakonak Gorge, the Rouschuk ruler Midhat Pasha issued an order, proclaiming the small village a town. It was given the name of Orhanie after the name of Sultan Orhan.

NATURE

The region of Botevgrad municipality is quite rich in natural resources. The relief is remarkable for its outstanding variety. Prohoda Vitinya or Vitinya Pass connecting Northern Bulgaria with Southern Bulgaria and the proximity of the capital contribute to its strategic location.

The municipality covers parts of the Western Stara Planina Mountain - Razhana, Mourgash, Billo and Golyama Planina and some parts of the Northern Balkan.

SIGHTSEEING

The Town Museum of History. Well-preserved are the house, having provided shelter to the Old School, the Ascension Church dating back to 1864, the Community Cultural Centre from 1883, the Clock Tower - a symbol of the town, built up at the central square by master Vouno Markov from the village of Vrachesh in 1866. The town has a number of monuments - to Hristo Botev, to the Russian soldiers, killed in the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation, to the Unknown Soldier, to Granny Koina, to the poet Stamen Panchev.

TRANSPORT

Only bus transport is available in the town. It is used to link it to the villages and towns in the region and countrywide. Southeast of the town passes the Hemus motorway from Sofia to Varna, which facilitates and speeds up large portion of its bus communications. There are regular bus lines to Sofia (every hour), Etropole, Yablanitsa, Mezdra, Loukovit, etc.

TOURIST INFORMATION

Tourist Information available at the hotels - Botevgrad Hotel (79, 3rd March Blvd.), Sinyo Nebe Hotel, at the Council on Tourism (tel.: 0723 6128), and at Venets Tourist Association (tel.: 0723 3301).

SURROUNDING AREAS

Zelin Resort - 4 km south-east of the town, scattered amidst nice deciduous forests. The monastery Birth of the Son of God the Holy Virgin is situated in its vicinity.

23 km north of Botevgrad and 3 km away from the village of Bozhenitsa is situated the Bozhenishki Urvich - this is a nationally significant monument of culture. Remains of an early Byzantine fortress and ruins of a rock church and dwelling, where the famous Bozheniski Inscription of Sevast Ognyan was found are well preserved in this area.

The village of Skravena is 6 km north-west of the town and the most interesting monument there is the church-monument, which until recently kept the bones of the 10 Botevs rebels, killed at Rashov Dol. The village is a starting point to the K & N Mukanski Chalet up at the Lakavitsa Hill (6 km - 1.30 hours walk along a marked truck road).

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