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Spa Resorts: Bratsigovo

Bratsigovo - Pictures Of Bulgaria
The town of Bratsigovo (5074 inhabitants, 420 metres above sea level) is situated in the northern foothill of Ravnogor Hill (Western Rhodopes), along the two banks of the little Umishka River. It is situated at the distance of 139 km south-east of Sofia, 7 km east of Peshtera, 25 km south of Pazardzhik, 23 km north-east of Batak and at the distance of 40 km south-west of Plovdiv. It is one of those historical towns, which uphold the national spirit of Bulgarian people. The town is developing as a balneological centre, too. There is a cold mineral water spring (18-26С) with the flow rate of 120 liters per minute at the distance of 500 metres west of it. There is a balneo-sanatorium built up here. The mineral water treats some skin diseases, the nervous system, kidney related diseases and others. There is a nice park and a country-houses zone around it.

History: Historical records prove the existence of Bratsigovo as of the 16th century. It was the continuation of the destroyed by fire and ruined settlement of Prevren. Evidence was found during excavation and construction works in the town and its surrounding areas according to which these sites were inhabited by Thracians and Slavs - coins of the time of Philip of Macedonia and Justinian II, a bronze statuette of the Goddess Athena Palada, a Roman road. During the 17th century Bulgarian people from the region of Nevrokop moved to Bratsigovo to work in the mines (mulvatsite). Emigrants from the Kostur region (Macedonia) came here at the end of the 18th century, too.

A monastery school was opened in the town in 1831 and a new mutual aid school with secular training opened its gates in 1848. Gradually later on a girls school and an intermediate secondary school were opened as well. Bratsigovo little by little turned into a big Rhodope settlement with well-developed crafts. The citizens of Bratsigovo demonstrated particularly notable skills in the field of construction creating their own Bratsigovo School of Architecture and leaving long-lasting traces in the architectural appearance of a lot of settlements in the Balkan Peninsula. It goes without saying that the masterpieces in the town of Bratsigovo itself add up to a lot more than one or two in number.

The Trendafil (Rose) Peoples Chitalishte (reading room or community centre) was created in 1874 under the management of Vassil Petleshkov turning into the second centre of enlightenment in the town. The first womens society Nadezhda (Hope) was founded the following year, too.

The April Uprising commenced here with enthusiasm and full of great hopes, too (21st April 1876). In spite of the exceptionally good military organisation, forces were unequal and after 18 days of desperate resistance the revolutionary committee concluded an armistice with Hasan Pasha. The hopes for survival were in vain. The Turks were not as good as their word and they started a campaign of mass terror within the little town. 141 revolutionaries were slaughtered, 252 were banished to Anadola. The leader of the Uprising in Bratsigovo Vassil Petleshkov was captured, too. Positioned over the fire stake he responded: I am all alone, there are no others. I was the one who led the struggle, I was the one who commanded - do not seek for anyone else! He was taken more dead than alive to Tatar Pazardhik and the Ottoman bayonets stabbed the great son of the nation in the locality of Murgita. Bratsigovo welcomed the Liberation at the early January 1878.

Landmarks: the Town Museum of History (1, Kostur Str., entrance А, tel.: 03552 2035). The Park-Monument Vassil Petleshkov is situated in the old centre of the town where during the month of April 1876 there was a revolutionary position and the Apostle of the Uprising Vassil Petleshkov died a heroic death. An unpretentious monument to the martyr was erected here and his bones were placed at its foundation. A humble park was formed around it.
Sindzhirli Bounar - a square, surrounded by Revival Period houses. It is in this square that Petleshkov announced the beginning of the April Uprising and Ana Gizdova handed the flag she made for the revolutionaries. The memorial plate is a reminder of that event and the bounar (well) itself is an interesting architectural monument, too, erected in 1813. The home of Petleshkov - a fascinating architectural monument in which the great patriot was born on 14.01.1845. The house is arranged as a museum. The building of chitalishte (reading room or community centre) Trendafil - a priceless relic of the Revival Period time. During the preparation of the Uprising the building was used by the revolutionary committee for meetings and as a warehouse for arms, ammunitions and foodstuff. The place of death of V. Petleshkov - along the road to Pazardzhik, at the entrance to the town stadium, where a modest monument was erected. The house of Nikola Boyanov - an architectural and historical monument. It was in it that on 22nd February 1876 Georgi Benkovski founded the revolutionary committee of Bratsigovo. Dzhambovs House (1840) - with it architectural design in the style of Plovdivs bi-symmetrical house is an attention-grabbing architectural monument in itself. Damovs House (1835) - an uncommon architectural monument, a complex of residential and agricultural buildings. There is a rose-distillery in the courtyard. Sveti Yoan Predtecha Church (1833) - one of the last creations of the master-builders from Bratsigovo. The belfry is 28.61 metres in height and the width of the tower adds up to 4 m. The town clock is on the third floor. Acoustics related pots were built-in in the walls of the church. A printed Gospel of 1572 was found in it. The house of Priest Sokol (1849) - Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of Bratsigovo. The following sites are of interest, too: Karamanovs House, Lukovs House, Popovs House (1847), Kunchevs House, the Russian Monument and others.

Accommodation: Damovs House Hotel Complex (30, Bratya Popovi Str.); NEVE Hotel Complex (31, Slavi Dishlanov Str). Private lodgings are on offer, too. There are several fascinating public catering establishments offering typical Bulgarian cuisine: the Rhodopski Chanove Tavern (17, Danail Dimenov Str., working hours from 11.00 am. to 23.00 p.m.), the Markovs Tavern (17, Bratya Gachevi Street, working hours from 11.00 a.m. to 14.00 p.m. and from 17.00 p.m. to the last customer) and others.

Tourists information: at the hotels, in Atolouka Tourists Association, in the town-hall (6, Atanas Kabov Str., entrance А, tel.: 03552 2026, 2052, 2053, fax: 03552 2101, telex: 46494).

Transport: Bratsigovo is linked to the other settlements of the country through bus and railway transport. There are regular bus connections with Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Peshtera, Batak and other smaller settlements within the region. The bus station is located at 79, Treti Mart (the Third of March) Str. (tel.: 03552 2022). The town is also a point of the railway line Stamboliiski - Peshtera. The railway station is near the bus station - at 85, Treti Mart (the Third of March) Str. (tel.: 03552 2460, 2113).

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