The small town of Koprivshtitsa is situated near to the Topolnitsa river, at 1060 meters above the sea level, in the heart of the Srtedna Gora mountain. It is situated at 110 km. south – east of Sofia, at 80 km. north – west of Plovdiv and at 27 km. south – east of Pirdop.
The town is a true ethnographical museum of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture, which has preserved in compactness over 250 patterns. Koprivshtitsa is also a living witness of Bulgaria’s struggle against the Ottoman rule due to its inhabitants’ active participation in plots, including the unsuccessful but heroic April uprising in 1976.
Once being a crafts and trading centre, at present the town of Koprishtitsa lives primarily on tourism with most of its houses being turned into cozy family hotels with welcoming mehanas and restaurants on their ground floors or in their cellars. Accommodation and pub prices are relatively cheap, while the atmosphere including the cuisine are traditionally Bulgarian.
Koprivshtitsa originated as a settlement during the 14 th century. Its population dealt with cattle – breeding, manufacturing of aba, furriery, dyeing and other crafts. The wealthy and urbanized settlement was plundered and destroyed by fire by Turkish brigands three times and rebuilt from ashes to reach its greatest prosperity during the 19 th century when it had a population of nearly 12 000 inhabitants. Spacious houses, schools, churches fountains and bridges were built there during that period.
In 1837 the first monastery school, and in 1864 a girls’ intermediate high school were opened here Three years later Todor Kableshkov opened the students’ society “Zora”. In the same year Vasil Levski established a revolutionary committee in it. On 20 th of April 1876 first shot of the April Uprising against Ottoman Rule rang out here, which started the heroic April epopee of the Bulgarian people. The town is birth place of a lot of functionaries of our Revival Period, such as Bogdan Voyvoda, Doncho Voyvoda, Dobri Voyvoda, Dimcho Debelianov.
The greatest wealth of Koprivshtitsa are its Revival Period houses, part of which were turned into museums.
Koprivshtitsa’ old houses are all painted in different vivid colours (yellow, orange, red, blue, green) with their stone walls rising high above the ground. Walls were built thick and high for purely practical reasons - i.e. during the Ottoman rule, this was done in order to prevent Bulgarian women from being beheld and possibly hurt by Turkish soldiers. The walls’ height was also ensuring that any plots or revolutionary gatherings against the Turkish authorities were not to be heard or seen by the latter.
- One of these museums is the Oslekov's House. It is the most famous architectural, ethnographic site in the town, ownership of a rich merchant from Koprivshtitsa in the middle of the 19 th century.
- The home of Georgi Benkovski – the leader of the April Uprising is also interesting. The wooden gun, the banner of the Flying Detachment of armed volunteers sewed by Raina Popgeorgieva and the arms of the Voyvoda are the most priceless relics of that tempestuous time.
- The house of Luben Karavelov acquaints you with the revolutionary and journalistic activities of one of the most prominent sons of Koprivshtitsa and Bulgaria.
- The Dimcho Debelianov House – the life and the literally activities of the most lyrical Bulgarian poet are reflected in it.
- You should not miss the monument of Todor Kableshkov and Kableshkov's House.
The church “St. Nikolai” and the “Mausoleum – Ossuary – 20 th April” devoted to those who died during the April Uprising.
Koprivshtitsa is at the principal railway line Sofia – Karlovo – Bourgas but it is situated at the distance of 10 km. north to the town itself. It is connected with it through a bus line servicing each passing train. Koprivshtitsa maintain regular bus lines to Plovdiv, Panagyurishte, Strelcha and Pirdop.
Tourism Info Center
1 Liuben Karavelov Str.
Tel: (07184) 2191 tourist info
The town is a starting point for numerous tourist marches and eco tracks in the highest and the most beautiful part of Real Sredna Gora. A marked route starts from it in the direction of : Bogdan Chalet (3 to 4 hours walk), from where one can climb the highest peak of Sredna Gora – the mount of Bogdan (1604 meters above the sea level).
There are also routes to Manzul Chalet (3.30 to 4 hours walk), Krustyo Cholakov Chalet (2.30 – 3 hours walk) 11 km. along an earth road, the Barikadite Chalet (4 – 4.30 hours walk). An excursion to the Central Stara planina can be started from the railway station of Koprivshtitsa. It takes 6 to 8 hours to get to the Vezhen Chalet.